Leading Scottish Titles | The British Newspaper Archive Blog


Hot off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week at The Archive we have been busy adding an incredible 167,444 brand new pages to our collection, with nineteen new titles added in all. And this week’s new titles have an especially Scottish theme, with a lucky thirteen new titles added from Scotland alone over the past seven days.

Meanwhile, we have added six historic London titlesdigitised as part of the British Library’s Heritage Made Digital programme, and updated fifteen of our existing newspaper titles, including pages from Wales and the 1700s.

So read on to discover about our new and updated titles of the week, and in keeping with our Scottish theme, as well as spooky season, to find out how Scottish emigrants to the United States and Canada popularised the ancient festival of Halloween across the pond.

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So without any further ado, let’s begin by exploring our new Scottish titles of the week. And we begin with the Annandale Herald and Moffat News, which was published in the small town of Lockerbie. Established in 1862 as the Annandale Herald and Southern Advertiser, in 1874 the newspaper became known as the Annandale Herald and Moffat News.

Annandale Herald and Moffat News | 17 January 1889

Circulating in ‘Lockerbie and the South of Scotland,’ the newspaper cost one penny and featured a range of ‘local and district news,’ for example the latest from the Lockerbie Savings Bank and the Applegarth and Sibbaldbie Curling Club. The Annandale Herald and Moffat News also published poetry, serialized fiction, such as a story entitled ‘Who Killed John Cameron?,’ agricultural news, reports on local football matches and notices of births, marriages and deaths.

In 1920 the newspaper absorbed the Annandale Record, becoming the Annandale Herald and Record, whilst from 1971 the publication became known as simply the Annandale Herald and is still published to this day.

From Annandale now to Ayr, and the Ayr Observer.  First published in the historic country town of Ayrshire in 1832, and a former Royal Burgh, the Ayr Observer initially cost four pence and appeared every Tuesday. A Conservative publication, it circulated ‘through Ayrshire and Galloway, and over the Western counties of Scotland.’

Ayr Observer | 17 December 1844

Featuring a range of local, national and international news, the Ayr Observer delivered the latest from Scotland, England and further afield, such as from the United States, Canada and India. Ever the thorough publication, the newspaper also had an emphasis on shipping and agricultural news, as well as featuring poetry and notices of births, marriages and deaths. Consisting of four pages, the Ayr Observer later reduced its price to just one penny.

Our next new Scottish title of the week is the Bridge of Allan Reporteror to give it its full name, the Bridge of Allan Report with List of Visitors. Situated just north of Stirling, in the 1850s the Bridge of Allan became a renowned spa town, with a young Robert Louis Stevenson amongst its many visitors. The Bridge of Allan Reporter, first published at the cost of one penny, was established in 1859 to capitalise upon the town’s new found fame.

Circulating in the Bridge of Allan, Stirling, and Callander, the newspaper was sent ‘by the visitors to all parts of the kingdom.’ Meanwhile, the Bridge of Allan Reporter gave ‘the news of the fashionable resort…at great length, with a full list of visitors [and] programmes of amusements,’ and was published by one Mrs Hogg.

Bridge of Allan Reporter | 11 January 1890

As well as featuring a list of visitors, the Bridge of Allan Reporter also contained a ‘District Directory,’ which listed, for example, medical practitioners in the area and places of worship. The newspaper also contained local news, from such places as Bannockburn, Milngavie, Bearsden and St Ninians, as well as sporting news from the football and athletics world. Featured in its eight pages too was a ‘Ladies’ Column,’ serialized fiction, obituaries and notices of births, marriages and deaths.

We move now to Crieff in Perthshire for our next new title, a market town which is famous for both its whisky and its cattle droving, and is also home to Scotland’s oldest lending library. Founded in 1857 at the cost of one penny, Conservative publication the Crieff Journal was published ‘for the Central District of Perthshire.’ Indeed, it circulated in ‘all towns and villages in Upper and Lower Strathearn, and the Highlands of Scotland generally.’

Crieff Journal | 16 January 1891

Appearing every Friday, the Crieff Journal’s four pages were filled with local and district news, from Aberfeldy to Scone, from Balbeggie to Kirkmichael, from Cargill to Fortingall, with the latest from the Presbytery of Perth. The Crieff Journal also had a focus on ‘Sport and Recreation,’ containing reports on curling, football and athletics. Meanwhile, the newspaper featured obituaries, a ‘London Letter’ and notices of births, marriages and deaths.

