Righting historical wrongs, one Regency at a time.

Regency Era Newspapers and Periodicals

275px-Gentleman's_Magazine_Volume_One,_Number_OneOne of the things that will make me throw a book across the room is reading The London Times or The Times of London in a Regency.

No, no, no!

It’s The Times. We’re (generally) in Regency England during this story. There isn’t a New York Times or Los Angeles Times the author needs to distinguish it from. Just The Times. Thank you.

And there were plenty of other newspapers, magazines, and journals in the Regency to suit everyone’s tastes.

The Times (yes, let’s start with the big one) was founded in 1785, and had a large circulation. It was a relatively unbiased source of information outside of London, and often advocated for incremental reforms.

The London Gazette was an official government publication and contained information about political appointments, royal assent to Parliamentary bills, and notices (including those of bankruptcy, supposedly lending itself to the term “to be gazetted.”)

The London Chronicle was published three times a week and included marriage and death notices, along with stock information and corn prices.

The Morning Chronicle was the Whig paper, and The Morning Post was conservative (and later acquired by The Daily Telegraph in 1937).

For the interested, The Morning Herald and Daily Advertiser provided information about police activity, accompanied by George Cruikshank illustrations.

The Gentleman’s Magazine was founded in 1731 (and published through the early 20th century). It was a general interest magazine, publishing news, essays, maps, marriage, and death announcements, along with information about commerce and science. Historically, it’s interesting in that it was the first periodical to use the word “magazine,” which was used then as a storehouse (as we think of it now, storage of ammunition). Considering the power of the written word, how appropriate.

The Edinburgh Review (its second iteration) was founded in 1802. Whig-oriented, it paid contributors (such as Sydney Smith, Henry Brougham, and Thomas Malthus) well and was very elite, disapproving of Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Byron. As a lawyer, I love its motto: judex damnatur ubi nocens absolvitur. (The judge is condemned when the guilty is acquitted.)

By the end of the Regency, the Edinburgh Review and its main competitor, the Quarterly Review, each sold over 14,000 copies; five to six times more people were likely to have read each issue.

The Quarterly Review was founded in 1809 as a Tory counterpoint to the Edinburgh Review, and published similar material with a different political slant. Robert Southey, Sir Walter Scott, Charles Maturin, and William Lamb contributed anonymous pieces. Like the contributors to the Edinburgh Review, those writing for the Quarterly were well-paid. Quarterly reviews could be scathing, taking on the Shelleys, Byron, and Keats.


5 Responses to “Regency Era Newspapers and Periodicals”

  1. Dorothea

    Thank you. I have combed the internet for information on which newspapers leant which way in this period; so happy to finally find a comprehensive list. I do wish you’d add the Radicals. Cobbett’s Weekly?

    • Queen of Hats

      I can’t believe I’ve missed this comment, so apologies for the delay in response! I’d intended to. It’s where all the good stuff is, anyway. :)

  2. Georey La Blanc

    You wouldn’t happen to know the publishing address of the Morning Chronicle, would you? In the Victorian era it was 332 The Strand. Was this the same in the Regency period?

    • Queen of Hats

      I pulled down A Newspaper History of England, 1792-1793 (specific, I know, and I’m not sure why I even own it) which covers the Morning Chronicle in depth. According to this book, as of 1790, it was being printed by John Lambert at No. 1 Great Shire Lane, Temple Bar, otherwise housed at No. 474 Strand, corner of Lancaster Court. Hope this helps!


Leave a Reply