Page images





10 40

5 12 4



Bulgaria .

Central and West Indies

129 July 23, 1588; (3) a printed copy of No. 51; (4) a printed copy Montenegro

South American Republics 340 of No. 54, of November 24, 1588; (5) and three other MS. copies. Turkey


New South

These were included in a collection bequeathed to the Museum Syria ,


109 of Dr Birch (1766), and are incontestably 18th-century forgeries. India 600 South Australia

44 The handwriting of the spurious MSS. was identified by a letter Ceylon



among Dr Birch's correspondence as that of Philip Yorke, China

West Australia Siam



afterwards and Lord Hardwicke, and there were trifling correc Straits Settlements

New Zealand

tions in Dr Birch's handwriting, showing that he was a party Cochin China.


28 with Yorke, the author, to the mystification. No information Japan 150 Wellington

29 is forthcoming as to the object of it, but it is worth mentioning East Indies


17 South Africa

Hawkes Bay

that Yorke and his brother also published a clever jeu d'esprit West Africa.


23 called The Athenion Letters, purporting to be a transcript from Central Africa, &c.


36 a Spanish translation of letters written by a Persian agent during Egypt Canada


the Peloponnesian War; so that it may be inferred that this 31,026

sort of thing recommended itself to Yorke, and not necessarily 2. BRITISH NEWSPAPERS

for any deception. United Kingdom.'

Various English pamphlets, as well as French, Italian and

German, occur in the 16th century with such titles as Newes from The first regular English journalists may be identified with Spaine, and the like. In the early years of the 19th century the writers of manuscript“ news-letters," originally the depend they became very numerous; the Charles Burney collection in ants of great men, each employed in keeping his own master

the British Museum is particularly valuable for this early period, or patron well-informed, during nis absence from court, of all the newsbooks and newspapers in it commencing with a "rela. that happened there. The duty grew at length into a calling. tion" of 1603. In 1614 we find . Burton (the author of the The writer had his periodical subscription list, and instead of Anatomy of ^ elancholy) pointing a sarcasm against the nonwriting a single letter wrote as many letters as he had customers. reading habits of “the major part " by adding, “ if they read a Then one more enterprising than the rest established an “in- book at any time ... 'tis an English chronicle, Sir Huon of telligence office," with a staff of clerks, such as Ben Jonson's Bordeaux, Amadis de Gaul, &c., a play-book, or some pamphie Cymbal depicts from the life in The Staple of News, acted in of news.” But up to 1641, owing to the fact that to print 1625, which is the best-known dramatic notice of the news-sheets. domestic news was barred by the royal prerogative, the English " This is the outer room where my clerks sit,

periodicals which are to be considered as strictly the forerunners And keep their sides, the register in the midst; The examiner, he sits private there within;

of the regular newspaper were only translations or adaptations And here I have my several rolls and files

of foreign periodicals containing news of what was going on Of news by the alphabet, and all put up

abroad. Under their heads.

There is in the British Museum a Mercurius Gallobelgicus; of the earlier news-letters good examples may be seen in the Sive rerum in Gallia el Belgio potissimum, Hispania quoque, Pasion Letters, and in the Sydney Papers. Of those of later Italia, Anglia, Germania, Polonia, Vicinisque Locis ab anno 1588

date specimens will be found in Knowler's Lellers and usque ad Marlium anni praesentis 1594 gestarum, nuncius. Early

Despatches of Strafford, and other well-known books. Opusculum in Sex libris qui lolidem annos complectuntur, divisum
Still later examples may be seen amongst the papers auctore D. M. Jonsonio Doccomensi Frisio. Editio altera.

collected by the historian Thomas Carte, preserved in Coloniae Agrippinae. Apud Godefridum Kempensem. Anno the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Of these, several series were Maxciv. This production of Janson's at Cologne is a fairly addressed to the first duke of Ormond, partly by correspondents thick octavo book, giving a Latin chronicle of events from 587 in England and Ireland, partly by correspondents in Paris; others to 1594, and is really a sort of annual register. It was continued were addressed to successive earls of Huntingdon; others, again, down to 1635. The Mercurius Gallobelgicus is chiefly interesting to various members of the Wharton family. And similar valuable because, by circulating in England, it started the idea of a collections are to be seen in the library of the British Museum, and periodical supplying foreign news, and apparently became to in the Record Office in London. In Edinburgh the Advocates' English contemporaries a type of the newfangled news-sumLibrary possesses a series of the 16th century, written by Richard maries. In 1614 there was published in London a little square Scudamore to Sir Philip Hoby during his embassy to Vienna. book (45 pp.), by Robert Booth, A Relation of all mallers passed The MS. news-letters-some of them proceeding from writers .. since March last to the present 1614, translaled according to of marked ability who had access to official information, and the originall of Mercurius Gallobelgicus, which has the running were able to write with greater freedom and independence title Mercurius Gallobelgicus his relation since March last. From of tone than the compilers of the printed news-held their a repetition of such a relations” at irregular intervals, to the ground, although within narrowing limits, until nearly the periodical publication of news-books with a common title in a middle of the 18th century. The distinction between the news-numbered series, was a natural development. Thus on the ist letter and the newspaper is pointed out in the preceding section. of June 1619 Ralph Rounthwaite entered at Stationers' Hall

