Bromsgrove Gleaner | The British Newspaper Archive Blog


Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week has been another busy one here at The Archive as we have had added 126,448 brand new pages to our collection. We are delighted to welcome three brand new titles this week, which span between them 130 years of headlines, and cover the counties of Nottingham, Derbyshire and Worcestershire, as well as the City of Westminster.

In addition to this, we have added new pages to sixteen of our existing titles, which cover the United Kingdom, as well as India.

So read on to discover more about this week’s new titles and pages, and also to find out what the gossip was amongst the housewives of the 1850s!

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The first of our new titles this week is the Bromsgrove Gleaner, or to give it its full title, the Bromsgrove Gleaner, Monthly Advertiser and Miscellany of Amusing and Instructive Knowledge. First published in 1854 by John Harris Scroxton, it was the Worcestershire town of Bromsgrove’s first ever newspaper.

John Harris Scroxton was, amongst other things, a poet, amateur artist, stationer and bookseller, as well as the editor and publisher of the Bromsgrove Gleaner. In the first edition of his newspaper, which appeared on 1 January 1854 priced at one penny, he described how his ‘little periodical’ will be ‘enriched with gems of a miscellaneous, but instructive and entertaining character.’

Bromsgrove Gleaner | 1 January 1854

It would feature a ‘prevailing love of business,’ but ‘All that relates to Home comfort and Domestic economy, or which tends to promote the happiness of the Fireside, will be fully treated of and considered’ too. Indeed, an important section of the Bromsgrove Gleaner was entitled ‘A Gossip with Housewives’ – more on that later!

But Scroxton could not produce the Gleaner all by himself. Indeed, the newspaper publisher called for assistance from the ‘Literati of Bromsgrove’ to fill his new periodical’s pages:

The editor of ‘The Gleaner’ will be happy to receive from his literary friends either original or selected contributions, in prose or verse, at as early a period in each month as their convenience will allow. He thanks those considerate friends, who have already promised him use of their brains.

Bromsgrove Gleaner | 1 July 1854

But what kind of submissions was Scroxton after? Here he lays out what kind of material he would like to fill new his newspaper with:

Anything calculated to make man happier, wiser, or better; to raise his tastes, extend his intellectual vision, or purify his heart; to make him a better citizen of the world’s great Creator; less an animal – stupid, sensuous, and grasping, and aspiring; especially that monstrous evil, intemperance, which, with its infernal brood, is preying upon the vitals of human happiness; sapping the foundation of morality; clogging the chariot wheels of the Gospel; destroying domestic peace; ruining characters…

So anything encouraging intemperance was best avoided, and Scroxton also had a word of wisdom to ‘The correspondent ‘Amor’‘ who was ‘respectfully informed, that his lines to his ‘Lady-love’ would be much more properly sent to the lady in question, than exhibited to the cold criticism of an uninterested public.’

Consequently, within the pages of the Bromsgrove Gleaner you would find ‘useful, instructive and entertaining knowledge,’ complete with ‘Gleanings from Monthly Readings’ and ‘Gleanings Among the Bromsgrove Bards,’ painting a vivid picture of 1850s life in the Worcestershire town.

From Worcestershire to Westminster now for our next new title the Westminster & Pimlico News. First published in 1887 and appearing weekly on Saturday, the Westminster & Pimlico News covered the latest news from the heart of the capital, circulating in Westminster, St James, Pimlico and Victoria.

Containing a raft of local news, with such sections as ‘Words About Westminster,’ this newspaper also contained advertisements for vacant situations, houses to let and forthcoming auctions, creating a wonderful picture of life in Victorian London. You could find news of ‘local fires,’ society news, court news, as well as other correspondence.

Westminster & Pimlico News | 21 February 1930

The Westminster & Pimlico News was another literary newspaper, featuring extracts from such works as Edgar Allen Poe’s A Descent into the Maelstrom, with Mrs. J. K. Spender’s story Her Brother’s Keeper filling the second page of the first edition.

The Westminster & Pimlico News eventually ceased publication before it was revived as part of the London Weekly News in 2014, but this venture was short lived and publication wound down some fifteen months later.

Our final new title this week is the Stapleford & Sandiacre News. Published in the town of Stapleford on the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire border, this weekly publication claimed to have a circulation that was ‘ten times’ larger than ‘that of any local paper.’ Covering the local news from the towns of Sandiacre, Stapleford, Risley, Bramcote and Beeston, it contained advertisements and gossip from ‘around the district,’ with a keen focus on sport, including ‘soccer whispers.’

