On this day

February 23, 1939

cover page of Sheffield Daily Telegraph published on February 23, 1939

Sheffield Daily Telegraph





Available years

1855-1932, 1939, 1950

The Sheffield Daily Telegraph was Sheffield’s first daily newspaper, published in 1855 by bookseller, printer and patent medicine dealer, Joseph Pearce.  In 1864, Pearce sold on to Frederick Clifford and William Leng.

Clifford (1828-1904) was London correspondent for the paper already and parliamentary correspondent for The Times. He became a barrister in 1859 and spent most of his time in London, so the day-to-day running of the paper was left to Leng. Clifford was influential in the formation and running of the Press Association (founded 1868) in its early years, being chairman for two terms. He retired due to ill-health in 1883.

Leng, a former chemist, was a Conservative activist and elder brother of John Leng, the Liberal owner of the Dundee Advertiser.

The Sheffield Daily Telegraph, edited by Leng, adopted a Conservative stance in opposition to the Liberal Sheffield Independent, run by the Leader family since 1829, but his aim was to give the Conservative Party cause wider appeal. His coverage of the Bradfield Dam disaster in 1864 when over 200 people died in Sheffield and his subsequent campaign for a municipal water supply, increased both the profile and circulation of the paper.  Leng also gained notoriety for his investigation and exposure of alleged corruption and militant violence in the trade union movement in Sheffield, the so-called Sheffield Outrages, which led to a Royal Commission on Trade Unions.

The Telegraph was one of the first newspapers to introduce linotype printing, whereby a whole line of type could be produced at one time. Faster typesetting by fewer operatives increased output allowing newspapers to increase the number of pages per issue.


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

  • 1855–1934 The Sheffield Daily Telegraph
  • 1934–38 Sheffield Telegraph.
  • 1938–39 Sheffield Telegraph and Daily Independent.
  • 1939–42 Telegraph & Independent.
  • 1942–42 Sheffield Telegraph and Independent.
  • 1942–55 Sheffield Telegraph.

This newspaper is published by National World Publishing Ltd in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England. It was digitised and first made available on the British Newspaper Archive in Nov 16, 2012 . The latest issues were added in Jul 20, 2017.