It was at one time believed that the earliest regulat English | A Relation of all mallers done in Bohemia, Austria, Poland, newspaper was an English Mercurie of 1588, to which George Slelia, France, &c., that is worthy of relating, since the end of

Chalmers, the political writer and antiquarian, referred March 1018 (1619 N.S.) until the dik of May. Again at the Early

in his Life of Ruddiman (1794) as being (with others of beginning of November 1621 Bartholomew Downes and another papers.

the same date) in the British Museum. The falsehood entered in like manner The certaine and true newes from all parts

of this supposition, which was long accepted on of Germany and Poland, to this present 20 of October 1021. No Chalmers's authority, was, however, pointed out by Thomas copy of either of these papers is now known to exist. Nor is any Watts, of the British Museum, in 1839, in a volume with the copy known of the Courant or Weekly Newes from foreign paris title Letter to Antonio Panizzi on the Reputed earliest printed of October 9, 1621-"taken out of the High Dutch,"-menNewspaper, and again in 1850, in an article in the Gentleman's tioned by John Nichols. But in May 1622 we arrive at a regular Magazine (n.s, xxxiii, 485-491). The documents in question are weekly newspaper which may still be seen in the British Museum. (1) a MS. unnumbered issue of the English Mercurie, dated * Whitehall, July 26th, 1588 "; (2) a printed.copy, No. 50, of

1 The title Mercurius or Mercury-as representing the messenger

of the gods-thus became a common one for English periodicals. In the following account of early British newspapers certain Registers of the Stationers' Company, as printed by Edward portions of the article by E. Edwards in the 9th ed. of the Ency. Bril. Arber, iii. 302. have been incorporated.

Ibid. iv. 23

Literary Anecdoles, iv. 38.

Dews. letters.


The Stationers' Registers contain an entry on May 18th of A on the parliamentary side but is important as having originated Currant of generall newes. Dated in 14th May last; no copy of the introduction of advertisements into the news-books. Later this issue is preserved, but what is presumably the next number in the year a number of new Royalist Mercuries came into the is to be found in the Burney collection. It is entitled “The field from which Aulicus and Academicus had now withdrawn: 23rd of May-The Weekely Newes from Italy, Germany, &c., the first was Mercuricus Melancholicus (until 1649), and the London, printed by J. D. for Nicholas Bourne and Thomas most important were Mercurius Pragmaticus (Sept. 1647 to Archer." On many subsequent numbers the name of Nathaniel May 1650) and Mercuricus Elencticus (Nov. 1647 to Nov. 1649). Butter appears in connexion sometimes with Bourne and some M. Pragmaticus was not, as has been stated, originated by times with Archer; so that there was probably an eventual Marchamont Nedham (who about this time turned his coat partnership in the new undertaking. Archer is known as a and became Royalist), but in 1648-1649 he was its writer until publisher of "relations " since 1603; he died in 1634. Butter he again turned parliamentarian; “ history,” says Mr Williams, had published Newes from Spaine in 1611, and he continued to be “has no personage so shamelessly cynical as Marchamont Nedham, a publisher of news until 1641, if not later,' and died in 1664. with his powerful pen and his political convictions ever ready

For details of the history of the development of the news-book to be enlisted on the side of the highest bidder; he even wrote down to 1641, and thence to the starting of the London Gazelle in for Charles II. in later years." Against the unlicensed Royalist 1665, reference should

be made to Mr L. B. Williams's Ilistory of Mercuries in London, where the people were on the king's side, his study of the materials preserved in the British Museum in the the parliament waged active war, but some of them managed to Burney and Thomason ? collections, has considerably modified many come out, although writer after writer was imprisoned, until of the previously accepted views as to the affiliation and authorship the middle of 1650. Meanwhile from October 1649 to June of these early English periodicals. The leading facts can only be 1650, by a new act of parliament, the licensed press itself was summarized here.

