The Stirling Observer was founded in 1836 by teacher turned printer, bookseller and stationer, Ebenezer Johnstone. At 4d, it undercut the only other Stirling newspaper at the time, the Stirling Journal & Advertiser, which promptly reduced its price from 7d to 4d.
Johnstone was an avowed Liberal who took an active part in civic life and his views are reflected in the pages of the Observer. Whilst endeavouring to produce fair and accurate reporting of local and national news, the paper encouraged free discussion of public affairs and was a critic of those in the public eye. It opposed the connection between Church and State and during the Disruption of the Church of Scotland in 1843 the Observer supported the Free Church.
On Johnstone’s retirement in 1860, the paper was bought by Samuel Cowan, who sold it on to Robert Gray in 1866 after purchasing the Perthshire Advertiser. Within five years, cousins George Duncan and John Jamieson had bought the business and during their tenure it grew rapidly. A decision was therefore made in 1873 to introduce a Saturday edition of the paper, which was smaller in size and cheaper.
Jamieson’s nephew, John Munro, came into the business when his uncle retired from active management. A limited company was established in 1912 with Munro as managing director of Jamieson & Munro Limited.
For this newspaper, we have the following titles in, or planned for, our digital archive:
- 1839–1945 The Stirling Observer
- 1871–92 The Stirling Observer.
This newspaper is published by Reach PLC in Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland. It was digitised and first made available on the British Newspaper Archive in Apr 3, 2013 . The latest issues were added in Dec 12, 2019.