Today I traveled back to London, England by the way of The Post Boy dated November 18, 1714. There I found that in Swansea, Wales, they had celebrated the coronation of King George I very early in the morning. “…at Three in the Morning the Bells began to ring, the musick play’d round the Town, and at the Dawning the Drums followed, each saluting the Inhabitants with Good-morrow, and long live King George: At Eight the Marker was hung round with Scarlet; intermixt with Springs and Flowers of Gold; and at the North-End a large Crown with Garlands and Streamers:…”. Much more information on the parade is in the issue.
I also found an intriguing article about a very young abbot in Paris, being just 9 1/2 years old, preaches. “…he made a very fine Discourse, and was admired by all that heard him. He is a Prodigy of Wit, having now preach’d these 4 years, and even several times before the King…The King gives him a Salary of 200 Livres a Year, and Father le Tellier has promis’d to take Care of him…”.
Today I traveled to London, England, by the means of The Post Boy dated August 21, 1714. There I found “We have an Account from Glasgow, That upon the News of Her Majesty’s Death, the Mobb rose up in a tumultuary Manner, and broke open the Episcopal Meeting-House breaking down all the Pews, and carry’d the Pulpit and Common-Prayer-Book in Triumph thro’ the Town, and at length burnt them;… This is the only Riot that has been committed in North Britain since the Queen’s Death; His Majesty being proclaimed in all Places without any Tumult…”.
Queen Anne and her family were associated with the Glorious Revolution and the Jacobites. She had 17 pregnancies, which included many miscarriages and stillbirths. Only only one child lived any length of time, that was Prince William, Duke of Gloucester, who died at the age 11. From all the pregnancies, she had suffered with serious health issue, had a stroke on the anniversary of Prince William’s death and died the following day.
Today I traveled to London, England, by the way of The Post Boy dated June 1, 1714. There I found an article with the dateline Hague in which “…the Hereditary Prince’s Consort would rejoice the Czar, by bringing a young Prince into the World.” However there were different opinions as to her delivery as her “reckoning” had elapsed. Was she really with child? Was the child dead? Would she deliver soon? It was determined “…that Times alone can determine which of these different Sentiments of the Physicians is the best grounded.”
The back page contained an advertisement for a new publication which caught my eye… “Matrimony unmask’d; or, The Comforts and Discomforts of Marriage Display’d”. Sounds like it could have been an interesting read!
A few months ago we wrote about what is considered by many to be the most successful literary magazine of all time, The Gentleman’s Magazine. While RareNewspapers.com continues to offer many original issues of this title from the 18th and early 29th centuries, few know of the magazine’s or its founder, Edward Cave, Junior. A collector friend recently came across a wonderful posting by The Society of 18th-Century Gentleman which goes into considerable detail concerning both. An excerpt includes:
“…Edward Cave eventually purchased a small print house and shortly after began The Gentleman’s Magazine. The first issue appeared in January of 1731. Cave quickly became a highly respected publisher and businessman, and “a multitude of magazines arose” all over the world. The magazine was soon the most well-known and highly respected publication in the English language. It is widely believed that Mr. Cave was the first person ever to use the term “magazine” to describe a monthly publication of this type…”
If you’ve never perused this little gem, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with its detailed coverage of events of the day.
Today I traveled back to London, England, by the way of The London Chronicle: or, Universal Evening Post dated February 18, 1764. There I found an interesting article on “The manner of catching Bears at Kamtschatka” (see photo below) which is a peninsula in Russia Far East. Although that article itself is quite interesting in the manner of how to catch these animals, the introduction is even more fascinating. “Bears and wolves are so numerous, that they fill the woods and fields like cattle; the bears in summer, and the wolves in winter. The bears of Kamtschatka are neither large nor fierce, and never fall upon people, unless they find them asleep; and then they seldom kill any outright, but most commonly tear the scalp from the back part of the head; and, when fiercer than ordinary, tear off some of the fleshy parts, but never eat them… It is remarked here that the bears never hurt women; but, in the summer, go about with them like tame animals, especially when they gather berries. Sometimes, indeed, the bears eat up the berries which the women have gathered, and this is the only injury they do them…”
Another article is of a death of a “…woman that went by the name of John Chivy. She dressed always in man’s apparel, and passed for a man; and notwithstanding she had been married upwards of 20 years, her sex never discovered till her death…”.
The following article caught my attention. “Among the sundry fashionable routs or clubs, that are held in town, that of the Blacks or Negro servants is not the least. On Wednesday night last, no less than fifty-seven of them, men and women, supped, drank, and entertained themselves… till four in the morning. No Whites were allowed to be present, for all the performers were Blacks.” The closing sentence made me ponder as to its meaning. I welcome your thoughts and explanations as well.