The Weekely Newes (1622), though the first English “ Coranto," entirely suppressed, and in 1649 two official journals were issued, had no regular title connecting one number with the rest; it was

A Brief Relation (up to October 1650) and Severall Proceedings simply the news of the week, and so described. The first period in Parliament (till September 1655), a third licensed periodical, ical with a title was a Mercurius Britannicus published by Archer A Perfect Diurnall (till September 1655), being added later in (1625; the earliest copy in existence being No. 16, April 7th), the year, and a fourth, Mercurius Politicus (of which Milton was which probably lasted till the end of 1627. But the activity of the editor for a year or so and Marchamont Nedham one of the the Coranto-makers was checked by the Star Chamber edici in principal writers), starting on June 13th, 1650 (continuing till 1632 against the printing of news from foreign parts. The next April 12th, 1660). After the middle of 1650 there was a revival step in the evolution of the newspaper was due to the abolition of some of the older licensed news-books; but the Weekly of the Star Chamber in 1641, and the consequent freeing of the Intelligence of the Commonwealth (July 1650 to September 1655), Press, and at last we come to the English periodical with by R. Collinge, was the only important newcomer up to September domestic news. In November 1641 begins The Head of severall 1655. when Cromwell suppressed all such publications with the proceedings in the present parliament (outside title) or Diurnal exception of Mercurius Politicus and the Publick Intelligencer Occurrences (inside title), the latter being the title under which (October 1655 to April 1660), both being official and conducted it was soon known as a weekly; and on Jan. 31st 1642 appeared

by Marchamont Nedham. A Perfect Diurnal of the Passages in Parliament. These were

Till Cromwell's death (Sept. 3rd. 1658) Nedham reigned alone printed for William Cooke, and were written apparently by in the press, but with the Rump he fell into disgrace, and in Samuel Pecke, " the first of the patriarchs of English domestic 1059 a rival appeared in Henry Muddiman (a great writer also journalism ” (Williams). It is unnecessary here to mention of “news-letters "), whose Parliamentary Intelligencer, renamed every domestic journal which played its part in the verbal the Kingdom's Intelligencer (till August 1663), was supported warfare in the Great Rebellion. The weekly Diurnals were by General Monck. Nedham's journalistic career came finally soon copied by other booksellers. At first they were naturally to an end (he died in 1678) at the hand of Monck's council of on the side of the parliament. In January 1643, however, state in April 1660. The following announcement was published appeared at Oxford the first Royalist diurnal, named in the Parliamentary Intelligencer: “Whereas Marchmont Mercurius Aulicus (continued till September 1645, and soon Nedham, the author of the weekly news-books called Mercurius succeeded by Mercurius Academicus), which struck a higher Politicus and the Publique Intelligencer is, by order

of the council literary note; its chief writer was Sir John Birkenhead. of state, discharged from writing or publishing any publique Mercurius Civicus, the first regularly illustrated periodical in intelligence; the reader is desired to take notice that, by order London, was started by the parliamentarian Richard Collings of the said council, Giles Dury and Henry Muddiman are on May 11th, 1643 (continued to December 1646); Collings authorized henceforth to write and publish the said intelligence, had also started earlier in the year the Kingdome's Weekly which they

do intend to set out under the titles of the Parlia

the one upon the Thursday and the other upon the Monday, Intelligencer, which lasted till October 1649. In September 1643 appeared another Puritan opponent of M. Aulicus in mentary Intelligencer and of Mercurius Publicus.” This arrangethe Mercurius Britanicus (sic) of Captain Thomas Audley, ment with Muddiman lasted till 1663, when he was supplanted which temporarily ceased publication on September 9th, 1644, | by Sir Roger L'Estrange, who was appointed "surveyor of the only to be revived on September 30th by Marchamont (or Press.” On him was conferred by royal grant-and, as it Marchmont) Nedham, a writer who plays a prominent part in proved, for only a short period—" all the sole privilege of writing, the journalism of this period, and to be continued till May 18th printing, and publishing all narratives, advertisements, mercuries, 1646.

intelligencers, diurnals and other books of public intelligence; In January 1647 was started the Perfect Occurrences by Henry

with power to search for and seize the unlicensed and treasonWalker (" Luke Harruney "), who was not only a great journalist able schismatical and scandalous books and papers.” L'Estrange It is to him

that a passage in Fletcher's Fair Maid of the Inn discontinued Mercurius Politicus and Kingdom's Intelligencer (Act iv. Sc. 2) obviously refers (written in 1625): " It shall be the and substituted two papers, the Intelligencer (Aug. ist) and ghost of some lying stationer. A spirit shall look as if butter would the Newes (Sept. 3rd) at a halfpenny, the former on Mondays not melt in bis mouth; a new Mercurius Gallo-Belgicus." The and the latter on Thursdays; they were continued till January quotation also illustrates the contemporary regard paid to the 29th, 1666, but from the beginning of 1664 the Intelligencer

