Devon Extracts from The London Gazette
Previously published in two volumes
Volume 1: North Devon 1665-1850
Volume 2: Plymouth 1665-1765
The London Gazette is the oldest surviving English newspaper and the oldest
continuously-published newspaper in the United Kingdom. The Gazette is the
official newspaper of the UK, where several legal notices, including insolvency
notices that are required by law are published.
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, No. 24, being published on 5
February 1666. However, the Gazette was not a newspaper in the modern sense: it
was sent in manuscript by post to subscribers, not printed for sale to the
Notices for the following, among others, are published:
- Granting of Royal Assent to bills of the Parliament of the United
Kingdom or of the Scottish Parliament
- The issuance of writs of election when a vacancy occurs in the House of
- Appointments to certain public offices
- Corporate and personal insolvency
- Granting of awards of honours and military medals
- Changes of names or of coats of arms
- Royal Proclamations and other Declarations
In time of war, dispatches from the various conflicts are published. People
referred to are said to have been mentioned in dispatches.
In 1889 HMSO took over the publication of the Gazette. Today, The London
Gazette is published Monday to Friday, with the exception of Bank Holidays, the
Edinburgh Gazette each Tuesday and Friday and the Belfast Gazette each Friday.
TSO is in the process of digitising the entire historical archive on behalf of
HMSO. Available free online is:
- The period covering the World Wars (1914 to 1920 and 1939 to 1948)
- All London Gazette Honours & Awards in the 20th Century (1900 to 1997)
PDF format. 366 pages with index and images.
© Devon Family History Society 2007