left £4 a year to the Worcester Infirmary, then a new
institution. A farm at Suckley, which had belonged to him,
was sold by order of his executor. Harvey Berrow was the third
son of the Rev Capel Berrow of Christ's College, Cambridge,
for 40 years Perpetual Curate of Northill, Bedfordshire and
chaplain to William Earl Cowper. His eldest brother, also
called Capel Berrow, was an MA and became renowned for his
theological writings. Richard Berrow, the second son, was
an apothecary at Peterborough and his profession may well
have had some connection with the fact that Harvey, like his
predecessor, combined the dispensing of medicines with his
printing and publishing. His medicines bore not only the Berrow
name but also the family's coat of arms. Thus the label for Berrow's tincture of Bark was printed with the name
encircling an elaborate excutcheon bearing the three bears
heads, erased, which were the Berrow Shield. Except that he
had been named Harvey by his father after the squire of the
parish, a Mr Harvey of Tewkesbury, and that he married Margaret
Cooker of Cirencester and died in August 1776 being buried
at St Oswald's Worcester, very little is known of Harvey Berrow.
thing we do know about him is that he had to contend with
unscrupulous opposition. He put up a spirited fight against
what he called ''spurious journals which infest the county''
and when in 1753 a competitor appeared in Worcester, also
calling his paper the Worcester Journal, Berrow was incensed
and indignantly put his own name into the title so that
readers could be sure they were buying the genuine article.
Oddly enough this momentous change of title which occurred
in the issue of October 11, 1753 and which has been retained
ever since was not referred to in the paper itself. One
week it was the Worcester Journal and the next it appeared
as Berrow's Worcester Journal.
1712 a stamp duty was imposed on Newspapers and this
was recorded on the pages with this stamp
soon put his opponents to flight, the opposition closed
down, but although the Berrow family have long ceased
to have any connection with the paper, their name has
perpetuated. Berrow was forthright about the methods of
the opposition to obstruct the sale of his paper. He wrote
of ''the mean, scandalous wretches'' who went around spreading
false rumours that his agents had given up selling the
paper or had absconded with the money they owed him. He
knew a thing or two about the law too, for when called
upon to substantiate his charges he said he was not obliged
to ''for as no particular person was charged with being
guilty of the said practices therefore no particular person
has a right to insist in my making proof thereof.''
idea that the journalism of those days was a leisurely affair
with a vague deadline is dispelled by this notice in the issue
of November 9, 1769: ''This Journal is published very early
in the morning (by means of an express) and circulated with
so much expedition as to precede in many places the arrival
of the London Mail by several hours, and yet will contain,
as usual, the most material occurrences from the papers published
in London on the Tuesday night.''
in another issue about that time it was stated: ''We have
established such a regular and respectable correspondence
in London as will constantly afford us the pleasurable
opportunity of communicating many interesting occurrences
which cannot possible appear in any other country newspaper
till some days after, nor even in any London papers before
those which arrive in these parts in Friday's mail.''
do not know how Berrow collected his local news. We can
only assume that he relied on outside sources as his time
must have been fully occupied in setting the type, printing
and publishing his Journal.
are two examples taken at random:
5, 1750: Yesterday a woman who lives without Sidbury Gate
and goes by the name of Thirsty Martha being at the
Wheatsheaf Publick House in that Neighbourhood a man offered
to pay for as much Ale as she could drink while he smoked
a pipe of tobacco; she accordingly drank eight pints in the
Time (which was in less than a quarter of an hour) and went
off not at all disordered, excepting that she complained she
was still very dry.''
of the reports that Berrow received from his correspondents
must have been more suspect than those he actually published.
And to prove that he was not easily fooled he published
the following on July 20th 1758: ''The Piece of Intelligence
we received this morning relating to the Marriage of Person
of Evesham we must beg to be excused inserting not only
from it being anonymous but that it has likewise too much
of a Pun in it."