Glasgow Argus

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The Glasgow Argus was a Scottish newspaper, published biweekly from 1833 to 1847. It took a reforming editorial line, supporting abolitionism and opposing the Corn Laws.[1] The Argus was perceived as the paper of the supporters of the Glasgow merchant and politician James Oswald.[2]


The Glasgow Argus was inaugurated at a meeting on 4 February 1833, chaired by Colin Dunlop of Tollcross, Charles Tennant, George Crawfurd and James Lumsden.[3] At this meeting, it was agreed that the business would be floated on the joint-stock principle. Two hundred shares were issued at a value of £20 each. Shareholders were only permitted to hold a maximum of ten shares.[3]

Initially, the journal was printed by Robert and James Hedderwick, but in 1833, a printing department was created, ostensibly to save money. [3]

The first editor, William Weir, not only made the Argus the recognised organ of the "Clique", as Oswald's Whig and Liberal supporters were known, but pursued a radical editorial line of his own.[4] [3] Eventually in 1839 he was sacked for his radical stance on free trade, incompatible with the Whig views of the proprietors; Weir wished Whig parliamentary candidates to pledge immediate repeal of the Corn Laws.[5][6] Weir had also upset the shareholders of the paper by printing material critical of leading Whigs including the Lord Advocate, Andrew Rutherfurd.[7]

At the time of the 1847 United Kingdom general election, Charles Mackay disagreed with the paper's management on the choice of local Liberal candidate, and left the position of editor.[8] Although the newspaper had been recently enlarged, it was still making a loss and it was decided to wind it up on 29 November 1847.[7]



  1. ^ William Lloyd Garrison (1973). The letters of William Lloyd Garrison: No union with slaveholders, 1841-1849. III. Harvard University Press. p. 448 note 2. ISBN 978-0-674-52662-4.
  2. ^ William Tait; Mrs. Christian Isobel Johnstone (1836). Tait's Edinburgh Magazine. W. Tait. p. 194.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Cameron, Kenneth J (1979). "Finance, politics and editorial independence in the early Victorian provincial press: the case of the Glasgow Argus , 1833-47". Publishing History. 5: 79 – via Proquest.
  4. ^ Kenneth J. Cameron, William Weir and the Origins of the 'Manchester League' in Scotland, 1833-39, The Scottish Historical Review Vol. 58, No. 165, Part 1 (Apr., 1979), pp. 70-91. Published by: Edinburgh University Press. Stable URL:
  5. ^ a b Cameron, Kenneth J. "Weir, William". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/28975. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  6. ^ Paul A. Pickering; Alex Tyrell (2000). The People's Bread: A History of the Anti-Corn Law League. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-7185-0218-8.
  7. ^ a b "MS 185 Glasgow Argus". Archive Services Online Catalogue. University of Dundee. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  8. ^ Men of the Time: Biographical Sketches of Eminent Living Characters Also Biographical Sketches of Celebrated Women of the Time. Kent & Company. 1857. p. 496.
  9. ^ Viera, Carroll. "Hunt, Thornton Leigh". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/14210. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  10. ^ Spencer Timothy Hall (1870). Morning studies and evening pastimes. p. 191.
  11. ^ Calder, Angus. "Mackay, Charles". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/17555. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
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