: George Thomason (d. 1666) was a London bookseller who in was made consecutive with the Newes, numbered and paged as 1641 began collecting contemporary pamphlets, &c. His collection was ultimately bought by George III. and presented to the British We come now to the origin of the famous London Gazette. Museum in 1762. A catalogue was completed in 1908, with intro- Muddiman, obliged to devote himself solely to his news-letters, duction by Dr G. K. Fortescue. There is also a catalogue of early was associated with Joseph Williamson (under-secretary and English newspapers in the Bibliotheca Lindesiona, Collections and Notes / afterwards secretary of state), who was for a time L'Estrange's No. s. of Lord Crawford (1901).



assistant in the compilation of the Intelligencer.' Muddiman We come now to the Revolution. The very day after the organized for himself a far-spread foreign correspondence, and departure of James II. was marked by the appearance of three carried on the business of a news-letter writer on a larger scale newspapers - The Universal Intelligence, the English Courant

than had till then been known. Presently L'Estrange, and the London Courant. Within a few days more these were The London

whose monopoly of printing was highly unpopular, followed by the London Mercury, the Orange Gazelle, the London Gazette. found his own sources of information much abridged, Intelligence, the Harlem Curront and others. The Licensing Act,

while Williamson, for his own ambitious purposes, which was in force at the date of the Revolution, expired in entered into a complicated intrigue (analysed in detail by Williams, 1692, but was continued for a year, after which it finally ceased. op. cit. pp. 190 seq.) for getting the whole business into his On the appearance of a paragraph in the Flying Post of 1st April hands, with Muddiman as his tool and with Muddiman's clients 1697, which appeared to the House of Commons to attack the as his customers. To L'Estrange's application for renewed credit of the Exchequer Bills, leave was given to bring in a bill assistance Williamson replied that he could not give it, but to prevent writing, printing or publishing of any news without would procure for him a salary of £100 a year if he would give licence "'; but the bill was thrown out in an early stage of its up his right in the news-book. The Intelligencer appealed progress. That Flying Post which gave occasion to this artempt (Oct. 1665) to Lord Arlington, and pathetically assured him was also noticeable for a new method of printing, which it thus that the charge for "cntertaining spies for information was announced to its customers—"If aný gentleman has a mind £500 in the first year."3 But L'Estrange boasted that he had to oblige bis country friend or correspondent with this account * doubled " the size and price of the book, and had brought of public affairs, he can have it for twopence . on a sheet the profit from £200 to £400 or £500 a year. The appeal was of fine paper, half of which being left blank, he may thereon in vain. At that time the great plague had driven the court to write his own affairs, or the material news of the day" Oxford. The first number of the bi-weekly Oxford Gazelle, In 1696 Edward Lloyd-the virtual founder of the famous licensed by Arlington and written by Muddiman, was published“ Lloyd's ” of commerce-started a thrice-a-week paper, Lloyd's on the 16th November 1665. It was a "paper" of news, of the News, which had but a brief existence in its first shape, but same size and shape as Muddiman's news-letters. With the was the precursor of the Lloyd's List of the present day. No.

ublication of the 24th number (Monday, February sth, 1665-76 of the original paper contained ragraph referring to 1666 O.S.) the Oxford Gazetle became the London Gazelle. After House of Lords, for the appearance of which a public apology the 25th number Muddiman, who saw that he was not safe in must, the publisher was told, be made. He preferred to disWilliamson's hands, seceded. Williamson had the general continue his publication (February 1697). Nearly thirty years control of the Gazelle, and for a considerable time Charles afterwards he in part revived it, under the title of Lloyd's List Perrot, a member of Oriel College, was the acting editor. published at first weekly, afterwards twice a week. This dates, L'Estrange was soon driven out of the field, being solaced, on from 1726. It is now published daily. his personal appeal to the king, with a charge of £100 a year on It was in the reign of Queen Anne that the English newspaper the news-books (henceforth “ taken into the secretaries' office") press first became really eminent for the amount of intellectual and a further £200 out of secret service money for his place as power and of versatile talent which was employed surveyor of the press. Muddiman, meanwhile, attached himself upon it. It was also in that reign that the press was

