On this day in history : 7th November 1665 – The first edition of the London Gazette is printed…. The publication claims to be the oldest surviving English newspaper….

Reprint of The London Gazette September 3-10, 1666 reporting on the Fire of London – Public domain

Two other publications also make this claim; the Berrows Worcester Journal, established in 1690 and the Stamford Mercury, established in 1712, both like to point out that the Gazette is not a conventional newspaper…. The London Gazette, which was originally published as the Oxford Gazette, is a ‘journal of record’….in as it provides an official publication in the UK for statutory notices which legally have to be recorded and published….

The London Gazette 14-17 May 1705 – Public domain

King Charles II and his Royal Court had decamped to Oxford to escape plagued London…. They did not want papers sent from London for fear of contamination – and so the Gazette was published in Oxford by English journalist and publisher Henry Muddiman…. Charles and his entourage returned to London as the plague diminished and the Gazette moved to the capital with them…. The first London edition appeared on the 5th of February 1666; it did not go on general sale but was sent to those who subscribed…. Her Majesty’s Stationery Office took over its publication in 1889 and since the 1990s it has been produced by The Stationery Office….

Nowadays the Gazette is printed every week day, excluding public holidays…. It records:- Royal assent of Parliamentary Bills for the UK Government and Scottish Parliament, Writs of Election for House of Commons vacancies, promotions and commissions of officers in the Armed Forces, the appointment of public officials, bankruptcies and insolvencies, military honours and awards that have been granted, changes to coats of arms and change of name and Royal proclamations and declarations….

These days the London Gazette can be viewed online….

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