As Guy introduced a few days ago, we will use the Mondays of December to consider the top ten events to be found in newspapers for various periods of time. In a few cases the desired “event” is actually a specific newspaper.
Today we consider the 16th & 17th centuries, which is a bit difficult as the mere existence of newspapers–or even their predecessors: newsbooks–is limited. And all would be European, as no American newspapers existed in this time period (only exception noted below). Nonetheless I’ve created what I consider to be the top ten historical events or newspapers collectors would love to add to their collections.
I do offer apologies to our non-American friends as this list, and those to follow, have a decidedly American bias, primarily because the vast majority of those who purchase from us are American. But there are a few European events noted.
Here we go, beginning with number ten and ending with the most desired event or newspaper:
10) Coronation of William & Mary, 1689 (after all, they were the king & queen of colonial residents as well. Almost like a very early Presidential “inauguration”)
9) King Philip’s War, 1675-6 (America’s first war)
8.) William Penn’s charter for land in the New World, & his settlement there, 1682 (an issue of the London Gazette includes: “…Mr. Penn bound for Pennsylvania with a great many Quakers to settle there…”)
7) Capture of Capt. Kidd near Boston, 1699 (who wouldn’t want a period report of this very famous pirate)
6) Defeat of the Spanish Armada, 1588 (my one entry from the 16th century; available in period newsbooks)
5) Great Fire of London, 1666 
4) The volume 1 number 1 issue of the Oxford Gazette, Nov. 16, 1665 (great to have the first issue of the world’s oldest continually published newspaper: become the London Gazette with issue #24)
3) Salem Witchcraft trials, 1692 (famous event, but try to find period reports of it!)
2) Settlement in the “New World” from 1607-1630 (from the very earliest period of European settlements in America, predating newspapers but newsbooks did exist)
1) Public Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick, Boston, Sept. 25, 1690 (America’s first newspaper. To this date only one issue has surfaced. Could there be another?)