A true local newspaper, the Dufftown News and Speyside Advertiser was established at the cost of one halfpenny in Dufftown, Moray in 1894. Appearing every Saturday, it contained local news, featuring reports for example on the Dufftown Bachelor’s Ball and the Dufftown Glass-Ball Shooting Match. The Dufftown News also featured reports on ‘local marriages of note,’ listing, for example, the wedding presents received by the happy couple.

We move now to Edinburgh for our next new title, the Edinburgh Evening DispatchThis Liberal daily newspaper was first published in 1886 also at the cost of one halfpenny, and featured an eclectic selection of news, with articles on ‘Snake Shooting’ and ‘Ancestor Worship in China.’

Edinburgh Evening Dispatch | 13 January 1894

The Edinburgh Evening Dispatch also had a focus on providing for its readers the most up-to-date news, featuring sections such as ‘To-Day’s Weather,’ a ‘Summary of To-Day’s News,’ ‘Morning Telegrams’ and ‘Evening Telegrams.’ It also featured columns dedicated to sporting, commercial and police news, alongside news from Edinburgh city itself.

Another of our new titles this week also hails from Edinburgh and is the Edinburgh News and Literary Chronicle. Appearing every Saturday and costing four pence halfpenny, this publication was established in the 1840s and aimed to contain the ‘earliest and most correct information on all subjects connected with Politics, Literature, and the Fine Arts, and to introduce to the breakfast-table and the fire-side such an amount of general information, as will prove beneficial to those desirous of improving their domestic hours.’

Edinburgh News and Literary Chronicle | 2 December 1848

Politically independent, the Edinburgh News and Literary Chronicle featured a range of international and national news, from Prussia, Egypt, India, the West Indies, England, Ireland and Scotland, as well as detailing the latest commercial information. The final of its eight pages were dedicated to all things literary, featuring serialized fiction, literary notes, reviews of the latest books and literary news.

We move to another Scottish city for our next new title, which is the Evening Gazette (Aberdeen). A daily newspaper, the Evening Gazette was first published on 23 January 1882 at the cost of just one penny. Its first edition laid out its opinions and aims:

The political principles and opinions…[will be] the principles and opinions of a sound and distinct Liberalism. But out purpose is not exclusively, nor even mainly, that of a purely political organ…In the matter of news [the Gazette aims at] putting promptly before its constituency in a brief form what is really important in the events that fall out, and the business that is done, in the hours ‘twixt early morning and late afternoon. Its true news function, then, is to supplement the morning newspaper; not to supersede or to compete with it.

Evening Gazette (Aberdeen) | 3 February 1882

A true evening paper, therefore, the Evening Gazette promised to provide ‘careful digests of general news, concise reports of local meetings, and notices of occurrences of interest, late telegrams and market reports, [and] an epitome of leading opinion on important topics,’ all the while being ‘pre-eminently a family paper.’

And now to Glasgow, and we are delighted to introduce the Glasgow Property Circular and West of Scotland Weekly Advertiser to our collection, a real gem for those with an interest in house history. Costing one penny, and established in 1856, the Glasgow Property Circular aimed to show ‘the present value of lands, houses, lives, money’ in Scotland. For example, it gave information of ‘Heritable Properties, &c. For Sale by Auction,’ detailing the properties that would be coming up for auction, giving information about the property, the auction date and time, projected rental prices, and the details of the agents handling the sale.

Glasgow Property Circular and West of Scotland Weekly Advertiser | 18 February 1879

The ‘Only property and investment newspaper in Scotland,’ you could also find within the pages of the Glasgow Property Circular properties that could be had ‘by Private Bargain,’ or those that were available to let. The newspaper also provided detailed commentary on the ‘Money Market,’ discussing for example American railroads and tramway shares.

Meanwhile Aberdeen was home to the Northern Advertiser (Aberdeen), which was a completely free publication. Appearing every Friday and consisting of four pages, the Northern Advertiser was founded in 1856. Unusually for a newspaper, it contained ‘no news,’ featuring advertisements only. With a circulation of 19,000, the Northern Advertiser was said to reach ‘every house in Aberdeen,’ as well as circulating ‘all over Aberdeenshire, [the] adjoining counties, and the whole of the north of Scotland.’

