On this day

July 21, 1866

cover page of Hertford Mercury and Reformer published on July 21, 1866

Hertford Mercury and Reformer

The Hertfordshire Mercury began life as the Reformer and Herts, Beds Bucks Essex Cambridge and MiddlesexAdvertiser. It was established in 1834 by bookseller, stationer and printer Stephen Austin (1804-1892) whose family had a long association with printing. An earlier Stephen Austin had published the Hartford Mercury in 1772.

The Reformer was a 4-page publication, costing 7d. It became the Hertford Mercury and Reformer in 1844. It was a Liberal paper and run by Rowland Alston from 1834 to 1884. Alston’s father was a Liberal M.P. for Hertfordshire in 1835. Both were involved in the setting up of the Reform Association for the County of Hertford in 1836. Stephen Austin was bookseller to the East India College, founded in Hertford Heath 1806 as the training establishment for the British East India Company. In 1855, he owned two out of the three papers published in Hertford at time, the Mercury and the County Press. The third was the rival Conservative HertfordGuardian. In 1868, the Mercury and the County Press were merged to form the Hertfordshire MercuryandCountyPress.

As the business continued to expand, Stephen Austin’s sons became partners in the firm and took over when their father died in 1892. The family continued to run the Hertfordshire Mercury until the 1980’s.

For this newspaper, we have the following titles in, or planned for, our digital archive:

  • 1834–43 The Reformer and Herts, Beds, Bucks, Essex, Cambridge and Middlesex Advertiser
  • 1844–68 The Hertford Mercury and Reformer
  • 1868–74 The Hertford Mercury and County Press.
  • 1872–1986 Hertfordshire Mercury and County Press.
  • 1986–99 Hertfordshire Mercury
  • 1986–99 Hertfordshire Mercury

This newspaper is published by Reach PLC in Hertford, Hertfordshire, England. It was digitised and first made available on the British Newspaper Archive in Jul 7, 2012 . The latest issues were added in Dec 28, 2023.