Country Pursuits on The Archive | The British Newspaper Archive Blog


Discovering Agricultural, Country and Rural Pursuits Titles on The Archive

Here on The Archive we have a special collection of country and rural pursuits titles, numbering over 400,000 pages and covering the years 1849 to 1970. These titles range from the specialist – for example the wonderful Fishing Gazette, which focuses, rather unsurprisingly, on fishing in all its forms – to the more general, such as the ‘Country Gentleman’s Newspaper’ Field, which reports on a range of different country pursuits such as farming, shooting and fishing.

We have a strong focus on Victorian country pursuits – perfect perusal for anybody with an interest in the history of country and rural pursuits. Our coverage extends into the twentieth century, and we also publish a range of more localised agricultural journals, specific to the areas they represent.

Field 1853-1856, 1858-1863, 1865-1911
Fishing Gazette 1895
Herts Guardian, Agricultural Journal, and General Advertiser 1852-1867, 1883
Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News 1874-1970
Journal of the Chemico-Agricultural Society of Ulster and Record of Agriculture and Industry 1849-1854, 1856-1865, 1867
Landswoman 1918-1920
North British Agriculturalist 1849-1893
Sussex Agricultural Express 1857, 1859, 1861, 1867, 1877, 1883, 1888-1958
The Tewkesbury Register, and Agricultural Gazette 1858-1967
Volunteer Record and Shooting News 1884-1902

Read on to discover more about a selection of the above specialist titles.


Field | 15 June 1878

Founded in 1853 by Mark Lemon (who also founded Punch magazine), Field was published as ‘The Country Gentleman’s Newspaper.’ Although Mark Lemon published and edited the newspaper, it was novelist R S Surtees who came up with the idea for the publication. He wanted to create something aimed at the landowners, sportsmen, farmers and hunters based outside of London, and thus, Field was born.

Within the pages of Field you can find coverage of a variety of different topics, including angling, racing, farming and country house management. You can also discover an eclectic mix of advertisements, ranging from saddles to estate sales, from chicken feed to sherry, and even artificial teeth! The correspondence columns provide a wealth of information, answering such questions as ‘where is the best shooting to be had within an hour or two of London?’ Finally, in depth articles cover a wide range of topics, including changes in fishing laws and the introduction of steam technology to farming.

Field distinguishes itself from its Victorian contemporary newspapers by including many illustrations, and as such, is an entertaining and informative read. Field continues to be published up until today, thus making it the longest running country and field magazine in the world.

Fishing Gazette

Fishing Gazette | 16 February 1895

A thorough and fond guide to the sport of fishing, we have so far added the year 1895 to the Fishing Gazette, with coverage set to span the years 1877 to 1900.

The Fishing Gazette covers all types of fishing, from sea fishing to angling, from trout fishing to salmon fishing. It is a comprehensive guide to fishing across the British Isles, providing reports on fishing conditions every week.

Within its pages you can find in depth factual pieces covering, for example, the lifespan of a salmon, and descriptions of sea fishing in South Africa. Also included are illustrations and photographs of scenery and fisherman in action, making it an invaluable resource for those interested in the sport. And not forgetting, of course, the advertisements for all sorts of fishing equipment!

Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News

Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News | 5 April 1950

Founded in 1874, this richly illustrated publication initially specialised in sporting and theatrical news, before shifting focus to centre on farming. Indeed, the publication changed names in 1943 to Sport and Country in 1943, and then to Farm and Country in 1957, which was its title until it ceased publication thirteen years later.

A wonderful guide to the changes wrought by mechanisation, especially in the twentieth century, the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News provides coverage of farming in all formats. You can read an example of how we used the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News to research the twentieth century decline of orchards here.


Landswoman | 1 December 1918

The Landswoman was founded in 1918 and was the official monthly magazine of the Women’s Land Army. Edited by Meriel Talbot, the driving force behind the Women’s Land Army in the First World War, the Landswoman was published with the intent of becoming a support mechanism for members of the Land Army.

The Landswoman, available in colour on The Archive, provides a fascinating glimpse into everyday life in the Women’s Land Army. Published on the first of every month, it contains pictures of Land Army members taking part in ploughing matches, thatching stacks and harvesting potatoes. Furthermore, it abounds with wonderful advertisements for the female farm hand, from the best all-weather boots, to the best all-weather face creams.

North British Agriculturist 

North British Agriculturist | 11 July 1850

A continuation of the Ayrshire Advertiser, and first published in 1849, the North British Agriculturalist was a biweekly journal dedicated to agriculture and horticulture. Published in Edinburgh, the title was famed for its robust reporting of technical farming details, with a focus on the Highland Society, as well as covering gardening, forestry and rural economy. In its day, it was one of the most widely circulated agricultural journals in the Victorian era, with 1,350 issues bought every week in 1850.

Want to learn more? Register now and explore the Archive




, , , ,

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.