In the late 18th Century, John Wilkes' efforts to secure the freedom of the press led to Parliament removing the prohibition on the publishing of debates. The first attempt to methodically record the proceedings of Parliament was made by William Cobbett in 1802 when he began publishing Parliamentary Debates as a supplement to his Political Register.
The name comes from Thomas Curson Hansard, the printer used by Cobbett from 1809 onwards. In 1812, due to financial reasons, Cobbett sold the Debates to Hansard. It became an official document of the United Kingdom parliament in 1909.