The Barbados Mercury and Bridgetown Gazette Newspaper Collection

The Mercury Gazette was printed in Bridgetown, Barbados, between 1762 - 1848 (or possibly up to 1864). It continued as the Barbados Mercury and Bridgetown Gazette from c 1805. Its first editor was George Edmand (sic). Subsequent editors were William Walker; the Orderson family (father John; sons Robson and Isaac Williamson); T.A. Walker; Henry King; and D. J. Benskin. It was printed initially once per week on Saturdays (until c 1784), then twice per week on Tuesdays and Saturdays (until c 1840), and then on Tuesdays and Fridays (occasionally on Thursdays or Saturdays). In the masthead, it bears a woodcut of the British Royal Coat of Arms, which changes through the run of the Mercury’s publication to reflect territorial changes that took place during the reign of different monarchs.The Mercury consists of 1 folio (four pages in total). The size and quality of the paper used varies throughout the run of its publication. The typeface used is also inconsistent. Some issues have supplements and can have additional pages. Issues were bound in volumes. Most volumes contain one year’s worth of issues, while others contain two, and rarely three. Many issues have deteriorated considerably. Some are brittle, beyond repair, and others have worm holes and tears. Some are quite dark due to the acidic nature of the paper. While most of the issues are legible, some of the above reasons impact legibility for parts of the newspaper. As a result, many issues miss pages or parts of them, some issues are missing, and at times whole months are missing all together (please see relevant extent information for each volume).The Mercury is an important primary source, crucial for understanding Barbados’ 18th and 19th century history, particularly because these were formative years for the island. The newspaper sheds light on the everyday life of a slave-holding society and provides a wealth of information on networks of people, commerce, governance, socioeconomic conditions, race, religion, politics, entertainment, education, etc. Of particular interest are the ads offering rewards for enslaved people who had “absconded,” as they are filled with detailed accounts of who these people were, including their names, what they looked like, their clothes, accents, distinguishing features, friends, families and skills. The extant volumes at the Department of Archives span nearly seventy years and cover the period of the transition from slavery to Emancipation, including the 1816 Bussa Rebellion (slave revolt). It gives an intimate window into the island's colonial pastThe Department of Archives acquired the volumes of the Mercury from the Barbados Public Library and the Barbados Museum and Historical Society (BMHS) in 1965. From the BMHS it acquired volumes 1783-1784, 1787-1789, 1819, 1821, 1823, 1824-1825, 1835, 1839. From the Public Library, it acquired volumes 1807-1818, 1829, 1822, 1848.The Gazette reflected a colonial Caribbean society. As such it contains considerable information related to the Atlantic slave trade; the treatment and punishment of slaves; and various political and religious beliefs prevalent in the 18th and 19th centuries.20 bound volumes containing 28 years, some partially. This collection contains copies of 2,333 newspaper editions. See the description information in each series (volume) for extant and missing issues.

Showing 1 to 15 of 2,360 results
  • "The Barbados Mercury, 1783"

    Collection Ref: EAP1086/1/1
    1783 contains issues from 5 April to 27 December. Some issues contain supplements with Minutes of the General Assembly. Bound in a volume with 1784. 38 issues. Missing: 4 Jan to 29 Mar; 1 Nov. Issues measure 14' 2/8 x 9' 1/2. ...
  • "The Barbados Mercury, 1784"

    Collection Ref: EAP1086/1/2
    1784 contains issues from 3 January to 11 December. Bound in a volume with 1783. 48 issues. Missing: 24 Jan; 28 Feb; 18 Dec. Issues measure 14' 2/8 x 9' 5/8. ...
  • "The Barbados Mercury, 1787"

    Collection Ref: EAP1086/1/3
    1787 contains issues from 21 July to 29 December. Bound in a volume with 1788 and 1789. 42 issues. Missing: 2 Jan-17 Jul; 24 Jul; 30 Nov; 1 Dec. Issues measure 14' 1/2 x 9' 6/8. ...
  • "The Barbados Mercury, 1788"

