On this day

May 20, 1865

cover page of Bell's Life in London and Sporting Chronicle published on May 20, 1865

Bell's Life in London and Sporting Chronicle





Available years


Bell’s Life in London & Sporting Chronicle was founded in London in 1822 by printer Robert Bell as Life in London. A weekly 4-page broadsheet priced at 7d, it contained general news and sports, but gravitated mainly to sports in later years. It initially made its reputation covering prize-fighting but became known for reliable coverage of a range of sports such as cricket, angling, sailing and even chess. However, it was particularly known for its reports on horse-racing, publishing up to date information on schedules and results.

William Innell Clement, owner of the Observer, bought the paper from Bell in 1824 and in 1845 the size was increased from 4 to 8 pages. Under the 30 year editorship of Vincent George Dowling, Bell’s increased its circulation substantially to a high of 30,000 a week by the mid 1850’s. However, increasing competition from other sporting papers such as TheField (1853), Sporting Life (1859) and The Sportsman (1865) meant that Bell’s was struggling when it was sold in 1883 to racing reporters Henry Buck and Charles Greenwood. They then sold it on to wealthy cotton broker E.O.Bleackley and Edward Hulton (owner of the Sporting Chronicle, Athletic News and the Sunday Chronicle). The paper was changed to a daily, but the name was sold to and absorbed by Sporting Life in 1886.

For this newspaper, we have the following titles in, or planned for, our digital archive:

  • 1822–86 Bell's Life in London and Sporting Chronicle

This newspaper is published by 365 Media Group Ltd in London, London, England. It was digitised and first made available on the British Newspaper Archive in Dec 27, 2014 . The latest issues were added in Mar 17, 2017.