This week at The Archive we have been busy adding another 174,440 brand new pages for you to explore, with the addition of eleven historic new titles to our collection. Meanwhile, we have updated 30 of our existing titles, adding thousands of pages from Liverpool to Lincolnshire, as well as updating pages to some of our sporting and industrial titles.
So read on to discover more about all of our new and updated titles of the week, and also to find out more about the beerhouse, a type of public house which was established in 1830 to popularise and cheapen beer, to wean the population off hard spirits, like gin.
All of our eleven new titles of the week have been digitised as part of the British Library’s Heritage Made Digital programme, which you can read about here. And to kick us off is the seasonally appropriate East Wind, ‘A Weekly Newspaper for the District of East London,’ which was first published on 3 April 1875 at the cost of one penny.
Consisting of eight pages and appearing every Saturday, the East Wind newspaper circulated in ‘Leyton, Leytonstone, Snaresbrook, Woodford, Buckhurst Hill, Loughton and [the] Surrounding Neighbourhoods.’ The first edition of this East End publication wryly observed how ‘Scarcely any one has a good word for the east wind, especially after such a long spell of it,’ but it would not prevent the publishers from dealing with ‘local subjects upon East Wind principles.’
But what were ‘East Wind principles?’ They were principles of independence, for the ‘East Wind is no partisan,’ and so subjects like religion and politics were ‘banished’ from the newspaper. Indeed, the East Wind stayed true to its local roots, featuring local news from south Essex, Leyton, Walthamstow and Woodford, with articles on the Wanstead Floricultural Society, the roads in Leytonstone, and the Leyton General Meeting of Ratepayers.
Our next newspaper of the week is the curious and quirky London Life, which faced censure during its publication. First published on 24 May 1879 at the cost of one penny, its first front page depicted ‘Barmen Returning from a Calico Ball,’ the time being 1.30 in the morning. Featuring a rambunctious array of short stories (including one entitled ‘The Fascinating Foreigner of St. John’s Wood), gossip (presented in a column called ‘Whispers on the Wind), a look on the day’s doings by ‘Squib,’ as well as thoughts by ‘Jester,’ London Life especially concentrated on London’s entertainment scene, from the music halls to the playhouses.
However, London Life was condemned by contemporaries as being ‘of such an indecent character,’ and indeed, in Manchester the sale of it made vendors ‘liable to conviction under’ the Manchester Police Act. The publishers of London Life were quick to hit back, however, writing how ‘London Life ought to have been tried, purely and simply, upon its own merits. London Life is not to be classed with any other journal.’ The newspaper also addressed criticism that it was ‘most undesirable literature for boys and girls to read’ by simply stating that boys and girls were not its intended audience, a marked departure from the more family-friendly newspapers of the day.
From London life now to Scotland, and our next new publication of the week, which is the London Scotsman, ‘a Weekly Journal of Anglo-Scottish News.’ First published on 13 July 1867 at the cost of four pence, and consisting of 24 pages in a two column format, its first edition stated is unequivocal purpose:
Why We Start – We carry our object in our title! Our name declares our nature. We bear our commission in our frontispiece…We are too proud of our nationality to give it other than the very foremost place; and the waving in our title of the national emblem gives significant warning that no foreign question will be allowed to jostle Scottish subjects out of their place…We avow our purpose to make the LONDON SCOTSMAN a repertory of Scotch news and Scotch interests as they ramify all over the world.
A newspaper dedicated to Scottish news then, albeit published in England, the London Scotsman expressed its ‘ardent desire’ to make the newspaper ‘worthy of the race of whom it aims to be the organ,’ whilst to render ‘it a welcome guest in the homes of Scotsmen of all classes, creeds, and politics, whether at home or abroad.’
So what could you find within the pages of this patriotic publication? The London Scotsman featured a ‘Portrait Gallery of Eminent Scotsmen,’ the first portrait being of Thomas Carlisle, as well as an overview of ‘Current Events,’ a look at ‘Scotch Bankrupts’ and notices of births, marriages and deaths. The newspaper also featured a range of in depth ‘leading articles,’ looking at ‘Independent Radicalism’ and ‘A New Anecdote of Burns,’ whilst also reporting on the doings of parliament and ‘Scientific Notanda.’
From the Scotsman now to the Man About Town, which was a ‘Chronicle and Review of the Doings of the Day, at Home and Abroad.’ First published on 11 September 1869 at the cost of two pence, the Man About Town promised to cover the ‘Lightest, Brightest, Gayest and Freshest Doings of the Day’ across its eight pages. Appearing every Saturday, and published from Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, the first edition of the Man About Town began without any formalities, getting straight to the business of its reporting.
