This article came from the Chronicle published April 1985. Page 41
NEWSPAPER ROUNDSMAN MISSING, 1737
Author: From the Sherborne Mercury
‘Whereas JAMES ARNOLD, one of the Hawkers of this Mercury, set out last week from Sherborne for Taunton as usual, with his number of Papers for that Walk, and has not since been heard of, ’tis fear’d he is either dead, or come to some Misfortune: ‘Tis therefore hoped, that such of our kind Readers as have been disappointed thereby, will excuse the Proprietors for an accident against which none can guard. And who ever shall give Intelligence what is become of the said James Arnold, to the Printers of this Paper, shall be gratefully rewarded for their trouble.’ –
Sherborne Mercury, No. 16, 17th June 1737.
Nothing further appears in the files of the paper regarding this matter but it is something of an eye-opener to learn that this ‘hawker’ of newspapers did a circular tour of not less than sixty miles each week on foot.