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Concise History of the British Newspaper in the Seventeenth Century

A Concise History of the British Newspaper, century by century, complied by our experts.

Mercurius Aulicus

Mercurius Aulicus. Communicating the Intelligence and Affaires of the Court
7[6]-13[12] April [1645]

The British Newspaper, 1620-1650

Mercurius Civicus

Mercurius Civicus. Londons Intelligencer 25 May-1 June 1643

  • 1620 - Dec 2 : Corrant out of Italy, Germany, etc: first coranto in English, published in Amsterdam.
  • 1622 - May 23 : Weekly Newes from Italy, etc.: first news book to carry date of publication on title page, published by Nicholas Bourne and Thomas Archer.
  • 1641 - July : Abolition of Star Chamber brings about a measure of press freedom.
  • 1641 : Diurnall Occurrences in Parliament: first reporting of Parliament.
  • 1643 : Rivalry between Royalist and Parliamentarian newspapers, such as the Royalist Mercurius Aulicus and the Parliamentarian Mercurius Britannicus.
The True Informer

The True Informer: Containing a Perfect Collection of the Proceedings in Parliament

The British Newspaper, 1651-1700

The Ladies Mercury

The Ladies Mercury 27 February 1693 The British Library, 816.m.19.(7.) Copyright © The British Library Board

  • 1655 : Cromwell restores the licensing system and suppresses all newspapers except official publications such as Mercurius Politicus.
  • 1662 : After the Restoration, the Printing Act brings in stringent press control.
  • 1665 - Nov 16 : Oxford Gazette founded. Became London Gazette in February 1666. The world's oldest surviving periodical.
  • 1679 : Lapse of Licensing Act brings a flood of unlicensed newspapers, later suppressed.
  • 1693 : Ladies Mercury founded, the first women's magazine.
  • 1695 : Parliament decides against renewing the Licensing Act; the way is cleared for a free press.
  • 1696 : Lloyd's News founded, forerunner of Lloyd's List.
  • 1699 : Edinburgh Gazette founded.
The Edinburgh Gazette

The Edinburgh Gazette 18-21 September 1699. The British Library Newspaper Library. Copyright © The British Library Board


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