The start of WW1: Austria-Hungary declares war

Posted on July 28th, 2014 by The British Newspaper Archive

World War One officially started on 28 July 1914 when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia.

There are currently 25 newspapers from 28 July 1914 available to view online at The British Newspaper Archive. You’ll find clippings from some of these newspapers below, showing how the start of the war was reported.
 

Explore newspapers from 1914

 

Austria-Hungary’s declaration of war starts WW1

The Serbian Prime Minister received a telegram at 12.30pm on 28 July 1914. It stated that ‘Austria-Hungary… considers herself henceforward in state of war with Serbia’.

While many British newspapers were printed early in the morning and did not include news of the declaration of war, it was featured in some of the later editions. These included the Manchester Evening News, Evening Telegraph and Yorkshire Evening Post.

Austria-Hungary's declaration of war, reported in the Manchester Evening News

Manchester Evening News - Tuesday 28 July 1914
Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

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The start of World War One as reported in the Evening Telegraph

Evening Telegraph – Tuesday 28 July 1914
Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

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The Yorkshire Evening Post reports the start of the First World War

Yorkshire Evening Post – Tuesday 28 July 1914
Image © Johnston Press plc. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

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Peace or war? Before the news reached Britain

It’s fascinating to read the newspapers that were printed earlier on 28 July 1914, before news of Austria-Hungary’s declaration of war had reached Britain.

Some newspapers took the line that war had already begun, even though it had not been officially declared. This approach was taken by the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette.

The Exeter and Plymouth Gazette reports the start of WW1

Exeter and Plymouth Gazette – Tuesday 28 July 1914
Image © Local World Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

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The Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser took a different view. The newspaper reported that the situation was ‘in the balance’ and that a peaceful solution was still possible.

The Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser reported that peace was still possible on the day WW1 started

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – Tuesday 28 July 1914
Image © Local World Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

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News filtered through: WW1 has started

You’ll find full reports about the start of World War One in the newspapers published on 29 July 1914, the day after Austria-Hungary declared war.

Some even included images, such as these examples from the Daily Record.

Photos of the day World War One started, published in the Daily Record

Daily Record – Wednesday 29 July 1914
Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

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Read the news from 1914

 

Using newspapers to research the Luton Hoo estate

Posted on July 23rd, 2014 by The British Newspaper Archive

Tom Mason-MckeanTom Mason-Mckean works as a volunteer with the Luton Hoo Walled Garden project, looking into all aspects of the estate’s history. It was great to hear how he’s been using The British Newspaper Archive in his research.

You can show us what you’ve found in The British Newspaper Archive by emailing press@britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

 

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When I retired and started looking around for something to keep me occupied, I noticed that the Luton Hoo Walled Garden project in Bedfordshire was looking for researchers.

 

The history of the Luton Hoo estate

We are a voluntary group comprising gardeners, builders, toolmakers and researchers. We use The British Newspaper Archive to investigate various parts of the Luton Hoo estate’s history, including the owners, estate workers, the tools they used, where they lived and what they did.

I found this newspaper article from the Hertford Mercury and Reformer, printed on 18 November 1843, particularly interesting. It contained information about a fire and described how the housekeeper rallied other members of staff into rescuing the arts and treasures.

 

Newspaper article about a fire at Luton Hoo

 

Hertford Mercury and Reformer – Saturday 18 November 1843
Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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People who worked at Luton Hoo

We are tracing the family trees of several people connected with the garden and estate, including some of the owners and workers. We are constantly researching and have also spoken to some of the descendants of the people who worked here.

I’ve discovered a number of very interesting newspaper articles about the people who worked here and what they did. One of these was published in the Luton Times and Advertiser on 20 September 1895.

The article concerns a harvest festival at Luton Hoo Chapel. It describes how the head gardener was not only responsible for cultivating and growing everything, but also made up the floral arrangements.

 

Newspaper article about a harvest festival at Luton Hoo

 

Luton Times and Advertiser – Friday 20 September 1895
Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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You can find out more about the project and become a volunteer at the Luton Hoo estate’s website.

 

 

Working with Wikipedia to bring history facts to light

Posted on July 18th, 2014 by The British Newspaper Archive

The Wikipedia Library

We’ve recently donated 100 subscriptions to the Wikipedia community through the Wikipedia Library, a grant-funded programme which makes it easier for experienced volunteer editors to access research materials.

It’s very exciting to be involved in this new partnership. It allows us to contribute to Wikipedia, one of the most frequently used reference tools in the world, and demonstrates how local British and Irish newspapers can help improve public information about historical topics from around the world.

We asked Simon Tushingham, one of Wikipedia’s volunteer editors, to explain how The British Newspaper Archive has helped with his recent contributions.

