This week The Archive has added 179,184 pages, including 13 brand new titles and additions to 26 existing titles. Amongst the additions are thousands of pages that are now available to read for free. You will find newspapers focused on the mining industry, shipping, potteries and more. Continue reading to explore more of our latest released.
Our first new title of the week is the world famous Liverpool Journal of Commerce. This daily newspaper, which was established in 1861, was the ‘leading organ of commercial and shipping affairs for Liverpool and the provinces.’ But its remit extended far beyond Liverpool; indeed, ‘its field of circulation’ reached ‘out to all parts of the civilised world.’
Within the columns of the Liverpool Journal of Commerce you could find all the ‘latest and most reliable maritime information.’ Indeed, it was described by one contemporary as one of the:
…bright commercial papers of England, and one which business men will do well to examine, giving, as it does, the time of departures from English ports, of steamers to every part of the world, making it of great import to Merchants and Travelers.
Neutral in its politics, and consisting of eight pages, editions of the Liverpool Journal of Commerce were published simultaneously in Liverpool, London, Manchester and Glasgow.
So what you could you find within this popular commercial newspaper’s pages? It included detailed lists of ‘Ships for Freight and Passage,’ giving the names of individual ships and their destinations, which stretched across the world, from the West Indies to the United States of America, from Spain to South America. It also featured lists of ‘Homeward Bound Ships,’ i.e. those that were heading back to Britain and their dates of departure, also giving notices of ‘Ships Loading at Liverpool’ and ‘Ships Loading at London.’
From a commercial perspective, the Liverpool Journal of Commerce contained columns devoted to ‘Monetary and Commercial Affairs,’ ‘Annual Trade Reports’ and ‘Commercial and Financial Events.’ It also featured the latest from the London markets, and London commercial affairs. Meanwhile, from a Liverpudlian perspective, the newspaper also featured a wonderful ‘Alphabetical Dock Directory’ for the city.
Our next new title of the week also hails from the north west of England, and it is the Preston Pilot. The Preston Pilot was established in Preston, Lancashire, in 1825 and was a weekly Conservative newspaper. Also known as the Preston Pilot; and County Advertiser, it featured domestic and political news, as well as local news, covering meetings of the Poor Law Guardians.
A newspaper covering a wide range of special interest topics, the Preston Pilot featured the latest railway, shipping, church and agricultural intelligence. It also contained correspondence from its readers, poetry, and notices of births, marriages and deaths.
Our next new titles all form part of our Free to View collection, as part of our partnership with the British Library. These titles have been chosen from the Living With Machines project, which is jointly led by the British Library and the Alan Turing Institute. This project involves the digitisation of a selection of regional titles from the United Kingdom, which will be used in a study of Britain’s Industrial Age with the assistance of AI tools, facilitating new kinds of historical enquiry.
First of these titles is the Stalybridge Examiner. Published in the town of Stalybridge, which historically was in Cheshire but now forms part of Tameside, the Stalybridge Examiner appeared every Saturday and cost one halfpenny. The town of Stalybridge was one of the first centres of textile manufacturing in Britain during the Industrial Revolution, and its local newspaper was jam-packed with news from the area, incorporating also Ashton, Dukinfield, Denton and Mossley.
Consisting of four pages, the Stalybridge Examiner featured adverts, letters to the editor, and local intelligence, such as this headline: ‘Theft of a Pair of Boots at Stalybridge.’ It also contained the latest from Stalybridge Borough Police Court, as well as fiction and sports news.
Travelling to Manchester now for our next new title, which is the Manchester Examiner. The Manchester Examiner was first published on 10 January 1846 and cost four pence, featuring local and provincial news, railway intelligence, poetry, as well as features like the ‘Spirit of Literature.’
Appearing every Saturday, the publishers of the Manchester Examiner hoped that it might be ‘an instrument for good in [the] populous and important district’ of Manchester. Indeed, they were immensely cognisant of the responsibilities of publishing such a newspaper, and how it would require ‘much labour.’ But what was the ethos of the Manchester Examiner? Its first edition contained these statements:
We love what is kind and just between men and man, and not less between government and the people. In matters of legislation, whether on the subject of finance, trade, social regulations or questions affecting education and religion, we hope to prove ourselves fast friends of the people of whom we feel ourselves to be a portion.
