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June 4, 1836

cover page of Cleave's Weekly Police Gazette published on June 4, 1836

Cleave's Weekly Police Gazette





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Cleave’s Weekly Police Gazette was founded by London bookseller John Cleave in 1834. It offered a curious mixture of political news and comment combined with reports of sensational crimes. Cleave was actively involved in radical politics and fought the “tax on knowledge” by refusing to pay stamp duty on his paper which he sold cheaply at 1d, unstamped. The Police Gazette was an instant success, and provided a platform for Cleave’s radical views on political reform, the Poor Law and the need for factory reform. He came up with ingenious ways in which to distribute his unstamped publications, including smuggling them out of his shop in coffins!

By 1836 40,000 copies were being sold each week, but Cleave was prosecuted and imprisoned for his stamp tax avoidance. He was a founder member of the London Working men’s Association and its forerunner, the Association of Working Men to Procure Cheap and Honest Press assisted him in payment of the resultant fines.

In 1836, Cleave’s Weekly Police Gazette merged with Henry Hetherington’s London Dispatch. Cleave went on to become a London delegate to the first Chartist Convention in February 1839 and later remained loyal to William Lovett after his break with Feargus O’Connor, joining his National Association. He died in 1847.

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

  • 1835–36 Cleave's Weekly Police Gazette
  • 1836–36 Cleave's Weekly Police Gazette and Journal of News, Politics, and Literature.

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 23, 2021 . The latest issues were added in Apr 27, 2021.