Berrow's Worcester Journal - the world's oldest surviving newspaper
Worcester holds the distinction of being home to the world's oldest surviving newspaper. In 1690 the Worcester Postman was set up and was published irregularly between then and 1709. It was not till after the deposing of King James II that freedom of the press in England became a reality. Until then printing had been strictly controlled and limited to the publication of official government announcements. The early history of the Worcester paper is unclear until 1709 when Stephen Bryan became its proprietor and since when it has been published every week and continues to this day.
The paper changed its name to the Worcester Journal and was known as such even after 1748 when Harvey Berrow became its owner. It was after a period of competition when a rival paper was set up, also calling itself the Worcester Journal, that Harvey Berrow changed its name to the Berrow's Worcester Journal in 1753, the name surviving to the present day.
Unusually for the times, Harvey's daughter Elizabeth edited the paper for a few years following the death of her brother who had inherited from his father. This continued until 1779 and until she married John Tymbs whose name subsequently appeared on the imprint.
Copies of the earliest editions are availble to view on microfilm at the Worcestershire Library and History Centre, The Trinity, Worcester WR1 2PW.
Tel: +44 (0) 1905 765922