This week at The Archive we have added an amazing 293,242 brand new pages, with 29 brand new titles joining us from Scotland, Wales and eighteen English counties. Meanwhile, we have also been busy attending to our existing titles, with 60 of these updated in all over the past seven days. With all these brand new pages added to The Archive, we now have over 48 million pages available to search, with the milestone of 50 million pages on the horizon.
So read on to discover more about all of the wonderful local and regional titles we have added this week, as well as to find out more about a title which was dedicated to the ‘distilling and brewing industries.’ Also, we use our newspapers to find out more about a shocking incident from February 1894, when French anarchist Martial Bourdin accidentally blew himself up outside of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, London.
We start our whistle-stop tour of all of our new titles this week with special brewing title the Distillers’, Brewers’ and Spirit Merchants’ Magazine, which was first published in Glasgow on 1 April 1897 as the Distillers’ Magazine and Spirit Trade News. ‘A Monthly Journal Devoted to the Distilling and Brewing Industries,’ this title appeared on the first of every month at the cost of six pence, and aimed to represent the interests of distillers, brewers, wholesale spirit merchants, whisky brokers, those associated with the retail trade, hotelkeepers, and restauranteurs.
To this end, the Distillers,’ Brewers’ and Spirit Merchants’ Magazine looked at the manufacturing element of brewing and distilling, with a range of specialist articles, which were often illustrated, and covered such topics as the characteristics of whisky, the manufacturing process and interviews with ‘prominent’ distillers. Meanwhile, the journal looked at the latest inventions and advancements in the industry, whilst incorporating the sales aspect, with market reports, news of distilleries and correspondence filling its pages.
Despite being published in Glasgow, the Distillers,’ Brewers’ and Spirit Merchants’ Magazine had a wide geographical coverage, addressing the distilling and brewing industries across Great Britain and Ireland. Meanwhile, this newspaper is a treasure trove of late nineteenth century and early twentieth century adverts, mainly for whisky, a treat for all whisky lovers out there.
We stay in Scotland for our next new title of the week, which is the Border Advertiser. Published in the Scottish border town of Galashiels, Roxburghshire, the Border Advertiser was established in 1848 and initially appeared every Friday at the cost of three pence. By the 1880s, however, the Liberal newspaper came out every Wednesday at the lower price of just one penny, circulating in Edinburgh, Hawick, Selkirk, Lauder, Earlston, Melrose, Innerleithen, and Peebles.
Containing ‘Local Intelligence’ from Galashiels and nearby border towns, the Border Advertiser featured the latest from the Roxburghshire Sheriff Court, as well as more general news from home and abroad, literary notices, letters to the editor, a railway timetable and notices of births, marriages and deaths.
It’s to Wales we go now for our next two new titles of the week, and we start with the Aberdare Leader. A ‘weekly newspaper circulating in the Aberdare Valley, Mountain Ash, Merthyr Tydfil, Pontypridd and Glyn Neath areas,’ the Aberdare Leader was published in the Glamorgan town of Aberdare, in the Cynon Valley area of Rhondda Cynon Taff, from 1902 and 1991. Its pages filled with local news, by the 1980s this newspaper appeared every Thursday at the cost of 20p.
From south Wales to north Wales now, and we’re delighted to introduce the Abergele & Pensarn Visitor to our collection of Welsh newspapers. Established in the Denbighshire market town and ‘watering place’ of Abergele in 1848, the Abergele & Pensarn Visitor was neutral in its politics and contained ‘local news of Abergele and district,’ alongside ‘general intelligence’ and a ‘list of visitors’ to the town.
Circulating in Abergele, Pensarn, and Llanddulas, the Abergele & Pensarn Visitor had the reputation of being the ‘premier newspaper’ of the central part of North Wales for many years, giving a sense of the social, political and cultural life of the town and region. The title eventually became known as The Visitor, appearing every Thursday, before becoming in 1997 the Abergele & St Asaph Visitor, which was distributed for free every Wednesday. The newspaper’s illustrious history finally came to an end in 2008, when the Rhyl & Prestatyn Visitor became the Denbighshire Visitor, and the Abergele & St Asaph Visitor ceased publication.
