London news was generally serious items from Parliament and the Court, but, just as today we have ‘and finally’ items in news broadcasts, there were often amusing snippets reported at the end:
“A few days since, a gentleman very gravely wrote to another – ‘Sir, you have deprived me of the very best friend I had on my back.” Upon examination, it appeared that the latter had neglected to return a borrowed Great Coat.
“A woman, lately brought before a Country Magistrate, and behaving with much confidence, was told by his worship that she had brass enough in her face to make a five-gallon kettle. ‘Yes,’ answered she, ‘and there is sap enough in your head to fill it!’ ”
Stamford Mercury 2nd December, 1808.