Monday, February 25, 2013

Wow! Found a newspaper article about the pope from 1752!

I was just going through an archive of really old newspapers. First I was specifically looking for articles about the pope, but then I started to simply look for the oldest newspapers available on the system. That's when I stumbled upon an article written in the Halifax Gazette dated March 23, 1752.

Here is what the article says (some was hard to make out, but this is my attempt):

Foreign Advices

Rome, September 24.

A Few Days ago, as the Pope was going in his Coach to the Quirinal, an ordinary man kneeled in the Street upon his Knees as if he wanted to receive a Blessing from him, which as he was going to give, the Man threw a Stone at his Holiness's Head, which narrowly missed : He proved to be a Madman lately escaped from the Hospital for Lunaticks, to which Place he was remanded, with strict Orders to the Officers, to take more Care for the future of the unhappy People committed to their Charge.

That is very shocking! A man actually threw a rock at the pope's head! The pope did not seem to react too negatively though, only advising the hospital to take better care of its patients. It's so fascinating looking at an article from over 250 years ago! The pope in question would be Pope Benedict XIV. Since the paper came out in March 1752, the article much have been written the previous September, in 1751. At the time the pope would have been 76 years old.

To see the article as it appears on the Google News Archive, go here (second article from top).

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