Freeman Roger Jeal writes:
The Stationers’ inaugural Annual History Lecture on 3 September told a compelling story of the rise and fall of Waterlows, a printing dynasty that has been prominent in our history and which was built on the drive of descendants of French Protestant refugees.
Migration from persecution, social change, technological development, philanthropy, revolutionary housing for poorer people, City politics and even a brush with fraud and forgery were all ingredients stirred into the tale by family member Sir Christopher Waterlow (pictured). However, the company eventually succumbed to industrial change in the 20th century, not helped by eventual ownership by Robert Maxwell .
Five Waterlows have been Masters of the Stationers' Company and the family has also provided a few Lord Mayors of the City of London. Sir Sydney Waterlow, who occupied both roles, donated the land for Waterlow Park in north London.
The idea for an annual history lecture grew out of 3 lectures held at Guildhall Library in 2017, feedback from which indicated that people would like to know more about the lives and careers of leading Stationers.
Clerk William Alden noted that the lecture took place in our guild church, St Martin-within-Ludgate, as a test for potential use when the Hall is refurbished.
Liveryman Claire Scott organised and chaired the event, which also included displays of stamps printed by the company and historical documents.