 
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Simon, a Wikipedia contributor 

I have a History degree from the University of Cambridge and Wikipedia has always been a way for me to explore my interest in Indian and local history. When I got access to The British Newspaper Archive through the Wikipedia Library, I saw it as an opportunity to explore one of Salford’s local history mysteries.

Sir James Farmer

I discovered the mystery by speaking to several people who had been apprentices at the Sir James Farmer Norton & Co Ltd engineering firm at the Adelphi Ironworks in Salford.

None of them could really tell me anything about Sir James Farmer, though they knew lots about the products the company had manufactured. These were sold worldwide and many are still being used and resold now. Some of the products were truly innovative, such as a fast printing press.

The only information they really knew about Farmer was that he was once Mayor of Salford. Although the company did produce a celebratory booklet for an anniversary, there really doesn’t seem to have been much written about the man who started it all.

Starting Sir James Farmer’s Wikipedia article

Sir James FarmerBecause of his impact on my friends and our community, I suspected that Sir James Farmer may have been one of the more notable of the many self-made, often world-changing, engineering men who inhabited Manchester, Salford and the surrounding areas in the 19th century. He needed a Wikipedia article!

Wikipedia’s model for article development supports the ‘from little acorns…’ approach. If I could start an article about Farmer, then perhaps at some time in the future someone might find more information and add to it.

Wikipedia also has limitations. Inaccessible verifiable information usually means no article – it is meant to be an encyclopaedia, after all, so there needs to be some type of public and reliably documented conversation to show that it is of interest to the public. I couldn’t use the primary source material available at a couple of archives and there wasn’t really much else that I could find without trawling through microfilms.

Using The British Newspaper Archive

Enter The British Newspaper Archive! Forget spending days, probably weeks, twiddling at a film reader, I could get access to the most important information about Farmer with one simple search.

In the space of a couple of hours, most of which was spent being pleasantly distracted by other news articles surrounding the ones about Farmer, I’d gathered enough material to justify an article.

The man is now recognised on a major educational project that gets millions of viewers. I’ve planted that acorn and given him some of the recognition he deserves. Hopefully, given time, much more can be said about him and his company.

Sir James Farmer’s obituary

Here’s an example of what I was able to find at The British Newspaper Archive. Farmer’s obituary was published in the Manchester Times in 1892 and included an illustration of him:

 

Obituary of Sir James Farmer

Manchester Times – Friday 28 October 1892
Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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You can read Simon’s article about Sir James Farmer at Wikipedia.

 

 

Top tip: How to find newspapers from your county

Posted on July 16th, 2014 by The British Newspaper Archive

This handy step-by-step guide will help you find out which newspapers are available from a particular county at The British Newspaper Archive. Watch this short video or follow the five simple steps below.

 

 

Search the newspapers

 
 

See which of your county’s newspaper archives are online

  1. From the homepage, click on the ‘choose a county’ dropdown menu.
     
    Search by county at The British Newspaper Archive
  2.  

  3. Scroll down until you find the county you’re interested in and click on it.
     
    County menu on The British Newspaper Archive homepage
  4.  

  5. You can search all of the historic newspapers from that county from this page.
     
    You can search historic newspapers from Kent from this page
  6.  

  7. On the left-hand side, you’ll see a list of the newspaper titles currently available from this county. More newspapers are being added to The British Newspaper Archive all the time.
     
    A list of historic newspapers from Kent, available at The British Newspaper Archive
  8.  

  9. You may see a ‘+ more newspapers’ button at the bottom of the list. Click on it to show the full list of newspaper titles from this county.
     
    How to find a full list of newspaper titles from Kent at The British Newspaper Archive

 

Remember that news was reported widely

Bear in mind that news stories were reported around the country, not just where they took place.

If you don’t find a story reported in a particular county, return to the homepage and try your search again across the whole collection of historic newspapers.

 

Search the newspapers

 
 

Mrs Caudle: a 19th-century woman not to be crossed

Posted on July 7th, 2014 by The British Newspaper Archive

Mrs Caudle first appeared as a character in Punch magazine in 1845. She was portrayed as the archetypal nagging wife, always telling her husband off for something.

 

Mrs Caudle, a character in Punch magazine

 

The West Kent Guardian reveals the real Mrs Caudle

This article from the West Kent Guardian reveals that the real-life Mrs Caudle was also a woman not to be messed with. The newspaper published the following court report on Saturday 26 July 1845.

