Benjamin Lansdown was born in Trowbridge in 1819 and was the son of a woollen mill employee. Benjamin did not enjoy this line of work; so he was apprenticed as a printer with Mr John Sweet, the Trowbridge printer whose grandfather Edward had set up the first printing press in the town around 1760. In 1853 he took over his former masters business buying his hard press and type for £12 10s 0d. In the following year he started his newspaper The Wiltshire Times in his printing shop on Church Street. He established a newspaper and stationer shop at number 6 Silver Street in 1860 and moved his printing shop to Duke Street in 1876. Before his death in 1884 he had taken his sons James and George into partnership.