The Pall Mall Gazette

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The Pall Mall Gazette was an evening newspaper founded in London on 7 February 1865 by George Murray Smith; its first editor was Frederick Greenwood. In 1921, The Globe merged into The Pall Mall Gazette, which itself was absorbed into The Evening Standard in 1923.

The Pall Mall Gazette
Front page of the first edition of The Pall Mall Gazette.pdf
Front page of the first edition
TypeDaily (afternoons)
Owner(s)G. Smith (1865–80)
H. Thompson (1880–92)
W. Astor (1892–1915)
H. Dalziel (1916–23)
Founded7 February 1865
Ceased publication1923

Beginning late in 1868, at least through the 1880s, a selection or digest of its contents was published as the weekly Pall Mall Budget


The Pall Mall Gazette took the name of a fictional newspaper conceived by William Makepeace Thackeray. Pall Mall is a street in London where many gentlemen's clubs are located, hence Thackeray's description of this imaginary newspaper in his novel The History of Pendennis (1848–1850):

We address ourselves to the higher circles of society: we care not to disown it—The Pall Mall Gazette is written by gentlemen for gentlemen; its conductors speak to the classes in which they live and were born. The field-preacher has his journal, the radical free-thinker has his journal: why should the Gentlemen of England be unrepresented in the Press?

Under the ownership of George Smith of Smith, Elder & Co. from 1865 to 1880, with Frederick Greenwood as editor, The Pall Mall Gazette was a Conservative newspaper. Greenwood resigned in 1880, when the paper's new owner (Smith's new son-in-law, Henry Thompson) wished for it to support the policies of the Liberal Party.[1] Taking all the staff with him, Greenwood became the editor of the newly-founded St James's Gazette and maintained his advocacy of Conservative policy.[2][3]

William Thomas Stead's editorship from 1883 to 1889 saw the paper cover such subjects as child prostitution; his campaign compelled the government to increase the age of consent from 13 to 16 in 1885. This was one of the first examples of investigative journalism, and Stead was arrested for "unlawful taking of a child" (when he purchased thirteen-year-old Eliza Armstrong from her mother for the meagre price of £5, to highlight how easy it was to buy children). The affair distressed its owner, Thompson, who dismissed Stead, and hired the handsome society figure, Henry Cust, editor from 1892 to 1896, who returned the paper to its Conservative beginnings.

Thompson sold the paper to William Waldorf Astor in 1896. Sir Douglas Straight was editor until 1909, followed by F. J. Higginbottom, under whom the paper declined. Circulation doubled between 1911–15 under the editor James Louis Garvin, but the paper declined once more under its last editor D. L. Sutherland. It was absorbed into The Evening Standard in 1923.[4]

Several well-known writers contributed to The Pall Mall Gazette over the years. George Bernard Shaw gained his first job in journalism writing for the paper. Other contributors have included Anthony Trollope, Friedrich Engels, Oscar Wilde, Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Whibley, Sir Spencer Walpole, Arthur Patchett Martin,[5] and Jamaican-born writer Eneas Sweetland Dallas.

The British Weekly, "one of the most successful religious newspapers of its time", followed stylistically in the footsteps of the Pall Mall Gazette, "including interviews of prominent personalities, use of line illustrations and photographs, special supplements, investigative reporting, sensationalist headlines, and serialised debates".[6]

References in popular cultureEdit

Many works of fiction refer to The Pall Mall Gazette. For example:



Editor's name Years
Frederick Greenwood 1865–1880
John Morley 1880–1883
William Thomas Stead 1883–1889
Edward Tyas Cook 1890–1892
Henry Cust 1892–1896
Douglas Straight[8] 1896–1909
Frederick Higginbottom 1909–1912
James Louis Garvin 1912–1915
D. M. Sutherland 1915–1923

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Lee, Sidney; Smith, George; Stephen, Leslie (2012) [1902]. George Smith, a Memoir: With Some Pages of Autobiography. Cambridge University Press. p. 56. ISBN 9781108047647.
  2. ^ Jones, Dorothy Richardson (1992). "King of Critics": George Saintsbury, 1845–1933, Critic, Journalist, Historian, Professor. University of Michigan Press. p. 91. ISBN 9780472103164.
  3. ^ Chapman-Huston, Desmond (1936). The lost historian: a memoir of Sir Sidney Low. London: J. Murray.
  4. ^ Brake,Laurel; Demoor, Marysa Dictionary of Nineteenth-century Journalism in Great Britain and Ireland, Academia Press, 2009, p478
  5. ^ Martin, Arthur Patchett (1851–1902) at the Australian Dictionary of Biography
  6. ^ Brown, Stewart J. (1 November 2012). "Keith A. Ives, Voices of Nonconformity: William Robertson Nicoll and the British Weekly (Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 2011. Pp. 323; illus. Paperback ISBN 978-0-7188-9222-7, £23.00)". Journal of Scottish Historical Studies. pp. 213–215. doi:10.3366/jshs.2012.0051. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  7. ^ "Dalziel Buys the Pall Mall Gazette", New York Times, 5 January 1917
  8. ^ Douglas Straight at Probert encyclopaedia Archived 2011-06-08 at the Wayback Machine

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit