The Gloucester Journal was founded in April 1722 by Robert Raikes from Hull and William Dicey. The pair already owned the Northampton Mercury which they established in 1720. The Journal was published weekly, priced three halfpence and in common with early newspapers contained mainly national, foreign news and some local advertisements. However, Raikes was one of the first provincial proprietors to report on proceedings in Parliament, for which he was censured on two occasions for breaching Parliamentary privilege. He also attempted to introduce a series of essays on various subjects entitled “Country Common Sense”, but the readership did not take kindly to the supplanting of news space and Raikes abandoned the idea.
In 1725 Raikes and Dicey dissolved their partnership. Dicey retained the Northampton Mercury which his family ran until 1885 while Raikes continued as sole proprietor of the Gloucester Journal. He increased the physical size of the paper in 1742.
Robert Raikes junior took over the running of the Journal when his father died. He was of liberal persuasion, and was a philanthropist, actively involved in prison reform and became widely known for his establishment of Sunday schools for Gloucester’s poor.
Raikes jun. sold the Journal to David Walker from Hereford in 1802 and the paper remained in the family’s control until it was bought by Birmingham journalist Thomas Henry Chance in 1871. Chance went into partnership with Kent-born Samuel Bland, owner of the Citizen, in 1879 and they then purchased the other local Liberal newspaper, the Gloucester Mercury from Charles Jeynes in 1884. Chance & Bland dominated the press in Gloucester until 1928 when the business became part of Gloucestershire Newspapers Ltd, a subsidiary of Northcliffe Newspapers Group Ltd.
In 1925, a glossy supplement to the Gloucester Journal was introduced, called the Journal Pictorial and in March 1932 photographs dominated the first page of the Journal for the first time.
For this newspaper, we have the following titles in, or planned for, our digital archive: