Before 1700, there were no provincial newspapers in England. News reached the English countryside through manuscript newsletters, printed newsbooks and newspapers produced in London. When the Printing Act lapsed in 1695, a few printers took the opportunity to move their presses to provincial towns and some started local papers. The very first English provincial newspapers have been identified as the Norwich Post, begun in 1701 by Francis Burges (1675/6-1706), closely followed by the Bristol Post Boy, started in 1702 by William Bonny (1657-1719). By 1712 there were at least fifteen provincial newspapers, but the Stamp Act of that year affected them financially and reduced the number of titles to four. Like their London counterparts, provincial printers soon took advantage of loopholes in the Act and by 1715 the number of local newspapers had risen again to at least fourteen. By 1740, there were thirty-one provincial newspapers and by 1746 there were forty-two. Local papers faced competition from the London titles, and were commercially vulnerable. By 1760, the number of titles had dropped back to thirty-five, but the provincial newspaper was fully established. The Burney Collection includes more than forty-five English provincial newspapers, although many of them are represented by less than a handful of issues.
During the eighteenth century, York usually had two and sometime three weekly newspapers, in keeping with its status as the most important centre for genteel society in the north east of England. Among the earliest titles to appear was the York Mercury, which began in 1719 and ran until the mid-1730s, by which time its title was the Original Mercury, York Journal. The York Courant began in 1725 and ran until 1848. The York Journal or the Weekly Advertiser began in 1745 and ran until 1753, with various title changes. The York Chronicle and Weekly Advertiser began in 1772 and ran until 1834. The Burney Collection contains one issue of the York Herald , which first appeared in 1790, and a run of the first eleven issues of the Yorkshire Freeholder, which was published during 1780. The Yorkshire Freeholder was a periodical rather than a newspaper, carrying essays on a variety of topics.
Cranfield, G.A. The Development of the Provincial Newspaper, 1700-1760. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962.
Ferdinand, C.Y. Benjamin Collins and the Provincial Newspaper Trade in the Eighteenth Century. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997.
Wiles, R.M. Freshest Advices: Early Provincial Newspapers in England. [Columbus]: Ohio State University Press, 1965.
For this newspaper, we have the following titles in, or planned for, our digital archive:
- 1791–1811 The York Herald
- 1812–13 The York Herald, County and General Advertiser
- 1814–54 The York Herald and General Advertiser
- 1855–89 The York Herald
- 1890–1902 The Yorkshire Herald and the York Herald
This newspaper is published by Newsquest in York, Yorkshire, England. It was digitised and first made available on the British Newspaper Archive in May 2, 2013 . The latest issues were added in Feb 1, 2017.