Londoa to the other secretary of state, Sir W. Morice, and he was first fettered by the newspaper stamp. The accession

daily authorized to issue an opposition official paper, which appeared of Anne was quickly followed by the appearance of as Current Intelligence (June 4-Aug. 20, 1666); and though the the first successful London daily newspaper, the Daily Courant Great Fire, which burnt out all the London printers, resulted in (11th of March 1702-1703). Seven years earlier, in 1695, the the reappearance, after a week's interval, of the Gazelle alone, Postboy had been started as a daily paper (actually the first Muddiman's unrivalled organization of newsletters remained; in London), but only four numbers appeared. The Couran! and they continued, till his death in 1692, to be the more popular was published and edited by the learned printer Samuel Buckley, source of information. The Gaselte, however, now remained who explained to the public that “the author has taken care for some time the only“ newspaper " in the strict sense already to be duly furnished with all that comes from abroad, in any mentioned. For several years it was regularly translated into language.... At the beginning of each article he will quote French by one Moranville. During the Stuart reigns generally the foreign paper from which it is taken, that the public, seeing its contents were very meagre, although in the reign of Anne from what country a piece of news comes, with the allowance some improvement is already visible. More than a century after of that government, may be better able to judge of the credibility the establishment of the Gazelle, we find Secretary Lord Wey- and fairness of the relation. Nor will he take upon himself mouth addressing a circular? to the several secretaries of legation to give any comments, supposing other people to bave and the British consuls abroad, in which he says, “The writer of the sense enough to make reflexions for themselves.” Then came, Gazette has represented that the reputation of that paper is greatly in rapid succession, a crowd of new competitors for public Icssened, and the sale diminished, from the small portion of foreign favour, of less frequent publication. The first number of one news with which it is supplied.” He desires that each of them of these, the Country Gentleman's Courant (1706), was given will send regularly all such articles of foreign intelligence as may away gratuitously, and made a special claim to public favour appear proper for that paper, " taking particular care-as the on the ground that "here the reader is not only diverted with Gazelle is the only paper of authority printed in this country, a faithful register of the most remarkable and momentary (ie. never to send anything concerning the authenticity of which there momentous] transactions at home and abroad, ... but also is the smallest doubt.” From such humble beginnings has arisen with a geographical description of the most material places the great repertory of State Papers, now so valuable to the writers mentioned in every article of news, whereby he is freed the and to the students of English history. The London Gazelle has trouble of looking into maps.” appeared twice a week (on Tuesday and Friday) in a continuous On the 19th of February 1704, whilst still imprisoned in series ever since. The editorship is a government appointment. Newgate for a political offence, Defoe (2.9.) began his famous

"This help, seems to have been given at the request of the secretary paper, the Review. At the outset it was published
of state, Lord Arlington (then Sir H. Bennet), in 1663; State Papers, weekly, afterwards twice, and at length three times
Domestic, Charles II., Ixxix. 112, 113.
· State Papers, Domestic, Charles II., cxxxiv. 103 (Rolls House).

a week. It continued substantially in its first form * Ibid. 117:

until July 29, 1712; and a complete set is of extreme rarity. In 1664 he had halved them, so that this really only means hc From the first page to the last it is characterized by the manly had now restored the original size.

Frederick Martin, History of Loyd's, 66-77 and 107-120. The Slate Papers, Domestic, Charles II., cxxxv. 24.

great collection of newspapers in the British Museum contains only * Anthony Wood, Athenae Oxonienses, " Perrot."

one number of Lloyd's News; but sixty-nine numbers may be seen in Calendar of Home-Office Papers, 1706-1769. p. 483 (1879). the Bodleian Library of the List, also, no complete series is known # A complete set is now of extreme rarity.

to exist; that in the library of Lloyd's begins with 1740.

Defoe's Review.



tar of 1712.