Another new Lancashire title joining us this week is the Lancaster Herald and Town and County Advertiser. First published over a decade before on 15 January 1831, it appeared every Saturday priced at seven pence with the motto, taken from Othello’s last words, of ‘Nothing Extenuate – Nor Set Down in Malice.’ Consisting of eight pages, the Lancaster Herald promised to independent, stating that ‘in respect to our Politics – they are neither Whig nor Tory.’
Featuring the latest news from the British Army and Navy, as well as ‘Foreign Intelligence’ and updates from the Old Bailey Sessions, the Lancaster Herald contained news from closer to home, covering charity balls and the Lancaster Petty Sessions. The publication also featured poetry, and notices of marriages and deaths.
Beginning, of course, with noble intentions, as every new newspaper does, the publishers of the Lancaster Herald were not afraid of taking a look at the direction their new publication might take, composing this amusing editorial:
We shall, in due time, have to lay before the public veritable accounts of ponderous cabbages, interesting intelligence respecting winter strawberries, gooseberries and red-currants – marvellous, yet not to be doubted descriptions – children with five heads apiece, and calves with four tails.
Our final new Lancashire title (although not our final new title of the week) is the Stretford and Urmston Examiner. Published in the historic market town of Stretford, which forms part of Trafford, Greater Manchester, this newspaper first appeared on 28 June 1879 at the cost of three and a half pence.
Containing a wide range of features, from poetry to ‘Notes on Agriculture,’ from ‘Our London Letter’ to ‘Clippings from the Comic Papers,’ the Stretford and Urmston Examiner covered eight pages. It also published a range of local news, from Stretford and Urmston of course, but also from Middlewich, Sandbach and Widnes, with the latest from the petty sessions and notices of births, marriages and deaths. The newspaper also printed a range of sporting news, featuring cricket and football results.
We move across the Pennines now for our next new title, which is the Stockton Examiner and South Durham and North Yorkshire Herald. The Stockton Examiner was first published on 16 February 1878 in the large industrial market town of Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham. Published every Saturday it contained the usual round of local news, including the latest from the Stockton County Court, and a section entitled ‘Local Notes.’ It also featured poetry and fiction, and section named simply ‘Amusing.’
The publishers of the Stockton Examiner, well aware of the competition offered by the multiple other newspapers of the town, wanted their newspaper to become a main method of communication for townsfolk, stating in its first edition how:
We hope to make the Examiner the medium by which our townspeople may communicate with which other, by which they may know exactly what is going on around them.
But the Stockton Examiner was not to last, its copyright purchased in October 1879 by one Mr. H.G. Reid. Local newspaper the Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough reflected on the fate of the Stockton Examiner, explaining how it was:
…commenced about two years ago, and although not commercially successful, had attained a considerable circulation. It was the sixth or seventh paper commenced in Stockton, and discontinued after a brief existence. It is a painful indication of the bad times and the stern realities – not ‘romance’ – of the ‘Daily’ and other Press, that within the past few months several other contemporaries have been in the market.
Our next new title of the week is Gloucestershire publication the Forest of Dean Examiner. Published in the town of Blakeney, the Forest of Dean Examiner appeared every Friday, consisting of eight pages and costing one and a half pence. Established in 1872, it dubbed itself ‘The official organ of the miners, ironworkers, etc,’ as well as a ‘A journal of local and general intelligence.’
With a distinct focus on the different trades of the district, and the workers involved in them, the Forest of Dean Examiner featured reports on ironworkers’ meetings, for example, as well as ‘Labour News,’ and the latest on the coal and iron trade. It also published news from the district, scientific and technical news, poetry, correspondence, and a column entitled ‘Art Gossip.’
Moving now to Warwickshire for our next new title, which is the Nuneaton Times. Published in the historic market town of Nuneaton, the Nuneaton Times first appeared on 16 January 1875 at the cost of one halfpenny. Published every Saturday, and consisting of four pages, the newspaper aimed to ‘supply a weekly digest of general news, paying special attention to local events.’
