St Albans Press

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The St Albans Press was the third printing press set up in England, in 1479. It was situated in the Abbey Gateway, St. Albans, a part of the Benedictine Monastery of St Albans. The name of the printer is unknown, only referred to by Wynkyn de Worde in a reprinting of one of the St. Albans books as 'Sometime schoolmaster'.[1]


There are eight known printed works which came from the press:[2]

  • Elegantiolae, Augustinus Datus (Agostino Dati, 1420–1478),[3] about 1479. This work was a standard school text of the period, printed in very many editions.[4]
  • De modis significandi, seu Grammatica speculativa, Thomas de Erfordia, 1480.
  • Margarita eloquentiae, sive Rhetorica nova, Laurentius Gulielmus Traversanus de Saona, 1480. The author Lorenzo Guglielmo Traversagni (1425–1503) was a Franciscan and humanist, and this work was a shorter version of his book on rhetoric.[5][6]
  • Quaestiones super Physica Aristotelis, Johannes Canonicus, 1481. The author was writing in the 1320s.[7]
  • Exempla Sacrae Scripturae ex utroque Testamento collecta, Nicolaus de Hanapis, 1481. This was a work from the 13th century; the author, a French Dominican, became Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.[8]
  • Scriptum in logica sua, Antonius Andreae, about 1481-82.
  • The Chronicles of England,[9] about 1486. This was an enlarged edition of William Caxton's Chronicles, with additions from the Fasciculus temporum of Werner Rolevinck.[10]
  • Book of Saint Albans (Book of Hawking, Hunting, and Heraldry), not before 1486.

Current usage[edit]

The Press now exists as a holding company, John Insomuch Schoolmaster Printer 1479 Ltd, incorporated 1996,[11] owned by St Albans School.


  1. ^ EC Bigmore, CWH Wyman, A bibliography of printing : with notes and illustrations (1880),
  2. ^
  3. ^ Peter G. Bietenholz; Thomas Brian Deutscher (2003). Contemporaries of Erasmus: A Biographical Register of the Renaissance and Reformation. University of Toronto Press. p. 378. ISBN 978-0-8020-8577-1. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  4. ^ Université catholique de Louvain (1835-1969) (1995). Humanistica Lovaniensia. Leuven University Press. p. 146. ISBN 978-90-6186-680-0. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  5. ^ University of Leeds, Special Collections, Lorenzo Guglielmo Traversagni, Epitome Margaritae Eloquentia.
  6. ^ British Library, record for Margarita eloquentiae, sive Rhetorica nova.
  7. ^ Edward Grant (29 May 1981). Much Ado About Nothing: Theories of Space and Vacuum from the Middle Ages to the Scientific Revolution. Cambridge University Press. p. 291 note 78. ISBN 978-0-521-22983-8. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  8. ^ Jacques (de Vitry) (1890). The Exempla Or Illustrative Stories from the Sermones Vulgares of Jacques de Vitry. Ayer Publishing. p. xcviii. ISBN 978-0-8337-0715-4. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ George D. Painter, William Caxton (1976), p. 188.
  11. ^ "Company Data".