boldness and persistent tenacity with which the almost unaided | Brilon, the Grub Street Journal, the Weekly Register, the Uniauthor utters and defends his opinions on public affairs againstversal Spectator, the Auditor, the Weckly Miscellany, the London a host of able and bitter assailants. Some of the numbers were Crier, Read's Journal, Oedipus or the Postrian Remounted, the written during travel, some in Edinburgh. But the Review St James's Post, the London Evening Post and the London appeared regularly. When interrupted by the pressure of the Daily Post, which afterwards became better known as the Public Stamp Act (which came into force on the ist of August 1712), | Advertiser. Part of this increase may fairly be ascribed to the writer modified the form of his paper, and began a new political corruption. In 1742 the committee of the House of series (August 2, 1712, to June 11, 1713). In those early and Commons appointed to inquire into the political conduct of the monthly supplements of his paper which he entitled “ Advice earl of Orford reported to the House that during the last ten from the Scandalous Club," and set apart for the discussion of years of the Walpole ministry there was paid, out of public questions of literature and manners, and sometimes of topics moncy, no “ less a sum than £50,077, 18s. to authors and printers of a graver kind, Defoe to some extent anticipated Richard of newspapers, such as the Frce Brilon, Daily Courant, Gazetteer Steele's Taller (1709) and Steele and Addison's Speclator (1711). and other political papers."; But some part of the payment In 1705 he severed those supplements from his chief newspaper, may well have been made for advertisements. Towards the and published them twice a week as the Lillle Review. But middle of the century the provisions and the penalties of the they soon ceased to appear. It may here be added that in May Stamp Act were made more stringent. Yet the number of 1716 Defoe began a new monthly paper under an old title, newspapers continued to rise. Dr Johnson, who in Mercurius Politicus, ..." by a lover of old England." This 1750 started his twopenny bi-weekly Rambler, and journal continued to appear until September 1720. The year in 1758 his weekly Idler, writing in the latter bears time. 1710 was marked by the appearance of the Examiner, or Re- testimony to the still growing thirst for news: “ Jourmarks upon Papers and Occurrences (No. 1, August 3), of which nals are daily Inaltiplied, without increase of knowledge. The thirteen numbers appeared by the co-operation of Bolingbroke, tale of the morning paper is told in the evening, and the narraPrior, Freind and King before it was placed under the sole control tives of the cvening are bought again in the morning. These of Swift. The Whig Examiner, avowedly intended “to censure repetitions, indeed, waste time, but they do not shorten it. The the writings of others, and to give all persons a rehearing who most eager peruser of news is tired before he has completed his had suffered under any unjust sentence of the Examiner," labour; and many a man who enters the coffee-house in his followed on the ist September, and the Medley three weeks nightgown and slippers is called away to his shop or his dinner afterwards.

before he has well considered the state of Europe." Five years This increasing popularity and influence of the newspaper before (i.e. in 1753) the aggregate number of copies of newspress could not fail to be distasteful to the government of the papers annually sold in England, on an average of three years,

day. Prosecutions were multiplied, but with small amounted 10 7,411,757. In 1760 it had risen to 9,464,790, Stamp

At length some busy projector hit upon and in 1767 to 11,300,980. In 1776 the number of newspapers the expedient of a newspaper tax. The paper which published in London alone had increased to fifty-three.

secms to contain the first germ of the plan is still When Johnson wrote his sarcastic strictures on the newspapers preserved amongst the treasury papers. It is anonymous and that were the contemporaries and, in a sense, the rivals of the undated, but probably belongs to the year 1711. “ There are Idler, the newswriters had fallen below the standard of an published weekly," says the writer, "about 44,000 newspapers, carlier day. A generation belore the newspaper was often much viz. Daily Courant, London Post, English Posi, London Gazelle, more of a political organ than of an industrial venture. All of Postman, Postboy, Flying Post, Review and Observator."'! The the many enterprises of Defoc in this field of journalism united. duty eventually imposed (1712) was a halfpenny on papers indeed both characteristics. But if he was a keen tradesman, of half a sheet or less, and a penny on such as ranged from half he was also a passionate politician. And not a few of his fellowa sheet to a single sheet (10 Anne, c. xix. $ 101). The first results workers in that field were conspicuous as statesmen no less of the tax cannot be more succinctly or more vividly described than as journalists. Even less than twenty years before the than in the following characteristic passage of Swift's Journal appearance of Johnson's remarks, men of the mental calibre lo Stella (August 7, 1712): “Do you know that Grub Street of Henry Fielding were still to be found amongst the editors is dead and gone last wcek? No more ghosts or murders now and writers of newspapers. The task had fallen to a different for love or money. I plied it close the last fortnight, and pub-class of men in 1750. lished at least seven papers of my owr., besides some of other The history of newspapers during the long reign of Gcorge people's; but now every single half-sheet pays a halspenny III. is a history of the struggle for freedom of speech in the face io the queen. The Observalor is fallen; the Medleys are jumbled of repeated criminal prosecutions, in which individual together, with the Flying Post; the Examiner is deadly sick; writers and editors were defeated and severely punished, the Spectator keeps up, and doubles its price-I know not how while the Press itselí derived new strength from the long it will hold. Have you seen the red slamp the papers are protracted conflict, and turned ignominious penalties marked with? Methinks the stamping is worth a half penny." into signal triumphs. From the days of Wilkes's North Brilon

