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 general public.

Notices for the following, among others, are published: 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: PDF format. 366 pages with index and images.

© Devon Family History Society 2007