We now move to England for our next new titles of the week, and we begin our journey in Cornwall, a county to which we have added two new titles, the first of which is the Commercial, Shipping & General Advertiser for West Cornwall. Established in the south Cornish town of Penryn in 1867, the Commercial, Shipping & General Advertiser for West Cornwall was Liberal in its politics, and was distributed gratis every Saturday, being ‘extensively’ circulated in Penryn, Falmouth, Flushing, and the district.
In 1912 the newspaper became the Penryn & Falmouth Advertiser, featuring news from Penryn, Falmouth, Ponsanooth, Mylor, Mabe and St Mawes and a look at ‘Penryn In Ye Olde Days.’ This title also contained extensive illustrations, including portraits of people ‘In the Public Eye’ as well as a fashion piece entitled ‘Dress of the Day.’ Meanwhile, the Cornish newspaper contained a list of Sunday services, a Bible study, reports on football and rugby, as well as serialised fiction, poetry, and sections devoted to ‘Mother and Home’ and ‘Other Men’s Minds.’
Next up is the Cornish Echo and Falmouth & Penryn Times, which was published not far from the Commercial, Shipping & General Advertiser for West Cornwall in Falmouth, a Cornish coastal town. First published on 8 June 1861, the Cornish Echo cost three half pence and filled four pages, appearing every Saturday. Circulating in Falmouth and Penryn, as well as ‘their surrounding districts,’ the newspaper contained correspondence, news from parliament, a look at general news from across the country, as well as news from abroad, from the likes of India, the United States and Spain.
Politically independent, the Cornish Echo contained a railway timetable for Cornwall, as well as poetry, and was published by Frederick H. Earle from the Quay in the town.
We travel across the border now into Devon for our next new title of the week, which is the Brixham Western Guardian. This independent title was established in 1882 in the fishing town of Brixham, which lies in the Torbay district of Devon, in between Dartmouth and Torquay. A local issue of the Western Guardian, which was published in Totnes, the Brixham Western Guardian appeared every Thursday at the cost of one pence.
Staying in the south of England, we move to West Sussex and our eighth new title of the week, which is the East Grinstead Observer. Founded in the Sussex town of East Grinstead in 1881, this independent newspaper circulated in the town and district and initially appeared every Friday at the price of just one penny. Over one hundred years later, the title was still going strong, appearing every Thursday at the cost of five pence and describing itself as ‘Your Independent Paper.’
From Sussex now to the neighbouring county of Kent, and our next new title of the week. Hailing from the historic port town of Dover, the Dover Chronicle was first published on 24 January 1835 as the Dover Chronicle, and Cinque-Ports and Kent Advertiser. Its first edition addressed ‘the long-acknowledged necessity for a liberal and independent organ of communication to the twenty-thousand inhabitants now resident in the ancient town and port of Dover, and its suburbs.’
Indeed, the Dover Chronicle promised to represent a ‘great portion’ of the town’s inhabitants, ‘whose liberal opinions have subjected them to the grossest misrepresentations, without the means of reply being within their reach.’ And so, the Dover Chronicle advocated reform, both political and educational, whilst reporting on ‘Foreign Intelligence’ from France, Spain and ‘the Colonies,’ and local issues such as the East Kent election and the election of the Dover commissioners, as well as reporting on news from across Kent.
By the 1880s, however, the Dover Chronicle had lost its Liberal stance, crossing the divide to instead become Conservative. In 1927 the newspaper changed its name from the Dover & County Chronicle and Kent & Sussex Advertiser, which it had adopted in 1880, to become simply the Dover Chronicle.
From Kent to Surrey now, and our tenth new title of the week, which is the Sunbury & Shepperton Herald. Despite being published in the town of Chertsey, this newspaper covered the news from Sunbury, a town on the north bank of the River Thames, which historically belonged to the county of Middlesex, and the large suburban village of Shepperton, which was once home to poets George Meredith and Percy Bysshe Shelley. It appeared every Thursday, priced at 20p.
Our second Surrey title of the week is the Walton & Weybridge Informer, which also covered news from Shepperton. Published in the historic Surrey market town of Walton-on-Thames every Thursday, the Walton & Weybridge Observer was distributed for free to nearly 60,000 homes across Walton-on-Thames, Weybridge, Chertsey, Byfleet, Shepperton, Molesey, Cobham, Addlestone and Esher.
