There is still no hint of war in the Market Harborough Advertiser of July 14, 1914 – just three weeks before the outbreak of the conflict.
After last week’s reaction story to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand the Advertiser does not even give a mention to his funeral which is extensively covered in the national papers.
However, those very same national papers are still giving little hint of the conflagration to come. Admittedly the Daily Telegraph runs a story on July 8 quoting an Austro Hungarian of ‘personality in high position’. He says, ‘I must lay stress that the love of peace in the monarchy is quite extraordinary. But, in view of the attitude of the entire Servian [sic] Press, it will probably be made very difficult to preserve our love of peace. The Servian [sic] Press has first excused the attempt at Sarajevo, and now it expresses satisfaction at the murder. We can only answer to this that Austria-Hungary, in spite of her love of peace, will turn to the sword if she is forced to do so.”
But two days later on July 10 the Telegraph ran an article about ‘Austria, Servia [sic] and the Sarajevo Crime’ claiming that ‘nothing will be asked of (Serbia) which could be regarded in Belgrade either as an affront of a humiliation’.
The Advertiser is more interested in Market Harborough and the surrounding area with plenty of local gossip and community news.
There are still eight pages but, like newspapers today, the advertisements are beginning to thin out for summer. Those advertisements are also being taken by businesses with a leisure emphasis. The County Electric Palace cinema on The Square is still doing good business with two different showings each night.
And there is still room for salacious scandal, this time with a court story from Chester Assizes where a 72-year-old woman was sentenced to death for murdering her husband. The Advertiser is quite restrained in the description of the crime saying only that the 66-year-old husband was killed with an axe in a jealous rage after they quarrelled about his lover.
The court was told the woman said when she was arrested, ‘He has met a bad end to a bad life.’ And then she continues, ‘He kept saying he loved her and I lost control over myself. He has given her hundreds of pounds and he never would me have sixpence to pay for shoes.’
The Daily Telegraph doesn’t hold back though on the description of the crime. The national newspaper’s article goes into graphic detail. ‘There were twenty deep wounds on the back of the head, penetrating to the skull; one or two of the fingers were almost severed; and on the left there was a deep incised wound almost severing it.’
Check out this week’s Harborough Mail for current news from the Market Harborough area.