Post-Boys from London… A collector asks…

June 12, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The following is a guest post from a collecting friend. Feel free to weigh-in on any of his questions or comments:

“While I have been buying newspapers for 10 years [from Rare Newspapers],  I have yet to see numbers of estimates printed for the popular London Post-Boy (most of my collection is the Post-Boy). Over the years, I have not found any numbers on the web until just this week! I was again urged on my watching Art and Coin TV, in which the 1899 Morgan Silver Dollar for sale, was mentioned to be very rare, with only 300,000 minted! Ha!

In the publication ‘Publishing Business in Eighteenth-Century England’, by James Raven, he states surviving records list the thrice-weekly printing in 1704 was 9000 a week, so 3000 per date!  Quite a bit less then Morgan dollar for sure. But what of the total numbers that survive today?

My best guess would be at most, 1-2 percent of any one date, under 100 copies held in intuitions and private hands? Any one here found any estimates published on surviving copies?  As an off-set pressman by trade, I enjoy showing off the Post-Boy at work, to the delight of all.”

Lawrence Garrett

Follow-up from Lawrence:

“I know a phrase from a London Gazette I have  been trying to fully understand, without success. {It is found within] a September 24, 1666 issue you have. It states a ship ‘struck on the sands of the riff-raffes’. This sounds like a Sandbar, but I have seen sandbars called just that in these old newspapers. Despite much research, I cannot find any slang term for sandbars from any time period, let alone 1666. It would be nice to find published information confirming these Riff-Raffes are indeed sandbars. Is it possible these sea/lake/river bottom features were called Riff-Raffes  BEFORE land use for rough trouble making people? Any other readers found this in other newspapers?”

The Traveler… wanted for murder… new regulations established…

January 23, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I journeyed to The Post Boy dated January 24, 1712 where I found there was a “wanted” man. The back page of this singlesheet newspaper was clearing the air on the false reports of the escape of Mr. Mackartney to Holland, “for he has never been on that side of the Water since the Murder he committed…” This continued with a Royal Proclamation being issued for his capture along with the a 300 pound reward as he had been found to have committed the murder of James Duke of Hamilton and Brandon, and also with aiding and assisting the Lord Mohun to commit the murder of the Duke.

While researching this incident further, I found the following information through Wikipedia… “In 1712, two years after Mohun’s Whig party had been heavily defeated in an election, the Duke of Hamilton was given the post of special envoy to Paris. Also at this time Mohun’s legal dispute with Hamilton over his inheritance of the Macclesfield estate was going badly. Shortly before Hamilton left for France, Mohun challenged him to a duel which was fought on 15 November in Hyde Park. Hamilton was killed during the fight by Mohun’s second, George MacCartney, after he had mortally wounded Mohun during the duel; Mohun died from his wounds shortly afterwards. This bloody duel was made immortal by William Makepeace Thackeray in his novel The History of Henry Esmond. The injuries suffered by the two men were so horrific that the government passed legislation banning the use of seconds in such duels. Also as a result swords were replaced as the weapons of choice in duel by the pistol, which tended to result in shorter and less bloody fights.”


~The Traveler

The Traveler… promise to pay…

December 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I found myself in London, England with the Post-Boy dated December 20, 1711.  I also found that even with traveling back three hundred years, a portion of this paper would fit right into today’s newsstands.  An article on the front page of this issue was the reporting “…to Bribe an honest member of the Church of England, to vote against the interest of that church, and his own conscience…”. The text of the “promise to pay” note is included in the article as well.

On the back page of this issue also contains a notice posted by a husband, stating that he would no longer be responsible for his wife’s debts. The description of his wife is very interesting!!

Until next year, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

~The Traveler

The Traveler… “The Apprentice (s)”…

June 17, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

While reading through The Post Boy (London) dated June 17, 1710,  I came across a few articles pertaining to the news of the day that were interesting. One was related to a current topic of interest, “job security”, being a petition from Master Gun-Smiths for and on-behalf of themselves (Dublin and Ireland) stating they were to be  the ones to making the Arms for themselves – perhaps a conflict of interest???  Another was the report of the returning of the Majesty’s ships, “as prize, a French Privateer.”

However, it was an advertisement which really caught my eye. It begins with “Went away from their Master…”  and continues on to describe two young lads, their clothing, provides their names and states that they “suppos’d to be straggled on Ship Board”, and that anyone who helps to find them  “shall be kindly rewarded”.  Interesting contrast between those who were trying feverishly to preserve their livelihood with those who were running from it.          ~The Traveler