Meanwhile we are delighted to welcome another Informer title to The Archive this week, namely the Richmond Informer. Another Thursday freesheet, this publication was also known as the Richmond & Twickenham Informer, and was published in the south west London town of Richmond. It was sent to over 60,000 homes and businesses across Richmond, Twickenham, Hampton, Kew, Barnes, Mortlake, Sheen, Petersham and Ham.
It’s to Essex we go to now, and to the town of Harlow, which lies on the border of London and Hertfordshire, and its newspaper the Harlow Star, which in 1983 became the Harlow and Epping Star. Like the previous two titles, the Harlow Star appeared free of charge every Thursday.
We’re going to travel back west for our next new title of the week, which is Wiltshire newspaper the Trowbridge Chronicle. First published on 11 May 1861 as the Trowbridge Chronicle, Volunteers’ Gazette and West of England Advertiser, this Conservative title cost one pence and filled eight pages, circulating in Trowbridge and its surrounding towns. Aiming to represent Trowbridge’s ‘extensive population and growing importance,’ the Trowbridge Chronicle promised to feature ‘correct reports of judicial proceedings, and of meetings – scientific, political or religious, which may be held in the neighbourhood; accurate and early returns of local and more distant markets, especially those which are important to our agricultural friends.’
The Trowbridge Chronicle also dedicated space to local military volunteer groups, such as the Trowbridge Company, listing details pertaining to squad drills and band parades. Meanwhile, the newspaper devoted space to local and district news, from the likes of Stroud, Westbury, Keevil and Calne, as well as ‘gossip’ from the metropolis, news from abroad and poetry.
We are now at the halfway point of our run down of new titles, and we mark this landmark by introducing the Gloucester News to our collection. Published in the cathedral city of Gloucester, this newspaper covered ‘People, Places and Events in Gloucester,’ appearing every Friday and spanning 24 pages. It featured opinions from its readers, as well as reports on local weddings, also providing a guide to local trades and services.
We’re off to Warwickshire for our next two new titles of the week, and first up is Sunday newspaper the Birmingham Weekly Mercury. First published on 29 December 1918 and edited by John Turner Fearon (1869-1937), who left his job at Dublin paper the Freeman’s Journal to take up the top position at the new newspaper, this title is known as ‘The Midlands’ Own Sunday Newspaper.’ Existing today as a tabloid newspaper, the Birmingham Weekly Mercury had a circulation of 25,000 in the mid 2010s.
Our second new Warwickshire title of the week is Nuneaton Chronicle, which was established in the large market town of Nuneaton, which lies close to Leicestershire, in 1868. Conservative in its politics, the title was originally known as the Nuneaton Chronicle, Tamworth, Atherstone, Hinckley, and Bedworth Gazette, and it appeared every Saturday priced at once pence.
With a guaranteed circulation of 4,000 in the 1880s, the Nuneaton Chronicle featured news from home and abroad, with a variety of articles, which included ‘Medical Education for Women’ and the ‘Marriage of the Emperor of China.’ The newspaper also provided guidance on ‘Gardening Operations for the Week,’ a look at climate and health, the latest local wills and bequests, and reports from the Nuneaton Board of Health and Nuneaton Police.
Our next new title of the week is the wonderfully named Huntingdon Town Crier, which was also known as the St. Ives & Huntingdon Town Crier, and was established in the market town of St. Ives in 1973. A weekly freesheet, this title appeared every Saturday and contained the news from both St. Ives and the town of Huntingdon.
We have a second new Town Crier title for you this week, namely the Cambridge Town Crier, which was also founded in 1973. It too appeared for free every Saturday in Cambridge, a city that is globally renowned for its historic university. Meanwhile, we have another Cambridge title joining us this week, which is the Cambridge Weekly News. This newspaper appeared every Thursday, filling forty pages and costing 12p, and was filled with news of the latest happenings in the city.
From Cambridgeshire now to one of England’s smaller counties, and our next new title of the week, the Rutland Times. Published in Oakham, an East Midlands market town which is the county town of Rutland, the Rutland Times was established in 1977 and is still published to this day. Appearing every Friday, this title is known as a ‘friendly independent newspaper.’
We are now delighted to introduced a duo of new Nottingham titles to our collection, the first of which is the Nottingham Guardian. This daily newspaper began life in 1861 as the Nottingham Daily Guardian, and was Conservative in its politics. Costing just one penny, it circulated ‘throughout the Midland counties.’ On 10 October 1905 this title rebranded to become simply the Nottingham Guardian, before merging with the Nottingham Journal in 1953 to become the Nottingham Guardian Journal.
