Utrecht’s First Newspaper Re-Discovered

Adriaen Leenaertsz and the Nieuwe courante uyt Italien, Duytslandt ende Nederlant (1623)

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In April 1658 the Court of Holland banned Gerard Lodewijk van der Macht, newspaper publisher in The Hague, from Holland for ten years; Van der Macht settled in Utrecht, where he duly established the first newspaper published in Utrecht. However, a recent find reveals that another newspaper appeared in Utrecht as early as 1623: thirty-five years before Van der Macht’s arrival. This newspaper was the Nieuwe courante uyt Italien, Duytslandt ende Nederlant, published by the prolific newshound Adriaen Leenaertsz. A subtle combination of Dutch and German newspaper traditions, the Nieuwe courante was a product of the rage for newspapers sweeping across Europe in the first decades of the seventeenth century. The discovery of the Nieuwe courante highlights the importance of the ‘provincial’ periodical press of the seventeenth century, somewhat removed from the great European capitals and centres of news. Framing the Nieuwe courante not only in its local history but in a national and transnational perspective presents a more nuanced consideration of the emergence and diffusion of the early periodical press in the Dutch Republic.

  • 1

    Johannes Weber ‘Strassburg 1605: The Origins of the Newspaper in Europe’ German History 24 (2006) pp. 387-412.

  • 2

    Ibid. p. 396. See also Folke Dahl Dutch Corantos 1618-1650: A Bibliography (Den Haag 1946); Folke Dahl A Bibliography of English Corantos and Periodical Newsbooks 1620-1642 (Stockholm 1953); and Else Bogel & Elger Blühm Die deutschen Zeitungen des 17. Jahrhunderts 3 vols. (Bremen [1971]; München 1985).

  • 5

    Pettegree op. cit. (n. 3) p. 367.

  • 9

    Dahl art. cit. (n. 6) pp. 161-98; Pettegree op. cit. (n. 3) pp. 188-90 299-301; Arthur der Weduwen and Andrew Pettegree News Business and the Birth of Modern Advertising. Advertisements and Public Announcements in Dutch and Flemish Newspapers 1620-1672 (Leiden 2018 forthcoming).

  • 13

    Ingrid Maier and René Vos‘Van oude kranten de dingen die opduiken. Nieuw licht op de Haagse pers in de zeventiende eeuw’Jaarboek Die Haghe (2004) pp. 10-35; Ingrid Maier and René Vos ‘Gelezen van Londen tot Moskou. Internationale dimensies van de Oprechte Haerlemse Courant in de zeventiende eeuw’ Haerlem Jaarboek (2005) pp. 9-32; Otto S. Lankhorst ‘Newspapers in the Netherlands in the Seventeenth Century’ in: The Politics of Information in Early Modern Europe ed. Brendan Dooley and Sabrina A. Baron (London 2001); René Vos ‘Een Gouden Eeuw met grote gaten. Enkele ontwikkelingen rond de “Republiek der Couranten” (1675-1800)’ De achttiende eeuw 35 (2003) pp. 124-34.

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  • 18

    W.P. Sautijn Kluit‘De Amsterdamsche Courant’Bijdragen voor vaderlandsche geschiedenis en oudheidkunde 5 (1868) pp. 18-19.

  • 19

    Sautijn Kluit art. cit. (n. 15) pp. 39-43.

  • 20

    Ibid. pp. 41-5.

  • 26

    Feyel op. cit. (n. 8: 2000) p. 249.

  • 29

    Dahl art. cit. (n. 6) p. 191.

  • View in gallery
    The first page of the Nieuwe courante (Deventer, Stadsarchief en Athenaeumbibliotheek, 16 E 5 (20)).
  • View in gallery
    The second and third pages of the Nieuwe courante (Deventer, Stadsarchief en Athenaeumbibliotheek, 16 E 5 (20)).
  • View in gallery
    The final page of the Nieuwe courante (Deventer, Stadsarchief en Athenaeumbibliotheek, 16 E 5 (20)).
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