17 August 2020
Over 350 years of news, government notices, historical gazettes from London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Dublin have been brought together on FindMyPast.
The four sets of records, which comprise 41.3 million individual records, cover a huge range of subjects and over three centuries of history.
Belfast Gazette (1922-2018)
Delve into a nearly century of Northern Irish newspaper stories including business notices and the Queen’s annual honours lists in the Belfast Gazette.
Published weekly on Fridays by The Stationery Office, on behalf of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office in Belfast, The Belfast Gazette is the Official Newspaper of Record for Northern Ireland. It printed legal and official announcements from HM Government, the Northern Ireland Executive, the Armed Forces, local authorities, churches, companies and private citizens.
As it became increasingly clear that Ireland would be divided, the north would require its separate Official Newspaper of Record, and the Belfast Gazette was founded in June 1921 as a successor to the Dublin Gazette.
Dublin Gazette (1750-1800)
A Dublin Gazette was first instituted in May 1689 by King James II, however, after his defeat in 1690 at the Battle of the Boyne its functions were taken over by The London Gazette. In 1705, under the Lord Lieutenancy of the 2nd Duke of Ormonde, a new Dublin Gazette was founded, although in its early days it was only two pages in length.
The printers of the Gazette held onto their ownership until almost the end of the 18th century. However, on the 9 April 1799, two rival versions of the gazette were published, one by the established publisher, Sir St George O’Kelly, and a second by George Grierson, the King's printer. O'Kelly complained, but to no avail and lost the right to publish the title. It is now surmised that following the Irish Rebellion of 1798, and in the year before the Act of Union of 1800, the Irish government felt it needed total control.
From 1919, during the Irish War of Independence, the Gazette was challenged by the Irish Bulletin, the official newspaper of the rival government of the Irish Republic, produced by its Department of Propaganda and appearing weekly from 11 November 1919 to 11 July 1921. The War of Independence resulted in the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed in London on 6 December 1921, and as a result, the final edition of the Dublin Gazette was published on 27 January 1922. Four days later, on 31 January, the newly created Irish Free State began to publish a new gazette called Iris Oifigiúil.
Edinburgh Gazette (1797-2018)
The Edinburgh Gazette is the Official Newspaper of Record for Scotland.
Published twice weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays by The Stationery Office, on behalf of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office in Edinburgh, the Edinburgh Gazette is the Official Newspaper of Record for Scotland. The gazette includes legal and official announcements from HM Government, the Scottish Executive, the Parliaments at Westminster and Holyrood, the Armed Forces, local authorities, churches, companies and private citizens.
Founded in 1699, eight years before the Act of Union, the gazette was produced sporadically until 1793, since then it has been published continuously.
London Gazette (1665-2018)
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 handle 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. Charles II returned to London as the plague dissipated, and the Gazette moved too, with the first issue of The London Gazette being published on 5 February 1666, it was labelled number 24. The Gazette was not a newspaper in the modern sense, it was sent by post to subscribers, as opposed to being printed for sale to the general public.
Her Majesty's Stationery Office took over the publication of the Gazette in 1889. Publication of the Gazette was transferred to the private sector, under government supervision, in the 1990s, when Her Majesty's Stationary Office was sold and renamed The Stationery Office.