Orsam Books

Druitt Extra

In a post on the Censorship Forum on 4 June 2019 (#2398), in the thread 'What makes Druitt a viable suspect', Wood puts this bit in bold: 

'One final point. The Pall Mall Gazette and other newspapers reported that the Farquharson story was broken by the "London Correspondent of the Nottingham Guardian."

In 1891 there was no Nottingham Guardian.'

Then he says in normal font:

'There was a Nottinghamshire Guardian and there was a Nottingham Daily Guardian. Consulting the British Library newspaper archive, I found that the story appeared in the Nottingham Evening Post. The Nottingham Journal reprinted a piece from the Nottingham Evening News which called for the transfer of control of the Metropolitan Police from the Home Secretary to the London County Council.' 

There was no Nottingham Guardian, he says!  Just like today there is no national newspaper in existence called the Telegraph, the Mail, the Express, the Mirror etc!!!  If you leave out the word 'Daily' apparently, you commit a cardinal sin of omission.  Bizarre.  But regarding the substantial part of what he's talking about, he's wrong.  The so called 'Farquharsan story' broke in the Nottingham Guardian, ooops, sorry, major error there, the Nottingham Daily Guardian of 11 February 1891.  Had Wood bothered to read my article on this website entitled 'A Bridge Too Far: The Curious Case of Mortemer Slade' he would have seen that I gave this information and even reproduced an image of the entire story taken from that newspaper.  The Nottingham Daily Guardian was a morning newspaper, so anything appearing on the same day in the Nottingham Evening Post (which was a sister paper to the Nottingham Guardian, dammit, there I go again, the Nottingham Daily Guardian) was nothing more than a reproduction of a story which had been first published earlier that day.

And here's the irony.  Wood seems so critical of the Pall Mall Gazette for wrongly referring to the Nottingham Daily Guardian as the Nottingham Guardian yet he himself wrongly refers to having consulted the 'British Library newspaper archive'.  There is no such thing.  It is called 'The British Newspaper Archive'.  Looky here:

Do you see the word 'Library' in there?  No, funnily enough, nor do I.  The British Newspaper Archive is owned by a private company called Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited.  It's run by Findmypast in partnership with the British Library but is not an archive of the British Library as such.  It certainly does not contain every newspaper held by the British Library.  It does not, funnily enough, contain images from the Nottingham Daily Guardian which may be why Wood couldn't find the story on the BNA website.  But, like I say, he could have found it in my article 'Bridge Too Far'.

But what point is Wood making here?  That the Pall Mall Gazette and other newspapers wrongly omitted the word 'Daily' when describing the Nottingham Daily Guardian?  Or is he somehow saying that they fabricated the existence of a newspaper which had not, in fact, reported a story which they were saying it had reported?  Who knows?  I can't work it out.  Yet he felt it was such an important point that he put it in bold in his Forum post!  To me, a newspaper in 1891 referring to the 'Nottingham Guardian' was obviously referring to the Nottingham Daily Guardian just like a reference to the Telegraph today is to the Daily Telegraph.  It's not rocket science.

David Barrat
29 June 2019

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