Mercury stars in Stamford Shakespeare Company’s Pride and Prejudice at Tolethorpe

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A PIECE of the Mercury’s history has been helping bring to life a play at Rutland Open-Air Theatre.

Eagle-eyed audience members at Stamford Shakespeare Company’s production of Pride and Prejudice at Tolethorpe Hall might have spotted the character of Mr Bennet reading a facsimile of the Mercury. The play’s directors Mike and Heather Harrison approached the Stamford Mercury Archive Trust, which looks after our amazing archives, in May.

They were helped by volunteer Sarah Critchard, who searched through the archives looking for an appropriate copy from 1813.

She said: “The directors sent an e-mail to us saying it would be a nice idea if they could have a copy of the newspaper and we were really happy to help. I took a scan of a newspaper, which at that time was only four pages long, and provided it to them. They then copied it to use.”

Sarah, who is a fan of the Jane Austen novel, hopes to see the play at Tolethorpe Hall and said she would be keeping an eye out for the newspaper. She said: “Compared to some of the inquiries we get, this was fairly simple but it is nice to have a copy of the paper in the actual play. It shows the attention to detail.”

Archive trust volunteers look after inquiries via appointment. The archive has a complete run of the newspaper from 1786.

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For archive inquiries e-mail