Northern Advertiser | 9 June 1891

Published by John Avery & Co. from 20 Netherkirkgate, Aberdeen, what kind of adverts did the Northern Advertiser feature? Well, the newspaper contained advertisements from everything to medicines to boots and shoes, from spectacles to houses and shops, from coal to stationary, from hosiery to gymnastic apparatus. Sitting alongside such advertisements were notices of meetings, as well as of births, marriages and deaths.

From the Northern Advertiser to the North British Advertiser & Ladies’ Journal now, which was published in Edinburgh and established in 1826. Priced at just one penny, and politically neutral, the North British Advertiser & Ladies’ Journal aimed at:

…being an instructive and amusing epitome of historic and current events, anecdotes, inventions, scientific discoveries, and literary selections; also a Miscellany for the drawing-room and parlour. It is non-political in matters of Church and State, and the moral tone which pervades its columns is calculated to uphold and represent the domestic virtues of the country.

North British Advertiser & Ladies’ Journal | 15 February 1879

Another eclectic publication, it featured articles as diverse as ‘Gossip on Rubies,’ ‘Electric Light in Birmingham,’ and ‘Cheap Food in London.’ With its appeal to a female audience in particular, and the ‘domestic virtues of the country,’ the North British Advertiser featured a dedicated fashion column, as well as containing news from across the world and serialized fiction.

We come now to our penultimate new Scottish title of the week, the Scottish Leader. Established in 1886 to compete with The Scotsman, the Scottish Leader was published in Edinburgh and was a daily Liberal newspaper which cost just one penny. Indeed, the Scottish Leader was vocal in its support of the Gladstone government, and circulated ‘extensively in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and throughout Scotland.’

Scottish Leader | 3 May 1888

Filling its eight pages were columns devoted to ‘Commercial Notes and Trade Reports,’ shipping news, national and international news, as well as the latest telegrams. The Scottish Leader also had a focus on sport, reporting on racing, bowling, athletics, football, swimming and angling. Its success was to be short-lived, however, as it closed in 1894, The Scotsman winning the bitter rivalry in the end.

And now to our final new Scottish newspaper of the week, which is the Scottish Press. Also published in Edinburgh, the Scottish Press was published every Wednesday and Saturday at the cost of four halfpence, and ran between the years 1847 to 1863. With the Miltonian motto of ‘Give Me the Liberty to Know, to Utter, and to Argue Freely, According to Conscience,’ the Scottish Press consisted of four pages of ‘foreign and colonial’ news from France, Switzerland, Prussia and Italy, as well as commercial news, the latest from the army and the navy, ‘provincial news’ from Scotland, as well as notices of births, marriages and deaths.

Scottish Press | 26 May 1849

We now turn to our new newspapers of the week which have been digitised as part of the British Library’s Heritage Made Digital project, which you can read about here. And we kick off with robust local newspaper the Courier and West-End Advertiser, which covered local, national and international affairs. Published every Saturday, the Courier was a ‘Weekly London Newspaper’ which consisted of eight pages and cost just one penny.

Within the pages of the Courier you could find a range of different articles covering an array of topics, from ‘Safety in Railway Travelling,’ to a ‘Social and Political Review.’ It also featured local news from the West London area, with a look at ‘Chelsea Election Expenses,’ the ‘Hammersmith Baths and Washhouses Company,’ and assorted ‘Parochial Intelligence.’ The Courier also contained ‘Hints Upon Gardening,’ a look at the different ‘Types of Tourists’ attracted to the capital, whilst also revealing the ‘Secrets of Sausage Making.’

Our next new title of the week is the London and Liverpool Advertiser, which started life on 26 May 1847 as the Daily Advertiser. Another free publication, the Daily Advertiser dubbed itself as a ‘gratuitous morning paper,’ dedicated solely to advertising purposes, as ‘contemporary journals completely fail…in the dissemination of Advertisements.’ Indeed, it aimed at completing a ‘gigantic gratuitous distribution,’ being delivered for free ‘at most of the houses in the Metropolis and suburbs every morning,’ as well as to 6,900 hotels and commercial inns, 385 provincial newspapers, as well as 6,450 public and private schools.

London and Liverpool Advertiser | 11 August 1847

Featuring a range of advertisements, from ‘Ventilating Velvet Hats’ to parasols, the publication changed its name to the London and Liverpool Advertiser on 3 July 1847, having at that time a circulation of 21,000 across London, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dublin. The newspaper then expanded its remit to feature news from abroad, a court circular, the latest on music and drama, as well as police, sporting and university intelligence. It still, however, was free.

