On this day

July 14, 1851

cover page of Morning Chronicle published on July 14, 1851

Morning Chronicle





Available years

1801-1846, 1848-1862, 1864-1865

Established 1770.

COPAC notes that The Morning Chronicle was suspended with the Dec. 21, 1862 issue and resumed with the Jan. 9, 1864 issue. Then it was suspended again with the Jan. 10, 1864 issue and again resumed with the Mar. 2, 1865 issue.

"Advocates moderate constitutional liberalism apart from, and in opposition to, the more ultra and violent views of extreme, or 'radical' policy. No doubt it is a difficult task to adhere to the moderate course, and requires a great degree of determination which this journal has often displayed; as in the instance of the Anti-Corn Law League, which it had strenuously supported until it pressed its object in a manner, and by means, not deemed proper by the face of an immense body, the majority, perhaps, of its party further to connect itself with these measures. It is, however, devoted most energetically to the interests of manufactures, and unceasingly advocates the principles of free-trade. Its articles are written with greater liveliness and raciness perhaps on questions of foreign policy than on any other, and evince a great range of information. To the affairs of the sister isle, also, great attention is paid; and the most intimate acquaintance manifested with its internal condition....Though not, we believe, altogether hostile to the existence of a Church Establishment, it is ardently opposed to anything approximating to ecclesiastical domination, and is the organ of a large body of moderate enlightened Dissenters" (Mitchell, 1846).

"Since the last publication of the Directory, a complete change has come over the principles of this Journal. Then it was in the hands of Sir John Easthope, the exponent of Whig principles, the defender of Whig policy. Now, in the hands of a proprietary, it is liberal-conservative and the ablest advocate of the policy and measures of the late Sir Robert Peel, in the wide circle of the press.... This Journal is favourable to popular education; and has strongly advocated the necessity of state interference, for the purpose of improving the quality of that instruction which is given in the schools devoted to the children of the working classes, rather than its 'quantity.' Its principle is, that there is 'decisive evidence that the kind of schooling, the extension of which is so much relied upon, is not a preventive of crime;' and it argues for inspection, and the appointment of more competent teachers" (Mitchell, 1851).

Evening Chronicle started in 1837. Some of contributors over the years included: James Mackintosh, Richard Sheridan, Thomas Campbell, Thomas Moore, John Campbell, Samuel Coleridge, Charles Lamb, William Hazlitt, Albany Fontblanque (1821-1824), James Mill, John Stuart Mill, John Payne Collier, George Hogarth, Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray. In 1848 Henry Mayhew contributed articles on the aspects of low life in London, which lead to his book London Labour and London Poor .

"Palmerston used the Morning Chronicle against the hated Times " (Young, p.13).

"Linton was the first woman to join the staff of an English newspaper; she was hired by the Morning Chronicle in 1848" (VPR).

There is some discrepancy regarding the ending date and run numbers of this periodical.

James Perry's constant advocacy of Whig principles kept The Morning Chronicle in the public eye as the leading opposition paper in the 1790s and early nineteenth century" (Barker p.120). By 1820, the Morning Chronicle was making an annual profit of 12,000 pounds (Barker p.95). The paper supported Catholic emancipation in 1829 (Barker p.204). The paper attacked Anti-Corn Law Leaguers for being "narrow minded bigots" in the 1840s (Barker p.219).

Dickens worked for this publication as a court and parliamentary reporter (Garlick and Harris p.203).

The " Morning Chronicle almost certainly gained most of its readership from Whig or opposition supporters" (Harris, p.47).

Hunt wrote a tribute to Egerton Webb in 1840 (Gates, p.291). Finnerty and Hazlitt were parliamentary reporters (Gates, p.435). William Hazlitt, Jr. became a parliamentary reporter after his father's death (Gates, p.441).

Hazlitt wrote theatrical criticisms for the paper (Herd, p.90).

"In the years from 1844 to 1846 he [Thackeray] was the principle book reviewer for the Morning Chronicle , earning about 20 pounds a month from that quarter" (Dudek). "In the summer of 1834 the long established but now faltering London paper, the Morning Chronicle , was bought by a trio of bankers and stockbrokers led by a self made man called John Easthope. The object was to make the chronicle a more effective supporter of the Whig Government in all the post-Reform Bill measure it was carrying out against virulent Tory opposition, opposition most trenchantly and influentially expressed in The Times. In particular, Easthope wanted the Chronicle to be a strong champion of the New Poor Law, the centerpiece of the Whig's legislative program" (Slater).

"Usually contains full accounts of riots and chartist trials" (Schoyen p.291).

"Mr. Clement after achieving great commercial success with the Observer , determined soon after the death of Mr. Perry to purchase the Morning Chronicle . This was in 1821.This did not prove a good speculation. He continued to lose annually a large amount of money on the Chronicle until he sold it to Sir John Easthope and two other gentlemen, in 1834" (Grant, p.31).

