11th March 1702: The Daily Courant, the first daily English language newspaper, published

11th March 1702: The Daily Courant, the first daily English language newspaper, published


Hello, and welcome to HistoryPod. On 11 March 1702, the Daily Courant, the first
daily English-language newspaper, was published in London. The Daily Courant was established by E. Mallet
at offices on Fleet Street, which had been an important centre for printing since the
early 16th century. The government’s strict control over printing
had only stopped with the end of the Licensing of the Press Act in 1695, and British society
took time to adapt to the new press freedoms. Consequently there is some dispute over who
exactly E. Mallet was, but most sources agree that the paper was established by Elizabeth
Mallet, the wife of the deceased printer David Mallet. It would have been jarring for many people
at the time to have seen the name of a woman on the by-line, so it is understood that she
instead used a single initial and referred to herself as ‘he’ if necessary. The single-sheet newspaper carried digests
of foreign newspapers on the front page and adverts on the reverse. Mallet herself claimed to ‘give news daily
and impartially’ while promising ‘Nor will [the Author] take it upon himself to
give any Comments or Conjectures of his own, but will relate only Matter of Fact; supposing
other People to have Sense enough to make Reflections for themselves.’ By 1703 Mallet had sold The Daily Courant
to the printer and bookseller Samuel Buckley who continued to produce the daily editions
after relocating the offices to another area of the city. Buckley later launched the Spectator (not
to be confused with the current weekly magazine that began in the 19th century), but this
new publication lasted for less than two years. Meanwhile The Daily Courant continued to be
printed until 1735 when it merged with the Daily Gazetteer that survived in various forms
until 1797.

One thought on “11th March 1702: The Daily Courant, the first daily English language newspaper, published

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *