Scientific and Literary Messenger, The

Full title:

  • The Scientific and Literary Messenger. Devoted to Astro-Meteorology, Astronomy, Predictory Astronomy, Astrology, Geology, Botany, Chemistry, and Phisical Sciences (overall volume title)

Editor: Simmonite, W. J., Ph. Mat. M. M. S.[1] (all issues)

Publication credits:

  • Simpkin & Marshall, Stationers’ Hall Court[2], London, undated but internal references suggest 1843[3]


  • Volume I No. 1, January 1842. 24pp
  • [February 1842]. [pp. 25-48]
  • [March 1842]. [pp. 49-72]
  • [April 1842]. [pp. 73-96]
  • [Date unclear]. [pp. 97-120]
  • [July 1842]. [pp. 121-144]
  • [Date unclear]. [pp. 145-170 or 172 or 178]
  • [After November 1842[4]]. [pp. 171 or 173 or 179 to 208]

Binding format and presentation notes:

  • All issues bound together, as reissued by publisher, without original issue covers, in quarter cloth (cloth torn at top 4cm and bottom 5mm of rear hinge; chipped towards top of spine) with paper-covered boards (worn at outer corners and parts of edges; title label faded). (Front and rear inner paper hinges cracked but cords holding. Separation between pp. 72-3, with lower half of leaf comprising pp. 73-4 loose from binding but upper half firmly attached. Separation between pp. 120 and 123, with leaf comprising pp. 121-2 detached but present. Upper and central parts of pp. 123-142 loose from binding, but cords holding to lowest third. Leaf comprising pp. 207-8 torn at upper margin, with some of the print from the uppermost lines of p. 208 transferred to the following blank but decipherable. Trace of damp staining to upper margins from pp. 73-96, not affecting text.)
  • Volume starts with [1 leaf] + [1 leaf of advertisements] + [pp. v-vi (torn towards top of inner margin)] + [pp. vii-viii], before the main contents take effect.
  • Only the first component issue has a clearly marked identification header dating it; but the dates of the first four and the sixth issues can be inferred by their predictive references for the months concerned, and the boundaries between issues are mostly clear enough to determine, although the regular 24-page issue format is lost towards the end of the volume, rendering determination of the boundary between the original seventh and eighth issues impossible. It would appear from the available internal evidence that after the April issue, the publication schedule slipped somewhat, and that this tendency became much worse after the July issue, resulting in the last couple of issues being longer but much more irregularly printed.


[1] This is followed by a list of credits thus: ‘Author of “The Practical Self Teaching Grammar of the English Language; also of the “Annual Meteorologist;” Principal of the Sheffield Young Man’s College, &c.’

[2] ‘; and sold by all other booksellers. Printed by George Thorpe, Thorne’

[3] This is a compendium into a single volume of the content from all issues published from the 1st, dated January 1842, until publication was suspended due to lack of support (permanently, as it turned out) in 1843. There are no title pages indicating the dates of issues after the first, nor is it easy to determine when one issue ends and the next begins, but the evidence indicates that the early issues were 24 pages each although this regularity was not sustained throughout the volume.

[4] An horary question dated November 16, 1842 appears in this issue, indicating that it cannot have been printed before late November or December, 1842

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