On this day

March 1, 1890

cover page of Reading Mercury published on March 1, 1890

Reading Mercury

The Reading Mercury was Reading’s first newspaper, published in 1723. It was printed by William Carnan until his death in 1737, then by publisher John Newbery (1713-1767), later noted for his publication of children’s books. Newbery, who had been employed by Carnan, inherited part of his estate, married his widow and proceeded to expand the circulation of the Mercury.

As a county paper, the Reading Mercury covered all of Berkshire and circulated through adjoining counties including Oxfordshire, although in its early days, as with most provincial papers, it contained little local news, relying on reprinted news from the London papers. It supported agricultural and commercial interests, and although supportive of the Church of England, advocated religious liberty.

It ceased publication in 1987.


For this newspaper, we have the following titles in, or planned for, our digital archive:

  • 1767–1831 The Reading Mercury and Oxford Gazette
  • 1831–39 Reading Mercury, Oxford Gazette and Berkshire County Paper
  • 1839–1960 Reading Mercury, Oxford Gazette, Newbury Herald and Berks County Paper

This newspaper is published by an unknown publisher in Reading, Berkshire, England. It was digitised and first made available on the British Newspaper Archive in Feb 9, 2013 . The latest issues were added in Dec 22, 2021.