The Stuarts


Design the front page of a Stuart newspaper. Read on for some inspiration on what to include on a newspaper front page, then create your own using pencils, pens or paints.

Old news

Newspapers were invented during the Civil War, which took place from 1642–51. Both sides – the king and parliament – produced printed pamphlets trying to make themselves look good by boasting about their victories.

They then started weekly newspapers, which were full of scandalous gossip about the opposition. The newspapers could take a week to reach readers in the countryside on slow-moving carts, so by the time people could read them, the news was already a week old!

This image is an example of what newspapers would have looked like during the Stuart era. Most newspapers at the time would have had one main story and two or three shorter stories.

Hot off the press!

The Stuart period was a hectic time in English history, with lots of momentous events taking place. This was also the time when newspapers became popular, especially during the Civil War.

Have a go at designing your own newspaper front page with the biggest headlines and stories from the Stuart era, using a sheet of paper and coloured pencils or felt-tip pens. 

Your newspaper will need a name, which should be at the top of the page, above the main headline and story. The main story would have been accompanied by a picture, so don’t forget to draw this too!

Get the look

As the designer of your Stuart newspaper you’ll want it to look authentic. Here’s an example of what printed text would have looked like at the time to help you when you’re drawing the name of your newspaper and the headlines for your stories.

Before you start drawing on the paper, you could try painting it a pale brown colour or staining the paper by soaking it in cold tea (ask an adult to help you) and leaving it to dry to make it look old.


What might you write about?

Here are just a few examples of what you could base your newspaper front cover on:

  • Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot in 1605
  • The English Civil War between the Roundheads and the Cavaliers
  • The execution of King Charles I
  • The restoration of King Charles II
  • The Great Plague
  • The Great Fire of London

Newspaper front page checklist

When designing your front cover, make sure you include the following things:

  • A title for your paper (known as the masthead)
  • The date (showing when the paper would have been published)
  • A headline for your main story
  • A section of writing about the headline story
  • A picture to show what happened in your headline story
  • One or two other smaller stories
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