We have had a truly extraordinary week here at The Archive as we have added 262,572 brand new pages to our collection, with the addition of a remarkable 27 brand new titles from across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
So read on to discover more about this bumper crop of new titles which we have harvested for you, which cover over a hundred years of headlines, as well as specialist interests such as politics and fashion. Plus, we will be exploring summer fashions from over a century ago using our new title, Myra’s Journal of Dress and Fashion.
Let’s get started with our new titles of the week, then! Starting us off is the Eastern Counties’ Times. Originally known as the Eastern Counties’ Times and Ilford Gazette, in 1906 this publication changed its name to the Eastern Counties’ Times and South Essex Recorder, before becoming the Eastern Counties’ Times and Barking Recorder.
Costing one penny and appearing every Friday, this newspaper covered parts of Essex and East London, encompassing Manor Park, Forest Gate, Upton Park, Stratford, Plaistow, East Ham, Chadwell Heath, Romford, Ilford and Barking.
Comprising of eight pages, this lively and thorough newspaper featured international news, news from across the United Kingdom, as well as local news from Essex County Council, the Stratford Petty Sessions, and the West Ham Police Court, as well as other nearby institutions. The Eastern Counties’ Gazette also contained a rich variety of special interest columns, such as ‘Masonic Gleanings,’ fashions for the month, ‘Bits from Books,’ ‘Hints for the Home’ as well as ‘Something for the Young Folks.’
Staying in London for our next new title, but this time heading west, we are delighted to welcome the Southall Gazette to our collection. Appearing every Friday, this newspaper was formerly known as the Middlesex County Times – Southall Edition. Costing 4p, and appearing every Friday, this newspaper contained the latest from Southall and the Borough of Ealing.
We’re heading north for our next new title, to Durham, to welcome the Consett Guardian to The Archive. First published on 8 September 1860 in Consett, County Durham, which lies on the edge of the Pennines and is part of the Derwent Valley, known as ‘the cradle of the British steel industry,’ the Consett Guardian appeared every Saturday priced at one penny.
Circulating in Consett and the surrounding district, the Consett Guardian was liberal in its politics and reported on the latest local news, such as police intelligence, the Shotley Bridge and Lanchester Petty Sessions, the Gateshead County Police, as well as the Shotley Bridge Flower Show. Meanwhile, it also contained ‘Literary Selections’ and international news.
Our next new title hails from Wales – the South Wales Weekly Argus and Monmouthshire Advertiser. First published in Newport on 27 August 1892 and appearing every Saturday priced at one penny, this weekly newspaper was jam-packed with local news and special interest features. You can find within its pages district news from Newport, Abercarn, Abergavenny, Pontypool, Chepstow and Blaenavon, to name a few of the towns covered by this newspaper.
The South Wales Weekly Argus also contained illustrations of the day’s leading personalities, as well as news on ‘Local Shipping Movements,’ which contained lists of arrivals and departures. Amongst the special interest columns contained in this newspaper are ‘Tea-Time Gossip,’ which was directed at women and contained fashion advice, as well as a ‘Poet’s Corner,’ and ‘Gossip from the Capital.’
And now to Ireland for this week’s next new title, and we are excited to welcome the Waterford Star to our collection. Founded in 1848, and still published to this day, the Waterford Star appeared every Friday and was known as an ‘enterprising and bright paper.’ Indeed, the Dublin Evening Telegraph in April 1893 said of this newspaper:
In no part of Ireland was a good newspaper more needed than in the city of Waterford. And in the Star Waterford has got one of the brightest, most readable, and most fearless newspapers in Ireland.
High praise indeed! In 1896 the Waterford Star expanded to eight pages and was described as being ‘in every respect newsy and up-to-date,’ whilst in 2007 the newspaper changed from a broadsheet to a tabloid format.
We now move onto our specialist titles of the week, beginning with Socialist (Edinburgh). Appearing every Friday priced at two pence, this newspaper was the ‘Official Organ of the Socialist Labour Party.’ The Socialist Labour Party was established in 1903 as a splinter movement from the Social Democratic Federation, inspired by the politics of Marxist Daniel De Leon, a member of the Socialist Labor Party of America.
Founded in Edinburgh, the Socialist Labour Party took over control of the already extant Socialist newspaper, with 80 members belonging to its organisation and four branches across Scotland. Always a small party, it eventually disbanded in 1980. Meanwhile, Socialist (Edinburgh) contained such pieces as ‘Can There Be Equality Between the Exploiting and Exploited Classes?,’ news relating to socialism from across the world, and also suggested reading.
