The London Gazette was first published in Oxford on 7 November 1665. Charles II and the Royal Court had moved to Oxford to escape the Great Plague of London, and courtiers were unwilling to touch, let alone read, London newspapers for fear of contagion.

When the King moved back to London, the newspaper came with them and continues to this day.

It is not the sort of newspaper that you would expect though, being predominantly being where government notices are published.

For example, if a military person is “mentioned in dispatches”, then it here that they get “mentioned”.

They have recently (about a week ago) relaunched their website.

I use them occasionally for research, as their search engine is rather good so it is easy to find notices of Bills which will be submitted to Parliament in the near future. The notice itself contains a lot of detail, so it often saves the hassle of reading the bill itself. I am using it a lot at the moment for my research project as the railway company reguarly changed its plans during construction – each time requiring a new Parliamentary act to be passed.

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