Tracing the disparate ancestries of four great families


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Edward Pickard Hall - a short history of an amazing man

Edward Pickard Hall was born at Maidstone in Kent on 3 June 1808, the son of John Vine Hall, editor of the Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, and his wife Mary.

Anne Ralph (known as Annie) was born at Bow (Cheapside), London in 1814, the daughter of James Ralph, Esq.

Edward and Annie Hall were married at St Mary Le Strand, Westminster, London on 13 April 1836 and had thirteen children:

  • Edward Vine Hall (born in Maidstone on 11 June 1837)
  • Charles Frederick Hall (born in Maidstone on 11 December 1838)
  • Mary Ellen PIckard Hall (born in Maidstone on 22 May 1840)
  • James Ralph Hall (born in Maidstone on 31 May 1843)
  • John Vine Hall (born in Maidstone on 9 January 1845)
  • Emily Anne Pickard Hall (born in Maidstone on 27 July 1846)
  • Eleanor Martha Hall (born in Maidstone on 31 October 1847)
  • Frank Henry Hall, later known as Francis (born in Thornham, Kent on 6 June 1849)
  • Sarah Maria Hall (born in Barming, Kent on 15 November 1850)
  • George Herbert Vine Hall (born in Barming, Kent on 15 February 1852; died aged two months on 19 April 1852)
  • Alice or Alys Hall (born at Banbury Road, Oxford on 26 October 1853 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 27 November that year)
  • Arthur Pickard Hall (born at Banbury Road, Oxford on 26 July 1855 and privately baptised by St Giles’s Church on 26 August that year)
  • Mary Louisa Hall (born at Banbury Road, Oxford on 1 May 1857 and privately baptised by St Giles’s Church on 18 May that year).

At the time of the 1841 census, Edward Pickard Hall was a bookseller, living in Bank Street, Maidstone with his wife Annie and their first three children, plus an apprentice bookseller and two female servants. His first contact with Oxford may have been when his eldest son Edward went to board at New College School as a chorister in about 1844.

By the time of the 1851 census Hall was the proprietor and editor of the Maidstone Journal and the family had moved to a house called Scraces in Barming, near Maidstone. Another five children had been born in the previous ten years, and again they had two female servants. Two children were missing: Edward (13) had moved on from New College School to be a chorister at Magdalen College School and was living in its boarding house at 38 High Street, Oxford; and Charles (12) was now a chorister at New College School, boarding at 29 Holywell Street, Oxford.

In 1853 Edward Pickard Hall moved his whole family to Oxford when he became a partner of the Clarendon Press: he and Henry Latham originally had four shares each, while Thomas Combe had eight.

Oxford University PressOxford University Press (the Clarendon Press) in 1833. The Bible Press was in the 
south wing (left), and the Learned or Classical Press in the north wing (right)

Hall's three youngest children were born in Oxford, and five of his sons were to become undergraduates at the University, starting with his eldest son Edward Vine Hall, who was matriculated by Magdalen College on 27 July 1855 at the age of 18, and his second son Charles, matriculated by The Queen’s College on 30 May 1856, aged 17.

The 1861 census shows the family living at 1 Park Place (the name then given to the south part of the Banbury Road), with Hall’s occupation given as “Partner & Chief Manager Of The University Bible Press employing 47 men and 97 boys”. They had two servants. Eight of his children were at home: Edward (23), who was working as a tutor; Mary Ellen (20); James (17), Frank (11), Sarah (9) and Alice (6), who were at school; and Arthur (5), and Mary Louisa (4). Charles (22), who was now an undergraduate at Oxford, was staying with his widowed grandmother, Mrs Mary Hall (74) at St Pancras in London.

On 21 October 1862 Hall’s third son, James, was matriculated at the University of Oxford by Merton College at the age of 19; and on 20 October 1868 his fifth son, Frank, was matriculated by Corpus Christi College at the age of 19.

By the time of the 1871 census Edward Pickard Hall (62) was described as the University Printer. He now lived with his family in a house in the University Press Yard (near the junction of Walton Street and Clarendon Street). His wife was away, and only his daughter Emily (24) was at home, plus two servants.

On 19 October 1874 Hall’s youngest son, Arthur, was matriculated at the University of Oxford by Keble College at the age of 19. Five of his sons were now Oxford men, and on 6 March 1877 Hall himself, who was now senior managing partner of the Clarendon Press, was created an Honorary M.A. by the University.

At the time of the 1881 census Hall (71) was still working as Printer to the University, and so the family was still living at University Press Yard. This time the only child at home with them was Mary Louisa (23).

† Alys Hall died at the family home at the University Press on 9 March 1883 at the age of 29 and was buried at St Sepulchre's Cemetery on 13 March. (Her grave has not yet been located: the St Paul's reference is 1.JK, and as the reference for her parents' grave is J.1, it may be adjoining theirs, especially as they too were buried in the St Paul's section, despite the fact that they were living in the parish of St Philip & James at the time of their death.)

By 1884 Hall had completed thirty years at the Clarendon Press: his working hours had always been 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and outside working hours he instructed up to eighty boys at night school; and at weekends he organized games on Saturday afternoons, Sunday school on Sunday afternoons, and singing classes at his home for the compositors in the evenings. So when that year he was summarily dismissed by the Delegates of the University Press at the age of 76, it came as a shock. His dismissal was largely at the behest of Benjamin Jowett, Manager of the University Press, who wanted to appoint an innovator. Hall wrote to Professor Bartholomew Price, the Secretary (Chief Executive) of the Delegates, “The blow to me and to my family is unspeakably painful.” He is said to have “faced poverty in old age”; but none the less his family was able to move to a large north Oxford house, at 23 Norham Road, and continued to maintain two servants.

† Edward Pickard Hall died at 23 Norham Road on 6 November 1886 at the age of 78 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 10 November (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).

Owner/SourceStephanie Jenkins
Linked toAlice "Alys" Hall; Rev Arthur Pickard Hall, BA; Charles Frederick Hall, BA; Edward Pickard Hall, MA; Rev Edward Vine Hall, MA; Eleanor Martha Hall; Emily Ann Pickard Hall; Rev Francis "Frank" Henry Hall, MA; George Herbert Vine Hall; James Ralph Hall, BA; Capt John Vine Hall; Mary Ellen Pickard Hall; Mary Louisa Hall; Sarah Maria Hall; Anne "Annie" Ralph

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