As dealers we have been very true to our focus on rare newspapers, and—for the most part—only newspapers. Yes, we have ventured into the occasional old document, pamphlet, colonial currency and the other items I’ve found intriguing, but otherwise we offer only historic newspapers.
But one big exception has been 18th century magazines. As is likely the case with most collectors of history, the over-riding aim is to find historic news reports dated as early as possible, and the availability of newspapers runs quite thin before 1760 (the London Chronicle dates to 1755 and is the single biggest source of period reports back to this period) if British titles are accepted, and only back to about 1787 if American newspapers are the only option.
It was many years ago that I discovered one of the best titles of the 18th century for period news reporting, and it wasn’t even a newspaper. It is a magazine. More specifically, “The Gentleman’s Magazine” from London. Having begun in 1731, its pages captured news reports concerning America which could never be found in period American newspapers, and rarely found in period British newspapers. From its earliest years “The Gentleman’s Magazine” printed reports on the creation of the colony of Georgia, the founding of the town of Savannah, with many issues mentioning James Olgethorpe. From 1736 are reports of William Penn laying out the city of Philadelphia, and the 1730’s has several reports of pirates operating in the Caribbean and the Atlantic, as well as famous highwayman Dick Turpin. Slave revolts in Jamaica, “Customs of the Jews” and other smaller reports from the American colonies round on the 1730’s.
The 1740’s have several items on the slavery issue which would be a topic of discussion on both sides of the Atlantic well into the 19th century. And relating to slavery are several issues of the 1770’s on famous slave/poet Phillis Wheatley.
There are early reports on the sport of cricket, and much on the Jacobite Rebellion including mention of “Bonnie Prince Charlie”. Other curious reports from the 1740’s include text on Handel and his “Messiah”, Ben Franklin mention with various electricity experiments, the death of astronomer Edmund Halley, the origin of the game of chess, and a curious item on a northwest passage to China through Canada. Military events in periodicals are never-ending, and this decade prints the text of the Treaty of Aix la Chapelle, among many other military events.
The 1750’s are highlighted by much reporting on the French & Indian War between the French & the British, with mention of Quebec, Crown Point, Fort DuQuesne and all the other major battle sites. Keep in mind that the American colonies were British possessions at the time so there was much interest in
“The Gentleman’s Magazine” has nice reporting on Ben Franklin’s lightening rod experiments, and there is also a terrific—although inconspicuous—mention of what would become known to all Americans as the Liberty Bell. Under the heading: “America” and with a “Philadelphia, May 10” dateline from 1753 is a report reading:
“Last week was raised and fixed, in the State-House Steeple, the great bell, weighing 2080 lb. cast here, with this inscription,
‘Proclaim liberty throughout all the land, to the inhabitants thereof.” This is how they reported the installation of what would become known as the Liberty Bell.England in reporting events relative to the colonies. A special feature of Gentleman’s was their very early mention of George Washington, a Major in the Virginia military in 1754 and 1755 when he lead others into battle in Pennsylvania. Such mention of Washington in an American newspaper would result in a price well beyond the budget of most collectors.
The 1760’s in “The Gentleman’s Magazine” are highlighted by the growing tensions between the colonies and England. The full text of the hated Stamp Act is found within its pages, and just a year later is found the formal repeal of the Stamp Act by the British King. Other Acts of Parliament harmful to colonial relations are reported as well.
News from the 1770’s begin with the Boston Massacre (and the trial details of those involved), reported in Gentleman’s in nice detail. All the events of the Revolutionary War received excellent coverage, from the Boston Tea Party to Lexington & Concord, the Battle of Bunker Hill, Saratoga, White Plains, Ticonderoga, Cowpens, Guilford Court House and the other military initiatives of the war with considerable mention of George Washington, Gage, Gates, Burgoyne, Ethan Allen, Howe, Greene, Cornwallis, John Paul Jones, and others. There is even much detail on the infamous Benedict Arnold/Major Andre treason.
Historic documents are found within the pages of “Gentleman’s Magazine” as well, including the Articles of Confederation, the “Causes & Necessity for Taking Up Arms”, the Constitution of the United States (in 1787), and the most desired document of all, the Declaration of Independence. At a time when a period printing of the Declaration in an American newspaper will sell for over a quarter of a million dollars, to be able to purchase a 1776 magazine with a timely printing of the Declaration of Independence for under $4000 is a rare opportunity for any collector.
