On this day January 20, 1900
Pall Mall Gazette
n a letter to the Times John Ruskin described this as "One of the most temperate and accurate of our daily journals" (Feb 19, 1867. ed.). "Was a bold attempt to realise Thackeray's fancy of a paper 'written by gentlemen for gentlemen', and to give each afternoon, along with a careful epitome of the morning's news, two or three such articles on political and social questions as had hitherto been rarely offered except in The Saturday Review or The Spectator " (Bourne, H. R. Fox, p.274).
The paper reported "news, analysed it, created causes, and exposed injustices" (Knelman, p.37). It was "written by a corps of intellectuals for an elite audience" (Knelman p.139). It also attempted to expose baby farming in the 1860s and advocated reforms to the justice system (Knelman p.161).
"The tone in which the articles are written is that of Independent Unionism, and its contributors embrace the foremost writers of the day. New features are continually being added. Financial criticism and sporting news hold a prominent position. Special services of home and foreign telegrams, &c., are in constant organisation, and have no equal in any other evening paper" (Mitchell, 1900).
Editor Stead ran a series of articles in 1885 which attempted to expose child prostitution in England (Engel 44). Stead also pioneered the introduction of interviews into the newspaper world (Garlick and Harris p.166). The Pall Mall Gazette had "an influence out of all proportion to its modest circulation." He was much concerned about a then not-fully-known problem of juvenile prostitution. He published a series of articles about the problem, with the main heading being The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon , and with such subheadings as The Violation of Virgins , The Confessions of a Brothel-Keeper and Unwilling Recruits (Cranfield, p.212). The series "procured an effect unparalleled in the history of journalism." "Thousands of readers of the Pall Mall Gazette could not believe their eyes when they found words used and things described which had never before been used and described in a British newspaper . . . A hostile crowd threatened to storm the paper's offices, and police had to throw a cordon around the house. An indignant M.P. asked in Parliament whether Stead could not be prosecuted for obscene libel." Apparently, England did not like being exposed in this way, and "patriots and brothel-keepers gave an united shout of angry protest . . . and denied [it] . . . until Stead proved it . . . And then there was a savage cry of resentment against the man who had exposed the loathsome traffic" (Cranfield, p.213). He was accused of doing the series simply to sell more newspapers, as more than 400,000 copies of reprints had been sold. But he denied the accusation and said that the profits would go into a fund to continue the "good work." Nevertheless, he spent two months in jail, but was rewarded by a new law which raised the age of consent from 13 to 16 years (Cranfield, p.214). "W. E. Stead who drafted a considerable part of the proposals (that appeared in General Booth's In Darkest England and the Way Out ), was an ardent advocate of imperialism and social reform. Stead was "the highly successful editor of the Pall Mall Gazette " (Jones, p. 311). When Stead became editor in 1883, there followed two years of remarkable achievement. Some of his technical innovations included the use of illustrations, the introduction of crossheads, and the development of the interview. He also had a knack for getting scoops (Herd, p.228).
The Pall Mall Gazette 's title typography was unadorned (Jones, p.38).
Nelson discusses several articles that address issues of family and male-female roles.
"Ebenezer Enoch, author of Songs of Universal Brotherhood (1849), later gained connexions with The Pall Mall Gazette , and Thomas Miller, ex-basket-maker, was lionized by Lady Blessington and her circle" (James, p.43). Published work by Richard Ashe King in the early 1880's.
George Smith started this paper in 1865 to have a forum for his Liberal political views. Trollope wrote several public affairs articles. He contributed The Belton Estate Miss Mackenzie and Hunting Sketches in 1865 (Cooper, p.923).
Lowry wrote for the Pall Mall Gazette . Hired Sir H. W. Lucy in 1870. Dutton Cook's writing is a source of current slang and up to the minute metropolitan mores. John Ruskin: "...the Pall Mall Gazette has become a mere party paper - like the rest; but it writes well and does more good than mischief on the whole" (after 1865).
The Pall Mall Gazette was often called the P.M.G. (Herd, p.225).
Frederick Greenwood happened to buy a complete set of the Anti-Jacobin; or, Weekly Examiner (not his own Anti-Jacobin ), and he, in his own words," 'was taken by its originality, incisiveness, wit, literary character and appearance. . . . How fresh and pleasing seemed not only the high spirits and down-rightness but the type and headlines, the wide double columns and the easily-held size of page of the Anti-Jacobin ! . . . Make as good a combination of the two [referring to the Anti-Jacobin and the Saturday Review] as the current supply of mind allows, throw in a scrap or two of novel feature, mix with an eye to the needs and demands of the hour, publish every day, and you will have a new thing that ought to be a power and a glory.' " This was Greenwood's vision for the Pall Mall Gazette (Herd, p.63). His approach was light, polished, and intellectually alert at a time when "the morning papers had become heavy and tradition-bound." His only attempt at sensationalism involved asking his brother, James Greenwood, to spend a night in the Lambeth workhouse and record his experiences. This resulted in three articles, the publication of which increased the sale by 1500 for each issue they appeared in, and a permanent increase in sale of 1,200. The Times republished the articles in full (Herd, p.226). "The most important service rendered by Greenwood during his editorship was the information he secretly gave to the Government in 1875 that the Khedive of Egypt was on the point of transferring his Suez Canal shares to French hands." Using this information, Disraeli, the Prime Minister at that time, purchased the shares and proved to be a big gain both monetarily and politically. Greenwood, however, did not take any journalistic advantage of this affair, and was not even recognized by Disraeli as the informant (Herd, p.227). He left the Pall Mall Gazette when Henry Yates Thompson decided to support the Liberal Party, and most of the staff, including Cook and Spender, departed when Thompson sold it to the Conservatives (Herd, p.231). He left the paper in 1880 to found the St. James's Gazette (Keith p.24).
"The critics of 1870 applauded his [W.S. Gilbert] courage in producing a musical play [Princess Ida] which required unusual attention from the audience" The Gazette is a good source of reviews and information about the work of W. S. Gilbert. (Editor's Note); "A large number of stories of the supernatural may be found in the magazines...there was no richer storehouse than the Pall Mall Magazine ". "W. T. Stead, who was responsible for one of the greatest journalist scoops of all time. In 1880 he joined the Pall Mall Gazette ...He became much concerned over juvenile prostitution...He purchased a girl for 5 pounds. And on 6 July 1885, as the second item in the Pall Mall Gazette , appeared the first article on 'The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon. The Report of Our Secret Commission' - five and half pages of it (the Gazette was a sixteen page paper)...It was no idle boast when the paper claimed that the series had 'procured and effect unparalleled in the history of journalism'...The series ended officially on 10 July with a 'Conclusion' very critical of the police - and an announcement that the four previous issues were out of print. But the controversy was very far from being finished. As Larsen puts it: Thousand of readers of the Pall Mall Gazette could not believe their eyes when they found words used and things described which had never before been used and described in a British newspaper...The paper did well, stating on 20 July that 400,000 copies of the reprints had been struck off... The campaign culminated in a mass demonstration in Hyde Park. Stead himself was prosecuted and spent two months in gaol...It remains one of the oddest things in newspaper history that Stead's 'Maiden Tribute' campaign only put up the newspapers sale from 8,360 to 12,250" (Cranfield).
One source informed that the editor, John Morley, may have edited the periodical until 1885.....James Hannay, very generally, though inaccurately, identified with the editor of the Pall Mall Gazette ( Blackwood's p.537).
Source: The Waterloo Directory of English Newspapers and Periodicals: 1800-1900.
For this newspaper, we have the following titles in, or planned for, our digital archive:
- 1865–1938 The Pall Mall Gazette
This newspaper is published by an unknown publisher in London, London, England. It was digitised and first made available on the British Newspaper Archive in May 8, 2013. The latest issues were added in Nov 16, 2016.