About The Gazette

The Gazette is formally the combination of three publications: The London Gazette, The Belfast Gazette and The Edinburgh Gazette. The Gazettes are official journals of record.

As a publication, The Gazette consists largely of statutory notices. This means that there is some legal requirement for the notice placer to advertise an event or proposal in The Gazette.

There are over 450 different types of notice that are advertised in The Gazette, including:

  • 242 notice types required by law to be published in The Gazette
  • 82 notice types required by law to be published in The Gazette, as well as somewhere else (for example, a newspaper)
  • 54 notice types required by law to be published, but the law doesn’t specify where
  • 36 notice types that may be published in The Gazette
  • 41 notice types that are optional publication, so are not required by law to be published

The Gazette website provides information on these different types of notice and the legislation that governs their publication here.

The legal power to print and publish The Gazette is a prerogative power conferred on the King’s Printer by letters patent. Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order, in this case issued by the monarch. The King's Printer and the Controller of HMSO have historically been viewed as one and the same person, and it can be inferred that the functions of the King’s Printer are to be carried out by HMSO operating from within The National Archives, under the direction of the Controller and Keeper (who is the chief executive of The National Archives). The National Archives (HMSO) manages the publication of all three of the individual Gazette titles (London, Belfast and Edinburgh) for the King’s Printer, under a concessionary contract.

Notices printed in The Gazette are afforded legal standing, and The Gazette itself is afforded special protection by the Documentary Evidence Act 1882.

Who can place a notice in The Gazette?

As an official public record, notices can only be placed in The Gazette by registered and verified persons acting in an official capacity, who have the authority to create an official record of fact – for example, insolvency practitioners, solicitors, or executors of a will.

Notice placers are solely responsible for the content of any notice, including its validity and accuracy. All notice placers have to register with The Stationery Office (TSO). Once registered, TSO carries out validation checks to ensure that the notice placer has the authority to place the type of notice that they wish to place (for example, are they a registered insolvency practitioner if they want to place a corporate insolvency notice?).

Additional validation checks may be required to ensure that The Gazette can satisfy itself as to the legal, statutory and/or procedural requirements and accuracy relating to any notice. For example, supporting documentation may be requested, such as a court order, before a notice is submitted for publication. The Gazette website provides information on who is authorised to place which type of notice.

See how to place a notice.

Historical events and individual citations

The Gazette has been recording national and international events since November 1665, in its first incarnation as The Oxford Gazette.

From England’s Glorious Revolution to despatches from the front, and honours and awards for gallantry or meritorious service – as well as officer commissions, appointments and promotions, and casualties – it’s a key resource for the researcher. Genealogists can sketch out a soldier’s career, and insolvency notices can help track an individual or company’s financial history.

The Gazette is also the official home of the King’s Birthday and New Year honours, which are published on the King’s official birthday in June and in the New Year. Honours supplements since 1945 can be found here, with searchable individual notice pages for recent awardees.

Special supplements

A Gazette supplement gathers certain notices placed in The Gazette and publishes them all together in one special edition.

For example, The Gazette is the official bearer of War Office and Ministry of Defence events, and a weekly supplement is published on behalf of the forces every Tuesday. The Company Law Supplement is also published weekly in all three editions of The Gazette and details information notified to, or by, the Registrar of Companies.

A Gazette Extraordinary is a special edition deemed to require additional gravitas to reflect the importance of the event, such as declaration of war or the accession of a monarch to the throne.

Datasets and data service

The Gazette is at the heart of official data, and contains valuable information and records that you can search for and download free of charge.

The Gazette is a rich source of open data, including longitudinal datasets and linked data. It’s free for the developer community to use and repurpose and (unless stated otherwise) is free for you to use under the Open Government Licence.

The official information recorded in The Gazette, whether related to insolvency, transport or deceased estates, is designed to support risk and opportunity management in business and government.

The Gazette data service can provide you with this information, direct to your inbox, as a one-off or regular report daily, weekly or monthly.