Luke Hansard (July 5, 1752 – October 29, 1828) was an English printer, born in St Mary's parish, Norwich, who gave his name to Hansard, the record of Parliamentary debate, which he printed.
He was the son of a Norwich manufacturer. He was educated at Kirton Grammar School in Kirton, Lincolnshire, and was apprenticed to Stephen White, a Norwich printer.
As soon as his apprenticeship had expired Hansard started for London with only a guinea in his pocket, and became a compositor in the office of John Hughs (1703-1771), printer to the British House of Commons.
In 1774 he was made a partner, and undertook almost the entire conduct of the business, which in 1800 came completely into his hands. On the admission of his sons the firm became Luke Hansard & Sons, based on Parker Street, off Drury Lane..
Among those whose friendship Hansard won in the exercise of his profession were Robert Orme, Burke and Dr Johnson; while Porson praised him as the most accurate printer of Greek.
... Employed by Mr. Orme in printing his " History of India," he informed himself so thoroughly on Indian subjects, that he was Burke's right hand in selecting evidence from India documents for the trial of Warren Hastings. It was he who supplied, without delay, and without the commisssion of an error, the unequalled demand for Burke's " Essay on the French Revolution."
He printed the Journals of the House of Commons from 1774 till his death. The promptitude and accuracy with which Hansard printed parliamentary papers were often of the greatest service to government—notably on one occasion when the proof-sheets of the report of the Secret Committee on the French Revolution were submitted to Pitt twenty-four hours after the draft had left his hands.
On the union with Ireland in 1801, the increase of parliamentary printing compelled Hansard to give up all private printing except when parliament was not sitting. He devised numerous expedients for reducing the expense of publishing the reports; and in 1805, when his workmen struck at a time of great pressure, he and his sons themselves set to work as compositors.
His company became the Hansard Publishing Union. From 1809 his company, then run by his son, printed the parliamentary debates, and owned the publication from 1812, which became known as Hansard from 1829.
His son Thomas Curson carried on the business.Luke Hansard The Auto-biography of Luke Hansard, written in 1817; edited ... by Robin Myers. Wakefield: Fleece Press, 1991 ISBN 0-948375-26-4
Evelyn Mansfield King, with J. C. Trewin, Printer to the House, London, 1952.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Hansard, Luke". Encyclopædia Britannica. 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 927–928.