The 1780’s begin with the closing events of the Revolutionary War, including the surrender of Cornwallis to Washington at Yorktown, Virginia, and shortly thereafter the formal text of the Treaty which ended the Revolutionary War. There are reports on Captain James Cook’s famous voyages of exploration, the obituary of Benjamin Franklin, and with attention focusing more on European reports later in the decade are reports of the fall of the Bastille and the French Revolution, and into the 1790’s with the mutiny on the Bounty, the guillotine execution of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, then into the early 19th century with the Battles of Trafalgar and Waterloo. Gentleman’s also printed the text of Washington’s final state-of-the-union address, and then just a few years later, his death.
A very nice bonus found in many of the pages of Gentleman’s is maps & plates. They cannot be found in newspapers of the day. Printed separately from the regular pages of the issue and tipped within, most of the maps fold out to be double the size of the issue, and they includes some of the more desired maps one would want of the 18th century, including Philadelphia, the colonies (from 1755), Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, the Caribbean, St. Augustine, the entire western hemisphere and so much more. Many collectors choose to frame the maps separate from the issue as they are very decorative and are typically dated in an upper corner.
Plates include the Philadelphia State House, later to be known as Independence Hall; St. Philip’s Church in Charleston, the fort at Bunker’s Hill, Ben Franklin’s ‘Square of Squares’, the guillotine which beheaded Louis XVI and his wife, a slavery medal, and even a plate of the Garden of Eden. Plus there is so much more.
The “Gentleman’s Magazine” is a little gem packed with all the history one would want to find from the 18th century. Measuring about 5 by 8 inches and typically having about 40 pages they take up very little room in a collection. But best of all it is an accessible title, and at prices far below what would be found in comparable American & British newspapers of the same period.
There can be little excuse for holding back on buying the best events in American history if one is willing to add this famous & successful title to their collection. And there certainly will be a time when even this title will become very scarce as others discovery it as the little gem just begging to be collected.
Note: Rather than include an endless number of (annoying) links above, if you have interest in any of the topics discussed, simply go to the following link and enter the topic into the search field: www.RareNewspapers.com
While many are familiar with Jack the Ripper and are aware that his actual identity has never been confirmed, what may be surprising to some is how many “false alarms” have surfaced over the years. William Henry Bury is such an individual… or is he? An internet search will return much concerning this potential “Ripper”. I wonder if this case will ever be resolved to any degree of certainty??? Please enjoy the following report found in the Kansas City Daily Journal for February 12, 1889:
Actual printing dates of monthly magazines have always been difficult to establish, but some times dated news reports will give some indication. An advertisement for the Gentleman’s Magazine in the “Daily Post-Boy” of London, September 4, 1732, provides a valuable clue for the earliest issues of this title (it began publishing in 1731). Note that the advertisement has at the top: “September 2 was published…The Gentleman’s Magazine…for August, 1732…”. So at least during the early years of this magazine’s existence it printed a few days after the end of the month.
Another interesting tidbit is provided in this advertisement as well. We knew that the first several issues of the first year of “Gentleman’s Magazine” printed at least six editions, as some were noted as such on the title/contents page, but we never knew when they were reprinted. Note the very bottom of this advertisements mentions: “…Where may be had, The former Numbers, except Numb 1 and Numb. II which will be republished a 4th Time in a few days.” This indicates that the fifth edition of the January and February, 1731 issues were printed in the first week of September, 1732.
Jack the Ripper may very well be the most infamous serial killer in World History. While others may have murdered more people, the terror he caused to what was arguably the most recognized city of the time is 2nd to none. While authentic reports are hard to come by, The Times (London) did an excellent job of following the case. At Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers we’ve put together a set of images which help to tell the story, arranged chronologically, as the readers of the day would have read about it. I’d like to say enjoy…, but somehow such a term doesn’t sound fitting. The images may be viewed via Pinterest at: Jack the Ripper on Pinterest
Today I found myself in London with the London Gazette dated May 8, 1712. I found that they had a reward for the apprehension of a gentleman by the name of Charles Guill. Mr. Guill “has belonged to the Bank of England, from whose Service he withdrew himself on the 3d Instant, with several Exchequer-Bills and the following Bank Notes…”. The article also provides a very interesting detail of his appearance and attire as well as the reward for his apprehension.
Another brief article is of the punishment a Robert Kingston received from pretending to be two other persons. He was sentenced to stand in the Pillory (stockades) on Tower-hill, which is where the executions were held. He was “to deter others from the like Practices”. He may have been setting an example for others, but I bet he was thinking that he was grateful that he had not received the punishment of those on Tower-hill!