The London Gazette

Last updated

The London Gazette
London Gazette logo.svg
A London Gazette reprint of its front page from 3–10 September 1666, reporting on the Great Fire of London
Format Broadsheet
Founded7 November 1665
Language English
Headquarters United Kingdom

The London Gazette is one of the official journals of record or Government gazettes of the Government of the United Kingdom, and the most important among such official journals in the United Kingdom, in which certain statutory notices are required to be published. The Gazette is not a conventional newspaper offering general news coverage. It does not have a large circulation. Other official newspapers of the UK government are The Edinburgh Gazette and The Belfast Gazette , which, apart from reproducing certain materials of nationwide interest published in The London Gazette, also contain publications specific to Scotland and Northern Ireland, respectively. In turn, The London Gazette carries not only notices of UK-wide interest, but also those relating specifically to entities or people in England and Wales. However, certain notices that are only of specific interest to Scotland or Northern Ireland are also required to be published in The London Gazette.


The London, Edinburgh and Belfast Gazettes are published by TSO (The Stationery Office) on behalf of Her Majesty's Stationery Office. They are subject to Crown copyright.

The London Gazette claims to be the oldest surviving English newspaper and the oldest continuously published newspaper in the UK, having been first published on 7 November 1665 as The Oxford Gazette. [1] [2] This claim (to being oldest) is also made by the Stamford Mercury (1712) and Berrow's Worcester Journal (1690). [3] [4]

Current publication

The London Gazette is published each weekday, except for bank holidays. Notices for the following, among others, are published:

Her Majesty's Stationery Office has digitised all issues of the Gazette, and these are available online. [5]

The official Gazettes are published by The Stationery Office. The content, apart from insolvency notices, is available in a number of machine-readable formats, including XML (delivery by email/FTP) and XML/RDFa via Atom feed. [6]


The London Gazette, dated 14-17 May 1705 detailing the return of John Leake from Gibraltar after the Battle of Cabrita Point. London Gazette(1705).jpg
The London Gazette, dated 14–17 May 1705 detailing the return of John Leake from Gibraltar after the Battle of Cabrita Point.

The London Gazette was first published as The Oxford Gazette on 7 November 1665. Charles II and the Royal Court had moved to Oxford to escape the Great Plague of London, and courtiers were unwilling to touch London newspapers for fear of contagion. The Gazette was "Published by Authority" by Henry Muddiman, and its first publication is noted by Samuel Pepys in his diary. The King returned to London as the plague dissipated, and the Gazette moved too, with the first issue of The London Gazette (labelled No. 24) being published on 5 February 1666. [7] The Gazette was not a newspaper in the modern sense: it was sent by post to subscribers, not printed for sale to the general public. [8]

Her Majesty's Stationery Office took over the publication of the Gazette in 1889. Publication of the Gazette was transferred to the private sector in 2006, under government supervision, when HMSO was sold and renamed The Stationery Office. [9]

Dates before 1 January 1752

Until Calendar (New Style) Act 1750 came into effect on 1 January 1752 (N.S.), the Gazette was published with a date based on the Julian calendar with the start of year as 25 March. (Modern secondary sources may adjust the start of the calendar year during this period to 1 January, while retaining the original day and month. Using this adjustment, an issue with a printed date of 24 March 1723 (O.S.) will be reported as being published in 1724  the same solar year as an issue published two days later, on 26 March 1724.)


In time of war, dispatches from the various conflicts are published in The London Gazette. People referred to are said to have been mentioned in despatches. When members of the armed forces are promoted, and these promotions are published here, the person is said to have been "gazetted".

Being "gazetted" (or "in the gazette") also meant having official notice of one's bankruptcy published, [10] as in the classic ten-line poem comparing the stolid tenant farmer of 1722 to the lavishly spending faux-genteel farmers of 1822: [11]

Man to the plough / Wife to the cow
Girl to the yarn / Boy to the barn
And your rent will be netted.

Man tally-ho / Miss piano
Wife silk and satin / Boy Greek and Latin
And you'll all be Gazetted .

Notices of engagement and marriage were also formerly published in the Gazette.

Colonial gazettes

Gazettes, modelled on The London Gazette, were issued for most British colonial possessions.[ citation needed ]

See also

Explanatory notes

    Related Research Articles

    History of British newspapers

    The history of British newspapers dates to the 17th century with the emergence of regular publications covering news and gossip. The relaxation of government censorship in the late 17th century led to a rise in publications, which in turn led to an increase in regulation throughout the 18th century. The Times began publication in 1785 and became the leading newspaper of the early 19th century, before the lifting of taxes on newspapers and technological innovations led to a boom in newspaper publishing in the late 19th century. Mass education and increasing affluence led to new papers such as the Daily Mail emerging at the end of the 19th century, aimed at lower middle-class readers.

    James Butler, 2nd Duke of Ormonde 17th and 18th-century Irish politician and soldier

    James FitzJames Butler, 2nd Duke of Ormonde, (1665–1745) was an Irish statesman and soldier. He was the third of the Kilcash branch of the family to inherit the earldom of Ormond. Like his grandfather, the 1st Duke, he was raised as a Protestant, unlike his extended family who held to Roman Catholicism. He served in the campaign to put down the Monmouth Rebellion, in the Williamite War in Ireland, in the Nine Years' War and in the War of the Spanish Succession but was accused of treason and went into exile after the Jacobite rising of 1715.

    The Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) is the body responsible for the operation of His/Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO) and of other public information services of the United Kingdom. The OPSI is part of the National Archives of the United Kingdom and is responsible for Crown copyright.

    The Dublin Gazette was the gazette, or official newspaper, of the Irish Executive, Britain's government in Ireland based at Dublin Castle, between 1705 and 1922. It published notices of government business, including Royal Proclamations, the granting of Royal Assent to bills, writs of election, appointments to public offices, commissions and promotions in the Armed Forces, and awards of honours, as well as notices of insolvency, and of changes of names or of arms.

    <i>Iris Oifigiúil</i> Government gazette of Ireland

    Iris Oifigiúil is the official gazette of the Government of Ireland. It replaced The Dublin Gazette, the gazette of the Dublin Castle administration, on 31 January 1922. The Belfast Gazette was established for the same purpose in the newly created Northern Ireland on 7 June 1921.

    A gazette is an official journal, a newspaper of record, or simply a newspaper.

    The Stationery Office British publishing company

    The Stationery Office (TSO) is a British publishing company created in 1996 when the publishing arm of Her Majesty's Stationery Office was privatised. It is the official publisher and the distributor for legislation, command and house papers, select committee reports, Hansard, and the London, Edinburgh and Belfast Gazettes, the UK government's three official journals of record. With more than 9,000 titles in print and digital formats published every year, it is one of the UK's largest publishers by volume.

    Berrow's Worcester Journal is a weekly freesheet tabloid newspaper, based in Worcester, England. Owned by Newsquest, the newspaper is delivered across central and southern Worcestershire county.

    The Queen's Printer is typically a bureau of the national, state, or provincial government responsible for producing official documents issued by the Queen-in-Council, Ministers of the Crown, or other departments. The position is defined by letters patent under the royal prerogative in various Commonwealth realms.

    The Edinburgh Gazette is a newspaper of record of the Government of the United Kingdom, along with The London Gazette and The Belfast Gazette. The Stationery Office (TSO) is published on behalf of Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO) in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Crown Agent is, ex officio, the Keeper of the Edinburgh Gazette.

    The Belfast Gazette is a newspaper of record of the Government of the United Kingdom, along with The London Gazette and The Edinburgh Gazette. It is published by The Stationery Office (TSO), on behalf of Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO) in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

    In many countries, a statutory instrument is a form of delegated legislation.

    Crown copyright is a type of copyright protection. It subsists in works of the governments of some Commonwealth realms and provides special copyright rules for the Crown, i.e. government departments and (generally) state entities. Each single Commonwealth realm has its own distinct Crown copyright regulations. There are therefore no common regulations that apply to all or a number of those countries. There are some considerations being made in Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand regarding the "reuse of Crown-copyrighted material, through new licences".

    Three Royal Commissions on the Press were held in the United Kingdom during the 20th century. The first (1947–49) proposed the creation of a General Council of the Press to govern behaviour, promote consumer interests and conduct research into the long-term social and economic impact of the print industry. This led to the setting up of the Press Council in 1953. The second Royal Commission (1961–62) studied the economic and financial factors that affecting the Press whilst the third (1974–77) proposed the development of a written Code of Practice for newspapers.

    Edward Rice was Dean of Gloucester from 1825 until his death.

    Richard Francis Onslow was Archdeacon of Worcester from 1815 to 1849.

    John Peel was Dean of Worcester from 1845 until his death.

    William Ogle Moore was an Irish Anglican priest: he was Dean of Cashel from 1857 to 1861; and Dean of Clogher from 1862 to 1873.

    Joseph Bennet Komla Odunton was a Ghanaian public servant and a communications expert. He served as director of information in the Nkrumah government, an assistant press secretary to the queen and principal secretary to the ministry of information on two occasions; first in the first republic and also in the NLC government.


    1. "No. 6231". The London Gazette . 4 January 1723. p. 1.; "No. 6257". The London Gazette . 4 April 1724. p. 1.
    2. "No. 1". The Oxford Gazette . 7 November 1665. p. 1.
    3. "The Rutland & Stamford Mercury". Archived from the original on 20 April 2008.
    4. "Berrow's Worcester Journal - History of the newspaper". Worcester News. Newsquest. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
    5. "Search Result".
    6. "Data Re-use". The London Gazette. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
    7. "No. 24". The London Gazette . 5 February 1666. p. 1.
    8. McSmith, Andy (30 December 2013). "Yet another end of an era: 'The London Gazette', the UK's most venerable publication, goes online". The Independent. London. Retrieved 5 November 2021.
    9. Harrington, Ben (25 April 2006). "Stationery Office sale may net £100m" . The Daily Telegraph . Archived from the original on 11 January 2022. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
    10. "Bankruptcy Act". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) . United Kingdom: Lords. 26 June 1843. col. 365.
    11. By William Hone (1827); published by Hunt and Clarke.