The Cambridge University Heraldic & Genealogical Society

Note on The London Gazette et al.


There are three official newspapers of record in the United Kingdom – The London Gazette, The Edinburgh Gazette and The Belfast Gazette. “Official newspapers of record” here means that certain items must be published in them by law and is reflected in the legend “Published by Authority”. The best-known example is that they list company insolvencies (bankruptcies).

The London Gazette

The London Gazette was first published in 1665 as The Oxford Gazette when the court of King Charles II had retreated to Oxford at the time of the Great Plague. It took its present name when the Court returned to London.

The Edinburgh Gazette

Although first published in 1699, The Edinburgh Gazette had something of a chequered history for nearly the next hundred years with several breaks in publication. However, it has been published regularly since 1793.

The Belfast Gazette

The Belfast Gazette was first published on June 7th, 1921 and appears every Friday. It is the successor of The Dublin Gazette that was founded in 1706.


For those interested in heraldry and genealogy, the State Notices of The London Gazette, The Edinburgh Gazette and The Belfast Gazette are sources of authoritative information from the Royal Palaces and from the College of Arms. The State Notices are made up of a number of sections.


Generally concerned with the coinage and bank holidays.

Royal Family

Including, for instance, deaths of members of the Royal Family

Appointments to the Royal Household

Loyal Addresses

Honours and Awards

Privy Council Office

A miscellany of information including

Change of name and/or Arms

This includes details such as:

Crown Office

Duchy of Cornwall or Duchy of Lancaster

Appointment of Sheriffs

Deputy Lieutenant Commissions

Appointment of Royal Commissions

Lord Chancellor’s Office

Prime Ministers [sic] Office, Office of the First Lord

Lord Lieutenants

Home Office

Scottish Office

Chancellor of the Exchequer

Warrants Under the Royal Sign Manual

Order of St John

Immigration and Asylum