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The London Gazette , facsimile front page from 3–10 September 1666, reporting on the Great Fire of London. (Click image to enlarge and read).

The London Gazette is one of the official journals of record of the British government, and the most important among such official journals in the UK, in which certain statutory notices are required to be published. The London Gazette claims to be the oldest surviving English newspaper and the oldest continuously published newspaper in the United Kingdom, having been first published on 7 November 1665 as the Oxford Gazette.[1] This is also claimed by the Stamford Mercury and the Newcastle Journal, due to that fact that the Gazette is not a conventional newspaper offering general news coverage. It does not have a large circulation.

Other official newspapers of the UK government are the Edinburgh and Belfast Gazettes, which, apart from reproducing certain materials of nationwide interest published in the London Gazette, also contain publications specific to Scotland and Northern Ireland, respectively.

In turn, the London Gazette not only carries notices of UK-wide interest, but also those relating specifically to entities or people in England. However, certain notices that are only of specific interest to Scotland or Northern Ireland are also required to be published in the London Gazette.

Contents

Today

The London Gazette is published each weekday, except for Bank Holidays. Notices for the following, among others, are published:

Her Majesty's Stationery Office has digitised all issues which are available online.[2]

The official Gazettes are published by The Stationery Office.

History

The London Gazette, dated 14-17 May 1705 detailing the return of John Leake from Gibraltar after the Battle of Cabrita point.

The London Gazette was first published as the Oxford Gazette on 7 November 1665. Charles II and the Royal Court had moved to Oxford to escape the Great Plague of London, and courtiers were unwilling to touch, let alone read, London newspapers for fear of contagion. The Gazette was "Published by Authority" by Henry Muddiman, and its first publication is noted by Samuel Pepys in his diary. The King returned to London as the plague dissipated, and the Gazette moved too, with the first issue of the London Gazette (labelled No. 24) being published on 5 February 1666.[3] The Gazette was not a newspaper in the modern sense: it was sent by post to subscribers, not printed for sale to the general public.

In 1812 an officer of the London Gazette named George Reynell established the first advertising agency.

Her Majesty's Stationery Office took over the publication of the Gazette in 1889. Publication of the Gazette was transferred to the private sector, under government supervision, in the 1990s when the bulk of HMSO was sold and renamed simply The Stationery Office.

Traditions

  • In time of war, dispatches from the various conflicts are published in the London Gazette. People referred to are said to have been mentioned in despatches. When members of the armed forces are promoted, and these promotions are published here, the person is said to have been “gazetted”.
  • Being "gazetted" (or "in the gazette") sometimes also meant having official notice of one's bankruptcy published, as in the classic ten-line poem comparing the stolid yeomen of 1722 to the lavishly spending faux-genteel farmers of 1822[4]
Man to the plough;
Wife to the cow;
Girl to the yarn;
Boy to the barn;
And your rent will be netted.
Man tally-ho;
Miss piano;
Wife silk and satin;
Boy Greek and Latin;
And you'll all be Gazetted.

The phrase "gazetted fortune hunter" is also probably derived from this. Notices of engagement and marriage also used to be published in the Gazette.

Colonial Gazettes

There are equivalent Government Gazettes for the following current/former colonies or protectorates. They are available at the National Archives.

See also

  • OpenPSI for the OpenPSI project which provides RDF and SPARQL end point of Gazette notice data

References

  1. ^ Oxford Gazette: no. 1, p. 1, 7 November 1665. Retrieved on 2009-01-07.
  2. ^ Search the London Gazette Archive
  3. ^ London Gazette: no. 24, p. 1, 5 February 1666. Retrieved on 2009-01-07.
  4. ^ By William Hone (1827) Published by Hunt and Clarke
  5. ^ The Gazette of India

External links

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Simple English

. (Click image to enlarge and read).]] The London Gazette is one of the official records of the British government, and one of the most important in the UK. The London Gazette claims to be the oldest surviving English newspaper. It was first published on 7 November 1665. It is not a normal newspaper with typical news stories. The London Gazette is still published each weekday, except for Bank Holidays. The Gazette is being digitising and records between the years 1752–1998 are online.[1][2]

Contents

History

, dated 14-17 May 1705 detailing the return of John Leake from Gibraltar after the Battle of Cabrita point.]] The London Gazette was first published as the Oxford Gazette on 7 November 1665. Charles II and the Royal Court had moved to Oxford to escape the Great Plague of London, and courtiers were unwilling to touch, let alone read, London newspapers for fear of becoming ill. When the King returned to London after the end of the plague the Gazette moved too. The first issue of the London Gazette (labelled No. 24) was published on 5 February 1666. The Gazette was not a newspaper in the modern sense: it was sent in manuscript by post to subscribers. It was not printed for sale to the general public.

Traditions

In time of war, dispatches from the various conflicts are published in the London Gazette. People referred to are said to have been mentioned in despatches. When members of the armed forces are promoted, and these promotions are published here, the person is said to have been “gazetted”.

Being "gazetted" (or "in the gazette") sometimes also meant becoming bankrupt. Notices of engagement and marriage also used to be published in the Gazette.

References

Other websites


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