London Gazette


The London Gazette claims to be not only the oldest surviving British newspaper, but also the newspaper with the longest record of continuous publication in the UK. 343 years ago today the Gazette started life as the Oxford Gazette. It was set up by Henry Muddiman, at the crown’s behest, while the court had moved to Oxford to avoid the plague in London: hence the initial name then the change.

The illustration is via Wikimedia Commons and shows the Gazette‘s first edition after the Great Fire of London in 1666. Muddiman had managed to put out a previous edition on the second day of the fire just before the printers he used was burned down.

For more on the Gazette see:

  • The Gazette today. It remains the official newspaper of record for the UK, and can tell you when Bills have received royal assent, key public appointments, commissions in the armed forces, and many other official Government announcements.
  • D. Woolf, ‘News, History and the Construction of the Present in early modern England’, in B. Dooley and S. Baron, The Politics of Information in Early Modern Europe (Abingdon, 2004) – limited preview on Google Books.

4 Comments to “London Gazette”

  1. Hi Nick–The Folger Shakespeare Library currently has an exhibit on newsbooks, with a great online component–lots of images, good text, and an audio tour! You can find links to it by following or by going through my blog. My most recent post also mentions early newspapers, including an image of an issue of The Moderate:

    and thanks for the plug in your Carnivalesque–I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the Frances Wolfreston posts!

    Sarah Werner

  2. Hi Sarah,

    Thanks – I found it via your post yesterday and spent a happy evening browsing it! I’ll give it a plug here, it’s a really good resource.

  3. The front page from Wikimedia Commons looks like a 19th century reprint, to judge from the type (especially the headline). A different image, which I would take to be the original, is linked from the right sidebar at – or directly:

  4. I think you’re right – as you say the headline gives it away.

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