What is a Town Crier?
A very long time ago, before there were newspapers, town criers were used to tell the news. The town crier is a person who would walk around yelling, “Oyez, oyez” (Oh-yea) which translates to “listen” in French but meant "hear ye" in England. "Hear ye" is a call for silence and attention. The town crier would tell about the latest events that were happening such as a parade at 2:00 p.m. There were town criers in England as well as in the thirteen colonies in America during the 1600’s.
The town crier usually wore robes with bright colors, boots, white breeches and a tricorn hat. They also might ring a bell or hit a drum to attract attention to the news.
usually knew how to read and write so that they could interpret
proclamations and official communications for their listeners. Town
criers were known for nailing a proclamation on the door post of a
central meeting place like a local inn. This is how newspapers got their
name “the post.” Sometimes the town criers worked for the mayor or
criers started out in Ancient Greece. Historically, town criers were
sometimes women or even husband and wife teams. Town criers are most
known for their presence in England. Their influence spread even further
as England colonized other countries. Town criers vanished after more
uses of communication were invented during the 1750’s and later, but
still used today to introduce special public events.
Shears, Andrew. “Town Crier.” History of Town Criers. http://www.atspromotions.com/towncrier/history.htm>.
Sklar, Kathryn Kish. "Town crier." World Book Online Reference Center. 2005. World Book, Inc. 9 Mar. 2005. <http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/Article?id=ar562780>.
Crier.” Town crier – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 7
February 2005 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Town_crier>.
Wull, Puddock. “Town Crier History.” Town Crier Gallery. 7
February 2005 <http://www.scottishtowncrier.com/history.html>.
Copyrighted clip art images of town crier from "Microsoft Office Online" <http://office.microsoft.com/clipart/default.aspx?lc=en-us&cag=1> (October-March, 2004-2005). Clip art only available to licensed users for non-commercial purposes.