On this day

February 26, 1821

cover page of Observer of the Times published on February 26, 1821

Observer of the Times





Available years


The Observer of the Times was a weekly four-page newspaper, published on Sunday with an additional edition appearing on Monday. Occasional Saturday editions were produced to mark special events, such as the coronation of King George IV in July 1821. The Monday edition was produced:

‘…for Country circulation. It contains accounts of the Funds, Foreign and other News up to the latest hour on Monday, and the most accurate prices and remarks on the state of the Markets.’

From the outset the paper stressed its political independence, and this is reiterated on numerous occasions, although the content of the paper suggests alignment with Whig policies and viewpoints. In particular it supported Queen Caroline, and took a dim view of George IV’s lavish spending. It contained a wide range of content, including news from around the country, market prices, court reports and police news, foreign intelligence, correspondence, poetry and theatre reviews.

George Morgan, the newspaper’s second proprietor merged it with another paper he owned, the Aurora Borealis (1821), in January 1822 to form the Observer of the Times and Aurora Borealis. The Aurora Borealis, while a London newspaper, contained a great deal of content covering Scotland, and a perception amongst potential readers that it was a Scottish newspaper led to a reduced circulation. The merger with The Observer of the Times, was hoped to counteract, however, the subtitle Aurora Borealis for only seven issues before the title reverted back to simply The Observer of the Times.

In January 1823 The Observer of the Times was again involved in a merger, this time with The Constitution (1818-1823), a newspaper with similar political principles, and was briefly published as the Observer of the Times and Constitution. While the Observer of the Times was named first in the merged title, it was actually Robert Wardell (1793-1834), the publisher behind The Constitution that continued the venture. This merged title lasted only four months, and in April 1823 it was incorporated into the Englishman (1803-1834).

Beth Gaskell, The British Library

For this newspaper, we have the following titles in, or planned for, our digital archive:

  • 1821–21 The Observer of the Times.
  • 1822–22 The Observer of the Times and Aurora Borealis.
  • 1822–22 The Observer of the Times.

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 Jul 29, 2021 . The latest issues were added in Jul 29, 2021.