Northern Irish Newspapers | British Newspaper Archive


Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week at The Archive we are delighted to present a Northern Irish newspapers special, as we have updated a trio of our titles from Northern Ireland. We have also added 106,898 brand new pages over the last week alone, whilst we have added one brand new title from London.

So read on to discover more about all of our new and updated titles of the week, and also to learn about the first ever Borstal, which was opened in the Kent village of Borstal in October 1902.

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Before taking a look at our updated Northern Irish newspapers this week, we’re excited to welcome our brand new title to The Archive, which is the Commercial Daily List (London). ‘One of the Oldest Daily Commercial Publications,’ this London-based newspaper was established in 1832 and contained an array of adverts, reports and news all relating to the world of trade and commerce.

Subtitled the ‘London, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham General Advertiser,’ the Commercial Daily List was published from Mincing Lane in the City of London, which was renowned for its ties to the tea and spice trades. This was apt for a publication that featured in minute detail the prices that could be found on the London markets for an array of different products, from treacle to coffee, from rum to cotton, from linseed to fruit.

Generally filling six pages, the Commercial Daily List printed ‘Commercial News of the Day,’ which was gathered from the likes of the Royal Exchange and the Liverpool Cotton Market. The publication, meanwhile, contained further detailed reports from other markets and institutions, such as the Bank of England, the London Stock Exchange, the Liverpool Produce Market and the London Weekly Cotton Trade, whilst also reporting on regional trading from centres like Boston, Rochester, Stockton-on-Tees, Spalding and Rugby. It took in shipping news, looking at the arrivals at and departures from ports across the country, as well as high water times.

The Commercial Daily List also printed extensive advertisements for public sales, which were often placed by brokers, as well as advertising passages on ships that sailed to destinations across the world.

Because of its status as an advertising medium, the Commercial Daily List, alongside other publications like shipping title Lloyd’s List, was not seen as a ‘general newspaper.’ For us today, however, the title provides wonderful insight into commercial and trade history, illuminating the prices of such diverse things as feathers, indigo, dried fruit and arrowroot during the Victorian era.

That’s it from our new title of the week, but we have also made extensive updates to some of our Northern Irish newspapers over the past seven days. Leading the charge amongst our Northern Irish newspapers is the Lurgan Mail, which was founded in the town of Lurgan, County Armagh, in 1889. We have added over 62,000 brand new pages to the Lurgan Mail, which still appears today as a weekly tabloid newspaper.

This week also sees significant updates to two of Northern Ireland’s oldest newspapers, the Belfast News-Letter and the Derry Journal, to which we have added over 33,000 brand new pages and over 8,000 brand new pages respectively. Updates to these newspapers hail from three different decades: the 1970s, the 1980s, and the 1990s.

The Birth of the Borstal – October 1902

On 16th October 1902 a new type of youth detention centre was opened at Borstal Prison in Kent. Operated by HM Prison Service, the aim was to reform young offenders, and the scheme was developed by prison commissioner Sir Evelyn Ruggles-Brise. The Borstal system, which was abolished in 1982, would take its name from the place where it was first used, at Borstal in Kent.

Newly added pages to one of our Northern Irish newspapers the Lurgan Mail reveal more about the early years of the Borstal system. In an article that was featured by the Northern Irish newspaper in July 1910, it was explained how the Borstal system was ‘an attempt by the State to rescue from a life of crime boys and girls who have offended against the law during the critical period between their sixteenth and twenty-first years.’

The Lurgan Mail went on to look at the early success of the Borstal scheme:

The experiments began in 1902 and were so satisfactory that in 1908, when the Prevention of Crimes Act was passed, the Borstal method was adopted as part of the penal system of the country. Not punishment, but reformation, is the idea underlying the Borstal system, and except that, like soldiers in a barrack, they are confined within certain bounds, the inmates of a Borstal institution would hardly know that they are undergoing imprisonment.

Those young people confined in a Borstal were ‘engaged in profitable work,’ as well as receiving an education and ‘opportunities for reasonable recreation.’ The Lurgan Mail explained how that in order to obtain an early release from Borstal, the young men and women should display ‘good conduct,’ and upon their release, they must be able to ‘satisfy the association that they are avoiding bad company and living a sober and industrious life.’

The Lurgan Mail presented some statistics around the impact of the Borstal system, describing how:

From the report just issued it may be gathered that of the 236 boys and five girls received by the association on their release from Borstal institutions during the year ending 31st of March, 168 were doing well in May and 16 were behaving satisfactorily, but were abroad. Only 20 were working unsatisfactorily, and 30 had so far forgotten themselves as to be reconvicted. Of the five girls, two are reported ‘unsatisfactory.

Such statistics led the Northern Irish newspaper to conclude that the ‘Borstal institutions are doing an excellent work in reclamation,’ labelling a recent appeal for funds as one that was deserving of a positive response.

Find out more about the Borstal system, the history of crime, and much more besides, in the pages of our newspaper Archive today.

New Titles
TitleYears Added
Commercial Daily List (London)1869-1870
Updated Titles

This week we have updated three 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.

TitleYears Added
Belfast News-Letter1977-1978, 1988-1989
Derry Journal1990, 1992
Lurgan Mail1897-1914, 1916-1925, 1927-1984

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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