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ance, and cupidity exhibit themselves frequently, often to the amusement, but still more often to the annoyance and dis
of thinkers; but in the good old days, when a spade
4 spade, and when people did not seek to gloss over their weaknesses and frivolities, as they do now, by a pretence of virtue and coldness, which, after all, imposes only on the weak and credulous, advertisements gave a real insight into the life of the people; and so, in the hope that our researches will tend to dispel some of the mists which still hang over the sayings and doings of folk who lived up to comparatively modern days, we present this work to the curious reader.
It is generally assumed-though the assumption has no ground for existence beyond that so common amongst us, that nothing exists of which we are ignorant-that advertisements are of comparatively modern origin. This idea has probably been fostered in the public mind by the fact that so little trouble has ever been taken by encyclopædists to discover anything about them; and as time begets difficulties in research, we are almost driven to regard the first advertisement with which we are acquainted as the actual inaugurator of a system which now has hardly any bounds. That this is wrong will be shown most conclusively, and even so far evidence is given by the statement, made by Smith and others, that advertisements were published in Greece and Rome in reference to the gladiatorial exhibitions, so important a feature of the ancient days of those once great countries. That these advertisements took the form of what is now generally known as "billing," seems most probable, and Rome must have often looked like a modern country town when the advent of a circus or other travelling company is first made known.
The first newspaper supposed to have been published in England appeared in the reign of Queen Elizabeth during the Spanish Armada panic. This journal was called the English Mercurie, and was by authority "imprinted at London by
Christopher Barker, Her Highnesses printer, 1583." This paper was said to be started for the prevention of the fulmination of false reports, but it was more like a succession of extraordinary gazettes, and had by no means the appearance of a regular journal, as we understand the term. It was promoted by Burleigh, and used by him to soothe, inform, or exasperate the people as occasion required.* Periodicals and papers really first came into general use during the civil wars in the reign of Charles I., and in the time of the Commonwealth; in fact, each party had its organs, to disseminate sentiments of loyalty, or to foster a spirit of resistance against the inroads of power.† The country was
* This paper seems to have been an imposture, which, believed in at the time, has been comparatively recently detected. A writer in the Quarterly Review, June 1855, says, "The English Mercurie of 1588 [Qy. 1583], which professes to have been published during those momentous days when the Spanish Armada was hovering and waiting to pounce upon our southern shores, contains amongst its items of news three or four book advertisements, and these would undoubtedly have been the first put forth in England, were that newspaper genuine. Mr Watts, of the British Museum, has, however, proved that the several numbers of this journal to be found in our national library are gross forgeries; and, indeed, the most inexperienced eye in such matters can easily see that neither their type, paper, spelling, nor composition are much more than one instead of upwards of two centuries and a half old." Haydn also says, "Some copies of a publication are in existence called the English Mercury, professing to come out under the authority of Queen Elizabeth in 1588, the period of the Spanish Armada. The researches of Mr J. Watts, of the British Museum, have proved these to be forgeries, executed about 1766. The full title of No. 50 is The English Mercurie, published by authoritie, for the prevention of false reports, imprinted by Christopher Barker, Her Highnesses printer, No. 50.' It describes the Spanish Armada, giving‘A journal of what passed since the 21st of this month, between Her Majestie's fleet and that of Spayne, transmitted by the Lord Highe Admiral to the Lordes of Council.'"
+ The Quarterly mentions a paper which appeared late in the reign of James I.: "The Weekly News, published in London in 1622, was the first publication which answered to this description; it contained,
HISTORY OF ADVERTISING.
Mer some curiously,
There was Mer
accordingly overflowed with tracts of every size and of
however, only a few scraps of foreign intelligence, and was quite destitute of advertisements." And then, as if to prove what has been already stated by the Encyclopædia Britannica, the writer goes on to say, "The terrible contest of the succeeding reign was the hotbed which forced the press of this country into sudden life and extraordinary vigour.”
Darhs of Allegi
to be punished of all the
as they deferve, according
to a Judgment
Judges of England 2 Jacobi, we fuppofe it
Gv rherein, Judge
to be punished as they deferve, according to a Judgment
ftices conceived to be highly fineable by the Rules of the Common Law, either in the Kings Bench, or by the King and his Council, or now fince the Statute of the 3. Henry 7. in the Star-chamber, The Lords feverally, declared how the King was difcontented with the faid falfe Rumor, and had made but the day before a Proteftation unto them, That he never intended it, and that he would spend the laft Drop of Blond in his body-before be would do it, and prayed that before any of his iffwe should maintain any other Religion then what he truly profeffed and maintained that God would take them out of the world.
There were Eleven Perfons Gondemned to dye the laft Seffions in the Old Badly, fix Men and five Women, but one man and three women received a Gracious Reprieve from His Majefty, the other seven suffered at Tyburn upon Friday laft the Nineteenth Inftant, whofe Names and Crimes follow, John Parker by Trade a Watchmaker, for Clipping and Coining, having been formerly Convicted of the like at Salubary Benjamin Penry, a lufty ftout man, convicted of being a Notorious Highway-man, and Companion with French F.xecuted laft Seffions; John Dell, who with Richard Dean, his Servant were heretofore Tryed, for the Murder of Dells wives Brother, and now of his wife, which feemed rather to want Proof then Truth, they were both Condemned for ftealing a Mare, and Executed for the fame; This Dean fet fire of the Room wherein he lay at two Places the Night before he was Executed; william Atkins for Fellony, being an old Trader ia
There is a Report that three Suns were lately feen a-
This day, Decemb. 22. Captain William Bedlow one
There being Intimation given, that Mrs. Cofier the
It is reported, that a Quaker fell in love with a Lady of
Upon the 17th. inftant in the evening Mr. Dryden the great Poet, was fet upon in Rafe-street in Covent Garden, by three, perfons, who calling him rogue, and