Swift's doubt as to the ability of the Spectator to hold out onwards (sce Wilkes, Jour: it was started in 1761), every against the tax was justified by its discontinuance in December conspicuous newspaper prosecution gave tenfold currency to 1712, Steele starting the Guardian in 1713, which only ran for the doctrines that were assailed. In the carlier part of this six months. But the impost which was thus fruitful in mischici, period men who were mere traders in politics-whose motives by suppressing much good literature, wholly failed in keeping were obviously base and their lives contemptible---became for out bad. Some of the worst journals that were already in a time powers in the state, able to brave king, legislature and existence kept their ground, and the number of such erc long law courts, by virtue of the simple truth that a free people must increased.? An enumeration of the London papers of 1714 have a free press. One of the minor incidents of the North comprises the Daily Courant, the Examiner, the British Merchant, Briton excitement (Wilkes's prosecution in 1763) led indirectly the Lover, the Patriot, the Monitor, the Flying Post, the Postboy, to valuable results with reference to the much-vexed question of Mercator, the Weekly Pacquet and Dunton's Ghost. Another parliamentary reporting. During the discussions respecting enumeration in 1733 includes the Daily Courant, the Craftsman, the Middlesex election, Almon, a bookseller, collected from Fog's Journal, Mist's Journal, the London Journal, the Free members of the House of Commons some particulars of the

1" A Proposition to Increase the Revenue of the Stamp-Office," debates, and published them in the London Evening Post. The Redington, Calendar of Treasury Papers, 1708-1714. p. 235. The success which attended these reports induced the proprietors stamp-office dated from 1694, when the earliest duties on paper and of the St James's Chronide to employ a reporter to collect notes parchment were enacted.

* See the Burney collection of newspapers in the British Museum; 3" Fourth Report of the Committee of Secrecy," &c., in Hansard's and Nichols, Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth century, iv. 33-97. | Parliamentary History, xii. 814.

Press prosecu tions.

war news.

[ocr errors]


George III.'s

in the lobby and at the coffee-houses. This repeated infraction | editor. At length the Morning Chronicle ended in the Bankruptcy of the privilege of secret legislation led to the memorable proceed-Court, after an existence of more than ninety years. The ings of the House of Commons in 1771, with their fierce debates, Morning Herald was founded and first edited by Henry Bate angry resolutions and arbitrary imprisonments-all resulting, (Sir Henry Bate Dudley) in 1781, and came to an end at the at length, in that tacit concession of publicity of discussion which close of 1869; for some time it was a popular Tory paper, and in the main, with brief occasional exceptions, has ever since from 1835 to 1845 had a circulation of about 6000. prevailed.

The development of the Press was enormously assisted by Evening journalism in England started originally with supple- the gradual abolition of the “taxes on knowledge," and also mental editions of the morning papers, giving the latest foreign by the introduction of a cheap postal system. In

Abolition In July 1695, when William III. was 1756 an additional halfpenny was added to the tax of taxes London

fighting France in the Netherlands, a “ Postscript 10 of 1712. In 1765 and in 1773 various restrictive on koom evening

ledge the Pacquet-boat from Holland to Flanders” was regulations were imposed. In 1789 the three-halfpence press.

published with special advices from the seat of war; was increased to twopence, in 1798 to twopence-halfpenny, and from that time there were frequent afternoon issues of in 1804 to threepence-halfpenny, and in 1815 to fourpence, morning journals, giving war news. In August 1706 a "Six at less a discount of 20%. Penalties of all kinds were also Night " evening paper was started in London. The first London increased, and obstructive regulations were multiplied. In evening paper of any importance, however, was the Courier the course of the struggle between this constantly enhanced (1792), which during the latter part of the Napoleonic War, with taxation and the irrepressible desire for cheap newspapers, more Mackintosh, Coleridge and Wordsworth among its contributors, than seven hundred prosecutions for publishing unstamped became one of the chief papers of the day. It was edited suc-journals were instituted, and more than five hundred were cessively by Daniel Stuart, William Mudford, Eugenius Roche, imprisoned, sometimes for considerable periods. As the prosecu. John Galt, James Stuart and Laman Blanchard. In 1827 a tions multiplied, and the penalties became more serious, Poor twenty-fourth share in the paper sold for 5000 guineas, but it Man's Guardians, Democrats, Destructives and their congeners gradually declined and came to an end in 1842, when it was multiplied also, and their revolutionary tendencies increased incorporated by the Globe (still existing).

