Bell's Weekly Messenger

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Bell's Weekly Messenger
Founder(s)John Bell
Ceased publication1896

Bell's Weekly Messenger was a British Sunday newspaper that began publication on 1 May 1796, under proprietorship of John Bell.[1] Initially a Sunday paper, from 1799 the London edition was reprinted on Monday for nationwide distribution.[2] By 1803, it was selling 6,000 copies a week, at sixpence a copy.[3] In 1799 there was even an augmented reprint of the previous year's editions, under the title Bell's Annual Messenger, printed for international distribution under the auspices of the East India Company.

From its inception in 1799 the Monday edition carried information on agricultural markets in the U.K. Although Bell's Weekly Messenger began as a general weekly, after it acquired in 1832 Evans and Ruffy's Farmers' Journal it gave extensive coverage to agricultural affairs and was for many years the leading agricultural newspaper in the U.K.[4][5][6]

The newspaper continued under the title Bell's Weekly Messenger until March 1896, after which it was continued as Country Sport.

In 1832 the first recorded British newspaper cartoon was published in Bell's New Weekly Messenger.


  • James Grant. The Great Metropolis. Third Edition. Saunders and Otley. Conduit Street, London. 1838. First Series. volume 2. p 128 et seq. Reprinted in Foster's Cabinet Miscellany, New York, Theodore Foster, 1838, volume 1, p 227 et seq.
  1. ^ A Catalogue of Books, Newspapers, &c. Printed by John Bell, of the British Library, the Morning Post, Bell's Weekly Messenger, &c. [...] Exhibited at the First Edition Club, London, 15 April-May 5, 1931 (London, 1931).
  2. ^ Prospectus. ESTC citation no. T124125.
  3. ^ J. C. Reid, Bucks and Bruisers: Pierce Egan and Regency England (London, 1971), p. 28.
  4. ^ Morison, Stanley (2009). "The Weekly Messenger as an agricultural newspaper". John Bell, 1745-1831: A Memoir. Cambridge U. Press. p. 54.
  5. ^ Evans and Ruffy's Farmers' Journal, National Library of Australia
  6. ^ Brake, Laurel; Demoor, Marysa (eds.). "Bell's Weekly Messenger". Dictionary of Nineteenth-century Journalism in Great Britain and Ireland. p. 47.