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The Morning Chronicle was a newspaper founded in 1769 in London, England, and published under various owners until 1862. It was most notable for having been the first employer of Charles Dickens, and for publishing the articles by Henry Mayhew which were collected and published in book format in 1861 as "London Labour and the London Poor".


The first editor was William Woodfall. He was the first to report on proceedings in Parliamentmarker as a regular feature. Since note-taking was prohibited, he worked from memory, at least to the extent of writing notes outside the chamber. Woodfall's journalism slanted toward the Whig party in the House of Commonsmarker.

Newspapers of the time were subject to persecution by the government, and in typical fashion Woodfall was convicted of libel and spent a year in Newgate prisonmarker in 1779. This fate befell some of his successors as well.

Later owners

The Chronicle was bought by James Perry in 1789, bringing the journal firmly down on the Whig side against the Tory-owned London Gazette. Circulation increased, and by 1810, the typical sale was 7,000 copies. The content often came from journalists labelled as radicals, a dangerous connotation in the aftermath of the French Revolution. William Hazlitt joined to report on Parliament in 1813, by which time several charges of libel and seditious libel had been levelled against the newspaper and its contributors at one time or another, Perry being sentenced to three months in gaol in 1798.

Perry was succeeded by John Black, probably in 1817 when Perry developed a severe illness. It was Black who later employed Dickens, Mayhew, and John Stuart Mill. Perry died in 1821. Woodfall had died in 1803.

Charles Dickens began reporting for the Chronicle in 1834. It was in this medium that he also began publishing short stories under the pseudonym "Boz".

The articles by Henry Mayhew were published in 1849, accompanied by similar articles about other regions of the country, written by other journalists.

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