James Perry and the Morning Chronicle 1790-1821
This thesis is a study of the career of James Perry, editor and proprietor of the Morning Chronicle, from 1790-1821. Based on an examination of the correspondence of whig and radical politicians, and of the files of the morning Chronicle, it illustrates the impact which Perry made on the world of politics and journalism. The main questions discussed are how Perry responded, as a Foxite journalist, to the chief political issues of the day; the extent to which the whigs attempted to influence his editorial policy and the degree to which he reconciled his independence with obedience to their wishes, the difficulties he encountered as the spokesman of an often divided party; his considerable involvement, which was remarkable for a journalist, in party activity and in the social life of whig politicians; and his success as a newspaper proprietor concerned not only with political propaganda, but with conducting a paper which was distinguished for the quality of its miscellaneous features and for its profitability as a business enterprise. There is also some account of the whigs' attempts to gain the support of other newspapers, but they had little success in this field. The structure of the thesis is chronological, with the exception of chapter four which contains an account of Perry's advertising policy, and illustrates for the first time the amount and importance of a newspaper proprietor's income fran advertisements. The absence of any collection of Perry papers has precluded a study of the internal management of the Chronicle, but it is shown that from a political point of view Perry enjoyed, despite increasing criticism of him after about 1807, a position as the whigs' leading journalist for over thirty years, and that he exercised great moral influence in raising the character of the press.