Our second new Nottingham title of the week is the Nottingham Recorder, which was founded in 1981 as a companion to the Nottingham Evening Post. A weekly freesheet tabloid, the Nottingham Recorder was distributed every week to over 70,000 homes across the city of Nottingham and its suburbs, including Arnold, Broxtowe, Bulwell, Carlton, Gedling, Hucknall, Mapperley, Sherwood and West Bridgford. In 2008 the title was split into three local editions, before finally ceasing publication in June 2011.
We take a trip to the neighbouring county of Derbyshire for this week’s next new title, and the town of Belper. Belper was one of the first mill towns to be established during the industrial revolution, and its newspaper, the Belper & Alfreton Chronicle, was the only newspaper published in the town. First published by Bewley & Roe on Valentine’s Day in 1885, the Belper & Alfreton Chronicle was Liberal in its politics. Indeed, its first edition described how:
In politics the Belper & Alfreton Chronicle will support thoroughly Liberal principles, and endeavour to promote ‘the greatest happiness of the greatest number,’ or, in other the words, the interests, prosperity and advancement of the main body of ‘the new electorate.’ But whatever loyalty to Liberal principles may claim of us editorially, we shall consider that it renders it our duty, as conductors of a newspaper, to afford, as far as space in our columns will allow, fair play, and freedom of expression for all shades of public opinions. For the rest, and without making any further professions, we leave our readers to judge of the quality and value of our goods by the test of experience.
Meanwhile, the Derbyshire newspaper covered an eclectic array of topics, from ‘scraps of wit’ to ‘historical, biographical, antiquarian, poetic, anecdotal gatherings,’ from ‘Fashions for February’ to ‘Notes on Gardening.’ It also featured ‘district notes’ from the likes of Ripley and South Wingfield, as well as letters to the editor, poetry, and the latest from the Belper Petty Sessions and the Derby Borough Police.
Our next new title of the week hails from the Cheshire town of Ellesmere Port, and is the Ellesmere Port Pioneer. Founded over one hundred years ago in 1921, the Ellesmere Port Pioneer was a vital source of local news, before it sadly closed in 2018 after 97 years in print.
Lancashire is the penultimate county for which we have published new titles this week, and we have a trio of new titles for you hailing from the north western county. We start with the Crosby Herald, which was first published in the coastal town of Crosby in 1895. A true local paper, every household in the town would read the Herald, with its fare of local news, historical articles about the neighbourhood, and photos of the area. The Crosby Herald closed in 2015, when it had a circulation of 3,500 and cost 75p a copy.
Our second new Lancashire title this week is the Middleton Guardian, which was established in the Lancaster village of Middleton in 1877. Liberal in its politics, it appeared every Friday at the cost of one pence, circulating in Middleton, Tonge, Chadderton, Blackley, Cheetham Hill, Crumpsall, Harpurhey, Highton, Newton Heath and north Manchester. By the 1980s the Middleton Guardian still appeared every Friday, now costing 16p, and focussing on Middleton, Moston and Blackley.
Our final new Lancashire title of the week, and penultimate one overall, is the Rossendale Free Press, which was established in the town of Rawtenstall in 1883. A Liberal publication, it cost one penny and appeared every Saturday, ‘circulating throughout Rawtenstall and the whole of the populous valley of Rossendale.’ During the 1880s, this newspaper had a guaranteed circulation of 5,500.
Our final new title of the week is the North Star (Darlington), which was established in the County Durham market town of Darlington in 1880. ‘Constitutional’ in its politics, it cost just one halfpenny, and focussed on trade, agricultural and commercial matters, with such sections as ‘Monetary and Commercial,’ ‘Sunderland Chamber of Agriculture’ and ‘Iron Trade in 1884.’ It also reported on sport, and the latest ‘Hunting Appointments,’ with reports also from the ‘South Durham Conservative Association,’ with the final of its 4 pages containing brief updates from the local area.
Meanwhile, we’ve made updates to sixty of our existing titles, with highlights including the over 11,000 pages we have added to the Birmingham Mail and the over 12,000 pages that have joined the Hertford Mercury and Reformer. We’ve also updated some of our Welsh and Scottish titles, with updates to the Carmarthen Journal, the Ayrshire Post and the Kilmarnock Standard.
