The first issue of the Wrexham Advertiser appeared in March 1854. It was set up by George Bayley, and was Liberal in outlook. The paper was issued each Saturday, price 2d. George Bayley died in January 1863, and George Bradley is cited in Mitchell's Press Directory for the next thirty years as proprietor, until his death in 1893. From 1870, the newspaper was issued on Friday and Saturday. Circulation in 1880 was stated in an advertisement made by the Advertiser, to be 6,000 copies.
The newspaper charted the course of Wrexham and the surrounding district. Obituaries remain a constant source of people of note in the town, as in the example of Thomas Griffith Taylor (1795-1876), a surgeon and antiquary, whose obituary appeared in the Wrexham Advertiser of 8 July 1876. Taylor was active in supporting the incorporation of Wrexham (1849-57). He and his wife were among the pioneers of free education in the town, helping to found the Ragged School (1852-81), of which he was first treasurer. Court cases and sentences feature prominently. Henry Smith (of Woking) was convicted of eleven offences between 1854 and 1866—and for his last offence of burglary, he was sentenced to eight years hard labour. Edward Jackson, born in Wrexham in 1851, received eleven convictions between 1867 and 1876, with his last conviction of 1876 (for stealing a cow) receiving a sentence of seven years penal servitude.
Medical advertisements were a regular feature of the newspaper, with the more lines being taken by the advertiser, the greater the revenue to the newspaper. The following appeared in the Wrexham Advertiser , 7 July 1855, p.1:
"Kaye's Worsdell's Pills--The experience of more than twenty years has proved that they are the most effective remedy ever offered to the public for the cure of diseases arising from the impurity of the blood or impeded circulation of the fluids, as Loss of appetite, Lowness of Spirits, Drowsiness, Heartburn, Flatulency, Acidity of the Stomach, Pain in the Side--Stomach--and Back, Bilious Attacks, Nervous -Periodical and Sick Headaches, Costiveness Indigestion, Rheumatism, Spansnia, Diarheorrea, Eruptions of the Skin, General Debility, Gout, Gravel, Influenza, Piles, Scrofula, Sore Legs, Ulcers, Worms, &c. …As a medicine for general family use, KAYE'S WORSDELL'S PILLS are unequalled..."
Sports reporting was common, with the England versus Wales friendly football match of Saturday 26 February 1881 being reported such:
"Hawtrey, the English goalkeeper, threw the ball out but was charged over at the same time and Vaughan running up placed the leather safely through the goal for Wales. The Englishmen strove hard to get on terms with their opponents. Shot after shot was aimed at the Welsh goal but each attempt was rendered futile. When time was called Wales were declared winners by one goal to love."
Objects in the local landscape were subjects of attention and report. The Jubilee Tower on Moel Famau, erected as a monument to the Golden Jubilee of George III in 1810, suffered damage in the storms of autumn 1862. A correspondent "Old Wales" wrote to the paper, and his letter was printed on 4 November, stating he "…was glad of it [the damage]. It [the monument] was an unsightly object, as a work of art, and in bad taste as a tribute of respect to a monarch who never did Wales any good."
The newspaper continued publication after 1900, changing its title to Wrexham Advertiser and Star in 1936, and then being incorporated with the Wrexham Leader in 1958.
For this newspaper, we have the following titles in, or planned for, our digital archive: