A precursor to newspapers. From this British Library page:

Newsbooks were the ancestors of newspapers, printed at this time [1607] in editions of up to 250 copies, though being read probably by a much larger number. While newsbooks became widespread during the 1640s, their origin can be traced back to official statements about public events, such as The Trewe encountre, a pamphlet published following the Battle of Flodden in 1513, and corantos, newsletters carrying collected information, which often contained reported speech.

During the Civil War (1642-51) a newspaper war broke out; the royalist Mercurius Aulicus was printed in Oxford and Bristol, even circulating in London, where it was regarded as a major problem by the parliamentarians, who eventually produced the Mercurius Britannicus to counter it.


This text was copied from Wikipedia on 22 February 2017 at 3:22AM.

Newsbooks, also called news-books, were more sophisticated than posters. They were the 16th-century precursors to today's newspapers. They covered a single big story, such as a battle, a disaster or a sensational trial.[1]

The Oxford English Dictionary describes them as "A small newspaper. In common use from about 1650 to 1700".

See also


  1. ^ "Newsbook". The Economist. Retrieved 19 October 2015. 

3 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

In 1664 there were Newsbooks and News-letters -- the precursors of newspapers -- circulated at the 'Change and nearby coffee-houses. The latest news of ships sailing and those entering English ports were posted at (put up on posts to be seen) on the 'Change. Pepys consultin a newsbook in 1662

July 7 1665 he writes casually "I met this noon with Dr. Burnett, who told me, and I find in the newsbook this week that he posted upon the ‘Change,"

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21). Volume VII. Cavalier and Puritan.
XV. The Beginnings of English Journalism.
§ 8. Muddiman’s newsletters. 1660-

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.