Your June British Newspapers Round-up

Posted on June 23rd, 2016 by Holly

BNA June newspaper

Over 2.9 million articles have been our British Newspaper Collection over the past month. That includes the addition of 13 brand new titles and updates to a further 17.

The updates to existing titles in the collection include generous supplements for Coventry Evening Telegraph (126,975 new articles), Monmouthshire Merlin (180,701 new articles) and Rochdale Observer(163,633 new articles).

Fascinating new newspapers from all round England, Scotland and Wales have joined the line-up including Kirkintilloch Gazette covering 1898-1938, The Cornish Telegraph covering 1887-1888 and Aberdare Times from 1889

The updates to existing titles in the collection include generous supplements for Coventry Evening Telegraph (126,975 new articles),Monmouthshire Merlin (180,701 new articles) and Rochdale Observer(163,633 new articles).

Below are the 13 new titles that have joined the British Newspaper Collection and the years they cover as of 10 June 2016:

Aberdare Times – 1889
Banbury Beacon – 1888
County Express; Brierley Hill, Stourbridge, Kidderminster, and Dudley News – 1867 – 1870, 1874 – 1885
Kirkintilloch Gazette – 1898 – 1938
Ludlow Advertiser – 1862, 1890 – 1892, 1894 – 1895, 1898 – 1909
Mid Sussex Times – 1881 – 1888, 1890 – 1913, 1919 – 1945
Nuneaton Advertiser – 1868 – 1888, 1890
Ossett Observer – 1876, 1879
South Bucks Standard – 1890 – 1895, 1897, 1899 – 1906, 1908
Suffolk and Essex Free Press – 1855 – 1869, 1885 – 1886, 1889 – 1895, 1897 – 1900
The Cornish Telegraph – 1887 – 1888
The Salisbury Times, Etc. – 1875 – 1895, 1898 – 1909
Waltham Abbey and Cheshunt Weekly Telegraph – 1883, 1889, 1896
Use Findmypast’s British newspapers to discover what life was like hundreds of years ago in your relative’s locality or whether or not they made headlines themselves in their local papers. Remember to check back regularly as we add new pages all the time.

The Battle of Jutland: A message from Admiral Jellicoe

Posted on May 31st, 2016 by Violet

Cornishman - Thursday 15 June 1916 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Cornishman – Thursday 15 June 1916 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

After the Battle of Jutland, Admiral Jellicoe sent this message to his Fleet, as recorded in the Cornishman on the 15th June 1916:

“I desire to express to the flag officers, captains, officers and men of the Grand Fleet my very high appreciation of the manner in which the ships fought during the action of May 31, 1916.

At this stage, when full information is not available, it is not possible to enter into details, but quite sufficient is already known to enable me to state definitely that the glorious seamen were most worthily upheld.

Weather conditions of a highly unfavourable nature robbed the Fleet of that complete victory which I know was expected by all ranks.

Our losses were heavy, and we miss many most gallant comrades, but although it is very difficult to obtain accurate information as to the enemy losses. I have no doubt that we shall find that they are certainly not less than our own. Sufficient information has already been received for me to make that statement with confidence. (Germany suffered 2,551 losses. Britain lost over 6,000.)

I hope to be able to give the Fleet fuller information on this point at an early date, but do not wish to delay the issue of this expression of my keen appreciation of the work of the Fleet and my confidence in future complete victory.

I cannot close without stating that the wonderful spirit and fortitude of the wounded had filled me with the greatest admiration. I am more proud than ever to have the honour of commanding a Fleet manned by such officers and men.

J.R. Jellicoe, Admiral Commanding-in-Chief”

 

Enjoy 50% off the British Newspaper Archive, for a limited time only

Posted on May 11th, 2016 by Violet

For a limited time only, we’re offering 50% off 1 month subscriptions for the British Newspaper Archive. To take advantage of this opportunity, simply go to purchase a subscription, and use the code JUNE50 at the checkout. But hurry, offer ends 30th June.

