The Northern Star

The Northern Star was by far the most successful of the Chartist newspapers. Established by Feargus O’Connor, it was first published on 22 November 1837 at the price of four and a half pence. It was a stamped newspaper, which meant that it was priced beyond the means of a lot of working-class people, but despite this it sold in the thousands, peaking in 1839 at 48,000 copies a week, and became a key organ of the Chartist movement. O’Connor had neither the skills nor the desire to run the paper himself, so he appointed William Hill as editor and Bronterre O’Brien as lead writer. The paper began as a means to express working-class discontent with the Poor Law, but soon became the voice of the Chartist cause after the publication of The People’s Charter in 1838. While the paper supported the Charter, it would not fall in line with William Lovett, the London Working Men's Association and their 'moral force' tactics, and instead acted as a voice for 'physical force' Chartism. The paper continued publication for many years but never regained its early popularity, finally ceasing publication in November 1852.

Taken from: The Northern Star and Leeds General Advertiser
Date: 2 February, 1839
Copyright: By permission of the British Library Board
Shelfmark: Newspaper Archive, Colindale