Joshua Drewry Mary Savage Mini tree diagram

Joshua Drewry


1774 - 13th Jun 1841

Life History




Married Sarah Wilson

13th Jun 1841

Died in East Cottage, Stafford



NameDrewry; Joshua (1773-1841)
DatesAndPlacesborn c1773; died East Cottage, Stafford, 13 June 1841
Activity Printer and newspaper owner/editor.
Printer at Stafford, (1794); bookseller with circulating library, etc.
Founded the Staffordshire Advertiser (1795).
Supported Sheridan and the Whigs.
Mayor of Stafford (1818-19).
Bankrupt (1819).
Founded the Bookworm (b & d 1820), The Weekly Register of General Information (1827-8).
Succeeded in printing business by sons John and William.
Published Works Personation or the Wife Bewitched A Farce in Three Acts (1835)
Relationships Son of Joshua Drewry, printer at Lincoln, nephew (and apprentice) of John Drewry, printer and newspaper owner of Derby. Married, several children.


In the Derbyshire Registers of Marriages, 1558-1837a:

"Joshua Drewrey, of Stafford, printer, & Sarah Wilson, lic. 26 Jan 1795"
[spelling is Drewrey, and the marriage took place in Derby All Saints]

Did Sarah die the following year?

On the right is a link to the sonnet "Inscribed to the Memory of the late Mrs. Drewry", written by the Rev. William Ward who had been an apprentice to Joshua's uncle John Drewry.

"William Ward had published a political manifesto in Derby .. so he was in great danger. The Drewrys [see John Drewry] sent him to Stafford to start a newspaper there with Joshua Drewry. As an experienced editor it would have been William Ward's role to provide the expertise, but the extraordinary thing is that in the Local Studies Library in Stafford there is absolutely no record of his ever having anything to do with the newspaper ... only Joshua Drewry.
So William Ward was able to keep an almost invisible profile thanks to the Drewry's." (Ronald Ellis)

MrsD1796.jpg 'The Monthly Magazine' records the death of "Mrs. Drewry, Wife of J. D. of Stafford" aged 22, in Derbyshire, September, 1796.

'The Gentleman's Magazine' and a number of other journals record the death in June 1796: "After a short indisposition, Mrs. Drewry, Wife of Mr. D. printer of the Derby Mercury".

MrsD1798.jpgAnd the Register of Mickleover, Derbyshire: 29 May, 1796, Mrs Drewry (Derby), Childbed.

However, Joshua must have remarried at least once and perhaps twice given the death of Mrs Drewry in 1798.
Joshua had a number of children, probably with the Lydia who is recorded in the 1841 census:


In the 1841 Census in St. Mary's, Stafford?
(Adults' ages were rounded down in that census)

Joshua Drewrey60Ind.Not of this parish
Lydia Drewrey50b. Staffordshire
Mary Drewrey25b. Staffordshire
Anne Drewrey20b. Staffordshire
Sarah Drewrey15b. Staffordshire
Robert Drewrey20b. Staffordshire
Susan Drewrey15b. Staffordshire
Sarah Scarlet10b. Staffordshire

In the 1851 Census at 25, Tipping Street, St Chad, Stafford:
(Tipping Street is perhaps four hundred yards from St Mary's, in the 1841 census, above)

Mary DrewryHead40School Mistressb. Brewood, Staffordshire
Anne DrewrySister36School Mistressb. Staffordshire
Robert DrewryBrother30Printer's Assistantb. Staffordshire
Anne BanneBoarder18Teacherb. Birmingham, Warwickshire
Martha CheadleBoarder13Scholarb. Pave Lane, Shropshire
Ellen CheadleBoarder7Scholarb. Pave Lane, Shropshire
Harriett StubbsBoarder6Scholarb. Stockton, Staffordshire
William StubbsBoarder7Scholarb. Stockton, Staffordshire
Sarah ScarlettServant17House Servantb. Staffordshire
John ChirmVisitor36Druggistb. Birmingham, Warwickshire
Anne ChirmVisitor35Druggist's wifeb. Birmingham, Warwickshire

In the Derby Mercury in 1801 Joseph Drewry of Staffs. is shown as an agent for the Phoenix Fire Co., Derby.

In 1818 The Manchester Mercury reported Joshua Drewry's appointment as Mayor of Stafford.

Joshua_Drewry_Staffs_Lincoln.jpg Right - from the Chester Chronicle, June, 1826:

Below from the 1828 Pigots Directory:


And in the 1835 Pigots Directory:


In the Leicestershire Mercury, June 1841, an announcement of Joshua Drewry's death:

"On Sunday, at the residence of his daughter, East Cottage, aged 68, Joshua Drewry, Gent. of Stafford, original proprietor of the 'Staffordshire Advertiser'"

Joshua_d_1841.jpgFrom the Hereford Journal, 1841, describing Joshua as possibly "the father of the English Provincial Press"

Other Notes

In "The Newspaper press, in part of the last century and up to the present period of 1860"

As an instance of the spirit of the Local Militia of those days, I might quote the following, which is copied from a circular letter of Quarter Master Drewry, under date Dec. 14th, 1813 : -
"The officers of the Central Staffordshire Regiment of Local Militia, are particularly requested to meet at the Mess-room on Thursday, the 23rd of December instant, at 12 o'clock at noon, for the purpose of taking into consideration the expediency of volunteering their services, under the provisions of the Act of Parliament recently passed, to enable His Majesty to accept the services of the Local Militia out of their respective counties.
By order of ;

Lieutenant Colonel Chetwynd.
Joshua Drewry, Quarter Master.
Head Quarters, Stafford, Dec. Hth, 1813.
0. H. M. S.
Captain Amphlett, C. S.L.M., Stafford."

