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World's Oldest Newspaper - 1686 Gazette Over 340 Years Old...
Item # 556003
March 26, 1668
THE LONDON GAZETTE, London, England, March 26, 1668
* 17th Century Original
This single sheet issue is over 340 years old. Various news from London and other parts of Europe also with some interesting advertisements as well.
A front page report from "Plymouth" mentions that: "...Several ships intending for New-found-land, Barbados, New-England and other places, that could not...sail with the last Fleet, may tomorrow put to sea, if the wind prove favourable." From "Venice" is word that "...a Squadron of our ships ordered to cruise...the Gulph of Zant, to convoy our Ships and secure them in their passage to and fro; and to defend them from the Pyrats of Barbary..."
A complete newspaper measuring about 7 by 11 1/2 inches and is in great condition. Made of rag paper which was used back in the day (no wood pulp).
Fine and very early newspaper. Can easily be framed.
Historical Background: "When in the autumn of 1665 Charles II sought shelter in Oxford from the Great Plague, he and his courtiers wanted newspapers to read, yet feared to touch "The Intelligencer" or "The News," which, coming from London, might be infected. Therefore Leonard Litchfeld, the university printer, was authorized and ordered to bring out a local paper. On Tuesday, November 14, 1665, the first number of "The Oxford Gazette" appeared, and it continued afterwards through eleven weeks on Thursdays and Mondays. It was meagre enough, but, though comprised in only two double-columned pages of folio, each number contained nearly as much matter as one of Roger L'Estrange's papers, and it soon became a formidable rival to those papers, especially as Thomas Newcombe, the old printer of the Commonwealth organs, was allowed to reproduce its sheets in London "for the use of some members and gentlemen who desired them.
The plague was soon over and King Charles went back to Whitehall, but he was pleased with the Oxford effort and it was soon succeeded by "The London Gazette, which made its first appearance, labelled as No. 24, on February 5, 1666, and which has been kept alive, altering its size and character from time to time, down to this day. "