The Morning Chronicle

The Morning Chronicle began publication in London in 1769, under the name of The Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser. It became a powerful Liberal and Whig party aligned newspaper whose only rival was the Tory party aligned Times newspaper.

The notable contributors include Charles Lamb, William Hazlitt, Charles Dickens, John Stuart Mill, William Makepeace Thackeray and James Grant, along with the known “Labour and the Poor” authors Henry Mayhew, Angus B. Reach, Charles Mackay, Shirley Brooks and Alexander Mackay. During the period of the publication of the “Labour and the Poor” series, the editor was John Douglas Cook.

It ceased publication in earnest in 1862 and although attempts were apparently underway to restart publication, even up to the very last edition, no. 29,708, on March 2nd, 1865, the last complete 8-page edition appeared on the 19th of March, 1862. Subsequent, infrequent publications between 1862 and 1865 were likely made only to preserve the copyright.

We have transcribed a handful of related articles detailed below. Charles Mackay, who wrote his “Forty Years’ Recollections” in 1877, has several chapters on The Morning Chronicle, giving a brief history and some interesting anecdotes.

The Morning Chronicle 1835-1844

This once-famous and powerful journal was established in 1769 by twenty gentlemen, got together for the purpose by William Woodfall—a reporter and printer. This was nineteen years before the Times came into existence; and the specialty of the new journal was to be the publication of the debates in Parliament. The reporter’s gallery was non-existent and undreamed of. Read More »

Newspaper Work

It was one of my duties to open all the letters addressed to the editor, to consign such as were silly, worthless, or irrelevant to the waste-paper basket, to mark for publication such as were well written on points of general interest, which contained valuable information, and which made suggestions that were worthy of consideration, or which preferred well-founded complaints of grievances that it was of public importance to redress. Read More »

Last Years of the Morning Chronicle

In the olden times, when newspapers were overburdened with taxation, that brought but little to the national revenue, but which very effectually repressed the circulation of news and political opinion, it was a more costly and hazardous enterprise to establish a daily journal than it is now, though even in our day, when the State has removed its heavy hand, the field is so fully occupied that rivalry with any of the existing favourites cannot be wisely attempted by any one unprepared to risk a hundred thousand pounds in the venture. Read More »

Death of the Morning Chronicle

The disappearance of the oldest of metropolitan daily papers is an event of quite sufficient importance to merit some words of obituary. The Morning Chronicle ceased on yesterday an unbroken career of daily publication which had extended back for very close upon a century. In 1769 that journal made its first appearance, with William Woodfall for its editor, publisher, and reporter. Read More »