Stapleford & Sandiacre News | 21 October 1950

Meanwhile, what of our updated titles? We are delighted to have updated six of our Indian titles, with extensive updates to the Madras Weekly Mail and Indian Daily News in particular. We have also added pages to our wonderful title the American Register, which details the high society lives of Americans in Britain and on the continent.

You can also find updates to titles from across the United Kingdom, from the Newry Telegraph to Witness (Edinburgh), from the Herald of Wales to the Liverpool Daily Post. Full details of all our updated and new titles can be found below.

A Gossip With Housewives

A regular feature of the Bromsgrove Gleaner was entitled ‘A Gossip With Housewives.’ The Gleaner in May 1854 describes the purpose of this particular column:

Although under this head we confine ourselves to information chiefly of a domestic nature, yet many subjects of a generally useful and entertaining character will be met with, and while giving rules and instructions for correct and economical housekeeping generally, a place will be found for paragraphs especially applicable to those who pretend to the character of a good housewife.

Bromsgrove Gleaner | 1 May 1854

So, not only could you find useful hints and tips for cleaning, and home remedies such as this one below for a ‘tickling cough’ – you can find more about medical remedies of the past here – you could also find instruction on how to be the perfect wife, and with that, the perfect woman.

Balsam of tolu, two ounces; gum storax and powdered opium, of each, a quarter of an ounce; honey, eight ounces; rectified spirit, one quart. Mix well together, and shake occasionally for four days, then decant the clear, and filter what remains.

Alnwick Mercury | 1 March 1856

‘Under a veil of pleasantry,’ Diogenes in the Bromsgrove Gleaner gives some, shall we say, interesting, ‘homely truths for wives:’

~ Although your husband may neglect to give you a good dress, do not seek revenge by giving him a good dressing. ~

~ Do not hesitate between the choice of an expensive mantle and your husband’s affection; the former may be dear to your back, but the latter should be dear to your bosom. ~

~ Should your husband bring a friend home to partake of the remains of yesterday’s beef, do not be churlish, but let a warm smile season the cold repast. ~

The Gleaner in May 1854 goes on how to describe how a ‘Good Wife’ ‘commandeth her husband…by constantly obeying him.’ Moreover, she ‘never crosseth her husband in the spring-time of his anger, but stays till it be ebbing-water.’

Illustrated London News | 11 November 1848

This should be easier for the Gleaner’s ideal woman, who should be in ‘the possession of a sweet temper’ – as ‘Home can never be happy without it:’

It is like the flowers that spring up in our pathway, reviving and cheering. Let a man go home at night wearied and worn out with the toils of the day, and how soothing is a word dictated by a good disposition! It is sunshine falling on his heart. He is happy, and the cares of life are forgotten.

So, if you are faced with your husband (or indeed wife) returning home with a friend to share some leftover beef, you now know how to deal with such a situation – a ‘warm smile’ and a ‘sweet temper’ should be all you need to get you through it!

Illustrated London News | 29 December 1849

New Titles
Years Added
Westminster & Pimlico News 1887-1949
Stapleford & Sandiacre News 1919-1984
Bromsgrove Gleaner 1854-1857
Updated Titles

This week we have updated sixteen of our existing titles.

You can learn more about each of the titles we add to every week by clicking on their names. On each paper’s title page, you can read a FREE sample issue, learn more about our current holdings, and our plans for digitisation.

Title Years Added
Indian Statesman 1872-1873
Witness (Edinburgh) 1857
Newry Telegraph 1872-1881
Bangalore Spectator 1886, 1888, 1891-1892, 1894
Chelsea News and General Advertiser 1973
Herald of Wales 1887-1889
Voice of India 1886, 1888, 1910
Lancaster Standard and County Advertiser 1900, 1903
Nairnshire Telegraph and General Advertiser for the Northern Counties 1902, 1917, 1928, 1930, 1935
Indian Daily News 1900-1901, 1903-1906
Madras Weekly Mail 1877-1881, 1883-1884, 1886-1887, 1889-1890, 1893, 1896-1897, 1899-1900, 1907
North Wales Weekly News 1889-1895, 1899-1901, 1903-1905, 1912-1922, 1924-1927, 1941-1942, 1953, 1955
Liverpool Daily Post 1901
American Register 1884-1886, 1889, 1894, 1896, 1900, 1903, 1908, 1912
Nantwich Chronicle 1975
Marylebone Mercury 1979

You can keep up to date with all the latest additions by visiting the recently added page.  You can even look ahead to see what we’re going to add tomorrow.


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