The Quarterly No. 39 - July 2001


The Invention of Vegetable Parchment: A Matter of Controversy - Philip Harris

Material emanating from one of the French inventors of vegetable parchment, Guillaume Louis Figuier, has revealed that the development of this material was far from a straightforward, uncontroversial matter and was in fact the subject of a bitter dispute. The article follows on from earlier articles where the question arose whether or not the English 'inventor', W. E. Gaine, knew of the prior invention in France. (The Quarterly 34 & 35)

7  pages, illustrated


Arms of London Watermarks: A means of dating undated manuscripts, part two - Ruby Reid Thompson

Appendix tables following on from part one of the article providing data on undated manuscripts, or those with assigned dates, with Arms of London watermarks in comparison with firmly dated manuscripts with the same watermarks and counter-marks.

5 pages, tables


Letters - George Cuitt and the Papermill at St. Martins, Richmond

Two letters in response to the short article in Quarterly 38:

  1. In response to the short feature on St. Martins mill in Quarterly 38: there were at least five water mills on the River Swale at Richmond in Yorkshire. Highest up the river was Whitclif, followed by Green Mill, Castle Mill and finally St. Martins. The latter belonged to St. Martins Priory, a small cell of the Benedictine Abbey of St. Mary in York. Prior to the 1770s, before he moved to Egglestone Abbey Mill about 20 miles away, the mill was worked by the papermaker James Cooke and his father (also James). After the death of his parents Henry Cooke continued to make paper at Egglestone until 1823 when he took the lease of Whitclif Mill which continued as a paper mill until 1930. Nothing is left of either Whitclif or St. Martins, apparently the latter was demolished during the building of the railways in the mid-nineteenth century.
  2. I cannot answer all the questions posed about the Cuitt engraving in Quarterly 38 but I can deal with most of them. The George Cuitt concerned is the son of the George Cuitt, the artist mentioned. His entry in D Nuttall, (ed), the Book Trade in Cheshire to 1850: A Directory, Liverpool, 1992, he is listed as having been born in 1779 at Richmond in Yorkshire and dying in 1854 at Masham, Yorkshire. Between 1804 and 1819 he lived and worked at Chester, Shropshire, The British Library has several works by Cuitt including Ten Etchings of Picturesque Landscape Scenery, published by Colnaghi, Son & Co., London, 1827 and Wandrings and Pencillings among ruins of the Olden Time; a series of seventy-three etchings, published posthumously by Natali & Bond, London, 1855.

British Bibliography of Paper History and Watermark Studies No 8, 2000 - Andrew Honey

A listing of publications and articles published in 2000 relating to paper studies, also addenda to Bibliography No 7, 1999 (see The Quarterly No 35, July 2000, pp 8-9).

2 pages


Book Reviews

Islamic Paper, a Study of the Ancient Craft. By Helen Loveday.
The Exeter Papers. Edited by Peter Bower. Review by Jean Stirk


Mr Anderson's Bill - Peter Bower

An examination of a late eighteenth century bill giving details of paper sizes purchased, the prices thereof and the paper of the bill itself. Documents of this type seem to survive more by accident than design and the author would be grateful for knowledge of the whereabouts of similar items. Peter Bower.

2 pages, illustrated


Index to The Quarterly Issues Nos 33-36 - Terry Wells

The index is arranged in nine categories: Articles by author; Articles by title; Book reviews; General index; Illustrations; Papermakers; Paper mills; Tipped-in paper samples; Watermarks. The Watermarks index is further divided into those that are illustrated and those that are mentioned in the text.

9 pages


Papermaking Pubs

Two illustrations of public houses with names connected to papermaking in Maidstone, Kent -  The Papermakers Arms and The Royal Paper Mill.


The London Papers

In a move away from past practices and in order to catch up on publishing the backlog of past BAPH conference papers it has been decided to include the conference papers as partworks within The Quarterly. The first of these to appear are The London Papers, the Proceedings of the British Association of Paper Historians Sixth Annual Conference, held at Imperial College London in 1995. The first part consists of three papers, two of which provided the 'London' part of the conference, and a third, which although not presented at the conference adds knowledge to the complex subject covered in the other two papers.


Matthias Koops at Neckinger Mill, Bermondsey - Alan Crocker and Robin Clark

Matthias Koops is well known for the innovations to papermaking which he introduced at the end of the eighteenth century. In particular he developed methods for extracting ink from used paper, so that it could be recycled, and for manufacturing paper from straw, wood and other raw materials. These methods were successfully put into commercial practice in 1800 at Neckinger Mill, Bermondsey, near the south bank of the Thames about a mile downstream from London Bridge.

8 pages, illustrated, appendix


The Chelsea Mill of the Straw Paper Company - Richard Hills

Koops experiments at Neckinger must have prompted the establishment of the Straw Paper Company on a site at Millbank on the north bank of the Thames about a mile upstream from Westminster Bridge. This mill was variously called Chelsea, Thames Bank or Westminster Mill and was certainly intended to be on 'a large commercial scale' but a closer examination shows that the mill was never completed. This paper attempts to determine the sequence of events from its incorporation to its demise but many questions remain unanswered.

10 pages, illustrated, table


Neckinger Mill Paper and Watermarks - Alan Crocker and Richard Hills

Papers produced by Koops were used in the production of his book Account of the Substances which have been used to Describe Events, and to Convey Ideas from the Earliest Date, to the Invention of Paper, two editions were published, in 1800 and 1801. Copies held by various libraries were re-examined, additionally it has recently been discovered that Neckinger Mill paper was used in some books by Thomas Pennant published in 1801 and 1804. This article gives a detailed account of the findings of this research.

8 pages, illustrated