 

Mrs Caudle from London, mentioned in the West Kent Guardian

West Kent Guardian – Saturday 26 July 1845
Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Find other references to Mrs Caudle

 

240,000 extra newspaper pages from 1752-1954

Posted on July 4th, 2014 by The British Newspaper Archive

We’re pleased to report that The British Newspaper Archive added an extra 240,000 newspaper pages in June, so you’ve got plenty of new stories to explore this month.

 

Search the newspapers

 

New title: London’s Illustrated Times

The additions include a brand new title, the Illustrated Times.

Published in London, the newspaper reported on local, national and international news. Each edition featured a number of beautiful images, like the one shown below.
 

More newspapers to search from 1752-1954

60 other newspaper titles were updated this month, including the Lichfield Mercury, Selkirk’s Southern Reporter and the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald.

A full list of recent additions is provided below.

 
London's Illustrated Times

 

Aberdeen Journal – 1814, 1820, 1889, 1900

Aldershot Military Gazette – 1859

Alnwick Mercury – 1855

Birmingham Journal – 1857

Bradford Observer – 1868

Burnley Express – 1913

Burnley News – 1912, 1927, 1928

Cheshire Observer – 1918

Chester Chronicle – 1776

Cornishman – 1912

Coventry Herald – 1831, 1859

Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough – 1917

Daily Herald – 1916

Daily Mirror – 1918

Dundee Courier – 1954

Durham County Advertiser – 1830, 1840

Edinburgh Evening News – 1914, 1921, 1926, 1929, 1933, 1934

Exeter and Plymouth Gazette – 1892

Fife Herald – 1825, 1830, 1831, 1832, 1879, 1881, 1882, 1884, 1886, 1887, 1889

Gloucester Citizen – 1897, 1945

Gloucester Journal – 1903, 1910, 1911, 1935, 1936

Grantham Journal – 1855, 1871, 1912, 1929

Hampshire Chronicle – 1818

Hartlepool Mail – 1882, 1883

Hastings and St Leonards Observer – 1923, 1954

Illustrated Times – 1868

Lancashire Evening Post – 1886, 1903, 1906, 1939, 1947

Lancaster Gazette – 1861

Leamington Spa Courier – 1915, 1916, 1920

Leeds Intelligencer – 1810, 1811, 1812, 1814, 1815, 1816, 1817, 1818, 1847

Leeds Mercury – 1899

Lichfield Mercury – 1877, 1878, 1886, 1887, 1888, 1922, 1923, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1934, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1948, 1949

Lincolnshire Chronicle – 1837, 1849, 1897, 1906, 1907, 1913, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1921

Lincolnshire Echo – 1924, 1930, 1932, 1935, 1940, 1941

Liverpool Daily Post – 1914

Liverpool Mercury – 1848

Luton News and Bedfordshire Advertiser – 1917, 1919

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – 1899

Morpeth Herald – 1919, 1920

North Devon Journal – 1829, 1834, 1837, 1838, 1840, 1856

Penny Illustrated Paper – 1861

Police Gazette – 1773, 1774, 1775, 1776

Salisbury and Winchester Journal – 1752, 1786, 1787

Sheffield Daily Telegraph – 1857, 1877, 1893

Sheffield Evening Telegraph – 1900, 1904, 1909, 1919

Sheffield Independent – 1888

Shields Daily Gazette – 1858, 1864, 1868

Southern Reporter – 1859, 1860, 1861, 1862, 1875, 1876, 1877, 1880, 1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1917, 1919

Sports Argus – 1916

Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette – 1907, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1920, 1932, 1933, 1945, 1949

Surrey Mirror – 1918, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1929, 1932, 1947

Sussex Agricultural Express – 1890, 1927, 1929, 1930, 1939

West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser – 1879, 1897, 1900, 1902, 1908, 1915, 1916, 1920, 1923

Western Daily Press – 1898, 1904, 1907, 1913, 1950

Western Mail – 1914, 1916, 1917, 1918

Western Times – 1898

Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald – 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950

Worcester Journal – 1858

Wrexham Advertiser – 1859, 1860

Yorkshire Evening Post – 1914, 1921, 1922, 1941, 1945, 1949

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer – 1872, 1877, 1892, 1903, 1914, 1915

 

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‘Cut your hair’: a court report in the Morning Post

Posted on July 2nd, 2014 by The British Newspaper Archive

Historical newspapers are full of reports about local criminal trials. These are a great resource for both historical research and genealogy.

Not only can you track the sorts of crimes that were being committed and how people were punished, you might also find your ancestors’ names mentioned.

 

Search local court reports

 

The Morning Post and the long-haired Londoner

Court reports can often make for rather amusing reading, containing the actual words, excuses and explanations of the people involved. We’ve found one very entertaining story in the Morning Post, published in London in 1841.

