Telling the story of the paper's Mottley crew

The Hampshire Telegraph was first published in 1799. It was not the first newspaper in the town as that was the Portsmouth and Gosport Gazette. First published in 1745, it continued until about 1790.

Saturday, 18th June 2016, 6:13 am

The final newspaper of the 18th century to begin publication was the Portsmouth Telegraph, or Mottley’s Naval and Military Journal which was also first published in 1799.

The reason I tell all this is that a new book just published tells of the Mottley family who lived in High Street, Old Portsmouth, and began the Hampshire Telegraph.

They also lived on the Gosport side of the harbour and worked at Haslar Hospital.

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The book, Open Every Door – Mary Mottley – Mme Marie de Tocqueville is a difficult read. It jumps about too much for my liking and the author tends to go on about her research a little too much.

Mary Mottley, the English wife of French political thinker and historian Alexis de Tocqville, seemed to be buried in French history until Sheila Le Sueur came along and researched the story.

The first part of the book is of interest to local people, but after that you have to work hard to get your head around it.

Available through Amazon, £20.