Fuelled by ‘Progressive Liberalism,’ the Nuneaton Times hoped that due to its small cost, that it would be ‘put into the hands of the poorest in this locality.’ It was true to its aims, at least in terms of the local news it offered, containing the latest from the town of Nuneaton itself, as well as Foleshill, Atherstone and Tamworth. It also contained such sections as ‘Life Among the Weavers’ and the ‘Epitome of News.’
The county of Staffordshire is home to our next two new titles of the week – the Cannock Chase Examiner and the South Staffordshire Examiner. The Cannock Chase Examiner was published in the town of Cannock, and marketed itself as ‘the only paper for this extensive and growing district.’ First published in 1872 at the cost of one penny, the newspaper claimed to have ‘a greater circulation than any other journal in Hednesford, Cannock, Rugeley, Brownhills, Chasetown, &c.’
Meanwhile, the Cannock Chase Examiner promised to be a journal devoted to the ‘Interests of Labour,’ and indeed it featured all the latest news on the local industries of mining and iron work. It went one further than this too, providing a comprehensive record of industrial action from the area and beyond, such as strikes and lockouts, as well as detailing ‘General Labour News’ and miners’ meetings. The Cannock Chase Examiner also contained the latest from the Cannock Petty Sessions, the Cannock Chase School Board, as well as general news and correspondence.
Run on the same lines as the Cannock Chase Examiner, the South Staffordshire Examiner also promised to be a ‘A Journal of General Intelligence, Devoted to the Interests of Labour.’ First published in 1873 in the large market town of Wednesbury, which historically belonged to Staffordshire, but now forms part of the West Midlands, the South Staffordshire Examiner consisted of eight pages and cost one penny.
It contained the same news of lockouts, strikes, and workers’ meetings, as well as the latest from the coal and iron trades. These updates came from across Britain. It also featured news from parliament, fiction, and notices of wills and requests.
We are delighted to welcome our final new title of the week, the British Miner and General Newsman. A ‘publication devoted to the interests of the working miners of the United Kingdom,’ the British Miner was first published in London on 13 September 1862, costing two pence and consisting of sixteen pages. It was published every Friday afternoon, ‘In time for the Evening Post.’
The first edition lays out the new newspaper’s reasons for its publication, as well as its aims, highlighting its devotion to the cause of miners across Britain:
It would seem that whilst every other class has been more or less provided with its journal, the 300,000 British miners, to whom this country is so deeply indebted for its prosperity, have been forgotten. For their use – to protect their interests – the British Miner newspaper is established with no other motive than improving the condition of the most meritorious class of men.
The British Miner also pledged to record every disaster, every loss of life, that took place in the British mining industry, to better illustrate the ‘Perils of the Life of the Miner.’ Therefore, the British Miner is full of reports of mining accidents and deaths, as well as featuring discourses on ‘Labour and Wages’ and news of strikes and industrial unrest, all taken from across the country.
Meanwhile, the newspaper did contain more general news, featuring poetry, political news, the latest from ‘plays and the playhouses,’ as well as news from abroad and ‘law intelligence.’ In 1863 the publication became simply known as The Miner, before becoming in 1865 The Workman’s Advocate, and in 1866 finally changing its name to The Commonwealth.
Bullets for Stones – the Lune Street Riot of August 1842
In the summer of August 1842, industrial unrest spread across the North West of England, spurred by the depression that had lasted for over a year and had seen a cut of wages by 25%, and the government’s rejection of the ‘People’s Charter of 1838,’ which had demanded a fairer political system.
On 12 August 1842, such unrest came to Preston, and a strike was held on that day. But on the following day, the strike turned into a riot, which resulted in some of the rioters being killed. Using pages from our new title the Preston Pilot, we discover the blow by blow accounts of what was dubbed the Lune Street Riot, via what was the Victorian equivalent of breaking news.
Indeed, we are lucky enough to have on The Archive the 13 August 1842 edition of the Preston Pilot, which gives an immediate reaction to the events of that day, relaying how they unfolded. It is important to remember, however, given that the Preston Pilot was a Conservative publication, it displayed very little sympathy towards the protestors, and the conditions they were protesting against.
Following the strike on 12 August, where large groups gathered at Chadwick’s Orchard (now Preston Covered Market), ‘the town seemed perfectly quiet.’ The Preston Pilot relates that although ‘the numbers in attendance were considerable, the crowd was not anything like what might have been anticipated.’
But all that was to change, however, early the next morning, when reports reached the ears of those gathered at Chadwick’s Orchard that some workers had broken the strike, and returned to work. And so ‘a little before six, the mob, which had assembled a short time previous in Chadwick’s Orchard, marched towards the North-road.’ There they came to a factory belonging to Messrs Catterall and Co., ‘whose hands they turned out,’ and then the crowd ‘proceeded to that of Mr. F. Sleddon, where preparations had been made for resisting the mob.’
The Preston Pilot then relates how:
A stout resistance was made, Mr. Sleddon himself being on the spot; but they were overpowered by the immense numbers, after some hard blows had been dealt out, Mr. Sleddon was slightly hurt in the affray; and a large number of squares in the factory windows were smashed.
The protestors then continued ‘to the factories to the west of the town.’ Mr. Dawson’s factory had a ‘few squares of glass broken’ by the crowds, which were boosted by more factory workers joining them. The Preston Pilot reports how:
By this time the mob had increased most wonderfully, and included a very large proportion of women and children; but its general appearance had a more threatening aspect than at any time during yesterday.
Meanwhile, what steps were the authorities taking? The Preston Pilot details that:
While those proceedings were going on, the Mayor and the magistrates assembled at the Bull Inn, where the town clerk joined them, and it was determined to proceed to meet the rioters. This was about eight o’clock, and the public functionaries, accompanied by the detachment of the 72nd, went down Fishergate, and met the mob near Lune-street. The rioters opened into two divisions for the purpose of the military passing through – but the orders were to let no one pass.
A detachment of the 72nd Highlanders were billeted at Preston at the time, staying at the Assembly Room at the Bull Inn. And now, with the military following the mob down Lune Street, the Riot Act was then read. This 1714 act allowed authorities to break up groups of more than twelve people, crowds having an hour to disperse or else risk being found guilty of a felony, which carried a possible death sentence.
But it was after the Riot Act was read that the Lune Street incident became deadly. The Preston Pilot gives this account of how the gathering became fatal:
Chief Constable Woodford, and Mr. Banister the superintendent of police, endeavoured to persuade the mob to retire for fear of the consequences, and while so engaged one of the rioters aimed a stone so surely at Captain Woodford that it felled him to the ground, and while there they had the brutality to kick him.
Immense bodies of stones were now thrown at the police and soldiers, many of the former being much hurt, and a party of the mob having gone up Fox-Street, they then had the advantage of stoning the military from both sides.
‘Under the circumstances,’ the Preston Pilot then states, ‘orders were given to fire, and immediately obeyed, and several of the mob fell.’ The authorities had answered the protestors’ stones with bullets.
One William Lancaster, a protestor, then came to the fore. ‘In the act of lifting his hand to throw a stone, [he] was singled out by one of the 72nd who fired, and he fell,’ this curtailed act of resistance seeming to ‘put a damper on the proceedings of the mob, and they began to separate.’
What is remarkable about this article, apart from the lack of sympathy displayed towards the protestors, especially towards the fatally wounded ones, is how it is very much being reported as it happened – a bit like the live news of today. The Preston Pilot reports how:
As may be expected, very considerable excitement prevails. Large posting bills have been stuck up to announce that the riot act has been read, the populace are forbidden to assemble in groups. A proclamation has also been issued, and, indeed, the authorities are using every exertion to prevent any more assembling, and consequently a recurrence of what took place this morning.
You can imagine the unsettled aftermath of such a scene in the town, the rumours, the anger, the sorrow.
The newspaper then turned its attention to the names of the wounded, which it actually lists in full. Here is this list, as printed on 13 August 1842:
The following are the names of the individuals in the House of Recovery:
William Pilling, aged 21, steam-loom weaver, and worker at Dawson’s. Has lived 12 months in Preston. Shot through the knee; leg amputated.
Wm. Lancaster, aged 23, a ringleader; came from Blackburn ‘last week.’ Shot through the body, and will probably die. This is the man that was shot when in the act of throwing a stone.
