The Morning Post

The Morning Post

The Morning Post, as the paper was named on its masthead, was a conservative daily newspaper published in London from 1772 to 1937, when it was acquired by The Daily Telegraph.



The paper was founded by John Bell. Originally a Whig paper, it was purchased by Daniel Stuart in 1795, who made it into a moderate Tory organ.[1] A number of well-known writers contributed, including Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Charles Lamb, James Mackintosh, Robert Southey, and William Wordsworth.[1] In the seven years of Stuart's proprietorship, the paper's circulation rose from 350 to over 4,000.[1]

From 1803 until his death in 1833 or 1835, the owner and editor of the Post was Nicholas Byrne[2]; his son William Pitt Byrne later held these roles.[3]

Later the paper was acquired by a Lancashire papermaker named Crompton. In 1848 he hired Peter Borthwick, a Scot who had been a Conservative MP for Evesham 1835-1847, as editor. When Peter died in 1852, his son Algernon took over. During the 1850s, the Post was very closely associated with the Palmerston ministry.[1]

With the aid of Andrew Montagu, Borthwick purchased the Post in 1876.[1] His son Oliver (1873–1905) was business manager and editor, but died young, and upon the father's death in 1908 control went to his daughter Lilias Borthwick (1871–1965), wife of Seymour Henry Bathurst, 7th Earl Bathurst (1864–1943).

The paper was noted for its attentions to the activities of the powerful and wealthy, its interest in foreign affairs, and in literary and artistic events. It began regular printing of notices of plays, concerts, and operas in the early 20th century, and is said to have been the first daily paper in London to do this.[1]

In 1881, it appointed the first woman war correspondent when it sent Lady Florence Dixie to South Africa to cover the First Boer War.

Beginning in 1900, the Australian politician Alfred Deakin wrote anonymous commentaries on Australian politics for the paper, continuing even when he had become Prime Minister.[4]

Maurice Baring was a foreign correspondent for the paper, reporting from Manchuria, Russia and Constantinople between 1904 and 1909. He was war correspondent with Russian forces during the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905).[5]

Howell Arthur Gwynne took over as editor in 1911.

The paper invited the ire of all the anti-colonialists in 1919 when it organised a collection for a purse of £18,000 to be presented to Reginald Dyer, the general of Amritsar massacre for his services to the British Empire on his return to Britain.

The Cause of World Unrest

The paper gained notoriety in 1920 when it ran a series of 17 or 18 articles based on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, an antisemitic hoax text previously published in Russian by Sergei Nilus as the last chapter, Chapter XII, of Velikoe v malom... (The Great in the Small: The Coming of the Anti-Christ and the Rule of Satan on Earth). It is still widely held that Victor E. Marsden, the paper's Russian desk correspondent, used the copy of this rare book retained by the British Museum to translate this last chapter for the paper. Some have questioned this because the anonymous 1923 publication creditng Marsden as the translator in the pamphlet's preface occurred three years after Marsden's death on October 28, 1920.

These articles were subsequently collected and formed the basis of the book, The Cause of World Unrest, to which half the paper's staff contributed, mainly George Shanks; also Nesta H. Webster. But main credit for the compilation was given to the paper's editor, Gwynne. The book further denounced international Jewry and cultural and social dissolution among the Christian Nations.

Final years

The Bathursts sold the paper to a consortium organized by the Duke of Northumberland in 1924.

In May 1926, during the General Strike, the newspaper's grand offices at Glenesk House, Aldwych were commandeered by the authorities to produce the British Gazette, a government newspaper under the editorship of the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Winston Churchill.

The controversial campaign against Jewish control of the political echelons and the press in Britain led to a more and more successful Jewish boycott of advertising, so the newspaper gradually declined.

Eventually on August 24, 1937, the Morning Post was sold to the competitor Daily Telegraph. It was noted that the owners of Daily Telegraph, Lord Camrose and his brother Lord Kemsley, were personally related to powerful Jewish families. Kemsley's son was married to a Rothschild[citation needed]; the manager of Telegraph, Colonel Burnham, was also Jewish.

Contrary to the then general expectation, the Morning Post did not remain a separate title but was 'merged' into the Daily Telegraph. Many of the journalists on the Post were retired; others joined the Telegraph, one of the latter group included W. F. Deedes.[citation needed]


1848: Peter Borthwick
1852: Algernon Borthwick
1905: Spenser Wilkinson
1905: Fabian Ware
1911: Howell Arthur Gwynne



External links

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