On this day December 8, 1939
The Citizen was Gloucester’s first daily newspaper founded by businessman and later Mayor of Gloucester, Samuel Bland in 1876. All but a few of the 1,000 copies printed were sold and circulation grew rapidly. At the time Gloucester was served by three weekly newspapers, all priced at 3d, but Bland pitched his four-page daily at a halfpenny.
On 1 January 1879, Bland met Thomas Chance who owned the weekly Gloucester Journal and the two decided to merge their operations. The following month a notorious murderer named Charles Peace was hanged in Gloucester, a story that kept the steam powered presses in St John’s Lane running all day and the Citizen sold 10,000 copies for the first time.
In 1902, Bland, then Mayor of Gloucester, sued for libel when accused by the Conservative press of being “pro-Boer”. Bland had encouraged Gloucester Corporation to honour the men of the Gloucestershire Volunteers on their return from South Africa, but expressed his belief that opinion was diverging as to whether the war was justified and how it was being conducted.
The business became a private limited company named Chance and Bland Ltd in 1920, 17 years after Bland’s death. In 1924 it became a tabloid and grew from six to 12 pages. In 1928 Chance and Bland Ltd was acquired by the Gloucestershire Newspaper Co., a subsidiary of Northcliffe Newspapers. It remains in the group’s ownership to the present day.
For this newspaper, we have the following titles in, or planned for, our digital archive:
- 1876–1950 Citizen
This newspaper is published by Local World Limited/Trinity Mirror in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England. It was digitised and first made available on the British Newspaper Archive in Dec 20, 2012. The latest issues were added in Dec 6, 2014.