Bury and Norwich Post
Begun in July 1782, with the title The Bury Post, and Universal Advertiser , the title changed again to the Bury Post, or Suffolk and Norfolk Advertiser between March and December 1785. A further change to the Bury and Norwich Post was initiated in January 1786, and this title was maintained until 1931, when the newspaper was incorporated with the Bury Free Press , which is still published today.
Peter Gedge had played a part in the establishment of the newspaper in 1782, and was its editor. His son Johnson Gedge (1799-1863) clearly maintained the family interest in the paper. He gave evidence to a House of Lords Committee on the Law of Defamation and Libel on 11 March 1843, confirming during his interview that he was the proprietor and editor of the Bury and Norwich Post , and Secretary to the Society of Provincial Newspaper Proprietors. On Johnson Gedg's death in 1863, Horace Barker became the publisher of the newspaper. He had been working for the newspaper in 1852, and remained as publisher until 1870, when Charles J. Gedge took over. After 1875, a series of managers were appointed.
As with many other newspapers, the Bury and Norwich Post charted the events of the towns and the localities surrounding them. Tens of thousands of local reports across the nineteenth century testify to the trials and tribulations of ordinary people. The issue of 23 July 1800 records the death of William Smith of the Melford Company of [Bell] Ringers. Transportation for unlawful offences was common: on 3 June 1801, it was reported that Margaret Catchpole and two other women convicts were sent from Ipswich gaol to Portsmouth, "...where they are to embark for Botany Bay". On 25 January 1801, Mary Hicks was sent to be transported for stealing three pints of wine in two bottles. Sentences seem harsh by modern standards: on 10 January 1855, the paper reported that Money Martin "...was charged with stealing a much fork at Norwich Quarter Sessions. 14 years penal servitude." On 18 July 1855, Thomas Ling was sentenced to fourteen years transportation for stealing a sheep.
In 1855, the Crimean War was in its second year, the siege of Sevastopol was under way, and letters sent home by soldiers were published in the newspaper. Published on 3 January 1855 was one written by C.H. Mills to his father, a boot and shoe maker in Lavenham: "...we are stationed about 600 yards from Sebastopol... we are covered in vermin, officers as well, provisions are bad, and on some days we get only 4ozs of meat and we are cold..." On 24 January, an extract was printed from one of the nurses in the hospital at Scutari: "Miss Nightingale says the flannel Jackets and flannel shirts are quite pounced on as soon as they are made, we can only make a limited amount. Most Englishmen can imagine sour bread which is all there is to be had over here and bad butter, a stolen scrape is a luxury to a dying man."
On 19 November 1878, Mr. Wombell's menagerie visited Sudbury. By 31 December, in the same year, the weather was so severe that "...the intense frost gave opportunities to skaters and sliders to pursue their pleasure." The Sudbury North Meadow was flooded by the mill owners and a game of cricket on the ice was planned, but the thaw set in.
By the mid-1850s, the paper had settled into its Tuesday weekly publication. As Mitchell's reported in 1870, the paper was "...devoted rather to local questions and to agricultural and social improvements rather than to party objects... Excludes objectionable advertisements." The price was 3d in 1870, 2d in 1882 (circulation 2,000 copies) and 1d by 1895.
For this newspaper, we have the following titles in, or planned for, our digital archive:
- 1786–1907 The Bury and Norwich Post
This newspaper is published by Iliffe News & Media Ltd in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England. It was digitised and first made available on the British Newspaper Archive in Mar 27, 2013 . The latest issues were added in Jun 26, 2023.