A guide to searching The Gazette

Searching across the London, Edinburgh and Belfast Gazettes

All notices are accessible via www.thegazette.co.uk – whether they originated in Belfast, Edinburgh or London Gazettes. You can also search by individual editions using the ‘Gazette edition’ checkbox.

Searching by free text

The quickest way to start is by a free text search from the All notices area. You can search for exact words or phrases, or a combination of terms. For example:

  • use "double quote marks" to find notices containing exact phrases: “Michael Davis”
  • use AND to find notices containing both words: Michael AND Norwich
  • use OR to find notices containing either word: Michael OR Norwich
  • use NOT to find notices containing a word but not another: Michael NOT Norwich
  • use brackets for complex searches: Michael AND (Southwark OR Lambeth)
  • combine for complex searches: “Michael Davis” AND Norwich

Searching by notice type

The notice type search allows you to select notices according to Gazette categories. For example, you can search for state notices, or narrow your search further by choosing the specific state notice you are interested in, such as honours and awards. Bear in mind, though, that these check boxes should only be used if you are searching for notices that were published from 1998 onwards. If you are looking for notices prior to this, or the notices may have appeared in a supplement, use the free text search and leave the ‘Notice type’ check boxes clear.

See all notices and notice codes by category here.

Searching by event

You can use the publication date search functionality to search notices by your own date ranges, or you can use the following commonly searched for historical events to help you – these links will update the search page with the relevant date ranges, and you can then refine your search further by using the free text or other search options:

Simple or advanced searching on one page

You can carry out both simple and advanced searches from one page. You can combine as many, or as few, items from the search options to refine your search.

As well as free text, notice type and publication date range search, you can search by Gazette edition and issue number, or by location (including local authority, place or post code). You can also specify the distance to narrow down your choices.

While conducting a search, you can amend or clear your search options at any point, or if you want to start from scratch, click the ‘clear all’ button. Remember to update your results after every search option change. Once you’ve run your search, you can sort by oldest or latest, and also select the number of results you want to view.

The search options available to you vary by section. For search options relevant to a specific notice section please visit:

Index search

The index search functionality is probably the most useful way of narrowing down Gazette information within a reasonably small timeframe. With that in mind, we’ve now made the index search easier.

Just go to Publications, and under ‘Search the archives - Indexes’, select the edition (London, Edinburgh or Belfast), year and issue number (1-4).

London Gazette index searches start from 1829. Note that volumes were published quarterly from 1903 onwards; for pre-1903 volumes, it will be only 1 or 2, as they were then produced biannually.

Bear in mind that Edinburgh and Belfast Gazettes only publish an annual index, which is searchable from 2002.

Index searches return the year, quarter and page number for a particular notice of interest, and allow you to establish whether a name, event or medal awarded happened within a three-month timeframe (or indeed, didn’t happen).

Search The Gazette indexes

Missing Gazette notices

If you're having trouble with your search, the issue you're looking for may not have been digitised. Check the Missing Gazettes page for a list of all those that are missing, by issue number and date range.

Search results before 1752

It’s worth noting that search results are ordered by the printed date of publication, rather than the published sequence. This is especially important to bear in mind for pre-1752 issues, when the calendar year started on 25 March. For example, February 1715 is put in ‘date order’ ahead of June 1715 (as the calendar year is now), even though February 1715 is in fact later than April to December 1715, because the year did not change again until 25 March. The issue numbers do however make this clear.

Optical character recognition

The Gazette search uses optical character recognition (OCR) to convert scanned documents into machine readable text format, so that your text-based searches show the most relevant results.

While successful in the main, there can be anomalies when you search, due to the age and quality of what was scanned, as well as the limitations of the process. While we are working to correct this where we can, there are a couple of periods (1689 to 1711 and 1766 to 1770) during which, in many instances, it is not possible to perform a text search. However, the issues themselves can still be found. 

Need extra assistance with your search?

Now you’re ready to start searching, check out our handy hints and tips, or you may like to use our Gazette Research Service to find exactly what you are looking for.

For any other queries, please contact our customer services team.

Using what you’ve found

You can print or save your searches, and you can share your findings with friends, family and colleagues via social media or email.

The ‘My Gazette’ facility provides an easy method of saving searches and favourite notices to suit personal interests.

Further help

Now you’re ready to start searching, check out our handy hints and tips to get even more out of The Gazette. The Gazette’s Research Service may also be of interest, to help you find exactly what you are searching for.