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Belfast Mercury

no 1, 29 Mar 1851 - no 479, 17 Apr 1854
then:  Belfast Daily Mercury, The .no 480, 19 Apr 1854 - no 2837, 02 Nov 1861



F.A. Ferrar
James Simms (1853 - 1858)
Ulster Printing Co (1858-)


Durham Dunlop (1859)


Ulster Printing Co Ltd (1858 - 1861)


James Baxter
John Charters
Charles Duffin
Victor Kennedy
J.M. Pirrie
R.J. Tennent


68cm (4pp, 7 col/p)


4d (1851); 3d (1854); 1 1/2d unstamped (1858)


864 (1855)


thrice weekly (Tue Thur Sat a.m. 1851); daily (1854)


shipping intelligence, Ulster fairs, Belfast market prices, Irish markets, English markets, literary notices, poetry, advertising, government news, church news, correspondence


A.A. Campbell, Belfast Newspapers.; Belfast Almanac (1853).; Bender, 1857 Mutiny and the Irish Press.; COPAC; History: R.M. Young, "A Forgotten Belfast Newspaper," Ulster Journal Archives 2s:3 (1897), p.201.; Mitchell's Newspaper Press Directory.; Northern Ireland Newspapers, p.10.


Benn, George. History of the Town of Belfast, 1877. p.441


"First provincial daily paper in Ireland... It advocated every measure that might seem calculated to enlarge the true freedom, advance the intelligence, elevate the morals, and improve the social and physical condition of the people."
Simms set up this paper in 1850, explaining bitterly that, after 20 years of writing "every political editorial article ... and ... every article upon the great national questions of the time" from its 291st to its 3,256th number, he had been dismissed as editor of the Northern Whig. The new journal was "a political, commercial, literary and general newspaper." It supported "the civil and religious liberties of all, [and] commercial freedom,... the rights of property and the rights of industry,... and security of the farming classes."
Jill Bender claims that, despite its overt antipathy towards the Irish Nationalist press, “the Belfast Daily Mercury represented ‘conservatively minded Protestant Liberals’ in Ulster” (94), and that its attitude "inhabited grey areas between the two extremes [of Protestant-Unionist and Catholic-Nationalist]." (107)
A second edition was printed beginning Tue, 20 Apr 1852 at 10 a.m. Issue no 2,731 is dated 02 Jul 1861.
There was also Belfast Mercury; or, Freeman's chronicle from 1784 to 1786, as noted by Benn and others (held at the British Library).


BL/C-3 (Jan 1855-Feb 1859, 1861 imp); UM (29 Mar 1851, 10 Jul 1852); DB/N-1 (03 Jan 1853-31 Dec 1857); PRONI (1856 odd no, 1858 odd no); BL/U-2 (12 Jun 1854-19 Nov 1855 odd no); BL/S-7 (Mar 1851-1853, Apr 1854-08 Dec 1858, 1861 odd no); LO/N38 A no 1-2,837 (29 Mar 1851-02 Nov 1861); BCL; PRONI (1858, 1865 odd nos); full text at BNA

Reproduced by permission, Belfast Central Library

downloaded from

Reproduced by permission, Queens University Library, Belfast

Reproduced by permission, Queens University Library, Belfast

downloaded from
The Waterloo Directory of English Newspapers & Periodicals: 1800 - 1900 Series Three.
Copyright © 2009 North Waterloo Accademic Press