Stuart Monarchy and the Invention of News

One of the greatest developments of the seventeenth century was the development of news. When James I acceeded to the English throne there were no newspapers. By the death of Queen Anne in 1714 there were many competing papers offering different perspectives on current events. In this film Dr Joseph Hone and Professor Andrew McRae examine the development of the British newspaper and consider the influence of the Stuart monarchs on this new industry.

Key Questions

  • What can newspapers reveal about public interest in politics?
  • Why were so many new newspapers established in the reigns of William and Anne?
  • What measures did successive governments take to suppress the news industry?

Further Reading

  • Hannah Barker, Newspapers, Politics and English Society 1695-1855 (Harlow: Longman, 2000).
  • Brian Cowan, The Social Life of Coffee: The Emergence of the British Coffeehouse (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005).
  • Joad Raymond, The Invention of the Newspaper: English Newsbooks, 1641-1649 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996).
  • Joad Raymond, ‘News’, in Joad Raymond (ed.), The Oxford History of Popular Print Culture, Volume 1: Britain and Ireland to 1660 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).

Unless otherwise noted, images in this film are reproduced by courtesy of the Ashmolean Museum and the Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford.

Download transcription

Find lesson plans