James Roberts, 20, steam-loom weaver at Gardner’s. In Preston 12 months. Shot through the wrist.
John Mercer, 27, hand-loom weaver, Ribbleton-lane, shot through the body; not likely to live.
Adam Hodgen, shoemaker, St. Peter’s Square; shot through the back, and likely to live.
M’Namara, in Birk-street, about 21, Preston; shot through the bowels; likely to die.
Moor, in Heatley-stret, worked at Paley’s; shot in the chest – result uncertain.
Indeed, four men later passed away as a result of their wounds: John Mercer, George Sowerbutts (not listed here), Bernard McNamara, who was only 17, and supposed ‘ringleader’ William Lancaster.
By 5 o’clock that day, the Preston Pilot contained another fresh update:
The streets continue in the same state of excitement, but there has not been the least appearance of a renewal of this morning’s rioting. There was an assemblage in Chadwick’s-orchard this afternoon, and in the groupes that were here and there collected, threatenings of revenge for the proceedings of this morning were signified.
The protestors, no doubt subdued by the violence inflicted upon them, were probably aware of a further company of the 72nd Highlanders having arrived at Preston that ‘afternoon about two o’clock.’ And then, at four o’clock 150 men from the 60th Rifle Brigade arrived in the town from Manchester. Furthermore, a ‘reinforcement of cavalry’ was expected before night fall.
The protest, the so-called riot, had been quashed. But it had left four men dead, and others wounded. We are immensely lucky that we are able to tell their stories through the pages of the British Newspaper Archive, especially with the range of new pages we have added this week.
|British Miner and General Newsman||1862-1867|
|Cannock Chase Examiner||1874-1877|
|Forest of Dean Examiner||1874-1877|
|Glasgow Chronicle||1844-1848, 1850-1857|
|Lancaster Herald and Town and County Advertiser||1831-1832|
|Liverpool Journal of Commerce||1872, 1874-1877, 1879-1881, 1884-1885, 1910-1915, 1918-1920, 1922-1924, 1926, 1928-1929, 1931, 1935, 1939-1940|
|Preston Pilot||1842, 1877, 1879|
|South Staffordshire Examiner||1874|
|Stockton Examiner and South Durham and North Yorkshire Herald||1878-1879|
|Stretford and Urmston Examiner||1879-1880|
This week we have updated 26 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.
|Atherstone, Nuneaton, and Warwickshire Times||1879|
|Barrow Herald and Furness Advertiser||1863-1873, 1876-1879|
|Blackpool Gazette & Herald||1874-1879|
|Blandford and Wimborne Telegram||1874-1879|
|Bridport, Beaminster, and Lyme Regis Telegram||1865, 1877-1878|
|Central Glamorgan Gazette||1866-1879|
|Cradley Heath & Stourbridge Observer||1864-1880|
|Darlington & Richmond Herald||1867-1879|
|Denton and Haughton Examiner||1874-1879|
|Dewsbury Chronicle and West Riding Advertiser||1869-1879|
|Dorset County Express and Agricultural Gazette||1858-1879|
|Glasgow Courier||1844-1848, 1850, 1853-1855, 1857-1864, 1866|
|Kenilworth Advertiser||1869-1873, 1877-1879|
|Midland Examiner and Wolverhampton Times||1874-1878|
|Northern Weekly Gazette||1860-1862, 1865, 1868-1879, 1911, 1917|
|Pontypridd District Herald||1878-1879|
|Potteries Examiner||1871-1874, 1876-1879|
|Runcorn Examiner||1870, 1874-1877, 1879, 1892|
|Shropshire Examiner||1874, 1876-1877|
|Stockton Herald, South Durham and Cleveland Advertiser||1858-1866, 1868-1876, 1879|
|Swansea and Glamorgan Herald||1847-1867, 1870-1872, 1874-1879, 1886-1888, 1890|
|Tamworth Miners’ Examiner and Working Men’s Journal||1873, 1875-1876|
|Warrington Examiner||1869, 1876-1879|
|Weymouth Telegram||1860-1871, 1873, 1875, 1877-1878|