Next up is another London title, namely the London News Letter and Price Current. First published in 1858 and costing six pence, the London News Letter consisted of four pages and appeared every Saturday. It featured national as well as international news, for example reporting on a ‘Frightful Railway Accident at Middlesbrough,’ as well as an ‘Indian Revolt.’ Its main focus, however, was on financial news, furnishing the latest on stocks, banking and commercial matters, looking at railway shares and the London markets, as well as news from the Bank of England. Its final page was devoted to featuring export prices for a range of different products, such as jam, ham and cocoa, from J.T. Morton.

London News Letter and Price Current | 19 March 1859

Another specialist London title joining us this week is the London Weekly InvestigatorThis newspaper, published by Thomas Taylor at the price of three halfpence, was first published on 1 December 1855 as the War Investigator, a ‘Record of Current Events.’ This newspaper, was, therefore, devoted to detailing the latest on the Crimean War, which had begun some two years before. However, the motives behind its publication were actually twofold:

We mean to perpetrate a daring breach of etiquette; we mean to say point blank that one of our primary objects in starting the War Investigator is, to make money! – and we hereby announce the fact…We desire to furnish the nation with that which the nation has not – a plain, faithful, complete, intelligent, Current Record of the progress and events of THE WAR.

London Weekly Investigator | 15 December 1855

And to this latter end, the newspaper featured a range of news from the war, with such articles as ‘Our Army in the Crimea’ and ‘Can Odessa Be Destroyed?’ By its second issue, however, the War Investigator had expanded its remit to become the London Weekly Investigator, representing a ‘Record of Current Events, War, Literature and Commerce.’

Our penultimate new title of the week is the Tichborne News and Anti-Oppression Journal. This was published with the same ends as the Tichborne Gazette, which was established with the aim of supporting the claims of a man who purported to Sir Roger Tichborne, the long lost heir to an aristocratic fortune, which you can read more about here. However, the Tichborne News and Anti-Oppression Journal had a slightly broader purpose, established as it was one 15 June 1872 as a ‘Weekly Newspaper Advocating Fair Play for Every Man,’ and not just the claimant, Sir Roger Tichborne.

With the by-line of ‘See not thy brother persecuted,’ the Tichborne News and Anti-Oppression Journal cost one penny and appeared every Saturday, its first edition proclaiming:

We now unfurl our banner; and its motto is – ‘NO OPPRESSION! AND FAIR PLAY FOR EVERY MAN’ – We announce ourselves the determined opponents of Tyranny, in any and every form; and we earnestly protest against such unrighteous abuse of power as the importing of Governmental influence, direct or indirect, into a family dispute.

Tichborne News and Anti-Oppression Journal | 29 June 1872

The publishers of the Tichborne News and Anti-Oppression Journal, however, struggled to keep their intent broad, inevitably meandering back to the cause of the ‘Claimant:’

Believing the present Claimant to be Sir Roger Tichborne, and the rightful heir to the property claimed by him, we will, to the best of our abilities, uphold his cause, till his enemies are defeated, or have incontestably proved that he is not the right man.

So, as well as covering the latest news on Sir Roger Tichborne, and accounts of his attending meetings across the country, the newspaper did report on other injustices, looking at those involved in agricultural strikes, ‘Sunday Labour in the Post Office,’ and the situation of ‘the Jews in Roumania.’

Our final new title of the week is the Town and Country Advertiser. The third of our trio of free newspapers, the Town and Country Advertiser – for ‘Commerce, Literature, the Arts and Science’ – was first published on 29 January 1834. Appearing every Wednesday and consisting of four pages, the Town and Country Advertiser featured a range of advertisements, from shipping to assurance, from new plays, publications and public exhibitions, as well as listing houses and apartments for sale. Like an early nineteenth century Top of the Pops, the newspaper also featured a list of ‘new and popular songs,’ as well as miscellaneous adverts promoting tea, dentists, fruit lozenges, mowing machines, ginger wine, and a ‘mechanical exercising chamber horse.’

Meanwhile, we have been busy updating our existing titles, with over 13,000 pages added to the Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal, which span the 1700s. We have also updated a range of our Welsh titles, including Welsh language newspaper Seren Cymru, as well as the South Wales Argus and the Aberystwyth Observer.

Strange Lands, Old Traditions – Halloween Observances in North America

With it being spooky season, and Halloween just around the corner, we delved into our new newspapers to find mention of the ancient festival (which you can read more about here), and discovered how Scottish emigrants helped to popularise Halloween across the pond.

Indeed, in November 1882 the Evening Gazette (Aberdeen) reports how:

The saying that Scotsman who emigrate to other lands are apt to be more Scottish than Scotsmen who live at home seems to find illustration in the enthusiasm with which Hallowe’en continues to be celebrated in the United States and Canada. 

Evening Gazette (Aberdeen) | 21 November 1882

The newspaper goes on to relate, its information garnered from ‘Scottish weeklies published in New York,’ how Halloween is celebrated by Caledonian societies:

…from Montreal and Toronto, by New York and Jersey City, to Baltimore on the one hand, and on by Taunton, Massachusetts, and various other towns in Ohio, Minnesota, &c., to Winnipeg, in far-off Manitoba, on the other.

Meanwhile, the same newspaper only a year later details how Halloween:

…will be celebrated in many parts of this continent with the accustomed vigour and enthusiasm there can be little doubt. Montreal, Toronto, Boston, and other large cities announce public gatherings. Scottish clubs in many smaller cities will hold meetings, and even smaller cities the evening will not be allowed to pass over without some form of recognition.

Evening Gazette (Aberdeen) | 7 November 1883

But why was Halloween greeted with such enthusiasm in North America, where many Scottish emigrants had travelled to? The Evening Gazette (Aberdeen) had little doubt on the its cause, citing the famous cliché of ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder,’ which had prompted ‘patriotic outbursts among Scotsmen across the Atlantic,’ such patriotism revolving around Halloween.

The celebration of Halloween in North America was about nostalgia for a country and place left behind, a country and place which was greeting the festival with ‘growing indifference.’ And Halloween in North America was different, freed from the superstitions and rites so ‘vividly described’ by Robert Burns. The Evening Gazette (Aberdeen) describes how Halloween was celebrated in the United States and Canada:

The favourite form of celebration seems to be that of a concert of reunion of some sort, at which orations, brimming over with the pervervidum ingenium Scoturum, may be delivered, and at which Burns’s songs may be sung, and Scotch music, generally, indulge in ad libitum.

The Queen | 30 October 1886

So indeed, whilst Halloween celebrations to us in Britain today seem like a hangover from sickly candied Americana, what we see today in North America is in fact a continuation of an ancient Scottish, British tradition, imported by a population who travelled to create new lives so very far from home, and wanted to feel like they still belonged to the traditions and culture they left behind.

New Titles
Years Added
Annandale Herald and Moffat News 1889-1892
Ayr Observer 1844, 1883, 1886-1887, 1889-1890, 1892
Bridge of Allan Reporter 1890-1892
Courier and West-End Advertiser 1869-1880
Crieff Journal 1891-1892
Dufftown News and Speyside Advertiser 1898-1922, 1935-1961
Edinburgh Evening Dispatch 1886-1892, 1894-1895, 1897
Edinburgh News and Literary Chronicle 1848-1863
Evening Gazette (Aberdeen) 1882-1883, 1886-1889, 1891-1892
Glasgow Property Circular and West of Scotland Weekly Advertiser 1879, 1883, 1886-1887, 1890-1891
London and Liverpool Advertiser 1847
London News Letter and Price Current 1859-1865
London Weekly Investigator 1855-1857
North British Advertiser & Ladies’ Journal 1879, 1882-1883, 1885-1886, 1889-1892
Northern Advertiser (Aberdeen) 1891-1892
Scottish Leader 1888, 1890-1893
Scottish Press 1849-1850, 1852-1854, 1856-1857, 1859-1860, 1862
Tichborne News and Anti-Oppression Journal 1872
Town and Country Advertiser 1834-1836
Updated Titles

This week we have updated fifteen 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.

Years Added
Aberystwyth Observer 1898
Greenock Herald 1853, 1858, 1863, 1868, 1878
Harborne Herald 1896
Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal 1726-1733, 1735-1741, 1743-1764, 1767-1768
Kilmarnock Weekly Post and County of Ayr Reporter 1856-1863
Lynn Advertiser 1994
Newark Advertiser 1992
Rhos Herald 1898
Seren Cymru 1895
South Wales Argus 1911
South Wales Weekly Argus and Monmouthshire Advertiser 1898, 1910
St. Austell Star 1897
Stamford Mercury 1916
Suffolk and Essex Free Press 1994
Warminster Herald 1858, 1870-1871, 1875-1876, 1881, 1885-1886

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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