"Early gave full reports of Parliament" (Williams, vol 1, p.75).

One of only nine daily newspapers, five of which were advertising journals and all of which were published in London, being published in Great Britain at the end of 1783 (Aspinall p.6).

The Morning Chronicle prophesied that half the existing newspapers would be extinguished by the new taxation (2nd June 1815)" (Aspinall p.21). "The Morning Chronicle was then [in 1852] being supported by the money of Sidney Herbert and other Peelites" (Aspinall p.199). "Of the principal papers opposing the Addington ministry of 1801-4, the Morning Chronicle was the organ of the Foxite Whigs" (Aspinall p.281). "During the Peninsular War the Morning Chronicle ...obtained news from a secret source which was obviously connected with military headquarters there" (Aspinall p.282). "Everyone agreed that the Morning Chronicle was an unsatisfactory Opposition newspaper" (Aspinall p.294). Despite declining circulation, "when in 1834 Clement disposed of the copyright, he obtained for it more than a hundred times as much as Perry and Gray had given for it" (Aspinall p.306). "The people were keenly interested in [The Princess of Wales'] affairs; newspapers like the Morning Chronicle , the Pilot , and the Star could hope considerably to increase their circulation by devoting themselves to her" (Aspinall p.306). "Started in 1769 in the Whig interest, but in 1788, when William Woodfall was about to retire from its direction, it was a Government paper" (Aspinall p.69).

In the late 1700's and/or early 1800's, this newspaper was "of a very different character from those with which we are familiar; they had nothing in the shape of general intelligence -- law and police news, and public proceedings of all kinds were entirely ignored" (Smart, pp.40-41).

Gray was the co-editor with James Perry until his death (unknown date). John Black edited the periodical until it ended. The size of the periodical was two to three columns daily.

Thackeray contributed 35 articles to the paper between 1844 and 1848. John Campbell contributed to The Morning Chronicle as a theatrical critic for the plays: The Exile of Erin and Ye Mariners of England . "The training school for the clever writers who began to make the Saturday Review " (Escott). Black was "[t]he first newspaper critic of English institutions in detail" (Escott).

Leigh Hunt was the dramatic critic; Lord Brougham, Sir James Mackintosh and David Ricardo were leader-writers (Jones). Brooks wrote the "Parliamentary summary" for the Morning Chronicle (Cooper, p.146).

Anthony Angus Reach worked as a parliamentary and trial correspondent for the Morning Chronicle . He also wrote a powerful series of reports on industrial conditions in the north of England. Linton worked on the Morning Chronicle for three years after 1845 in London, than for three years in Paris from 1853 as a foreign correspondent after quarrelling with her employer, John Douglas Cook. James Hannay's first post as a writer was at the Morning Chronicle . William Bernard MacCabe wrote for the Morning Chronicle . Thomas Campbell and Thomas Moore wrote prose and verse for the paper. Moore's Epistle form Tom Cribb appeared in September of 1815 (Bourne, p.364). William Hazlitt wrote political articles and continued as a theatrical critic and writer on art. Collection of articles written for The Morning Chronicle were put into A View of the English Stage (Bourne, p.364). Thomas Black started as a reporter for the paper in 1810 and was promoted to become the editor in 1817 (Bourne, p.363).

Powerful Whig journal under Perry (1789-). "At the beginning of the nineteenth century...it was London's leading daily" (Jones, p.5n). "First newspaper to make a reputation for its parliamentary reports" (Jones, p.55). The "principal mouthpiece" of the Whig party (Jones, p.61).

John Cleave advertised (in Working Man's Friend and Political Magazine , 12 January 1833) the Morning Chronicle for sale, post free, at half price, on the second day of publication. Printed on rag paper (Webb, p.33).

"In the early 1850s the Morning Chronicle ran a vigorous campaign against the monopolistic brewers, and the full-scale inquiry into the licensing system conducted by the Villiers committee in 1853-4 was strongly influenced by free traders." "The Whig Morning Chronicle welcomed Lovett's 'new move' and Vincent's temperance address" (Harrison).

The first message to be transmitted by telegraph for a newspaper was in May 1845 for The Morning Chronicle along the London and South Western Railway Company's line from Portsmouth to London (Lee, p.60).

Black writes The Morning Chronicle was most prominent among the Foxite press and continuing critic of the war in 1793. Black also notes incidence of reporting of boxing matches.

"Dickens obtained a position at the liberal, Whig-owned Morning Chronicle , second only to The Times in circulation. The editor, John Black, sent him out to cover events throughout Britain; the curb reporter relished the coach races home to beat competition to press" (Patten, p.18).

Source: The Waterloo Directory of English Newspapers and Periodicals: 1800-1900.

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

  • 1801–65 The Morning Chronicle

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 May 4, 2013 . The latest issues were added in Jul 18, 2013.