A Concise History of the British Newspaper, century by century, complied by our experts.
The Cambrian Daily Leader 20 May 1861. British Library Newspaper Library. Copyright © The British Library Board
The Times 10 January 1806. British Library Newspaper Library. Copyright © The British Library Board
- 1801 - Sept 27 : Weekly Dispatch launched. Became Sunday Dispatch in 1928. Ceased publication in 1961.
- 1802 - Jan 1 : Cobbett's Annual Register founded, later Cobbett's Weekly Political Register. Ceased publication in 1836.
- 1803 : Globe launched. Merged with Pall Mall Gazette in 1921.
- 1804 : Cambrian launched in Swansea. First newspaper published in Wales.
- 1806 - Jan 10 : First use of illustration in the Times: Nelson's funeral.
- 1808 - Jan 3 : Examiner launched. Editor Leigh Hunt imprisoned in 1813 for publishing criticism of the Prince Regent. Ceased publication in 1881.
- 1808 : North Wales Gazette launched in Bangor. First newspaper published in North Wales.
- 1810 : Carmarthen Journal launched.
- 1814 - Jan 1 : Baptist Minister, Joseph Harrris launches Seren Gomer ['Star of Gomer'] in Swansea. First Welsh-language newspaper.
- 1814 - Nov 24 : First issue of a newspaper - the Times - printed on a (Koenig) power press.
- 1815 : Stamp Duty increased to 4d per sheet.
- 1817 - Jan 25 : Scotsman launched.
- 1821 - Feb 18 : New Observer launched. Became the Sunday Times on 20 October 1822.
- 1821 - May 5 : Manchester Guardian founded by John Edward Taylor.
- 1822 : Stamp Office agrees to pass copies of all newspapers to British Museum.
- 1822 : Cardiff Weekly Reporter launched.
- 1822 - March 3 : Bell's Life in London adds and Sporting Chronicle to its title. First newspaper to include sport as a major component. Merged with Sporting Life in 1886.
- 1827 - May 21 : Standard launched, later Evening Standard.
- 1828 - July 5 : Spectator founded.
- 1832 : First recorded British newspaper cartoon, published in Bell's New Weekly Messenger.
- 1837 : Northern Star, major Chartist newspaper, founded in Leeds by Feargus O'Connor.
- 1841 - July 17 : Punch founded. Ceased publication in 1992; re-launched in 1996.
- 1841 - Nov 12 : Jewish Chronicle founded. Oldest Jewish newspaper in the world.
- 1842 - May 14 : Illustrated London News launched: first fully illustrated weekly.
- 1842 - Nov 27 : Lloyd's Illustrated London Newspaper launched, later Lloyd's Weekly News. Became Sunday News in 1923; incorporated with Sunday Graphic in 1931.
- 1843 : Yr Amserau ['The Times'] founded in Liverpool by John Jones and edited by William Rees. Published in the Isle of Man between July and September 1848. Merged with Baner Cymru ['Banner of Wales'] in 1859 under Thomas Gee to become Baner ac Amserau Cymru.
- 1843 - Sept 2 : Economist founded, to campaign for free trade.
- 1843 - Oct 1 : News of the World founded by John Browne Bell at 3d. Newsagents at first refused to handle it at such a low price.
- 1844 - Aug 6 : First story based on telegraphed news printed in the Times: birth of Queen's son at Windsor.
- 1846 : Mitchell's Newspaper Press Directory founded, later Benn's Media Directory.
- 1846 - Jan 21 : Daily News launched, edited by Charles Dickens.
- 1848 : William Howard Russell joins staff of the Times. Shortly to become first professional war correspondent.
- 1848 : First W.H. Smith station bookstall opened, at Euston.
- 1850 - May 5 : Reynold's Weekly Newspaper launched. Became Sunday Citizen in 1962; ceased publication in 1967.