Our other new specialist title of the week perhaps could not be further removed from Socialist (Edinburgh), and it is Myra’s Journal of Dress and Fashion. The first and longest running example of a cheap fashion magazine, Myra’s Journal of Dress and Fashion was founded in 1875 and cost 3d. Edited by Martha Browne, a ‘journalist of much experience’ who had worked with Samuel Beeton on The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine and The Young Englishwoman, Myra’s Journal provided ‘a successful combination of lively and informative advice on fashion, health and beauty with stunning illustrated material.’
Finding success in presenting fashion in a ‘cheap and practical format,’ Myra’s Journal would include detailed illustrations in the main body of its text. The publication would also include fashion advertisements, dress-making instructions (with patterns provided within its supplements), fashion reports from Paris and large fashion plates.
A treasure trove for those interested in the history of fashion, Myra’s Journal is also representative of so-called ‘New Journalism.’ Editor Martha Browne was a pioneer of the advertorial, that combination of editorial and advertising, recommending goods for women to buy in a chatty and informal way. This was a watershed too in the history of journalism and advertising: women were addressed themselves as consumers.
A regular section in Myra’s Journal was entitled ‘Spinnings in Town,’ another chatty column. In 1881 the publication was advertising itself as the ‘Best and Cheapest Fashion Journal,’ which featured ‘cut out paper patterns,’ a coloured fashion plate, with fifty-two pages of text. Indicative of its success, Myra’s Journal of Dress and Fashion lasted for nearly forty years, ceasing publication in 1912. It also spawned several sister publications, with one focussing on ‘Children’s Dress.’
Our next new titles of the week are part of the British Library’s Heritage Made Digital programme, consisting of early London newspaper titles. Sometimes short-lived, sometimes controversial, these titles are a time capsule of social history, and capture snapshots of the varied and vital lives lived in the nineteenth century.
We begin with the New Court Gazette. Established in 1840, the New Court Gazette was published at six o’clock every morning from its offices in the Strand. In the same year, the following notification appeared in newspapers regarding the new publication:
The Nobility, Gentry, and the Public in general are most respectfully informed that MESSRS. E. HILL, W. COLLIER and G.H. SMITH are the Sole Proprietors of this Fashionable Newspaper, which will be conducted in future in a manner curtained to ensure increased patronage.
Fashion was the name of the game, especially for our next new newspaper, the Court Gazette and Fashionable Guide. As this newspaper’s title suggests, the Court Gazette and Fashionable Guide provided a look at the happenings of court and the goings-on of the fashionable world. Costing six pence – not eight pence, as an advertisement of 1838 is at pains to point out – this newspaper appeared every Saturday.
Here is what you could expect from a typical edition:
…the Autobiography of Singleton Solus, Esq. – A Modern Traveller – The Dentist – The Debutantes – Excursions from the West – Modern Belles – Almack’s – The Drama – Concerts – New Music – Fine Arts – and Ample Scientific Report. All the Foreign and Domestic News of the Week.
Furthermore, the Court Gazette and Fashionable Guide claimed to contain:
The only full and authentic description of the Ladies’ Dresses at the Queen’s Drawing-room.
Published from its offices in Piccadilly and Catherine Street, the Court Gazette and Fashionable Guide offered a wonderful window on the fashions of the day.
Our next new historic London title is called the Royal York. In 1827 an advert appeared in the press entitled ‘New Journal – New Ministry,’ which discussed the publication of new newspaper the Royal York. It ran as follows:
The Royal York was first published in London on Sunday, 13th May, with the concurrence and under the influence of several Peers, and Members of the House of Commons. The first Number was re-printed THREE TIMES between the Sunday and the Wednesday. The second was also twice re-printed.
The advert for this partisan newspaper continued:
The title of this Paper speaks volumes; and there can be no doubt that it will be supported by the influence and recommendation of one Protestant to another.
Having laid out is ethos, it describes how every issue will contain a ‘Letter to the King’ – and ‘this system will be continued.’ Published from the Strand by Thomas Hunt, and costing seven pence, the Royal York was printed ‘on the largest possible size of most excellent paper,’ and was ‘completely full of intelligence as the type can admit.’
From royalty now to trade, and we are delighted to welcome the Trade’s Free Press to our collection. Established in 1827, the Trade’s Free Press purported to support ‘the great principles of Civil and Religious Liberty, and all interests are identified with those of the people.’ Furthermore, the Trade’s Free Press expressed its intention to spare no expense ‘to render it worthy of popular support.’
Appearing every Saturday at the cost of seven pence, it was claiming to be in the late 1820s ‘the Largest Weekly Paper in London.’ It boasted that it represented ‘Every species of intelligence – Political, Literary, Scientific, Sports & c.,’ bolstered by ‘a great accession of Editorial strength,’ as well as featuring ‘the greatest quantity of original matter.’
But despite being ‘the best edited weekly Paper published in the Metropolis,’ the Trade’s Free Press was not to last. In 1832 the Poor Man’s Guardian recalled its noble and ultimately ill-fated publishing mission:
…ably as it was conducted, and advocating the rights and interests of the working classes, [it] was compelled to be abandoned from the want of subscribers.
We are also delighted to feature another trade related paper this week, namely the Trade Protection Record. A Victorian version of ‘Rogue Traders,’ the Trade Protection Record was first published in 1849 ‘with the view of protecting Trades and the community in general against the numerous frauds, deceptions and impositions to which they are constantly exposed.’
An independent journal, it was described as a ‘very useful London publication,’ which gave timely warnings’ of the arrival of any swindlers in town, so that they would find that their characters had ‘arrived before them.’ Indeed, it was said that the Trade Protection Record should be ‘on the table of every commercial inn,’ so useful was the information that it contained.
Appealing to a range of different professions, from bankers to merchants, from manufacturers to solicitors, and warehousemen, the Trade Protection Record contained daily records from the Courts of Justice, police records and a record of bankrupts and insolvents, all aiming to ‘protect the honest trader.’
Published every Saturday at the price of 6 pence, it exposed ‘too clearly the extent of the deceptions and plunderings of large number of persons in the metropolis and the principal towns throughout the kingdom.’
Completing our trio of trade publications is the City of London Trade Protection Circular. Much on the same lines as the Trade Protection Record, this publication aimed to protect tradesmen and businessmen from fraudsters. First published on 15 April 1848 from Mansion House, the City of London Trade Protection Circular was published by the City of London Trade Protection Society.
Appearing every Saturday, it named and shamed those who were a perceived threat to trade. For example, it accuses one Eliza Maria Amphlett of ‘recklessly contracting debts,’ thereby warning tradesmen not to have any dealings with her, if they would like to get paid!
Poor Eliza Maria Amphlett was no doubt wanting to live the high life, and we have a newspaper for that – High Life in London. First published on 23 December 1827, High Life in London was a weekly title ‘expressly devoted to the Sports, the Opinions, the Movements of High Life!’
‘Embellished with engravings by the first Artists of the Day,’ High Life in London promised not only to dedicate its pages to London’s fashionable world, but to publish ‘such Intelligence that it will be found worthy of the men of Liberal Politics, of Science, and Letters.’
Most critical perhaps of London’s fashionable world was controversial title Satirist; or, the Censor of the Times. This controversial nineteenth century newspaper, the Satirist; or, The Censor of the Times was published between 1831 and 1849 and made it its mission to report on scandals involving the well-known citizens of London. Founded by Barnard Gregory (1796-1852), a journalist, publisher and talented Shakespearian actor, on his newspaper’s debut he announced:
We are Whigs; and that, in these bad times, must be sufficient POLITICAL recommendation – honest, independent, incorruptible Whigs!
Vehemently anti-Tory, the Satirist described itself as ‘The People’s Friend,’ and how it would be using ‘Satire…the mild censor of abuse and folly’ as its ‘weapon of castigation.’ Indeed, it ran with the dark motto:
Satire’s my weapon. I was born a critic and a satirist; and my nurse remarked that I hissed as soon as I saw light.
But the Satirist strayed from purely satirical stance, publishing wide ranging accusations, from allegations of arson, to cheating at cards, and affairs between wealthy men and their servants. It published scathing caricatures, with particular hate directed at the Duke of Cumberland and Queen Adelaide.
Some of its most famous accusations were levied against Sir James Hogg (that his wife was married to a different man) and the Duke of Brunswick (that he had murdered a young woman). For this latter slander Barnard Gregory ended up imprisoned in Newgate, the Duke’s lawyer remarking how the Satirist had published ‘divers indecent, obscene, lewd, filthy and disgusting articles.’
Despite being a true example of the gutter press, Gregory also used his publication to criticise the use of the bodies of deceased paupers for medical dissection. Indeed, despite the unsavoury nature of his newspaper, it was said that Gregory himself was friendly and polite.