Take advantage now

 

3 reasons to try the British Newspaper Archive

 

* Uncover history as it happened with over 14 million articles dating back to 1710

* Expose forgotten speeches and articles from famous names

* See your family make headlines in local newspapers

 

The British Newspaper Archive contains a treasure trove of information just waiting to be revealed. From gruesome crimes, to updates on the sore throat of the local parish vicar, to early works of fiction by famous authors and reports on ambitious diamond heists gone wrong, you’re bound to find something fascinating, heartbreaking, or downright bizarre.

 

Here are just a few things we’ve uncovered recently:

  • How the Titanic disaster was completely misreported
  • George Orwell’s never-before-seen speech
  • How to live to 100: History’s centenarians reveal their secrets

 

Take advantage now

Ts&Cs:

You must register and pay for your subscription before 11.59pm on 30th June 2016 to claim your 50% off 1 month subscriptions on britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk, and in so doing you agree to the terms and conditions of the British Newspaper Archive website. Your subscription will be automatically renewed after the initial 30 day period at the normal price of £12.95 unless you un-tick the ‘auto-renew my subscription’ box in the My Account section of the site. In taking up the offer, you consent to a cookie being placed on your machine. The 50% off 1 month subscriptions offer is restricted to one offer per individual, where it is assumed that each individual has their own individual device and their own individual email address. There are no cash alternatives. This discount is intended for one-time use only, usage will be monitored and restricted. If you need any help contact our customer support team by emailing support@britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk.

 

Abduction or elopement? The disappearance of Maria Glenn

Posted on May 3rd, 2016 by Violet

Naomi Clifford chanced on the subject of her book The Disappearance of Maria Glenn (published by Pen & Sword in April) while browsing the British Newspaper Archive. She blogs about aspects of Georgian life at www.naomiclifford.com and is currently researching the women executed in England and Wales between 1797 and 1837.

maria glenn x 1000 (556x800)

In 1829 a young man received an anonymous letter telling him that an heiress was willing to marry him if only he would only rescue her from a large house on the Clapham Road in south London, where she was being treated cruelly by her uncle. All he needed was a friend, a ladder and a gun.

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 It was a set-up. There was no heiress and the would-be bridegroom and his helper were promptly arrested. The target of the mischief-making was probably Mr Hedger, an unpopular and harsh magistrate who lived at the address. He also had received an anonymous letter.

London Standard 31 December 1829 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

London Standard 31 December 1829 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I found this strange interlude when researching historical events near my home, but it set me thinking about the neglected subject of elopement. Soon I was avidly searching the Archive for stories of runaway marriages for a possible book. Of course, not all were straightforward tales of illicit love. Quite the opposite: many were alarming cases of coercion.

Hereford Journal 23 April 1794 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Hereford Journal 23 April 1794 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I settled on one major scandalous elopement, which had caused an almighty row, much of it played out in the press. One night in September 1817, 16-year-old Maria Glenn, said to be an heiress, left her home in Taunton in the company of the Bowditches, a local farming family. She later said she had been threatened with death and went with them only because she was terrified. On the contrary, said the young man who had bought a marriage licence in preparation for their wedding, it was all her idea.

The Taunton Courier was the first to print the story.

Taunton Courier 25 September 1817 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Taunton Courier 25 September 1817 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The words were probably written by James Scarlett, who was employed as a printer at the paper and just happened to be married to a member of the Bowditch family. The story was shot through with inaccuracies.

George Lowman Tuckett, a barrister, who was Maria’s uncle (and guardian) wrote a heart-felt objection.

Taunton Courier 2 October 1817 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Taunton Courier 2 October 1817 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The editor of the paper, John William Marriott, then decided to support Maria but later shifted his weight to the growing campaign against her. Like many others, he was having doubts about her version of events. Marriott was an old friend of (and related by marriage to) the Hunt brothers, Leigh and John, publishers of the radical weekly The Examiner, which also took the Bowditches’ side against Maria and her uncle.

Examiner 22 February 1819 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Examiner 22 February 1819 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

After numerous court cases and a dramatic twist, Tuckett responded with two extraordinary pamphlets in his niece’s defence, each containing shocking allegations of conspiracy.

Bristol Mirror 13 October 1821 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Bristol Mirror 13 October 1821 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Was Maria telling the truth? For that, I turned to sources beyond the press, but it was the Archive that opened a window into a forgotten corner of history and guided me through the ups and downs of her amazing story.

 

The ultimate wedding planner, thanks to the historic newspapers

Posted on April 27th, 2016 by Violet

There are many good reasons to search the newspaper archives, such as when you’re looking for your ancestors or researching a local area or historical event.

But sometimes it’s nice to just have a browse through the articles. More often than not, you’ll turn up some articles you would never have thought to search for…

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…like these articles which provide some sound advice for anyone planning their big day.

Don’t forget the banns

Don’t drop the ring

Keep the registers safe. But not THAT safe

Do a background check

Prepare for all weather

It’s an oldie: Never give up

The show must go on

Tie up any loose ends…

 

“Wherefore art thou, Romeo?” Shakespeare’s missing men of 1916

Posted on April 22nd, 2016 by Violet

Countless celebrations are taking place across the country to commemorate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. Wherever you live, you’ll find parades, talks and performances of all kinds paying homage to the Bard’s work, but it was a very different story 100 years ago.

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On the tercentenary of Shakespeare’s death in 1916, Britain had found itself in the middle of one of the most horrific battles in history. While the odd commemorative event took place in larger cities, one reader of the Sheffield Evening Telegraph sent a heart-breaking letter explaining one very practical reason why celebrations could not be as vibrant as previously hoped.

Sheffield Evening Telegraph - Monday 21 February 1916 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Sheffield Evening Telegraph – Monday 21 February 1916 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

“Sir,- I was glad to see the letter signed “A Lover’s Complaint” in your issue of Friday, together with the one in the “Sheffield Daily Telegraph” of Thursday morning, referring to the tercentenary of Shakespeare’s death.

It was hoped that great things would be done throughout the British Empire, to celebrate this rare occasion, but the terrible war has called for sacrifices in a way that will make it impossible to do anything worthy of so great an event.

In Sheffield, no less than other places, we had expected doing something worthy, and, had hoped that Shakespeare was now sufficiently appreciated here, that it would be worth while giving a week’s plays by the amalgamation of the different amateurs who had played in Shakespeare’s plays.

Sheffield Evening Telegraph - Monday 21 February 1916 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Sheffield Evening Telegraph – Monday 21 February 1916 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

We found, however that we had, very reluctantly, to abandon our usual annual performance, because so many of our young men have valiantly answered the call of their country, as to make it impossible to get together a cast. I am writing now without the list of our members who have joined the forces, but, I believe I am right in stating, that at least 17 of the young men who have taken part in our productions, one way or another, are now serving.

Whilst we regret very much our not being able to do our duty to the memory of the great bard this year, we are proud that so many of his students have answered their country’s call, as indeed, no real lover of his, who was able, could have failed to do.

Sheffield Evening Telegraph - Monday 21 February 1916

Sheffield Evening Telegraph – Monday 21 February 1916 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

We all anxiously hope that all our young friends may have the good fortune to return safely, and, when this bitter and terrible war is over we may do something worthy of a great memory, and at the same time celebrate a great and lasting peace. – Yours, etc.

February 19, 1916. W.S. Jackson”

– Sheffield Evening Telegraph, Monday 21 February 1916

The Illustrated Police News: “The worst newspaper in England”

Posted on April 19th, 2016 by Violet

The British Newspaper Archive is packed with weird and wonderful stories of every description.

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However, of all the historic titles in this collection, no publication reported the bizarre and the shocking in quite the same way as The Illustrated Police News.

© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

The Illustrated Police News was one of Britain’s very first tabloids and one of the first periodicals to tap into the British public’s morbid appetite for crime and sensation. The paper was founded in 1843 and was partly inspired by the success of The Illustrated London News. The ILN had been launched in 1842 and its success had revealed the public’s appetite for illustrated news reports.