    Collection Ref: EAP1086/1/4
    1788 contains issues from 1 January to 30 December. Bound in a volume with 1787 and 1789. 104 issues. Missing: 7, 30 Oct. Issues measure 14’ 1/2 x 9’ 6/8. ...
  • "The Barbados Mercury, 1789"

    Collection Ref: EAP1086/1/5
    1789 contains issues from 3 January to 11 Apr. Bound in a volume with 1787 and 1788. 28 issues. Missing: 4, 7 Apr; 14 Apr-29 Dec. Issues measure 14’ 3/8 x 9’ 5/8. ...
  • "The Barbados Mercury and Bridgetown Gazette, 1807"

    Collection Ref: EAP1086/1/6
    1807 contains issues from 3 January to 29 December. Paper extremely brittle. 97 issues. Missing: 13 Jan; 10 Feb; 11 Jul; 15, 18 Aug; 17 Nov. Issues measure 16’ 1/2 x10’ 1/2. ...
  • "The Barbados Mercury and Bridgetown Gazette, 1808"

    Collection Ref: EAP1086/1/7
    1808 contains issues from 2 January to 31 December. Paper extremely brittle. Badly worm damaged. Some dark and brittle issues. There is an additional volume titled “August-December 1808” that contains the same months. 104 issues. Missing: 2 Jan. Issues mea ...
  • "The Barbados Mercury and Bridgetown Gazette, 1809"

    Collection Ref: EAP1086/1/8
    1809 contains issues from 3 January to 30 December. Paper extremely brittle. Some dark issues. 104 issues. Issues measure 17’ 1/4 x 10’. ...
  • "The Barbados Mercury and Bridgetown Gazette, 1810"

    Collection Ref: EAP1086/1/9
    1810 contains issues from 2 January to 29 December. The last page of 8 Sep 1810 mentions: "Printed and published...by William Walker for the proprietor." Editor and proprietor up to then was Isaac Orderson. The date coincides possibly with the time that Is ...
  • "The Barbados Mercury and Bridgetown Gazette, 1811"

    Collection Ref: EAP1086/1/10
    1811 contains issues from 12 January to 31 December. Paper extremely brittle. Bound in a volume with 1812. 102 issues. Missing: 5, 8 Jan. Issues measure 17’ x 10’ 1/2. ...
  • "The Barbados Mercury and Bridgetown Gazette, 1812"

    Collection Ref: EAP1086/1/11
    1812 contains issues from January 04 to December 26. Many issues are brittle and have disintegrated, some possible to reconstruct only partially. Many are very acidic and difficult to read. Bound in a volume with 1811. 102 issues. Missing: 10 Nov; 29 Dec. ...
  • "The Barbados Mercury and Bridgetown Gazette, 1813"

    Collection Ref: EAP1086/1/12
    1813 contains issues from 2 January to 28 December. Bound in a volume with 1814. 101 issues. Missing: 10 Feb; 20 Apr; 17, 24 Aug. Issues measure 16’ 6/8 x10’ 1/2. ...
  • "The Barbados Mercury and Bridgetown Gazette, 1814"

    Collection Ref: EAP1086/1/13
    1814 contains issues from January 04 to December 31. Bound in a volume with 1813. 103 issues. Missing: 4 Jan; 16 Aug; 10 Dec. Issues measure 16’ 6/8x10’ 1/2. ...
  • "The Barbados Mercury and Bridgetown Gazette, 1815"

    Collection Ref: EAP1086/1/14
    1815 contains issues from 3 January to 30 December. Bound in a volume with 1816. 103 issues. Missing: 21 Feb. Issues measure 16’ 1/2 x 10’. ...
  • "The Barbados Mercury and Bridgetown Gazette, 1816"

    Collection Ref: EAP1086/1/15
    1816 contains issues from 2 January-31 December. Bound in a volume with 1815. 99 issues. Missing: 30 Jan; 16, 20, 23, 27 Apr; 19 Oct. Issues measure 16’ 1/2x10’. ...