Featuring a range of different articles, addressing the different interests of ‘The Man of the World,’ and ‘The Man Abroad,’ the latter column being written from Paris and addressing international news, the Man About Town is a lively glimpse of masculine mid-Victorian life. With a look at contemporary theatre from ‘The Man in the Stalls,’ and a glimpse at literature from ‘The Man at Mudie’s,’ which was a lending library, the Man About Town had a particular focus on sport from ‘The Sporting Man,’ with reports on the Oxford versus Harvard boat race, and racing. Meanwhile, the Man About Town went slightly rural with its ‘In The Turnips’ column, which covered at the latest agricultural news.
Now for a bit of morning news, with our next new title the Morning Mail (London). First published in 1863, and initially appearing every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, before switching to a weekly publication schedule, the Morning Mail was published every Saturday at the cost of one penny, from 161 Fleet Street.
With a broad focus on both international and national news, featuring the latest from France, Mexico and Australia, for example reporting on an earthquake in Melbourne, as well as tidings of murders across Britain, the Morning Mail also provided its observations on the ‘Political Situation,’ whilst detailing the latest law and police intelligence, and providing notices of wills and bequests. Meanwhile the Morning Mail contained an overview of news in its ‘Epitome of News’ section, whilst also looking at the week’s ‘Literary Selections.’
Our next new title of the week is an illustrated one, titled Passing Events. Claiming to be the ‘Cheapest and Best Illustrated Paper,’ Passing Events was first published on 4 January 1873 from 300 The Strand, costing three pence and consisting of 16 pages of news and illustrations from home and abroad. Indeed, its first edition, somewhat unusually, laid out its aims in a verse format:
We mean to catch the temper of the time
To picture all its strange events and phases
To register, in picture, prose and rhyme…
And its first edition featured a front page of events from all across the world, with eight of sixteen pages given over to engravings, featuring illustrations of everything from the ‘Prevailing Floods’ in Britain to ‘The First Japanese Railway,’ from the ‘Marriage of the Emperor of China’ to the depiction of an accident on board the Royal Adelaide. Passing Events also featured serialized fiction, a look at ‘Dramatic and Musical Gossip,’ as well as the latest news from Court.
Passing on to our next new title of the week, which is the robust and comprehensive weekly London title, the Sunday Gazette. The Sunday Gazette was first published on 7 January 1865 by W.T. Marchant from 16 Wellington Street, the Strand, at the cost of three pence. Its first edition expressed the desire that the Sunday Gazette would be ‘found to possess all the recommendations of a first-class journal,’ containing:
…authentic Political information; all News by Special Reports and Telegrams, up to the time of publication; Original Articles upon topics of the day, contemporary Monitory and Commercial News; discriminating Criticisms upon Books, Theatres, and the Arts; together with features of social and political kind, which, it is believed, will render it acceptable to the educated classes.
And so the Sunday Gazette was nothing if not thorough, featuring ‘Foreign Intelligence’ from Spain, Mexico and India, national news covering railway accidents and the Liverpool cotton market, a ‘Monetary and Commercial Review,’ and the latest Reuter’s telegrams from the likes of the United States, Hungary and Russia. The Sunday Gazette also covered the weather, ‘events of the week,’ news from the army and navy, a law report, ‘Ship Intelligence,’ medical news, ‘Sporting Intelligence,’ the latest from the theatres and the police courts, as well as notices of births, marriages and deaths.
We move now to the counties of Sussex and Surrey for our next new title, which is the Sussex & Surrey Chronicle. This radical and historic title was first published on 20 August 1823, styling itself also as the Brighton, Lewes, Chichester and Guildford Express. Costing seven pence, and appearing every Wednesday, the Sussex & Surrey Chronicle declared itself ‘Neither for the King, nor the People, but Both.’
Despite being published by John Chapman, from 135 Fleet Street, the Chronicle was devoted to the affairs of Surrey and Sussex, stating in its first edition how an independent journal ‘has long been desired in the counties of Sussex and Surrey.’ Moreover, the newspaper promised that it should ‘studiously keep the solid interests of the county in sight,’ appealing to the ‘candid, open-hearted, and well cultivated portion of the community.’
