Scottish Book Trade Index (SBTI)
TULLIS, Robert bookseller, printer and papermaker Cupar in Fife
bookseller Cupar in Fife 1797-1800
6-8 Bonnygate 1801
printer same address 1802-08
Printer to the University of St Andrews same address and Market Street, St Andrews 1809-30
George Smith Tullis same address 1831-48
John C. Orr same address 1848-79
Robert Tullis, son of William Tullis, blacksmith of St Andrews, and Jane Russell was born in 1775; bound apprentice to Patrick Bower, University bookbinder and stationer in St Andrews, 28 November 1786 and freed in November 1790. By August 1797, he had established himself as a bookseller in Cupar. In the year 1800 he published a book, and in 1801 he set up a printing press. He married Miss Agnes Smith, only daughter of George Smith in Kinnaird in October 1804. They had three sons, George Smith, William and Robert. In 1807 he printed an edition of Sallust on University Paper, for the University of St Andrews. University Paper was paper that received a 'drawback' or rebate of duty under the terms of the Excise Act of 1807. From that point on he printed large numbers of classical texts, and calls himself Academiae Andreanae Typographus on titlepages of the books from 1809. The classical texts are handsome, scholarly and accurate and soon achieved wide fame and distribution. In 1809 he converted the meal mill of Auchmuchty at Rothes into a paper-mill. Tullis used his own paper in books printed in 1811 and afterwards. The paper has the countermark 'RT & Coy' and the date. About 1817, he acquired land at Burnside, and built the Burnside Printing Works. In 1822 he started a newspaper, The Cupar Herald, printed at the Burnside Works. The following year it changed its name to The Fife Herald, which in that name has lasted into the 20th Century. Tullis was succeeded as editor by a former apprentice of his David Molyson, who resigned because of ill-health in 1831. All the printing of the newspaper was done by two pressmen, Arthur Aitken and Alexander Shaw. Robert Tullis died in February 1831. George Smith Tullis, who was born in 1805, took over the paper. He died in 1848. After George Tullis's death, in 1849, the only surviving brother, William sold the business to the partnership of Whitehead and Burns, but retained ownership of the property. When their successor J.C. Orr went bankrupt in 1869, the firm reverted to the ownership of the Tullis family, who transferred the business to John Innes in 1879.
D. W. Doughty. The Tullis Press, Cupar 1803-49. Dundee: Abertay Historical Society publication No.12, 1967. and Supplement Bibliotheck xi 108- (1983); Campbell Tullis; NLS Impr Ind; Schenck; C.D.M. Ketelbey. Tullis Russell: The History of R. Tullis & Company and Tullis Russell & Co. Ltd. 1809-1959. Markinch, 1967.