The Welsh Library Newspapers
North Wales Gazzette
As the above note from the catalogue of the Library of The University of Wales Bangor, shows the Gazette was the first weekly paper to be published in North Wales. John Broster established as a printer in Bangor in 1807. Broster had been a successful printer in Chester for a number of years before this and until 1817, when he handed over the reins to his son Charles, the company traded as J Broster & Son, Chester and Bangor. Broster wasn't the only printer from Chester to establish a business in North Wales. According to Ifano Jones it is likely that Broster served his apprenticeship in the offices of William Collister Jones in Chester. Two other famous printers who served their apprenticeships with Collister Jones were Thomas Gee (Senior) and Robert Saunderson who established a business in Bala.
Broster was a cultured man and he was the author of 'Circular tour from Chester through North Wales', 'The pedestrian tour through North Wales' and 'History of the siege of Chester, during the Civil wars in the time of King Charles I' . The imprint of William Collister Jones can be found on numerous Welsh publications at the end of the 18c., and the beginning of the 19c. He, for example, was the publisher of Thomas Charles until he established his own press in Bala. Broster's travel books show that he was familiar with North Wales and during his time with Collister Jones he obviously printed in the Welsh language. It is obvious therefore that Broster was familiar with his audience before coming to Bangor.
In an article for 'Y Traethodydd' (1884) John Davies (Gwyneddon) says that the first edition of The Gazette appeared in 1807. On the basis of this mistake Edward Jones maintained in 'Y Traethodydd' (1892) and later Charles Ashton in 'Llyfryddiaeth Gymreig' (1908) and T R Roberts (Cymru 1915) that Broster came to Bangor with the intention of establishing a weekly 'conservative and ecclesiastical' paper. The most likely thing is that Broster with his knowledge of North Wales and publishing in the Welsh language saw an opportunity to establish a printing press at Bangor as Thomas Gee Senior had done at Rhuthun and Denbigh. After being at Bangor for a year and establishing a thriving business he saw the opportunity to establish a new newspaper as many other printers had done throughout Britain during the same period.
By September 1816 the Gazette was in financial trouble and the publication came to an end. A vigorous campaign was fought to re-establish the paper and it appeared again in February 1817 with Charles Broster as owner and editor. Charles Broster continued as owner editor of the Gazette until June 1827 when it encountered financial difficulties for the second time. In October publication was resumed by John Brown under the imprint of the North Wales Chronicle.