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The oldest newspaper in Derby

Derby Mercury is the oldest newspaper in Derby. Publication commenced on 30 March 1732. For issue number three onwards, a woodcut masthead was printed, showing a view of the City of Derby, with an explanation of the principal buildings shown.

The cover price for this weekly newspaper was six pence in 1800, each issue being four pages of five columns, as was common with newspapers of this time, as was also typical for many newspapers of its time, it circulated widely outside Derby. It: 'Advocates the interests of agriculture, commerce, manufactures, literature and the Church of England'.

By 1800, the departments of the newspaper included: Friday's mail, advertisements, finance, Saturday & Sunday's mails, Tuesday's mail from the London Gazette, poetry, births, marriages, and deaths, Wednesday's mail, and, beginning in 1800, shipping news.

By 1899, the departments were: public notices, local news, district news, correspondence, serial fiction, literature, police news, gardening notes, London and other notes, and the morning's gossip.

In 1864 Mitchell's Directory was able to write: 'Great attention is paid to all local proceedings, of which some space is weekly devoted to the reviews of new books and music. It is the oldest established paper in the county, and is principally supported by the nobility, clergy, gentry, agriculturists, and tradesmen in the neighbourhood'.

The current description in the open public access catalog is more generic, summarizing the way in which a city newspaper aspired to widen its horizons in the search for readership:

Includes local, British, Parliamentary, European and American news, birth, death and marriage notices, stock prices, bankrupts, lottery news, trial news, patent medicines, employment notices, extracts from private letters (some in translation), original poetry, advertisements (some booksellers'), and reprinted material from other newspapers, including The Whitehall Evening Post, The St. James's Evening Post, The London Gazette, The General Evening Post, and Lloyd's British Chronicle.

Publication History: Variant Titles

Drewry's Derby Mercury (23 March 1732-4/11 October 1787)

The Derby Mercury (25 December 1788-1938?)

Derbyshire Advertiser and Derby Mercury (21 October 1949-12 March 1964)


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