‘A Dynamiter Blow Up With His Own Bomb’
On 17 February 1894 the Cornish Echo and Falmouth & Penryn Times ran the below headline:
Latest News – Anarchist Plot in London – A Dynamiter Blown Up With His Own Bomb
The headline reeked of sensationalism, but the truth of what happened on 15 February 1894 at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, was truly sensational. French anarchist Martial Bourdin (1868-1894) had been caught in an explosion, when the chemicals he was carrying prematurely denotated. It was everything that the newspapers loved; the reporting of the accident capitalising on both the xenophobia and the fear of anarchy that was prevalent in late Victorian Britain at that time.
And the way that the Cornish Echo broke the news was suitably sensational, at first outlining that an explosion had been heard outside the Royal Observatory, where a ‘man was there found terribly mutilated.’ Despite his injuries, ‘with a foreign accent he asked to be taken home,’ before he fell unconscious and later died.
The newspaper then featured news from a telegram, received that very same day:
The supposed Anarchist killed in Greenwich Park last night was about thirty years old, five feet four in height, with dark hair, moustache and beard. He was respectably dressed.
The Press Association was soon reporting that the man who had lost his life was a Frenchman named Bourdin, and that he ‘was a member of an anarchist body is not to be doubted.’ And on the same day, the Cornish Echo was able to print a full account of Bourdin’s life, up until his shocking death in Greenwich. Martial Bourdin had:
…first came from Paris to London six years ago, he then being sixteen years of age. On reaching London he worked for his brother in Great Tichfield-street and gradually began visiting clubs and eventually fell in with the Anarchist ring.
Three years ago Bourdin went to America, but whether he journeyed thither on an Anarchist mission is not at present quite plain. On leaving America he returned to Paris, and there proceeded to London, where he resumed his employment as a ladies’ tailor at the establishment of his brother, who, like the parents, had no connection with the Anarchist movement.
Bourdin continued in his association with anarchist groups, becoming ‘more fervent than ever in his belief that he had espoused a good cause.’ Indeed, he was known amongst his associates as one of their ‘most zealous organisers.’
Meanwhile, Bourdin had come to the attention of British authorities, and he was being watched on the day of his death. This was how the Cornish Echo came to have account of his doings on 15 February 1894:
Yesterday afternoon it appears that Bourdin did not go to work, but was seen in company with another man in Hanover-square. They seemed in doubt as to what route they should take and subsequently walked towards Whitehall, where they parted, the second man proceeding towards the West End and Bourdin walking over Westminster Bridge took the train for Greenwich, where he afterwards met his unexpected end.
It was uncertain what Bourdin hoped to achieve in Greenwich, the newspaper relating how:
Whether he went there with the idea of taking human life or intended experimenting with a new kind of bomb in the open park is not clear. That the bomb went off before it was intended is certain and the explanation of premature explosion is that the stopping of the bottle of sulphuric acid inside the weapon became exhausted and so exploded the contents of the machine.
The explosion appeared to be accidental, and as Bourdin was found with a deal of cash on his person, it was speculated that he had intended to travel to France with the lethal device.
And his death, and the explosion in Greenwich, which only claimed his life, provoked outrage in Britain. Our new title the Belper & Alfreton Chronicle some weeks later on 2 March 1894 reflected how ‘England is a tolerant nation,’ and how the country had accepted the arrival of those from many different countries to ‘live and move, and have their being’ amongst its population.
However, the newspaper went on to write:
It was demonstrated very clearly at the funeral of the miserable conspirator Bourdin that tolerant though the people of England may be, they have no sympathy with the Anarchist brotherhood. It was expected by the police that the occasion of the funeral would be ‘improved’ by the Anarchists for the spread of their principles and creed, and arrangements were made to check any disturbance that might arise from the efforts of the propagandists.
There was no such efforts made, but there was a disturbance. The mob which assembled to witness the funeral spontaneously fell to demonstrating their detestation of the Anarchists and all their works.
For the establishment, the death of Bourdin was something of a coup. It demonstrated that not only were anarchists and their doctrine dangerous, but also, immensely foolish. The mob at Bourdin’s funeral had spoken, the Belper & Alfreton Chronicle observing how:
It will teach a lesson to the Anarchists, since it will show them that though we give them asylum which other countries deny, we are not disposed for one moment to put up with the slightest outbreak in this country.
This week we have updated 60 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.