Printers & Publishers
The Hansards in Westerham
James Hansard lived at Westerham Place (formerly known as Darent Towers) and died here in 1849. His father, Luke Hansard, rose from humble beginnings to become a highly respected printer with a reputation for the speedy and accurate publication of Parliamentary reports. James and his brothers joined the family firm, which carried on as Printers to the House of Commons for several generations.
However, James’ elder brother, Thomas Curson Hansard, left the business. He bought into another printing company and took on the accurate reporting of Parliamentary debates under the name of T.C. Hansard. It was this publication that came to be synonymous with Parliamentary dialogue. More than 180 years later we still refer to verbatim Commons speeches as being written up in ‘Hansard’s’. For years the verb ‘to Hansardise’ was used when one speaker challenged another by quoting what said on a previous occasion.
James’ son, Dr James Hansard, was born in Westerham in 1809 and died in Australia at the home he called ‘Westerham’.
Rowley Atterbury, founder of the Westerham Press
Rowley Atterbury, worked as a typographer and printer using innovative techniques. In 1950 he founded the Westerham Press, employing some of the most advanced colour-reproduction techniques as well as implementing forward-looking management practices.
To find out more about Rowley’s life and achievements, click here.