One of the leading business and market towns of East Anglia, Ipswich in the eighteenth century was a thriving port and the administrative and market centre for the counties of Suffolk and Norfolk. The town's prosperity was closely linked to that of the region as a whole, which moved towards a predominantly agricultural economy as its traditional textile industries declined. Almost every aspect of East Anglian life is documented within the pages of the Ipswich Journal - from poor houses to politics, subscription concerts and farm sales.
Commencing publication on 20 August 1720, the early aims of the newspaper are declared:
The Sale of this PAPER increasing, insomuch that it may be presumed now from the Encourage-ment received, to be out of all Danger as to its Establishment; . . .for the future to render This more Beneficial (and consequently Acceptable) to our Trading Customers, by adding a True and Authentick Account from Week to Week of the Imports, Exports, and Price Current of Goods on Shore. And further to comply with the Request of several Gentleman of this Town, we shall take care to subjoin an exact Account of the Burials and Christenings, which shall occur here, as collected from the respective Clerks of every Parish.
The newspaper attracted all kinds of advertisements and printed details of large numbers of local events, as was evidenced in its twice weekly publication. A couple of examples show the great variety of life recorded:
30 December 1780: 'A small privateer is being fitted out in Ipswich by some gentlemen to annoy the Dutch trade'.
15 December 1781: 'On Saturday last the West Gate at Ipswich was pulled down, it was sold for 32 pounds and built in 1430'.
As the Chartist movement developed in the early decades of the nineteenth century, the paper, in common with others in the country at large, adopted an anti-Chartist view.
By the 1840s the paper's standpoint was reported:
Advocated generally the policy lately professed by Sir Robert Peel's administration, supported the amended sliding scale, the tariff, and the Canadian Corn Bill, was in favour of the Dissenters' Chapel Bill, the Maynooth Endowment, and the policy of the ministry towards Ireland; but took part with Lord Ashley in urging the necessity of placing a limit on the hours of manufacturing labour. Is opposed to the repeal of protective duties, advocates high Church principles, but is a determined opponent to the tractarian theology. Has powerfully supported the railway projects which originated at Ipswich and comments freely upon local management affecting the interests of the district
The well-known novelist George Meredith was paid to supply text for two leading articles and two columns for the paper during the 1850s
In common with other regional newspapers, the Ipswich Journal achieved good sales, selling 7,000 copies per week in 1882. However, twenty years later in 1902 the paper was discontinued, owing to a shortage of funds available though public notices and advertisements.
For this newspaper, we have the following titles in, or planned for, our digital archive:
- 1720–1832 The Ipswich Journal
This newspaper is published by an unknown publisher in Ipswich, Suffolk, England. It was digitised and first made available on the British Newspaper Archive in May 2, 2013 . The latest issues were added in Jul 18, 2013.