At its height, the Satirist had a circulation of 9,000. It appeared every Sunday and cost seven pence. However, the tide of popular opinion gradually turned against the newspaper, and it ceased publication on 15 December 1849 after 924 issues. Three years later, Barnard Gregory passed away.
Another controversial title was the New Times (London), which was known as the ‘dirty morning dress’ of the Morning Chronicle, which proved ultimately to be short-lived. And as we’re still talking controversy, we better address the British Standard.
A weekly Conservative newspaper, the British Standard was run by controversial independent preacher Doctor Campbell, who was accused, through its pages, of writing ‘angry and illogical letters’ to the Prince Consort. Indeed, the British Standard was described as representing an ‘orgasm of unsatisfied vanity’ on the part of Doctor Campbell.
From the British Standard now to the British Statesman. First published on 12 March 1842, the British Statesman promised to be a ‘Weekly Newspaper, advocating the Political and Social Rights of the Whole People, with entire Freedom of Trade.’ This Liberal newspaper, priced at four pence, was a continuation of the Statesman, a daily London newspaper.
Another publication with ambitions on behalf of the people was the Town & Country Daily Newspaper. A ‘six-a-penny’ or ‘penny-a-week’ newspaper, the Town & Country Daily Newspaper was a short-lived daily publication with noble intentions. Each day it promised to offer ‘new matter equal to that of The Times,’ at the price of only six pence.
First published in 1873, after just two months it changed its name to The Sun, and in a ‘night of languishing support [it] soon ended its career.’
Attempting to appeal to a wide range of readers was newspaper the Daily Politician. First published on the 15 September 1836 as a ‘Stamped Morning Newspaper, on Liberal Principles,’ the Daily Politician cost two and a half pence.
This ‘neatly printed’ title was part of ‘a crowd of low-priced newspapers [that] have started up in London in consequence of the change in stamp duty,’ that is to say, the decrease in the taxes owed on newspapers. A paper of ‘less pretensions, and addressed to those who either have not time to read the voluminous reports of the daily papers of the usual size or whose pockets are unequal to the task,’ the Daily Politician promised to be both brief and cheap.
Indeed, it contained ‘a well condensed digest of each day’s news,’ and was addressed ‘to a numerous class of readers.’ With this as its formula, pundits believed that the Daily Politician was ‘likely to prove successful.’
A vessel for a politician in the making was Cobbett’s Evening Post. Established by namesake William Cobbett on 29 January 1820, Cobbett’s Evening Post lasted for 55 issues and was part of Cobbett’s bid to be elected MP for Coventry.
William Cobbett (1763-1835) was variously a pamphleteer, journalist, MP and farmer, who wanted to abolish rotten boroughs from the political system. In 1802 he founded the Political Register, and it was a protest he made in 1810 against the flogging of militiamen at Ely by Hanoverians which saw him imprisoned in Newgate for treasonous libel. His spell in prison lasted two years.
In 1816 Cobbett again courted controversy by selling the Political Register as a pamphlet for only two pence, thus getting around the stamp tax levied on newspapers. This saw the Political Register gain huge popularity, with a readership of 40,000, mostly consisting of the working classes.
But this made him dangerous; for two years between 1817 and 1819 he sought refuge in the United States. Upon his return, he founded the short-lived Cobbett’s Evening Post in his bid for election to the House of Commons. After four unsuccessful attempts, in 1832 he was elected as MP for Oldham. A supporter of Catholic Emancipation, but a defender of the trade of enslaved people, the controversial Cobbett passed away in 1835.
Another political title added to our collection this week is the Nonconformist Elector. The Nonconformist Elector appeared in 1847 with the sole aim of forwarding nonconformist candidates in the 1847 election. Its destiny was ultimately ephemeral; as this newspaper ceased publication that same year.
Our next new title of the week is the People’s Weekly Police Gazette. An unstamped, and therefore ‘illegal’ newspaper (possession of it could get you into trouble with the law), the People’s Weekly Police Gazette was produced in a small printing office in Fetter Lane.
Joining us also is Bell’s Penny Dispatch. A short-lived but entertaining newspaper, Bell’s Penny Dispatch appeared between 1841 and 1842 and was packed with sensational news and serialized fiction. Alongside this title we have also added the Weekly Intelligence. Appearing on a Sunday and priced at seven pence, the Weekly Intelligence conveyed to its readers, unsurprisingly, all the news of the week.
What did a typical edition of the Weekly Intelligence contain, however? An advert for the newspaper in 1817 lists its upcoming (and somewhat macabre) content:
Correct Engravings of the Two Splendid COFFINS of Princess Charlotte and her still-born INFANT – A full and detailed narrative of the Funeral; a great number of facts relative to the Princess; and all the News of the Week.
We come now to our penultimate new title of the week. We are delighted to introduce the London Packet and New Lloyd’s London Evening Post to our collection. First published on 17 April 1772 and published on a daily basis from Warwick Court, near Paternoster Row, this newspaper cost six pence and featured parliamentary intelligence, shipping intelligence, foreign intelligence, as well as ‘provincial news’ and notices of births, marriages and deaths.
Our last new title of the week is the wonderfully named Oracle and Daily Advertiser. Appearing every day, barring Sunday, this newspaper consisted of four pages and cost six pence. Switching its name in 1802 to the Daily Advertiser and Oracle, this newspaper featured news from across Europe, including from Denmark, Poland and Prussia, as well as the latest from British parliament.
Positioning itself as an ‘Oracle of Fashion,’ it laid out, for example, the fashions for January in the early nineteenth century, describing ‘Nine London Headdresses’ as well as dresses from Paris. It also featured shipping news, as well as news of the latest wills and marriages.
In 1809 the newspaper offered itself for sale – including its types, presses, materials, and a 10 years lease of a premises in Fleet Street. And thus ends our marathon journey through our new pages of the week – but don’t forget to take a look at the 45 titles we have updated this week!
The Seaside Number – Early Twentieth Century Summer Fashion
With the addition of Myra’s Journal of Dress and Fashion this week we couldn’t’ wait to dive into its pages, and we were delighted to come across one of its ‘Seaside Numbers.’
Myra’s Journal gives this preview of its forthcoming the Seaside Number on 1 June 1904:
Next month (July) is our ‘seaside’ number, which will concern itself chiefly with the garments required for the summer outing on and by the sea. Two of or Free Paper Patterns will deal with a coat and trottoir skirt, suitable for a travelling or seaside gown. The third Free Pattern will be that of a smart blouse, such as our travelling outfit must contain, and a seaside costume for a little girl will be the subject of the fourth pattern. The Dress-making Lessons will deal with a lady’s bathing dress, a delightful Inverness wrap for travelling or to cover a light pier costume (most economical as to work and quantity of material).
Myra’s Journal goes on to remark how ‘Our ‘seaside’ number is always very popular,’ and so, without further ado, here is a selection of highlights from this special summer edition, published on 1 July 1904.
For those venturing abroad, to France in particular, Myra’s Journal is on hand with some advice:
At a French seaside resort of fashionable proclivities you must take your smarter dresses. Red is effective on the Norman coast (red looks very well on the sandy beach). A smart French pier gown has one of the novel three-quarter length coats of bright dahlia-red glacé, the dress itself being of fine white embroidered muslin, much brefilled with tinted Valenciennes lace. The parasol was made to match the coat, of the same silk similarly trimmed; and a huge hat of white embroidered lawn and lace, with a chou of the dahlia-coloured silk, completed a striking frock for a fine hot day.
Meanwhile, ‘Seaside hats this year are very shady, and have the veil much to the fore.’
You could also make for yourself ‘A Smart French Bathing Dress,’ following instructions from a regular feature in Myra’s Journal – ‘Lessons in Dressmaking.’ Here is an outline of the design:
This very pretty model is of scarlet serge, trimmed with coarse white Yak lace. It consists of blouse and knickers, and is very easy to make. The pattern is in five pieces – half the knickers, half the back and one front of the blouse, half the yoke, one sleeve. The diagram shows the pattern pieces laid on 4 yards of 48-inch serge, which is opened to the full width and doubled so that knickers and sleeve pattern are each cut in duplicate.
You can also find a myriad of other bathing dress designs, like this one below:
Pleated Bathing Dress – No. 4432 – Carried out in crimson serge. Two-piece knickers of serge, cut and made like those of No. 4428, the legs gathered by an elastic or tape runner like the top. Blouse of serge – a pleated back and two pleated fonts, closing on the left beneath a pleat. Pleats are wheelmarked on pattern. Trim with braid – white or black. There is no sleeve. Quantity of 48-inch serge required, 4 ½ yards.
We’d love to hear about your finds from Myra’s Journal of Dress and Fashion – would you ever make one of the designs featured within its pages? Let us know!
This week we have updated forty five 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.