Joshua_Drewry_Bankrupt_1819.jpgJoshua Drewry's bankruptcy reported.

DrewrysStaffordshireGazette.jpgDREWRY'S STAFFORDSHIRE GAZETTE, founded by Joshua Drewry, ran for six months in 1827

(Unfortunately the source of the above information is no longer available.)

In Lincs to the Past

Deeds relating to property in the parish of Lincoln St Peter at Gowts
Lease for a year

Parties: John Hutchinson of the Close of Lincoln gent. and Henry Boot of the city of Lincoln surgeon.

Property: ..That other messuage (adjoining the north side of the last) being heretofore part of a messuage called Broxholme's great house in the parish of St Peter at Gowts formerly in occupation of Joshua Drewry, James Sewell and (blank) now in occupation of John Hutchinson ...

Date: 20 June 1798


From the Stafforshire Advertiser, 25th July 1835

Mr Drewry is handing over to his sons John & William.

'A. and S. Drewry, Diglake Street, Stafford' must refer to his daughters Ann and Susan

From the Stafforshire Advertiser, 18th July 1836


Susan_Drewry_d_1848.jpgA daughter of Joshua Drewry died 13th January 1848.
(in The Derby Mercury, 19th Jan.)

The Centenary of the Stafforshire Advertiser, 1895

CentenaryOfStaff_Advertiser.jpgArticle in Derby Mercury 9th January, 1895.

1795 - founded by Joshua Drewry [assisted by William Ward]
1825 - passed on to Charles Chester, husband of his cousin Ann Drewry.
1828 - passed to John Drewry Mort and Charles Chester Mort - both sons of Joshua's cousin Sophia, and her husband John Mort.

John Drewry Mort and Charles Chester Mort formed a company to run the Advertiser and their printing business as 'J & C Mort'.
This company ran until 1953 when it merged with the Staffordshire Chronicle to become the 'Staffordshire Advertiser and Chronicle' which continued until 1973. [source]

In 1880, the following people are living in Castle Church, Staffs:
Frederick Drewry Mort
George Drewry Mort
Charles Chester Mort


Frederick Drewry Mort, Christened 13th May 1842 in St Mary, Stafford - parents Charles Chester Mort and Ann

George Drewry Mort, Married 1871 Mary Austin in Fenton, Staffs. George's date of birth is given as 1837 and his father as John Drury Mort.

Article in The Stamford Mercury, 1895.

"The Staffordshire Advertiser, the chief paper of its county has just completed its hundredth year, and the proprietors have marked the event by issuing in pamphlet form a Centenary History of the journal and a fac-simile re-production of the first number (Jan. 3, 1795). A glance at the latter takes me back to stirring times, for in the Parliamentary report we meet with the names of Sheridan, Canning, Wilberforce, and Pitt; while in other columns the habits and condition of the people are sharply contrasted with the England of today. Lincolnshire is noted for its journalistic enterprise, for it has the proud boast of possessing in the Mercury the oldest journal of the provinces and of giving birth to the originator of the illustrated newspaper - Herbert Ingram, of the London News. From the Centenary History before us it is also gratifying to to find that Lincolnshire also sent forth the founder of the Staffordshire Advertiser, a journal conducted much on the lines of the Mercury: -

CentenaryOfStaff_Advertiser_2_sm.jpg'The founder of the Staffordshire Advertiser was Joshua Drewry, of Lincoln, who in 1795 was 21 years of age. He was the son of Joshua Drewry, also a printer of the same city, and chamberlain thereof in 1754, but he learnt the art and mystery of printing in the office of [his uncle] Mr. John Drewry, of Derby.
The Founder's grandfather was also a Joshua Drewry, and his great-grandfather was John Drewry, who filled the office of chamberlain of Lincoln in 1695. Robert Drury (there are many ways of spelling the name), a member of another branch of the family, was an alderman of Lincoln, sheriff of the city in 1734 and mayor in 1754. His son Robert was also an alderman and was elected mayor.
[His uncle] John Drewry was sheriff of Lincoln in 1792, and was appointed postmaster in 1805.'

The Advertiser now belongs to Messrs. J. and C. Mort .."

The Stamford Mercury still exists as the Rutland and Stamford Mercury, based in Stamford, Lincolnshire. It claims to be 'Britain's oldest newspaper', with a masthead proclaiming that it has been published since 1695.

An Apprentice in 1796

Which of the Joshuas took Thomas Sherwin as an apprentice in 1796?

JoshuaDrewryPrinter Apprentice1796.jpg

Mary Drewry, daughter

The following images are advertisements in the Staffordshire Advertiser in 1835 and 1839: