Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/327

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THE data in ' N. & Q.' relating to pro- vincial newspapers will cause the future historian of the press to turn to its pages for many facts which are not recorded elsewhere, and the following note is prompted by the recent contributions as to the number- ing of the volumes of The Stamford Mercury (see 11 S. vii. 365, 430, 471). That the age of any newspaper cannot necessarily be determined by comparison of the volume - number with the year has been proved by those contributions. Only by checking every year can absolute accuracy be ob- tained, for while one particular volume may be correct, it does not follow that a chance selection of another will give a like result. This I have proved by examining the file of The Gloucester Journal, now approaching its two hundredth year, one of the very few papers of such an age of which there exists a complete file from its commencement. I have had the rare opportunity of looking through every issue of this paper up to (and, indeed, some way beyond) the death (on

7 Sept., 1757) of Robert Raikes the elder, who with William Dicey published the first number on 9 April, 1722, and was sole proprietor from 27 Sept., 1725. This ex- amination has been completed to the present time so far as checking the volume - numbers with the years is concerned. A detailed history of the earlier period was published in The Library for January, 1915.

'For many years the volumes corre- sponded very closely with the " newspaper year," that is, from April, though there were variations in the number of issues in each volume, ranging from 45 to 54. The first three volumes contained 160 issues, paged from 1 to 960, there being six pages in each week's paper. No. 157 was numbered vol. iv., but Nos. 158 to 160, vol. hi. Vol. iv. commenced with 3 May, 1725, and ended

8 March, 1725 (i.e., 1725/6), 45 numbers. The first error in the weekly numeration occurs in this volume, the number 200 being printed instead of 197, and this w^as carried on for a few weeks, being rectified by repeat- ing 217, 218, and 219.

The first change in the period covered by the volume was made with vol. xlix., which contained only the issues from 16 April to 31 Dec., 1770 The paper for 7 Jan., 1771, was the first of vol. 1., though actually this numbering would not be correct until the following April, and then for 101 years the

volume -number corresponds with the calen- dar year. The numeration also is correct until 1827, which is vol. cv. instead of cvi.. This loss of one is continued until 1872, when 6 Jan. until 6 April are numbered vol. cl., and from 13 April onwards vol. cli. The peculiarities of the numbering are now remarkable, as the following table will show :;

Vol. No- January 6, 1872 to April 6, 1872 ... cl. April 13, 1872 July 19, 1873 ... cli.

July 26, 1873 May 9, 1874 ... clii.

May 16, 1874 April 27, 1878 ... din.

May 4, 1878 April 24, 1880 ... cliv.

May 1,1880 May 7, 1881 ... civ.

May 14, 1881 May 20, 1882 ... clvi..

May 27, 1882 May 19, 1883 ... clvii.

May 26, 1883 April 26, 1884 ... clviii..

May 3, 1884 April 25, 1885 ... clix.

May 2, 1885 August 7, 1886 ... clx.

August 14, 1886 June 4, 1887 ... clxi,

June 11, 1887 June 22, 1889 ... clxii.

June 29, 1889 December 28, 1889 clxiii^

January 4, 1890 February 21, 1891 clxiv.

February 28, 1891 December 3 L, 1892 clxix_

The earlier errors had evidently been noticed, but though 28 Feb., 1891, was numbered vol. clxix., this was continued throughout the following year. The volume - number for 1892 should have been clxxL The numbering from vol. clxix. continue* until 1906, when the issues for 6-20 Jan. are vol. clxxxiii., but from 27 Jan. to the end of that year vol. clxxxii., making an error of 3 counting from the commencement of the paper. This continued until 1914, and' was increased to four by the omission, in 1915, to alter vol. cxc. to cxci. This, how- ever, has now been corrected, and though the issue for 20 March, 1915, was altered to vol. cxciii., the following week bears the number cxciv., being right if allowance is made for the calendar year being chosen- instead of the " newspaper year " (April to- April).

These notes will show how little reliance can be placed on the volume-numbering of papers as a guide to their age. The Gloucester Journal for 27 March, 1915, is numbered 10,043, but I cannot say now how far this is correct. At present I have collated Nos. 1 to 2,076, and find that the last should have been 2,082. ROLAND AUSTIN.


THE BANNER OF SIR PHILIP FRANCIS.. (See ante, pp. 240, 245.) The announcement of the death in February of Mr. Philip Francis, grandson of Sir Philip Francis, the reputed " Junius," recalls the fact that^he, as the direct representative of Sir Philip,, claimed the latter's banner on the removal of."