DERRY JOURNAL 250: ‘To the Nobility, Gentry, Clergy, and Inhabitants...’ The very first Derry Journal, June 3, 1772

The following is the very first article published in the first edition of the ‘London-Derry Journal & General Advertiser’, as written by owner and editor George Douglas. In a prophetic column/ letter also carried on the front page and witten just a few years before the American and French revolutions and uprising in Ireland, and addressed to the then British Prime Minister Lord North, the writer ‘Junius’ warns: ‘The late revolution in Denmark, my Lord, will produce, in all human probability, an entire alteration in the whole fyfedom of Europe’.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 28th May 2022, 10:27 am

To the Nobility, Gentry, Clergy, and Inhabitants of the City and County of London-Derry, and the Counties of Donegal and Tyrone:

In a county where the Protefant religion fo universally established, and the understanding of its inhabitants, consequently, so much enlightened, it is presumed, that every attempt tending to satisfy a laudable curiosity, to enliven true pleasure and promote real interest, will be warmly received by them; and, as a News-Paper (when properly conducted) in a great degree conduces to those ends, by exposing flagrant grievances, and conveying pleasing, inflecting, and interesting intelligence, it is hoped that such a one will meet with proper encouragement, especially, when no pains or expense shall be wanting to render it useful and agreeable to every class of people.

In order, therefore, to make it as entertaining as possible, it shall be the constant study of the publisher, to collect all the valuable News and essays out of the best London papers; and as some Dublin ones are so remarkably esteemed, every piece of genuine merit in them shall be regularly inserted in this. The City of London-Derry seems commodious, in a peculiar manner, for the putting of such a plan in execution, from the great number of respectable persons residing in it and the adjacent towns and country; from it’s being so happily situated for trade, and, of course, particularly attentive to, and concerned in, every thing which treats thereof, from the vast distance it is from any place where news-papers are published, and it’s being of irregularly served with them; and from the great expense which must necessarily attend the taking in of the Dublin papers.

The very first front page from June 1772 (right) and left the Journal masthead dropping the London prefix as its editorial policy evolved to become a leading Irish nationalist voice in Ireland.

The Publisher of the Paper flatters himself, that by his being a Protestant; by having had experience for a considerable time in a work of this nature in the city of Dublin, by printing this Paper on an elegant new Type: and by an unceasing readiness to please, he will be so fortunate as to gain the approbation and protection of every one who shall honour him as a subscriber; And that the prices annexed to the different distances will not be thought unreasonable, when the real excellence of the work, the size and quality of the paper, the largeness of the Type, the vast fund of entertaining and interested intelligence it is intended to convey, and the great expense that must unavoidably accompany the carrying of this plan effectually into execution, will be minutely confident. Letters, Essays and Poetry, on useful and entertaining subjects, shall be thankfully received, and duly obtain a place or answer in the Paper; and all advertisements from every part be punctually and carefully attended to, and inserted in the most conspicuous manner, the more immediately to strike the eye of the reader, and procure the wished-for advantage to the advertisers and the public in general. A great deal more might be said on this occasion, but that the known terms and understanding of all who are now addressed, make it together needless: Suffice it therefore that the utility of this scheme is, with all due respect, submitted to the canduor and impartiality of, Gentlemen, Your most obedient servant,

L.Derry, June 3. Geo. Douglas.

P.S. He cannot omit this opportunity of testifying his gratitude to his friends in particular and the public in general, for the great encouragement they have been pleased to show him, which has enable him to begin this Paper much sooner than expected; and he hopes, by this... to merit the continuance of their favors.

CONDITION: That this Paper shall be published twice every week viz. on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.

Some of the front pages to feature in the exhibition.

That the price to subscribers in the city of London-Derry will be 6x 6d - to those within 15 miles, 7s 7d - to those within 25 miles, 8s 8d... payable every six months. That the price to Non-subscribers will be One Penny each paper. That the Rate of Advertising will be 2d per Line for the first Insertion, and 1d per line for every Continuance. Subscriptions will be received in Strabane, by Mess George and James Knox; in Raphoe by Mr William Colboun; in Castlefin by Mr Francis Rogan; in Letterkenny by Mr Thomas Dalson; in Ballybofey by Dr Cunningham; and by the Printer, at Mr. James Rlyb’s, Bookseller, in the Diamond, London-Derry.

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