Charles Mitchell, The Newspaper Press Directory ... For the Year 1846 (London, )
The Colored News 15 September 1855. British Library Newspaper Library. Copyright © The British Library Board
- 1851 : Reuters News Agency opens in London.
- 1853 - Aug : Abolition of advertisement tax.
- 1855 : Yr Herald Cymraeg launched in Caernarfon.
- 1855 - June 29 : Daily Telegraph launched.
- 1855 - July 1 : Repeal of the Stamp Act opens the way for cheap, mass-circulation newspapers and modern newspaper design in terms of spacing and headlines.
- 1855 - Aug 4 : Colored News, first coloured newspaper, launched. Discontinued 29 September.
- 1855 : Clerkenwell News launched; became Daily Chronicle in 1872.
- 1855 - Sept 20 : Daily Telegraph becomes the first 1d London morning newspaper.
- 1857 : Daily Telegraph invents box number system for classified advertisements.
- 1859 - March 24 : Penny Bell's Life & Sporting News launched. Became Sporting Life on 30 April.
- 1859 - March 29 : Irish Times launched.
- 1861 : Paper duty abolished.
- 1861 - May 20 : First daily newspaper published in Wales: Cambrian Daily Leader is launched in Swansea.
- 1865 - Feb 7 : Pall Mall Gazette launched. Merged with Evening Standard in 1923.
- 1868 : Press Association formed.
- 1868 - Dec 8 : Echo launched, first ½d daily. Ceased publication in 1905.
- 1869 - May 1 : Western Mail launched.
- 1869 : Newspapers deposited directly with British Museum by publishers.
- 1869 - Dec 4 : Graphic launched. Ceased publication in 1932.
- 1871 : Central News founded to rival Press Association.
- 1872 : C.P. Scott becomes editor of Manchester Guardian (until 1929).
- 1872 - Feb 7 : South Wales Daily News launched in Cardiff.
- 1880 : W.T. Stead succeeds John Morley on Pall Mall Gazette and introduces 'new journalism', including the interview and gossip column, into Britain.
- 1880 - May 31 : St James Gazette launched. Merged with Evening Standard in 1905.
- 1881 - July 26 : Evening News launched. Merged with Evening Standard in 1980.
- 1881 - Oct 16 : People launched.
- 1881 - Oct 22 : Tit-Bits launched by George Newnes.
- 1888 - Jan 9 : London Financial Guide launched. Became Financial Times on 13 February.
- 1888 - Jan 17 : Star launched. Merged with Evening News in 1960.
- 1888 : David Lloyd George forms a company to produce the Welsh weekly, Udgorn Rhyddid ['Trumpet of Freedom'].
- 1889 - March 30 : Early use of photographs: Cambridge and Oxford boat crews, in Illustrated London News.
- 1890 - Jan 4 : Daily Graphic launched, first daily illustrated paper. Merged with Daily Sketch in 1926.
- 1891 - Nov 4 : First half-tone newspaper picture published in Daily Graphic: that of George Lambert, Liberal parliamentary candidate.
- 1892 - May 21 : Morning founded; became London Morning in 1898, then Morning Herald; purchased by C. Arthur Pearson; in September 1900 merged with Daily Express.
- 1892 - May 23 : Morning Leader founded: later amalgamated with Daily News.
- 1893 - Jan 2 : Financial Times first appears on pink paper.
- 1893 - Jan 31 : Westminster Gazette launched. Merged with Daily News in 1928.
- 1893 - Feb 13 : South Wales Daily Post launched in Swansea.
- 1896 - May 4 : Daily Mail launched by Harmsworth (later Lord Northcliffe).
- 1897 - June 23 : Largest news illustration ever printed by any daily paper in this country, of the Diamond Jubilee procession, published in Daily Mail.
- 1899 : Llais Llafur launched by Ebeneser Rees. Ceased publication in 1915.
- 1900 - April 24 : Daily Express launched by Pearson. First national daily to put news on the front page.
The People 16 October 1881. British Library Newspaper Library. Copyright © The British Library Board
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7377