in a still greater ratio. Blasphemy was added to sedition. The principal metropolitan newspapers at different periods Penny and halfpenny journals were established which dealt of George III.'s reign were the Public Advertiser, the Morning exclusively with narratives of gross vice and crime, and which

Post, the Morning Chronicle, the Morning Herald vied with each other in every kind of artifice to make vice and press la

and finally The Timcs. Of these the Morning Post crime attractive. Between the years 1831 and 1835 many and The Times, still existing, are dealt with later. Of scores of unstamped newspapers made their appearance. The

the three which eventually ceased to exist, the first political tone of most of them was fiercely revolutionary. Prosereign.

was known in 1726 as the London Daily Post and cution followed prosecution; but all failed to suppress the General Advertiser. In 1738 the first part of this title was obnoxious publications. dropped, and in 1752 General Advertiser was altered into Public To Bulwer Lytton, the novelist and politician (Baron Lytton), Advertiser, a name which the letters of Junius made so famous and subsequently to Milner Gibson and Richard Cobden, is Many of these had appeared before the smallest perceptible chiefly due the credit of grappling with this question in the effect was produced on the circulation of the paper; but when House of Commons in a manner which secured first the reduction the “ Letter to the King" came out (19th December 1769, of the tax to a penny on the 15th of September 1836, and then almost a year from the beginning of the scries) it caused an its total abolition at last in 1855. The measure for the final addition of 1750 copies to the ordinary impression. The effect abolition of the stamp tax-was substantially prepared by W. E. of subsequent letters was variable, but when Junius ceased 10 Gladstone during his chancellorship of the exchequer in 1854, write the monthly sale of the paper had risen to. 83,950. This but was carried by his successor in 1855. The number of newswas in December 1771. Seven years earlier the monthly sale papers established from the early part of 1855, when the repeal had been but 47,515. It now became so valuable a property of the duty had become a certainty, and continuing in existence that shares in it were sold, according to John Nichols, “as at the beginning of 1857, amounted to 107; 26 were metropolitan regularly as those of the New River Company." But the and 81 provincial. Of the latter, the majority belonged to fortunes of the Advertiser declined almost as rapidly as they had towns which possessed no newspaper whatever under the Stamp risen. It continued to appear until 1798, and then cxpired, Acts, and the price of nearly one-third of them was but a penny. being amalgamated with the commercial paper called the Public In some cases, however, a portion of these new cheap papers Ledger (dating from 1759). Actions for libel were brought of 1857 was printed in London, usually with pictorial illustrations, against the paper by Edmund Burke in 1784, and by William and to this was added a local supplement containing the news of Pitt in 1785, and in both suits damages were given.

the district. The Morning Chronicle was begun in 1769. William Woodfall Amongst the earliest results of the change in newspaper law was its printer, reporter and editor, and continued to conduct made in 1855 was the establishment in quick succession of a it until 1789. James Perry succeeded him as editor, and so scries of penny metropolitan local papers, chiefly suburban, of continued, with an interval during which the editorship was in a kind very different from their unstamped forerunners. They the hands of Mr Sergeant Spankic, until his death in 1821. spread rapidly, and attained considerable success, chiefly as Perry's editorial functions were occasionally discharged in advertising sheets, and as sometimes the organs, more often Newgate in consequence of repeated prosecutions for political the critics, of the local vestries and other administrations. One libel. In 1819 the daily sale reached nearly 4000. It was sold of them, the Clerkenwell News and Daily Chronicle, so prospered in 1823 to Mr Clement, the purchase-money amounting to in the commercial sense, being crowded with advertisements, £42,000. Mr Clement held it for about cleven years, and then that it sold for £30,000, and was then transformed into the sold it to Sir John East hope for £16,000. It was then, and London Daily Chronicle (28th May 1877) Another conspicuous until 1843, edited by John Black, who numbered amongst result of the legislation of 1855 was an enormous increase in the his staff Albany Fonblanque, Charles Dickens and John Payne number and influence of what are known as “class papers Collier, the circulation being about 6000. The paper continued and professional and trade papers. The duties on paper itself to be distinguished by much literary ability, but not by com were finally abolished in 1861. mercial prosperity. in 1849 (the circulation having fallen to “ Taxes on knowledge” having thus been abolished, the 3000) it became the joint property of the duke of Newcastle, Mr later developments in newspaper history are mainly connected W. E. Gladstone and some of their political friends; and by with the increase in number, due largely to the spread of cduca. them, in 1854, it was sold to Mr Sergeant Glover From 1848 tion, the improvements in machinery and distribution and in to 1854 Douglas Cook (afterwards of the Saturday Review) was I collection of news, the constant adaptation to the new demands

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »