Since 1801, newspapers have been published in Cornwall. A detailed description of them and the location and completeness of archives can be found on the Hampshire County Council page, who hosted the South Western Regional Library System’s working group of the British Library Newspaper Library (BLNL) Newsplan Project. The BLNL has an online catalogue of their holdings. What follows is a summary of the more useful ones. Most can be found, either in the BLNL, the RIC, the Morrab Library, or CSL.
Major stories will also appear in other papers from around the country (or world), for example the story of the Newlyn Riots in 1886 which is transcribed from the Sunderland Echo and this story of manslaughter (not guilty) in The Times of London. Even further affield is the story reported in the USA and quoted here. Other short extracts are quoted below.
Cornwall Gazette and Falmouth Packet
Of interest because it is the earliest and predecessor of the Royal Cornwall Gazette (below) and the Cornish Herald. 85 issues were published between 7 Mar 1801 and 16 Oct 1802 and the only complete set is in the RIC. The BLNL have a microfilm.
Royal Cornwall Gazette
1803–1951, Truro with county coverage
Historically this was a newspaper with Tory leanings.
1803–1810 is in the RIC except 5 issues from 1806. Four of these can be found in the Somerset Record Office. From 1808 copies can be found in the RIC, CSL (incomplete) and the Morrab Library. From 1811, it has been microfilmed by the BLNL except 64 scattered issues all before 1923. The CSL web site claims this was published from 1801 but they may be refering to the Cornwall Gazette above. In 1951 it merged with the West Briton.
Merger with the West Briton announced on 1 Jan 1836 and took effect on 9 Sep 1836.
Note, the Cornish Guardian published from 1901 is a different newspaper.
No known archives.
1810–now, Truro with county coverage
The numbering of the edition of 18 Mar 1836 as 1,240 suggests by extrapolation backwards that the first edition was on 20 Jul 1810.
A rival to the Royal Cornwall Gazette, this was a newspaper with Whig (Liberal) leanings.
A set, complete but for the first 10 issues, is in the RIC. BLNL holds a complete set to 1830. The CSL and Truro Library have a complete set. [Barton, 1970–74] are a collection of cuttings from this newspaper. There are some extracts including Births, Marriages & Deaths for this paper online on this site for 1836–39, and 1887. See also the complete abstracts and extracts by Isabel Harris, Bill Kemp, Julia Mosman and Rita Bone Kopp.
Penzance (and Cornwall) Gazette
Issue 1 was published 16 Sep 1839 and it continued as the Penzance Gazette until issue 793 on 3 Jan 1855. Then it became the Penzance and Cornwall Gazette for a further 162 issue until 27 Oct 1858.
The only complete set is in the BLNL, though the CSL claims to have them as well.
177 issues were published between 16 Jun 1847 and 30 Oct 1850.
The only complete set is in the BLNL, though the CSL claims to have them as well..
Cornish Telegraph, Mining, Agricultural and Commercial Gazette
2277 issues were published between 3 Jan 1851 and 14 Jan 1915 at which point it became incorporated into The Cornishman. [Saundry 1931] reports that it began in 1850 and was purchased by The Cornishman in 1908 but continued as a distinct Newspaper (presumably until 1915).
The BLNL microfilm lacks parts of 5 years (1868–69, 72, 97 & 1912). With the exception of the first 5 months of 1868, these can be found in the Morrab Library.
Cornish Evening Tidings
This started just as The Tidings, later the Evening Tidings (from 1886–1908) and then to the Cornish Telegraph and Evening Tidings for just a few days before settling on the Cornish Evening Tidings on 23 Jan 1908. [Saundry 1931] reports that it began in 1870 and was purchased by The Cornishman in 1908 (hence the name hiatus) but continued as a distinct Newspaper (presumably until 1944).
The first extant issue is numbered 84 and there are many missing until 1875. The BLNL microfilm lacks 7 years (1879, 1893, 1896–98 and 1880–81 are in poor condition). These can all be found in the Morrab Library.
This paper has a long and distinguished history complicated by many local editions in recent years.
It started as a single edition on 18 Jul 1878 with issue 1 which continued until 16 Nov 1944 with issue 4830. From then on local editions were published for Camborne, St. Ives, the Scilly Isles and Helston. These were essentially the same paper with additional local material on special pages. The St. Ives edition went from issue 4922 on 22 Aug 1946 until issue 5193 on 8 Nov 1951 when it became the West Penwith edition, Penzance having earlier split off for its own version on 4 Nov 1948 with issue 5037. These two edition ran in parallel until issue 6717 on 26 Mar 1981 when they re-united as the Penzance and West Penwith edition for a further 5 years. On 2 Jan 1986 (issue 6964) it became the Penzance and District edition and on 14 Feb 1991 (issue 7230) variations were introduced for Land's End and Penwith Rural. Meanwhile, on 5 Jan 1984 with issue 6861, a St. Ives and Hayle edition was spun off which further divided to separate St. Ives and Hayle editions on 1 Feb 1990 (issue 7176). I understand these five editions (Penzance, Land's End, Rural, St. Ives and Hayle) are still going togethor with the successors to the Scilly and Camborne editions. The Helston edition which became the Kerrier edition was discontinued in 1984.
The BLNL have all the editions mentioned above and the Morrab Library have a bound collection which is rapidly deteriorating due to poor storage facilities. The CSL have a full set as does the Penzance Library.
The Church in the West
Advertised in the West Briton 1887
Is the Church Newspaper for Devon & Cornwall. Weekly—One Penny. Local Church News, Articles on Topics interesting to Churchmen, Notable Sermons and Papers, Local Church History.—Order at Once of the Publisher, F. E. Sach, 5, Sydney St., Plymouth.
St. Ives Weekly Summary, Visitors' List and Advertiser
1889–1918, St. Ives
Started with the first issue on 25 May 1889 this continued until 18 Apr 1918 when it was incorporated into The Cornishman.
The best collection is held in the offices of the “St. Ives Times and Echo” which may not be accessible. The CSL and St. Ives Library have from 1893.
1899–1957, St. Ives
The first issue was on 2 Sep 1899 and there were 2962 more before it merged with the St. Ives Times after the issue of 28 Jan 1957.
The BLNL microfilm (for the CSL) lacks the first three years. The remainder, except 60 issues, can be found in the St. Ives Museum.
St. Ives Times (and Echo)
1910–now, St. Ives
The Echo name was added in 1957 when the Western Echo was incorporated.
The first three years only exist in the offices of the newspaper. Later editions may be found in the collections of the St. Ives Trust Archive Study Centre. The CSL has bound paper copies of the St. Ives Times from 1913–71. The Times and Echo (from 1972 to date) are in the CSL and the St. Ives Libarary. The BLNL collection starts with issue 162 (31 Oct 1913).
Penzance and District News and Advertiser
This was a short lived name (6 editions from 29 Mar to 3 May 1933) for the Marazion and District Advertiser which later became the Marazion and Portlevan Advertiser which ran, in total, from 1920 to 1942.
The BLNL have a set
Penzance Shopper (The Packet)
A varient of the Truro Shopper, a free distribution advertising sheet, this started with issue 114 on 6 Jan 1985 until 11 Apr when it changed it's name to the Packet (I think it may have been taken over by the publishers of the Hayle and St. Ives Packet which started on 12 Jan 1989 and produced 129 isues up to 27 Jun 1991).
A set is in the CSL and Penzance Library. The BLNL have only copies up to 489 (1992)
Penzance, Hayle and St. Ives Leader
Another free distribution advertising sheet, this started with issue 35 on 2 Jun 1990 (presumably having started elsewhere). The “St. Ives” was dropped in 1992.
The BLNL have a copy on microfilm.
Two other newspapers are worthy of mention—The Cornubian and The Hayle Mail. From 1911 to 1917 these newspapers published a regular letter from Sid Blake in New York detailing all the people that passed through his hotel which specialiesed in Cornish travelers. Full details of these letters can be found on the Cornish Letters from America web site by George Pritchard. There is also a published index to some of these letters (the Cornumbian ones) by Pam George [George 1997].
Other short extracts of note
Daily Universal Register (London), 15 Nov 1786
Reported by LaVelda Faull to CORNISH-L 9 Dec 2003
“Prince of Wales’ council, 13th of Nov. 1786. The names of those who were nominated for Sheriffs by the Council of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales at his Royal Highness's Council Chamber and Darby[?] Office in Pall-Mall, on Monday the 13th of November in the twenty-seventh year of the reign of King George the Third, and in the year of our Lord 1786: County of Cornwall. SAMUEL STEPHENS of Tregenna; SAMUEL THOMAS, of Tregolis; WM NICHOLLS, of Trereise, Esqrs.”
The Daily Miner, Butte, Montana, 12 Oct 1883
Reported by LaVelda Faull to CORNISH-L 11 Dec 2003
“Penzance, England, Oct. 11.—A reward of 50 lbs [presumably £50] is offered for the recovery, alive, of WILLIE DICKINSON, a boy stolen from his home in Wisconsin, in November, 1881, and brought to Cornwall.”
Grand Traverse Herald, Traverse City, Michigan, 18 Oct 1883
“A reward of 500 lbs is offered for the recovery alive of WILLIE DICKENSON, a boy stolen from his home in Wisconsin, in November, 1881, and brought to Cornwall, England.” [Note: Notice the difference in the reward in the two abstracts.]