On this day January 18, 1799
The Kentish Gazette was established in Canterbury in 1768 as a bi-weekly publication by James Simmons. It comprised 4 pages and cost 2d. The first issue consisted of foreign and domestic news, reprints of reports from the London Gazette, adverts mostly for the sale of books, literary articles and some economic news – grain, meat prices etc. There was very little local news.
Simmons pledged to pay “all possible attention to the Voice of the Public” and to be “biased by no party and under no influence whatsoever”. He alluded to the fact that he had attempted a coalition with the rival KentishPost (founded in 1717) but was rebuffed. Following brief but intense competition with the Post, Simmons entered into a long-standing partnership with the Post’s owner George Kirkby. As a result, the Kentish Post was absorbed into the Kentish Gazette.
In common with many 18th century printers, Simmons and Kirkby were also booksellers, ran a circulating library and sold patent medicines. Simmons was active in local politics and was twice Mayor of Canterbury. He was elected as a Whig M.P. for Canterbury in 1806, serving only a year before his death in 1807.
The Kentish Gazette became one of the principal county newspapers in the country. It circulated throughout Kent and parts of Surrey, Sussex and Middlesex.
For this newspaper, we have the following titles in, or planned for, our digital archive:
- 1768–68 The Kentish Gazette
- 1768–69 The Kentish Gazette, or Canterbury Chronicle
- 1769–1886 The Kentish Gazette
This newspaper is published by KM Group in Canterbury, Kent, England. It was digitised and first made available on the British Newspaper Archive in Jan 4, 2013. The latest issues were added in Nov 9, 2016.