On this day

May 25, 1918

cover page of East London Observer published on May 25, 1918

East London Observer





Available years

1857-1875, 1877-1944

The East London Observer was established by radical William Newton in Tower Hamlets in 1857, priced at 1d. Newton (1822-1876) was an engineer originally from Cheshire, and one of the founders of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, the largest trade society of the time. As a prominent labour leader, he campaigned on trade politics in the 1852 Tower Hamlets election but was defeated. He turned to parochial reform, campaigning for popular democratic local self-government to prevent the concentration of power in the hands of central government.

Newton used the East London Observer to publicise and further the cause of parochial reform. In his opening editorial he wrote that the paper would be “dragging into publicity the doings of vestries and Boards of Guardians, tearing the veil of secrecy from the conduct of officials who have come to consider themselves the employees of a central board rather than the servants of the people”

However, with the renewed agitation for parliamentary reform through the 1860’s, Newton’s parochial reform campaign was sidelined, culminating in his defeat in the 1868 general election where he finished bottom of the poll.


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

  • 1857–1928 The East London Observer
  • 1928–44 The City and East London Observer, etc.

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 Mar 11, 2013 . The latest issues were added in Apr 8, 2021.