Early editions of The Illustrated Police News consisted of one pictorial page and three text pages in folio. It was originally priced at one penny and did remarkably well with a weekly circulation of around 175,000 copies, most sold in Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham.

© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Gruesome and grisly news stories from around the UK

The Illustrated Police News reporters would scour through vast quantities of newsprint from across the Empire, Europe and the United States in order to bring their readers news of the latest assaults, outrages, tragedies and murders. All of which were delightfully described in lurid detail with vivid illustrations to match.

It was considered a workingman’s newspaper and was frequently condemned for appealing to lowbrow tastes yet it was not the stories printed that attracted the most criticism, it was the lewd and graphic illustrations of blood spurting from wounds, women’s faces twisted in terror as they were attacked by cruel husbands and hosts of scantily clad sleepwalkers who always happened to be attractive young ladies.

© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

In fact, an 1886 article found in our collection of historic newspapers reveals that The Illustrated Police News was once voted the ‘worst newspaper in England’ by readers of the Pall Mall Gazette. In this article, a gazette reporter describes visiting the IPN’s proprietor, a Mr George Purkiss, at his office in the ‘neck’ of the Strand in London. Purkiss was described as a “stout, comfortable- looking man of middle age, medium height, and dark complexion.”

Mr Purkis claimed to have half a dozen accomplished artists on his permanent staff in London and somewhere between 70 and 100 free-lance artists spread out across the country who provided “the best portraits published by any journal, not excluding The Illustrated London News and The Graphic“. Accuracy was of high importance and Purkiss described how artists would be deployed to the scene of “terrible murder or extraordinary incident” the second news reached the London Office.

Purkiss appeared unfazed at being voted the worst newspaper in England and “received the verdict of the jury with great good temper, not to say complacency” and answered the complaints made against him. Chief amongst these was that The Illustrated Police News was “a bad paper, which encourages the commission of crime, and generally tends to the demoralization of the people into whose hands it falls.”

© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

“I acknowledge it to be a sensational newspaper,” said Mr. Purkess, but he insisted that “barring the sensational illustrations, there is nothing in the paper to which objection can reasonably be taken.” He argued that rather than glorifying crime, his paper prevented it by warning of its horrors and terrible consequences. He even argued his paper may act “as an encouragement to a good life” and explained how criminals would go to great lengths to prevent their likeness appearing in its pages.

© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

“I know what people say,” concluded Mr. Purkess, ‘but as I replied to a friend who asked me why I did not produce some other paper than the Police News, ‘We can’t all have Timeses and Telegraphs, and if we can’t have the Telegraph or the Times, we must put up with the Police News.'”

Purkiss died of Tuberculosis in 1892 but The IPN continued reporting on the strange and grotesque until 1938.

 

“Liner collides with iceberg. Passengers safe” : The Titanic, in our newspapers

Posted on April 14th, 2016 by Violet

At 11:40pm on the 14th of April 1912, the RMS Titanic, which had been transporting 2,208 people from Southampton to New York, hit an iceberg while crossing the North Atlantic ocean.

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Over the course of the next few days the British press was littered with conflicting news and information, with statements claiming that all passengers were safe and the “unsinkable” ship had started making its way to Halifax.

Western Times - Tuesday 16 April 1912 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Western Times – Tuesday 16 April 1912 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

The Western Times had quite a job keeping up with the latest reports. A lengthy article published on the 16th of April makes for fascinating reading, as the story changes in nearly every paragraph as new information is received.

© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

One report apparently stated that “the “Titanic” was still afloat at half-past eight, and her engines were working. She is crawling slowly in the direction of Halifax, and towards the “Virginian… the women and children aboard are in the lifeboats, which are ready to be lowered at a moment’s notice, but this will not be done until it is certain that the vessel is actually sinking.”

© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

The Vice-President of the International Mercantile Marine issued a statement which read “We have nothing direct from the ‘Titanic’, but are perfectly satisfied that the vessel is unsinkable. The fact that the Marconi messages have ceased means nothing; it may be due to atmospherical conditions, the coming up of the ships, or something of that sort. We are not worried over the possible loss of the ship, as she will not go down, but we are sorry for the inconvenience caused to the travelling public.”

© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

At one point “It is reported that all the passengers are saved”, though quite where this report came from is unclear.

© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

The serious nature of the collision soon becomes all too clear though, and the headlines turn to the worst.

© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Officials from White Star Line, the British shipping company which owned the RMS Titanic, issued one last statement ensuring the safety of all on board, however this was soon superseded by a second statement admitting that “lives have been lost”.

© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

By 2.20am on the 15th of April, the ship had completely submerged, causing the death of over 1,500 people.

We found history’s most heroic hounds in celebration of National Pet Day

Posted on April 11th, 2016 by Violet

In celebration of National Pet Day, the world’s first holiday dedicated to man’s best friend, we have been searching through the archive for examples of incredible canines throughout history.

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From daring rescuers to lovable rogues, we have put together a selection of magnificent mutts whose remarkable stories are guaranteed to warm the hearts of even the most determined cat lovers.

Swansea Jack

Swansea Jack was a black retriever with a longish coat who lived with his owner, William Thomas, near the River Tawe in Swansea during the 1930s. One day, Jack saw a small boy drowning in the river and ran in, pulling the boy to shore by the scruff of his neck. This first rescue went unreported but, a few weeks later, Jack rescued a drowning swimmer from the docks in front of a large crowd. His photograph appeared in the local paper and the local council awarded him a silver collar. In 1936, he was awarded the prestigious ‘Bravest Dog of the Year’ award by the London Star newspaper in London and, over the course of the next decade, he went on to an incredible 27 people from one of the most dangerous rivers in Wales.

Barry the mountain dog

Barry the St Bernard was born in Switzerland in the year 1800. Barry and his ancestors had been specifically bred by the Monks of Saint Bernard Pass, a dangerous snowy divide between Switzerland and Italy, to rescue lost travelers buried in the snow. Barry worked as a search and rescue dog at The Great St Bernard Hospice in the Penine Alps and saved the lives of 40 desperate travelers during his 12 year career.

Just Nuisance

Able Seaman ‘Just Nuisance’ was the only dog ever to be officially enlisted in the Royal Navy. Ship’s dogs had been used by the Navy for centuries but were never considered full members of the crew. Just Nuisance was a South African Great Dane who got his name as a pup by wagging his injured tail so enthusiastically that everyone was covered in blood spatters. Nuisance grew to be more than six and a half feet (two meters) standing up and spent his time in Cape Town’s many dockyards and naval bases. He made friends with many sailors and began following them around and even catching trains with them. Despite the seamen’s attempts to conceal him, conductors would throw him off as soon as he was discovered and officials of the State-owned railway company eventually warned that Nuisance would be put down unless he was prevented from boarding any more trains. This prompted concerned sailors and locals to write to the Navy, pleading for something to be done.

 

The Easter Rising: As documented in the British newspapers, 1916

Posted on March 22nd, 2016 by Abigail Rieley

Next month sees the marking of the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising. Irish nationalists headed a campaign to end British rule in Ireland during a time when the outcome of World War 1 was uncertain. We take a look at how the events of 1916 were documented in the British press at the time.

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News of the Rising started to filter through to the British newspapers on Tuesday April 25th 1916. A smattering of local papers managed to squeeze in the late news that at least 12 lives had already been lost, and that Irish rebels were in control of parts of the city. By the weekend, eyewitnesses had been found and the papers were full of vivid accounts of the unfolding events which sound like something straight out of Rebellion. On the Saturday, the Aberdeen Evening Expressannounced “Women Assist Rebels – 19 persons killed”.

In a piece drawing largely on accounts in the Belfast Telegraph they described the attack on Dublin Castle that formed a pivotal and controversial moment in Rebellion, the shooting dead of an unarmed police officer.

What have you discovered in the newspaper archive? Let us know in the comments below…