The Reading Mercury, or, Weekly post.

  • July, 1723- Reading (Eng.) : Printed by T. Carnan, for J. Newbery at the Bible and Crown in the Market-Place.
  • Jan. 1739(?)-Feb. 12, 1740 Reading (Eng.) : Printed by T. Carnan, near the Bible and Crown in the Market-Place.
  • Oct. 26, 1741(?)-1745(?) Reading (Eng.) : Printed for J. Newbery and C. Micklewright at the Bible and Crown in the Market-Place.
  • volumes : illustrations (woodcuts) ; 28 cm.
  • Began in Feb. 1738; ceased in 1745 (cf. Brit. Lib).


Library of Congress genre(s)
Rare books genre
Numbering peculiarities
No. 118 misnumbered as a second 117, followed by no. 119; two issues no. 153 (Dec. 8 and Dec 16, 1740), followed by no. 154.
Summary note
Copy includes foreign and local news, shipping news, opinion columns, bankrupcies, prices of goods at local markets, bank and stock market prices (including South Sea Stock on Dec 22) classified and various notices, advertisements for publications and patent medicines sold by Newbery.
  • Each issue contains 4 pages, printed in 3 cols.
  • Advertisements include listings for several new Newbery book titles: May 5, June 30, Aug 4, 1740.
  • Publication name changes, and dates, from NCBEL (cited below); Newbery & Micklewight imprint information from BL's record.
  • "The Reading Mercury and Oxford Gazette ... began in 1723 as the Reading Mercury and Weekly Entertainer, became the Reading Post or Weekly Mercury in 1727, the Reading Mercury or London Spy in 1736, the Reading Mercury or Weekly Post in 1738, before first taking on its longest lasting title in 1745. For the period 1745 to 1767, the newspaper was called the Oxford Gazette and Reading Mercury, although it was still printed in Reading. It then reverted to its previous title, for which there are three isolated issues (from 1777 and 1778) in the Burney Collection. The Reading Mercury and Oxford Gazette continued to be published until 1831" --Burney Newspaper Collection at BL.
  • Illustrations: Each issue begins with a cut featuring 5 queens within a decorative border, into which the first typed letter of the lead news article is set, thus creating the effect of a historiated letter; some issues have small half-column-wide cuts, including one picturing the "most incomparable and never-failing eye water" (Mar 10), sold by Newbery with "all carriage paid."
  • Cotsen copy: A bound vol. containing 50 individual issues: No. 107 (Jan 14, 1739) - no. 154 (Dec 27, 1740).
  • Cotsen copy: Individual issues have varied inked annotations throughout, most concerning prices charged for advertisements and payments received, and a few with editorial corrections of text, suggesting this vol. was some sort of office file copy.
  • Cotsen copy: Red inked tax stamps on lower right corner of page one of each issue.
  • Cotsen copy: Faulty inking on p. 3 of no. 108 and p. 4 of no 122; first leaf of no. 109 torn away, lower portion on p. 1 of no 116 torn off; 11 issues have tax stamps clipped away with slight loss of text.
Source of description
  • Description based on: No. 107 (Jan 14, 1739); title at head of p. ; publication statement at foot of page 4; statement includes both Carnan and Newbery from no. 107 to no. 111 but only Carnan's from 112 through 155 (Dec. 27, 1740).
  • Last issue consulted: No. 155 (Dec. 27, 1740).
Binding note
  • Cotsen copy: Individual issues bound together in contemporary quarter-calf, spine gilt-ruled, with paper spine-label hand-inked "1740," plain brown paper-covered bds.
  • Cotsen copy: Later repairs to spine with some new leather added at top and bottom.
New Camb. Biblio. Eng. Lit, II, 1365
Place name(s)
England Reading
Other title(s)
Weekly post
Issues for July 8, 1723 (no. 1)- have title
  • Reading Mercury, or Weekly entertainer
Issues from July 10, 1723 (no. 96) - have title
  • Reading post, or The weekly Mercury
Issues from Aug 30, 1736: have title
  • Reading post, or The London spy
Issues from Feb. 6, 1738: have title
  • Reading Mercury, or Weekley post
Issues from Oct. 21, 1745: have title
  • Reading Mercury and Oxford gazette
Issues from Nov. 18, 1745: have title
  • Oxford gazette and Reading Mercury
Issues from July 13, 1767: have title
  • Reading Mercury and Oxford gazette
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