Facts about the papers

The Police Gazette was issued by the London Metropolitan Police to help them fight crime. The Gazette invited the public to report crimes and offer rewards for information leading to conviction. It carried details of stolen property and wanted people. Wood engravings of stolen valuables, photographs of criminals, and a classified system of descriptions all became features of the publication under Sir Howard Vincent, first director of the Criminal Investigation Division. It is unknown how effective the Gazette was in tackling crime, but it was widely read and many reports were placed by members of the public.

The original Gazette, The Quarterly Pursuit , was founded in 1772 by John Fielding, chief magistrate of the Bow Street Police Court. The name was changed to The Police Gazette in 1828, and responsibility for the publication was transferred to Scotland Yard in 1883.


The Times is Britain's oldest surviving newspaper with continuous daily publication. It was preceded by The Daily Universal Register , which was launched in 1785. In 1788 the Register's proprietor, John Walter changed the name and the style of his newspaper. The Times was aimed to appeal to a large audience. The Times is thought to have made its name through its coverage of the French Revolution. The newspaper ran the story from the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789 to the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815.


The Standard (later The Evening Standard) was launched in 1827 as an afternoon paper. In June 1857, it became a morning paper and a direct threat to The Times.  The Evening Standard was launched in June 1859 'published at 3.15 p.m. daily containing all the latest intelligence up to one hour of going to press'. The Standard was closed in March 1916 but The Evening Standard survives. The two absorbed nine other titles over the years: Traveller, Lane's Traveller, The British Traveller, The Albion, St James' Gazette, Pall Mall Gazette, Globe, Evening News and Star .


The Penny Illustrated Paper was a weekly newspaper first published on 12 October 1861. It carried the motto: 'With all the news of the week'. The newspaper aimed to help solve 'the terrible amount of suffering, disorder, and vice that must be dealt with in a more vigorous fashion than hitherto'.


The Illustrated Police News was a penny weekly tabloid established in 1864. It regaled its readers with detailed accounts and illustrations of crimes, disasters and society scandals.

In 1855, newspaper stamp duty was abolished. This was a tax on newspapers, established in 1815, which had made it difficult for many people to afford buy a newspaper. The abolition of the tax enabled the publication of cheaper newspapers with wider circulation. These flourished late in the Victorian era.