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.
- Wikipedia article.
- J.R. Sutherland, The Restoration Newspaper and Its Development (Cambridge, 2004) – limited preview on Google Books.
- 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.
- J.B. Williams (pseudonym of J.G. Muddiman, Henry Muddiman’s descendant), in the Cambridge History of English and American Literature.