Stamford Mercury

The Stamford Mercury (also the Lincoln, Rutland and Stamford Mercury, the Rutland and Stamford Mercury, and the Rutland Mercury) based in Stamford, Lincolnshire, England, claims to be "Britain's oldest continuously published newspaper title".[1] The Mercury has been published since 1712 but its masthead formerly claimed it was established in 1695 and still has "Britain's Oldest Newspaper".

Rutland and Stamford Mercury Masthead.svg
TypeWeekly local newspaper
Owner(s)Iliffe Media
Founder(s)Thomas Baily and William Thompson
EditorKerry Coupe
Founded1710 as Stamford Post, 1712 (1712) as Stamford Mercury
Political alignmentHistorically Tory, now non-political
HeadquartersCherryholt Road, Stamford, Lincolnshire

Three editions (Stamford and The Deepings, Rutland, and Bourne) are published every Friday. The ABC circulation figure in 2011 was 16,675.[2]

The Mercury is now owned by Iliffe Media; sister newspapers include The Rutland Times. In January 2017, Johnston Press sold 13 of its East Midlands and East Anglia titles (including the Mercury) to Iliffe Media for £17m.

An edition of the Mercury from 22 May 1718 is the earliest newspaper in the British Library's newspaper reading room, The Newsroom.[3]


Stamford Mercury of 13 May 1714, , the oldest copy held in the Mercury archives

The Mercury possesses the largest archive of any provincial newspaper.[4] It contains over 15,000 newspapers and is complete from the middle of the 18th century. It also holds substantial numbers of annual volumes and individual copies prior to that, dating back to 1714.

Since 2005, the archive has been in the care of the Stamford Mercury Archive Trust ( The Trust received a grant of £305,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to undertake a five-year conservation programme. The Trust set out to microfilm every known copy of the Stamford Mercury in existence. Access to the archive is free for personal research. A copy of the complete microfilm run of the paper is available at Stamford Library.[5]


  1. ^ "The Rutland & Stamford Mercury". Archived from the original on 20 April 2008.
  2. ^ "ABC; Rutland & Stamford Mercury".
  3. ^ "British Library to unveil £33m newspaper reading room", Caroline Davies; The Guardian, 28 April 2014
  4. ^
  5. ^ "The Stamford Mercury archives".

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