On this day

July 19, 1861

cover page of Sun (London) published on July 19, 1861

Sun (London)





Available years

1801-1871, 1873-1875

The Sun, a daily evening newspaper, was founded in 1792 by writer John Heriot, with the support of Prime Minister, William Pitt, and his government. The newspaper, during its early days, was subsidised by the government, and advocated a pro-government and anti-French revolutionary stance.

The first issue of The Sun appeared on the 1 October 1792 and its banner heading was distinguished by a motif of the sun with encircling rays in the centre of the title. It carried advertisements on the front page, followed by parliamentary proceedings and foreign and domestic news through to the back page. Although it later added other features, including occasional theatre and book reviews, The Sun remained predominantly political in its coverage. It quickly managed to achieve a circulation of some 4,000 copies daily, partly through the hundreds of copies distributed free by the government.

By the mid-1830s the politics of the newspaper had shifted, and it was advocating liberal and free trade principles. In particular the paper took an anti-Corn Law stance, regularly featuring articles attacking the law, and adverts providing details of the meetings of the Anti-Corn Law League. To celebrate Queen Victoria’s coronation on 28th June 1838 The Sun produced a ground-breaking commemorative issue, which had the front page entirely printed in gold typeface, with a large medallion engraving of the Queen at its centre. The issue was so popular it is estimated to have sold 250,000 copies.

In 1871 The Sun merged with the Central Press and was renamed The Sun and Central Press, but this only lasted until 1873 when the two newspapers separated again. While the later incarnation of The Sun ran until 1876, it slowly decreased in size and increased the space given to advertising. The last issue appeared on 15 April 1876.

Beth Gaskell - The British Library

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

  • 1801–71 The Sun.
  • 1873–75 The Sun.

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 Sep 23, 2019 . The latest issues were added in May 18, 2021.