THE FIRST NEWSPAPER IN HISTORY
The Oxford Gazette
Oxford, England (reprinted in London)
November 13-16, 1665 (No. 1)
The Mitchell Archives is extremely proud to present issue number one of what most experts consider to be the very first newspaper ever printed. The publication meets the seven standards for a newspaper including longevity, availability to all classes, and more importantly, text divided into columns. Before the Gazette was published, the privileged classes obtained the news from weekly “newsbooks,” pamphlets with no text-dividing columns. The Gazette was first printed in Oxford, England, as King Charles II held Court in that city sixty miles west of London in order to “avoid the Plague.” In February, 1666, the King decided that the Plague had subsided enough to take his Court back to London, and he brought the Oxford Gazette along–with issue no. 24, it became the legendary London Gazette, an official paper still published today. Interestingly, as the first American newspaper wasn’t published until 1704, the Oxford/London Gazette was shipped across the Atlantic Ocean to the Colonies to provide the news to the English residents in “the New World.”
In the news, this premiere issue contains the so-called “Bill of Mortality,” reporting the latest deaths from the Great Plague that continued to sweep through London and other parts of the British Isles and Europe. The paper states that 1,050 Londoners died of the plague, a decrease of 428 from the previous week.
Single sheet, double-sided, fine condition with just mild foxing. This is truly a very unusual opportunity that seldom becomes available. For the finest collection, newspaper publisher, top reporter, or museum/institution. It has been in my personal collection for many years. I would have this professionally framed in double-glass.