Meanwhile, the radical newspaper in its first edition printed its three ‘fundamental articles:’
1. That in every country the people are the primary source of power
2. We are decided advocates of…reform in Parliament
3. We are uncompromising enemies of all personal restraints upon the mere account of Religious Opinions
But what sort of articles did the Sussex & Surrey Chronicle feature? As well as containing ‘Essays on Agriculture, Manufactures, Commerce and the useful Arts,’ the newspaper looked at sporting news from the worlds of pugilism and pedestrianism, crime news, international news, market news (covering the Sussex hop markets), as well as featuring literary notices and a police report. The Sussex & Surrey Chronicle meanwhile featured local news, looking at the state of the two counties’ roads, as well as notices of births, marriages and deaths.
To finish our new titles off this week we have a trio of ‘weekly’ titles, and we begin with the Weekly Advertiser, which was first published on 15 April 1865 at the price of two pence. Its first edition announced where its loyalties lay, and how it would be tied to London’s beer and wine trade:
The Licensed Victuallers of this metropolis have their established daily organ in the press of this country in the Morning Advertiser, but they are not represented by any weekly journal. The Beer and Wine Trade is not so well off in the press as the Licensed Victuallers, for they have no recognised channel in dealing with the public, or in making known, among themselves, the trade and other matters of importance affecting their own interests. This Journal is therefore intended to supply that void. It is confessedly launched into existence under the patronage of, and in alliance with ‘THE METROPOLITAN BEER AND WINE TRADE SOCIETY.’
The difference between the licensed victuallers and those involved in the beer and wine trade centred around the beer house, which was a public house that was licensed only to sell beer. The licensed victuallers, meanwhile, had licences to sell spirits. The Weekly Advertiser went on to extoll the virtues of the beer trade, which was:
…one of the largest trades in the country, and it contributes more revenue to the Imperial Treasury than any other trade. There is no drink so popular in the world as a glass of good beer. The British brewers as the best brewers of beer in the world, and they export it to all parts of the habitable globe. It is at once the most wholesome and the most popular drink. Of beer and bread the palate never tires.
And meanwhile, the editor of the Weekly Advertiser invited:
…the correspondence of the Trade on any question on which they may desire information, whether of a general, trade, or legal character, as it is hoped the column devoted to Correspondents will assume a feature of interest to its readers in all parts of the country.
So what did the eight pages of the Weekly Advertiser include? Initially published on a Saturday, before moving to a Sunday, the newspaper featured news from parliament, police intelligence, literary selections, as well as news from abroad, addressing the ‘Epidemic in Russia’ and a ‘Duel in Belgium.’ It also featured industry specific items, such as articles on the ‘Transfer of Licences’ and ‘Frauds in the Hop Trade,’ as well as a look at ‘Public Amusements’ and ‘Easter and Its Sports.’ Indeed, the Weekly Advertiser devoted some column space to sporting news, looking at ‘Inter-University Racquet Matches,’ ‘Oxford and Cambridge Billiard Matches,’ and aquatics news.
Our penultimate new title of the week is the Weekly Echo, ‘An Epitome of All The News of the Week.’ First published on 4 October 1873, its unique selling point was set to be its price, the first edition declaring how the newspaper would not be a ‘better paper than any other,’ only that it would be ‘in a new form, one hitherto untouched,’ costing just one halfpenny. And for just one halfpenny, readers could expect a robust programme of news, which would:
…embrace a complete summary of all Parliamentary, Political, Legal and Literary News; all Shipping, Sporting and Conventual Intelligence: Police and Criminal Court Proceedings: Bankruptcies, Sequestrations, and what so other London Paper contains, a List of all Estates in Liquidation, those very convenient compositions which do not see the light of day. It will also contain a summary of Provincial and Foreign news.
This Saturday newspaper, therefore, hoped to ’embody all the news from all quarters,’ being ‘a truthful Echo of the aspirations, earnest convictions, and general good sense of the people of this great country.’ To this end, the eight page Weekly Echo contained brief summaries of news from across the globe, from Germany, America, Russia, La Palma, as well as ‘Provincial News’ from Atherstone, Ramsgate, Windsor and Bristol. The newspaper also featured theatrical and police intelligence, and reports on the latest ‘gatherings.’
Our final new newspaper of the week is the Weekly Independent (London), a Sunday newspaper ‘For All the World and Every Class.’ First published on 1 August 1875 at the cost of one penny, the Weekly Independent (London) also dubbed itself as a ‘London and Provincial Newspaper.’ Its first edition, meanwhile, laid out its aims, and what it intended to cover:
The Weekly Independent will not identify itself with any party, either in politics or religion; at the same time, it will never hesitate to pronounce its opinions fearlessly and impartially. ‘Measures, not men,’ will be our guiding maxim. Whatever may be proposed for the benefit of the people, whether by Liberals, Whigs, Conservatives, or Radicals, will have our earnest and strenuous advocacy…The WEEKLY INDEPENDENT, in short, will be a newspaper for ‘all the world and every class.’ In its columns will be found a carefully compiled selection of all the news of the week – home, foreign, domestic, sporting, and theatrical, with interesting sketches, tales, and articles, by writers of proved ability and high reputation in the literary world. To Colonial questions we proposed to devote considerable attention.
Unlike our earlier scandalous title London Life, the Weekly Independent (London) intended to be:
…a thorough family paper – a paper that may be read by young and old, by ladies as well as gentleman; and therefore we shall take care that nothing of a questionable or suggestive character is ever admitted either to its news or advertising columns.
And so across the eight pages of the Weekly Independent you can find an eclectic array of articles, from the ‘Curative Effects of Sea-Weed’ to ‘A Reckless Pedestrian,’ a look at the ‘Popular Preachers’ of the day, as well as ‘Notes on Sports and Pastimes,’ ‘Provincial News,’ and ‘Railway Intelligence.’
With 30 of our existing titles updated this week we have pulled out a few highlights for you – from the nearly 40,000 pages we have added to Lincolnshire’s Spalding Guardian, which cover the years 1895 to 1995, to the 35,000 pages added to Cambridgeshire title the Fenland Citizen. Meanwhile, we have added over 11,000 pages to the Liverpool Daily Post, and nearly 10,000 pages to the East Kent Times and Mail.
The Beerhouse – For ‘Great Public Good’
When the beerhouse was established by the 1830 Beerhouse Act, it created a type of public house which was entitled to brew and sell beer, with the overall aim of popularising and cheapening beer so that the public would be weaned off the evils of strong spirits, like gin, or ‘Mother’s Ruin,’ as it was known.
But by the 1860s inequalities existed between the licensed victuallers, who were licenced to sell such spirits, and the keepers of the beerhouses, as our new title the Weekly Advertiser outlines. The chief of these complaints were levied ‘at the early hour at which’ beerhouse keepers were ‘compelled to close their houses.’ At the meeting of the Beer and Wine trade held at Chelsea in 1865, the chairman Mr. Gurney complained:
They were obliged to shut at eleven o’clock, the injustice of which was apparent. He found that drunkenness was caused by the frequenters of public houses rather than by those of the beer-shops.
Meanwhile, at a meeting of the Stratford and West Ham Beer and Wine Trade Association in March 1866, attendee Mr. Thipthorp said that:
He felt that the early closing of Beer-houses was a great grievance – he had occasion nightly to turn out customers, when they ‘turned in’ to the licensed victuallers’; therefore, such a system was contrary to all notions of justice. He thought the extra hour would be an immense boon; at all events they had a right to be placed on an equal footing with the licensed victualler.
And one Mr. Ovenden, at the same meeting, concurred:
Many persons intending to have a glass of beer about the hour of eleven refused to patronise him because they knew that they must be shortly turned out.
Something had to be done, and something indeed was done, taking the form of a petition to parliament from the ‘Licensed Beer and Wine Retailers,’ which was read aloud at the meeting of the Borough of Greenwich Beer and Wine Trade Association in March 1866, as details the Weekly Advertiser. The petition began by addressing the good enacted by the beerhouse:
That the opening of the Trade in Beer and Wine, and subjecting the sale thereof to competition, has been productive of a great public good by furnishing a better article at a cheaper price. That the accommodation afforded by Beer House Keepers to the industrial classes, when from home and engaged in their respective pursuits, is of a better kind than that supplied by the Licensed Victuallers, who, having obtained spirit licences, destroy that accommodation to the inconvenience of the public.
It then moved on to address the beerhouse keeper’s most especial complaint:
…your petitioners are more especially aggrieved in being compelled to close their houses at the hour of eleven o’clock at night, they at the same time being within the Metropolitan district.
The petitioners ended by ‘humbly praying…to keep open our houses until 12 o’clock at night, the same allowed in other houses in the district.’ Whilst the Beerhouse Act was amended in 1869, we could not find evidence that the opening hours of the beerhouse were extended, but this rivalry in the heart of London’s capital for punters is immensely fascinating, and does much to illuminate the social fabric of the day.
|Man about Town||1869-1870|
|Morning Mail (London)||1864-1866|
|Sussex & Surrey Chronicle||1823-1824|
|Weekly Independent (London)||1875-1876|
This week we have updated thirty 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.