The First Provincial Newspapers

  • 16 Jan 2012
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In January, 1701, Francis Burges of Norwich, published the first provincial paper, a four-page foolscap sheet, which he called the Norwich Post. A few copies remain, the issue numbered 348 is in the British Museum. A letter of Dr. Thomas Tanner, Bishop of St.Asaph, to Browne Willis, the antiquarian, dated August 1, 1706, reports its success, clearing 50s. every week. He goes on to say: 'as far as I can learn this Burgess first began here the printing news out of London. I have seen since the Bristol Postman. I am told they print also a weekly paper at Exeter'. William Bonney had started the Post Boy at Bristol in Novemeber 1702, but there is no record of another  provincial newspaper until 1709, when Stephen Bryan printed the first number of the Worcester Postman.