It seems the presiding magistrate, Sir Peter Laurie, did not approve of the defendant’s hairstyle. Laurie commented that ‘nothing could make a man look more contemptible than this womanish fashion of letting the hair grow till it reached the shoulders’.

 

Criminal trial reported in the London Morning Post in 1841

Morning Post – Monday 15 November 1841
Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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‘A profusion of hair, in long straight locks’

The Morning Post reported that Joseph Jones had ‘a profusion of hair, combed down in long straight locks’. He was sentenced to a fine of five shillings for his drunken behaviour, or he could cut off his hair and be forgiven.

Jones unsurprisingly picked the second option and a barber was called. In his closing speech, Sir Peter Laurie concluded that the prisoner ‘now looked much better, and more like a man’.
 
 

Search the London Morning Post

 
 

 

100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Posted on June 28th, 2014 by The British Newspaper Archive

Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated 100 years ago on Sunday 28 June 1914, starting the chain of events that lead to World War One.

The first reports about the assassination were printed in British newspapers the following day. You can read many of them online at The British Newspaper Archive.

 

Read reports about Franz Ferdinand

 

Manchester Evening News: ‘What the tragedy will mean’

The article published in the Manchester Evening News included a report about what the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand could mean.

The newspaper suggested that ‘the policy of Austria will probably be in the direction of further measures against the Slavs’.

 

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, reported in the Manchester Evening News

Manchester Evening News – Monday 29 June 1914
Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

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A. E. J. Collins and the highest recorded cricket score

Posted on June 26th, 2014 by The British Newspaper Archive

A 13-year-old schoolboy has held the record for the highest cricket score for over 100 years.

Arthur Edward Jeune ‘James’ Collins, also known by the initials A. E. J. Collins, scored an incredible 628 not out in June 1899. The cricket match took place over four days at Clifton College in Bristol.

 

Blackburn Standard reports a score of ‘628 not out’

A copy of the Blackburn Standard printed on 1 July 1899 reveals that Collins achieved the majority of his team’s total score. Out of a total of 833 runs, Collins scored an incredible 628.

 

A. E. J. Collins in the Blackburn Standard

Blackburn Standard – Saturday 01 July 1899
Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Was A. E. J. Collins an orphan?

The article in the Blackburn Standard went on to state that Arthur Collins ‘was born in India, where his father was in the Civil Service, and is an orphan’.

Family history website Findmypast recently published over 2.5 million records detailing the lives of the British in India, in partnership with the British Library. We took a look at these records to see if the Blackburn Standard’s report was true.

 

India Office pension record from findmypast

 

The East India Company & Civil Service Pension record above confirms that Arthur’s father, Arthur Herbert Collins died on 17 January 1899. This was just five months before his son’s incredible cricket feat.

 

The 1901 census reveals the truth

While the India Office records show that Arthur Collins’ father had died, we’ve found no record of his mother’s death before June 1899.

The 1901 census, also available to search at Findmypast, reveals why. Esther Ida Collins was still alive in 1901, recorded as being a widow and living with her children in Clifton.

 

1901 census proves A. E. J. Collins was not an orphan in 1899

 

The Blackburn Standard’s report that A. E. J. Collins was an orphan when he achieved the highest cricket score ever recorded was therefore not correct – Arthur’s mother was still alive.

 

Search the Blackburn Standard

 

The Dundee Courier reports biting in a football match

Posted on June 25th, 2014 by The British Newspaper Archive

Uruguay’s Luis Suarez has hit the headlines once again, having been accused of biting an Italian player during last night’s World Cup match. The British Newspaper Archive can reveal that biting isn’t a modern phenomenon in football matches.

An article describing Sunderland football team’s experience in Germany has been discovered by one of our customers in a copy of the Dundee Courier from 1913.

 

100-year-old Dundee Courier reports that ‘biting is allowed’

 

The Dundee Courier included a shocking report from Sunderland FC’s captain, Charles ‘Charlie’ Ballany Thomson. Thomson stated that in Germany, ‘they can kick you up into the air and bite you when you are coming down’.

Sunderland FC won the English First Division in 1913. The team then went on a tour of Budapest, Vienna and Germany, winning their matches against the German teams Hamburger SV and Hertha BSC by 5-0 and 7-0.

 

Biting in football - reported in the Dundee Courier in 1913

Dundee Courier – Wednesday 28 May 1913
Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

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Researching football history using old newspapers

 

The newspapers you can search online at The British Newspaper Archive will tell you a lot about the history of football. There are often strong parallels between what’s happening in the ‘beautiful game’ today and what occurred 100 years ago.

You can search over 250 newspaper titles including the Dundee Courier and Saturday sports paper, the Sports Argus.
 

Explore copies of old newspapers