16 July 2009

The London Gazette


If your ancestors lived in the greater London area from after about 1665, then you’ll appreciate hearing about "The London Gazette: Published by Authority", an article by David A. Norris posted in Internet Genealogy magazine in the December/January 2009 issue.

“For such a long-lasting institution, the beginnings of the London Gazette were a quick stop-gap measure to deal with one of London’s worst disasters. Bubonic plague broke out in the city in 1665. King Charles II moved his court to Oxford, and many other Londoners who could leave also did so. The plague was so contagious, the courtiers feared any contact with London at all, even with its newspapers. To convey important news, the government started an official newspaper, which they called the Oxford Gazette. When the plague subsided, the newspaper was relocated with the royal court and continued as the London Gazette."

The London Gazette may mention court cases involving ordinary citizens, according to Norris who also notes the archive is online at www.gazettes-online.co.uk .

Pictured above: Future prime minister Winston Churchill appears in the London Gazette on 23 June 1896, when he was promoted to first lieutenant in the 4th Hussars. Because of such notices in the London Gazette, “gazetted” came to mean “promoted”.

Happy family tree climbing!

Myrt :)


Your friend in genealogy.


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