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May 26, 1833

cover page of British Liberator published on May 26, 1833

British Liberator





Available years


The British Liberator was a Sunday weekly newspaper, priced at 7d. It had a reformist agenda, advocating liberty for all, and the removal of aristocratic power. It laid out its approach in an ‘Exordium’ in the first issue, saying:

‘We are no revisionists – and reformers of yesterday: - we are pure, uncompromising genuine reformers – determined to break down the barriers of oppression, monopoly, and treachery, and be free! We wish to impress upon the minds of men, that the aristocratical power is useless when contained in the shallow pates of lordly fools!’

From the fourth issue onwards it included the subtitle: “‘The Liberty of the Press in the Palladium of all the Civil, Political, and Religious Rights of an Englishman’ – Junius.”

The newspaper included regular foreign and domestic news, literary and theatrical reviews, sporting intelligence, and sections on fashion, poetry and nonsense, as well as extensive editorial articles. It covered the period directly after the 1832 Reform Act, and devoted much time and space to covering the outcomes of the reforms. The paper was an early proponent of free supplements, and issued free portraits of William Cobbett, Mr. Pease, the Quaker M.P. and a series of ‘events in the History of England’, drawn by Cruikshank, which began with an image of ‘The Battle of Hastings’. These supplements have not been collected by the British Library.

While ostensibly a London newspaper, the publishers paid for advertisements in regional newspapers, including the Carlisle Patriot, the Wolverhampton Chronicle, and the Taunton Courier. This outreach was accompanied by the appointment of Agents to distribute the newspaper, whose number grew to ninety-two, as listed in issue the issue for 3 November 1833. Agents were appointed all over England from Penzance to Carlisle, and included Postmasters, Post-Offices, Booksellers, News Agents, as well as some more unusually employed agents, such as Mr. R. Richards in Marizon, who was a bootmaker, and Thomas Hunt, of Odiham, Hants, who was an Auctioneer. Several towns had more than one Agent, including Bridgewater, Cranbrook, Exeter, Honiton, and Lewes.

In November 1833 the British Liberator was incorporated into the New Weekly Dispatch (1833-1835).

Ed King, The British Library

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

  • 1833–33 The British Liberator.

This newspaper is published by an unknown publisher in London, London, England. It was digitised and first made available on the British Newspaper Archive in Apr 28, 2021 . The latest issues were added in Apr 28, 2021.