On this day February 20, 1869
The Examiner changed fundamentally between its foundation in 1808 and its demise in 1881. For the first fifty years it was a leading intellectual journal expounding radical principles, but from 1865 it repeatedly changed hands and political allegiance, resulting in a rapid decline in readership and loss of purpose.
While in the hands of John and Leigh Hunt, The Examiner ' s sub-title was 'A Sunday paper, on politics, domestic economy, and theatricals', and the newspaper devoted itself to providing independent reports on each of these areas. The newspaper consistently published the work of the leading writers of the day, such as Lord Byron, John Keats and William Hazlitt, although the Hunt brothers failed in their initial aspiration to refuse advertisements in order to increase impartiality. In first edition, the editor claimed The Examiner would pursue 'truth for its sole object', and the paper's radical reformist principles resulted in a series of high-profile prosecutions of the editors. This tradition of publishing accurate news and witty criticisms of domestic and foreign politics was continued by Albany Fonblanque who took over the paper in 1828. Until Fonblanque sold The Examiner in the mid-1860s, the newspaper took the form of a sixteen-page, comprehensive journal priced at 6d, and it was designed to be valued and repeatedly referred to by an educated intellectual elite, rather than treated as ephemera by a mass readership.
The Examiner ' s reputation was fundamentally undermined when the new owner, William McCullagh Torrens, halved the price of the publication in 1867, losing the trust of the leading writers of the day, and of most of the educated readership. Although its reputation for radical intellectual commentaries was briefly revived in the 1870s under the editorship of William Minto, The Examiner was repeatedly sold until the final edition appeared in February 1881.
For this newspaper, we have the following titles in, or planned for, our digital archive:
- 1808–81 The Examiner
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 Jun 2, 2013.