On this day February 20, 1853
Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper
The price was nominally twopence, but so far as the proprietor was concerned it was only a penny, because there then existed a penny stamp on every newspaper. At first its title was Lloyd's Illustrated London News , and the first seven numbers, in accordance with this title, contained illustrations. The size of the paper was then about the same as the Echo , and the number of pages was eight, each page containing three columns....In the seventh number an announcement was made that on the following week the paper would be greatly enlarged, which it was. Including the additional quantity of small type which was used, and taking into consideration the great increase in the size of the sheet, the amount of additional matter given to its readers must have been little short of double what it was before. One halfpenny extra was charged for the journal in consequence of this additional amount of matter, and greatly improved quality of the paper. Practically, therefore, though the proprietor received three-halfpence for his journal-the other penny going to the Government as stamp duty-the paper was cheaper than when the price was only a penny. The general impression...[is] that Mr. Douglas Jerrold commenced his editorship... with the first number. He only commenced it with the eighth number, that being its first number in its enlarged form. An announcement to the effect the Mr. Jerrold was to be the future editor was made in the seventh number in these words:-'The editorial department will be confided to a gentleman whose pen, we doubt not, will be speedily recognized and cordially welcomed by his old friends, the masses.' Under Douglas Jerrold's editorial auspices, Lloyd's London Weekly Newspaper rose with great rapidity into circulation. Apart from the pint and pungency of his own writings, the condensation and variety of the intelligence of the day were excellent; while the reviews of books were at once able and elaborate...considering that the paper was chiefly to be devoted to the discussion of the leading question of the day, and to news at home and from abroad. One of its principal features was that of 'Answers to Correspondents,' on the same plan as had been acted on in the Weekly Dispatch for many years. These 'Notices,' ...were not such as were then common in newspapers, -- that is, stating whether particular communications sent for publication would be inserted or not. They chiefly consisted of answers to questions which were sent by correspondents, relating to every conceivable variety of subjects. Another attractive feature of Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper in its earlier days, was the space devoted to interesting and instructive extracts from literary and moral works. These paragraphs appeared under the heading, 'Pearls for Stringing' and certainly as regards the majority of their number they were worthy of the name of 'Pearls.' At first there was no small amount of prejudice in some classes of the community against the new paper, because Mr. Lloyd, the proprietor, had previously published some non-political journals which ministered to the prevalent prurient taste among the lower classes for a literature, if literature it might be called, which was essentially of the Jack Sheppard Newgate kind; but it was soon seen that Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper was not of a character to the vitiated tastes of the readers of the journals I allude to,-journals which, it is right to state, were soon after this discontinued by Mr. Lloyd. The space devoted to the 'Pearls for Stringing,'...together with the reverential reviews of religious books, did much to remove the prejudice... After the lapse of several years the original heading of the column devoted to paragraphs of this nature was changed into that of 'Our Scrap Book Column.' ...with this altered opinion and this largely increased circulation of the paper, there came a great increase in the number if its advertisements. Under the auspices of [Blanchard Jerrold]... Lloyd' London Weekly Newspaper has continued its career of prosperity till the present time. It was several years ago enlarged to the extent of twelve pages, nearly the size of the Globe , and much more closely printed. On the abolition of the newspaper stamp duty, its price was reduced to a penny. It was, it is right to add, the first newspaper, weekly or daily, which was really sold at a penny. A novelty newspaper history made its appearance in Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper a few years ago. It had reference to what may be deemed the best means of getting access to the minds of the masses with a view to their conversion. It occurred to the Rev. J.W. Carter, Vicar of Christ church, Stratford, that if brief but searching and solemn appeals to the consciences of the unconverted, could be got into newspapers read by the masses, the spiritual good which would thereby be done might be incalculably great. As therefore Lloyd's Newspaper confessedly had then as the largest circulation of any newspaper in the world -- its circulation being above 500,000 -- he offered to the proprietor of that journal to pay for his addresses as advertisements. The only stipulation which Mr. Carter made was that his appeals to the unsaved should always appear in the same part of the paper. This was readily agreed to on the part of Mr. Lloyd, and Mr. Carter's addresses have accordingly appeared from time to time for some years past in the journal in question... The politics of Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper are thoroughly Liberal, but not so extreme in that directions as those of some others of its weekly contemporaries.... Mr. Lloyd was the first proprietor of a weekly paper to introduce into his establishment the rotary printing-machines of Hoe. By means of each of these -- they are three in number -- he is enabled to throw off his immense impression at the rate of 15,000 copies per hour, or at the rate of 45,000 copies by the three machines together per hour. The largest of them prints, when pressed for time, no less than 20,000 perfect copies -- that is, on both sides - in an hour. The largest impression of the paper ever printed and issued from Lloyd's premises, was 573,000 copies (Grant, pp.88-96).
Motto: "Measures not Men" (1843).
"...We shall not consider our letter-press as a mere sloppy, trashy vehicle for the introduction of our illustrations, but by, we hope, a judicious distribution of literary labour, we shall make [this paper]...equally esteemed for the artistical skill...as for the literary talent that will adorn its pages... With regard to politics...we have but one creed... the happiness and welfare of our country...We present 'The Two-penny Illustrated Newspaper', a legalised vehicle of information" (Address no 1, p.1).
"This paper appeals to the million on the two great principles of quantity and cheapness. Its price is lower than that of most weekly papers... it seeks to squeeze in as liberal an allowance as possible for the threepence charged. It is peculiarly the poor man's paper, and endeavours of course to embrace as many articles of intelligence, and as much under each head... giving prominence to police reports, and similar matters of popular interest. At the same time its contents are far more creditable, and comprise far more of a light and literary character, than might be conceived... immense mass of matter for the money; with a little of everything, and a good deal of many things; so that even if its readers saw no other paper, they would not be behind the rest of the world" (Mitchell, 1846).
" Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper contains more news than all the weekly papers combined. It includes all the news of the week, comprising parliamentary debates, law intelligence, police reports, sporting intelligence of all kinds, trials at the Old Bailey and assizes, foreign news, movements of the army and navy, literature, theatricals, and the fine arts, together with the provincial and London markets. Sixty columns of important matter include all the news of the week" (Mitchell, 1851).
Together with The News of the World and Reynolds's Weekly Newspaper , Lloyd's Illustrated London Newspaper "became the most widely read paper of Victorian England, superseding Bell's Life , the Weekly Dispatch and the Weekly Chronicle " (Engel p.28). "Among these cheap papers Lloyd's Weekly News takes precedence, both as the first to be sold for a penny and as, partly on that account, the one with by far the largest circulation.... Lloyd's only attempted to give a few columns of smart original writing as spice to a carefully prepared epitome of the week's news, with fuller reports of the latest information for Sunday reading; and when Blanchard Jerrold followed his father as editor, with Thomas Catling soon afterwards as sub-editor, yet more attention was paid to news than to political guidance.... Lloyd's is pre-eminently a popular paper of news, and as such has achieved a success unparalleled in its way" (Fox Bourne, pp.347-48).
"Readers lower to lower middle class, educational standard low, politically mainly liberal. The paper itself claimed (Jan. 26, 1862) that 'This journal has been the first in contemporary history that has entered the weaver's home and the hind's cottage" (Ellegard, p.6). The working classes read mostly on Sundays (Lee, p.38).
When this periodical began it was unstamped. "After seven numbers the stamp office threatened prosecution over a report of an escaped lion, and Lloyd stamped his paper... The regular newsagents boycotted it on account of its low price, but Lloyd built up his own sales organization. He placed his advertisements on walls, trees, and fences throughout the country, and even stamped them on pennies paid to his workmen, until stopped by Act of Parliament..." (James, p.36).
Many illustrations appeared in the 1842 issues but were not as prevalent thereafter, sometimes not appearing at all. Launched on November 27, and by December 11 it had reached a circulation of 100,000 (Cranfield, p.171). Edward Lloyd was "heavily committed to crime news. Shock and horror were his stock and trade" (Knelman p.36). His sensationalist paper forced other established papers (such as The Sun , The Times , and The Globe ) to cover more crime to compete (Knelman 36). This paper "became the most successful of Victorian week-end journals, reaching a sale of over a million copies" (Herd, p.185).
"Helped by Jack the Ripper murders, the installation of the first Hoe rotary printing press in England and the invention of the system of offering papers to newsagents on sale or return, Lloyd's Weekly , in fact, exploited this formula so successfully that it later became the first newspaper in the world to reach a sale of a million" (Williams, p.103).
Only five metropolitan dailies sold more than 200,000 copies a day in the mid-1880s: the Daily Chronicle , Daily Telegraph , Standard , and the ha'penny Echo and Evening News . But none of these dailies could match Lloyd's Weekly , whose circulation climbed from 97,000 in 1855 to 600,000 in 1888." (Curtis, 2001:59).
"This experience of enforced pauses inspired by serialization had gone on, of course, as long as the novel. That Dickens first readers did concentrate on the meaning of individual installments is suggested by the decision of Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper on May 1, 1859 to recommend 'Tale', reprinting the entire third chapter for its readers. Victorian audiences thus had several places where Dickens text could be studied in the pause before the story was continued" (Hughes).
"There was a voice in the British press, however, that embraced the cause of democracy, that was anti-slavery, and represented the English worker. Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper belonged to that small section of the press where circulation was limited, but the call was loud and clear" (Grant, p.139).
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:
- 1842–43 Lloyd's Illustrated London Newspaper
- 1844–48 Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper
- 1849–1900 Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper
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 5, 2013. The latest issues were added in Jun 2, 2013.