The News Letter has received responses from Britain, Ireland and overseas to our reproduction of the earliest surviving edition of the oldest English language daily newspaper in the world.
The October 3, 1738 copy was a four-page pull-out in Monday’s paper, on its 275th birthday (October 3 is October 14 in the modern calendar, which changed in 1752).
The paper was founded in September 1737, but the first 13 months are lost (a copy dated March 1738 is wrongly thought to be the earliest but it is 1739 in the modern calendar. The old new year began late March).
Each day this week we have also serialised the earliest edition, which has reports about Dick Turpin and Indian “murders” in Virginia. Today we begin serialising the next earliest copy, Oct 6 1738 (Oct 17 modern calendar) and continue next week.
Callers have requested copies, having read about our historic edition in papers such as the Scotsman and Irish Times or heard about it on Radio Ulster.
Mary Whitfield in Surrey, who read about us in the Sunday Times, called to say she is great great great granddaughter of Henry Joy McCracken, grandson of News Letter founder Francis Joy (Henry Joy was hanged).
We have also heard from readers with very old editions, including a Portaferry woman with 1812 and 1815 copies. We are still keen to hear from readers with copies from the 1700s. Email email@example.com or call 028 3839 5577.