Viewing the Shrewsbury Chronicle from 1828
I was at the library in Shrewsbury yesterday reading the papers. I am a little behind in my local news gathering and this was the Shrewsbury Chronicle from 1828. It was fascinating to see the type of events reported in the newspapers from that time, from murders to drownings in the River Severn. Although a local newspaper it contains a whole section of news from the rest of the world and from the other counties of England. There was the reports of the trial of William Corder, a man convicted of murder in 1828 in Bury St Edmunds which is hardly local. This was a famous case and often finds its way into books on murder as does the likes of John George Haigh the acid bath murderer and Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged for murder. It was very curious to see the news report and think that local people in Shrewsbury were fascinated by the unveiling events from Suffolk a few hundred miles from their homes just as much as they were reading about a family of ruffians that were found guilty of similar crimes in their home town and then hanged outside the goal!
The advertisements were of equal fascination for me. DR. So and Sos medical preparations, Professor Whatnot’s Health Powders and Mr. Thingybob’s magical cough drops all claiming medicinal benefits and rapid cures for sores, fevers, tummy upsets and general ailments. Some had sworn testimonials attached from notable persons of standing within the community. All very convincing, I think not!
The reason I am reading such interesting and absorbing yet ancient material is that of course I am doing some research for a documentary idea I have. A film about market towns and Shrewsbury in particular. I am totally captivated by this charming market town with its range of beautiful architecture and period houses which span from Elizabethan timber framed properties to grand solid and proud Georgian mansions. Its a gorgeous place for the aesthetically minded!