Aris's Birmingham Gazette
Aris’s Birmingham Gazette was founded by Thomas Aris, a London printer in 1741 as the Birmingham Gazette and General Correspondent. The first 4 page issue was priced at 3 halfpence. Three pages were devoted to foreign and London news, with information on bankrupts, diseases and casualties that week and grain prices. The back page was wholly given over to advertisements.
By 1743 Aris had incorporated rival Richard Walker’s Warwick and Staffordshire Gazette into his own paper and become the only Birmingham newspaper. It is widely viewed as one of the most important provincial 18th century papers, and had established a London correspondent by the 1740’s.
Aris went to great lengths to try to serve the interests of a wide variety of readers by avoiding unnecessary controversy and endeavouring to present a neutral stance politically. Sometimes however, this approach was difficult to sustain. In 1775 as relations between Britain and the American colonies deteriorated, Aris’s fell into direct confrontation with rival paper the Birmingham and Stafford Chronicle (owned by Myles Swinney) over the Birmingham Petition. Swinney supported those like Boulton who wanted to be more conciliatory towards the Americans. Although Aris tried to be even-handed his paper was to a certain extent hijacked by those who favoured a more coercive stance.
Thomas Aris Pearson who later took over the running of the paper and died in 1801, was also a highly respected editor who endeavoured to adopt a strict impartiality.
The paper circulated over a wide geographical area even in the 18th century. Apart from Birmingham and other parts of Warwickshire, it could be found in Worcestershire, North and South Staffordshire, Shropshire and Gloucestershire. It merged with the Birmingham Daily Gazette in 1888, which itself was incorporated into the Birmingham Post in 1956.
For this newspaper, we have the following titles in, or planned for, our digital archive:
- 1741–41 The Birmingham Gazette, or, The General Correspondent
- 1746–1880 Aris's Birmingham Gazette
This newspaper is published by Reach PLC in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England. It was digitised and first made available on the British Newspaper Archive in Feb 11, 2011 . The latest issues were added in May 25, 2018.