Le Publiciste: Thomas de la Rue and Mr Greenslade fall out, 1813
The proprietor of the short-lived but interesting newpaper Le Publiciste, the printer and publisher Thomas Greenslade, published a letter in his newspaper on 26th December 1812, highlighting his disagreement with his editor, Thomas de la Rue. De la Rue was busy starting up his own newspaper in Guernsey, Le Miroir Politique, which had its first issue in February 1813, and went on to found the printing company that still bears his name.
TO THE PUBLIC
And particularly to the Subscribers of Le Publiciste.
It will, doubtless, be expected that I shall lay before you some remarks upon a Circular Letter, of the 22nd Inst., addressed to you, by my late partner, to the above paper; which is rendered the more necessary, as a strong insinuation therein charges me with having made the following assertion, 'my fortune is made, and I care not for my engagements to the public.' This I most solemnly disavow having made; indeed I should deem myself worse than an idiot to use an expression as far from the truth, as impolitic in a Tradesman—
I have a large family to maintain by labour and honest dealings, consequently the last person to use insulting language to that public by which I expect to have the means of doing it. The following facts I shall briefly submit to your consideration, which I hope will erase every unfavourable impression in regard to my conduct.
Mr James Arnold drew up an agreement, which was signed by Mr De La Rue and myself; viz., That the said De La Rue, engages to manage the working part of the Publiciste for 5 years, with the assistance of one of my apprentices, and for which he should receive half the profits arising from the same; my engagements I have uniformly fulfilled, and even allowed a second person occasionally to assist him; notwithstanding which, to my great astonishment, he last week informed me that unless I gave him more assistance he would not continue the paper longer than Christmas; I replied, that I could not give any further assistance, having already exceeded what I engaged to do.
The consequence was, that without any further remarks, he abruptly quitted my office, although he charges me with having provoked his determination, and inflated with his fancied grievances, addressed himself to the public as an injured Person; how far he has been injured, I shall now leave it to the Public to judge.
Mr De La Rue, doubtless, imagined that I should not be able to continue the Publication of the Paper for want of an Editor; in this he has been mistaken, for I have engaged M. Mausabré for that purpose, and am determined to continue it upon the same Terms and Plan as heretofore, and I beg leave to solicit a continuance of your support to the same, promising on my part that, neither expense nor endeavour shall be wanting to render it in every respect worthy of your approbation. I am the public's devoted,
The Miroir Politique was launched on the 6th February 1813, with an attack on Mr Greenslade, who had claimed to edit Le Publiciste but could not in fact speak French, on the first page. It was published 'every Saturday at 7 a.m., at the Miroir Politique's office, No 184 Lower Pollet; also available at E. De La Rue's establishment, No 286 Fountain Street. Delivery to town-dwelling subscribers in the morning. Small ads and announcements for the following issue can be brought to the Printer's up to midday on Thursday every week. Yearly subscription: 6 shillings. Single issues: 3 sous.' [The two houses belonging to Mr E De La Rue, the one at the top of Fountain Street, the other in the Bordage, with land bordering on Pedvin Street, suitable for a building plot, are for sale. De La Rue has a kitchen and laundry to rent starting immediately; enquire with him at No 286 Fountain Street.] Le Miroir Politique, February 1813. Thomas Greenslade sold the goodwill of the Publiciste and its printing press immediately afterwards.
For Guernsey newspapers see Bennett, A., A history of the French newspapers and nineteenth century English newspapers of Guernsey, thesis in the Library.