Reported 280 years ago (Feb 1739): The News Letter goes up in size to four pages

Belfast News Letter February 16 1738 (February 27 1739 in the modern calendar). The paper is ripped at points. This is the earliest surviving paper after the title went up from one smaller sheet, with two sides of news, to a larger one that was folded to give four sides of news
Belfast News Letter February 16 1738 (February 27 1739 in the modern calendar). The paper is ripped at points. This is the earliest surviving paper after the title went up from one smaller sheet, with two sides of news, to a larger one that was folded to give four sides of news

From the seventh surviving Belfast News Letter, February 16 1738, which is February 27 1739 in today’s calendar:

The Publisher of this Paper has thought proper to print it on a larger Character, and to furnish, for the future, one whole Sheet, for the greater Conveniency of Advertisements, and Satisfaction of his SUBSCRIBERS, (to whom he acknowledges the highest Obligations) and will be continued, as this Day deliver’d, at the usual Time.-

[This announces a key moment in newspaper history. The News Letter had been launched in Sept 1737 as a single sheet of two sides of densely packed news. The paper was an early success because here, only 17 months later, it is rising to two sheets of paper and four sides – or, as it is described above, one ‘whole’ sheet, folded to give four sides of news.

The slow journey to the large newspapers of the 21st century had begun, and ultimately to editions such as today’s 152-page bumper package of news, features, TV, ads, sport and farming]

Last Week a Madwoman in the French Hospital broke her Hand-Fetters, and bit the Wrist of one of the Servants in such a manner, that he died two Days after raving mad.

BELFAST.

Last Week John Bateson, Esq; near Moyra in the County of Down, was marry’d to Miss Cuppage, a beautiful young Lady, of fine Accomplishment with a large Fortune.