Welcome to Reporting the English Civil War: transcriptions of English ‘newspapers’ from the 1640s.
Before 1641 it was illegal to publish domestic news: this was the prerogative of the Crown. When these restrictions were swept away in 1641, a domestic news print industry quickly took root in London. This coincided with the perfect excuse to print weekly domestic news: the start of the English Civil War.
Mercurius Aulicus was published in Oxford between 1643 and 1645, and was the only significant Royalist newsbook during the First Civil War. Search and browse full transcriptions of Mercurius Aulicus for free – see the sidebar, or use the search box.
The transcription of Aulicus is an ongoing project, so keep checking back for more uploads. Occasionally, issues are missing because they have not survived, or survivors are not yet located.
New, May 2017: More than 40 single issue / minor newsbooks are now available to browse – see sidebar, or use the search box.
Some newsbooks are at present available only to project contributors. Search results from these will come up as ‘login required’, and will not be available.
Some English Civil War newsbook transcriptions are available to buy from Tyger’s Head in print. Print versions are always annotated and fully indexed. Currently Tyger’s Head is working on the print version of Mercurius Civicus volume III, for 1645.
Searching early modern text is often difficult due to the varied spellings and lack of punctuation. When searching on this site:
1. Searching works best when you only enter a surname or a single word.
2. Then check for all known spellings of your name/word.
3. You can use quote marks to search for ‘a specific phrase or name’. However this exact search may miss spelling variants, e.g. ‘earl’ is frequently spelled ‘earle’, so ‘earl of’ will not bring up ‘earle of’.
4. Clicking on a search result will take you to the newsbook issue in question; you may need to use your browser’s page search to find your query within the newsbook text.
5. ‘Search tags’ are added to the foot of each issue, in modern spelling. If your search result includes one of these, it means a variant spelling was used in that newsbook, which you or the search engine might not otherwise have picked up. You will need to scan through the newsbook edition in question to find your name/word.
At 370+ years old, the original newsbook texts are not subject to copyright. However, the newly transcribed and occasionally corrected versions of them presented here are the copyright of Tyger’s Head Books, and copying from this site has been disabled. If you need a long passage from a newsbook for research purposes and don’t want to write it out manually, get in touch to get a transcription from the original emailed to you free of charge.