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The Illustrated London News
Illustrated London News - front page - first edition.jpg
First page of the first edition.
Type Daily (1842-1971)
Monthly (1971-1989)
Bi-monthly (1989-)
Format Broadsheet
Owner Illustrated London News Group
Founded 1842
Political alignment Conservative
Headquarters London, England
Official website Illustrated London News

The Illustrated London News was the world's first illustrated weekly newspaper. Founded in 1842, it was published weekly until 1971.



Printer and newsagent Herbert Ingram moved from Nottingham to London in early 1842. Inspired by how the Weekly Chronicle always sold more copies when it featured illustrations, he had the idea of publishing a weekly newspaper which would contain pictures in every edition. He originally considered having it concentrate on crime, as per the later Illustrated Police News, but his collaborator, engraver Henry Vizetelly, instead convinced him that a newspaper which covered more general news would be more successful.

In association with Mark Lemon, the editor of Punch, as his chief adviser, Ingram rented an office, located artists and reporters, and employed as his editor the writer Frederick William Naylor Bayley (1808-1853), former editor of the National Omnibus. The first edition of The Illustrated London News appeared on 14 May 1842. It contained 16 pages and 32 wood engravings, and covered the current war in Afghanistan, a train crash in France, a steam-boat accident on the Chesapeake, a survey of the candidates for the US presidential election, in addition to length crime reports, stage and book reviews, and three pages of advertisements.

Costing sixpence, the first edition sold 26,000 copies. Despite this initial success, there was a falling off in the second and subsequent numbers. However, Herbert Ingram was determined to make his paper a success, and sent every clergyman in the country a copy of the edition which contained illustrations of the installation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and by this means secured a great many new subscribers.

Its circulation soon rose to 40,000 and by the end of its first year reached 60,000. In 1851, after the newspaper published Joseph Paxton's designs for the Crystal Palace before even Prince Albert had seen them, the circulation achieved 130,000. In 1852, when it produced a special edition covering the funeral of the Duke of Wellington, sales rose to 150,000, while in 1855, mainly due to the paper reproducing some of Roger Fenton's pioneering photographs of the Crimean War (and also due to the abolition of the Stamp Act which taxed newspapers), it sold 200,000 copies per week.

By 1863 The Illustrated London News was selling over 300,000 copies every week, enormous figures in comparison to other British newspapers of the time. Competitors appeared but did not last long; Andrew Spottiswoode's Pictorial Times lost £20,000 before it was sold to Ingram, while Henry Vizetelly, who had left Ingram to found the rival Pictorial Times, eventually sold it to Ingram, who closed it down.

On 30 October 1875, the Illustrated London News devoted its front page and five other pages to an article about a reunion of the survivors of the Charge of the Light Brigade to celebrate the 21st Anniversary of the Charge. The reunion was organised by a committee chaired by Edward Richard Woodham whose recollections of the charge and those of several others at the dinner were recorded in the article.

Herbert Ingram died on 8 September 1860 in a paddle-steamer accident on Lake Michigan, and he was succeeded as proprietor by his youngest son, William, who in turn was succeeded by his son, Bruce Ingram in 1900.

The Illustrated London News was published weekly until 1971, when it became a monthly. From 1989, it was bimonthly, and then quarterly. The magazine is no longer published, but the Illustrated London News Group still exists. It produces in-house magazines and websites, and offers consultancy services, in addition to owning the archive of the Illustrated London News.


Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar in on front page of Illustrated London News on his last visit to Britain

The first generation of draughtsmen and engravers included Sir John Gilbert, Birket Foster, and George Cruikshank among the former, and W. J. Linton, Ebenezer Landells and George Thomas among the latter. Regular literary contributors included Douglas Jerrold, Richard Garnett and Shirley Brooks.

Illustrators, artists and photographers included Mabel Lucie Attwell, E. H. Shepherd, Kate Greenaway, W. Heath Robinson and his brother Charles Robinson, George E. Studdy, David Wright, Melton Prior, William Simpson, Frederic Villiers, Edmund Blampied, Frank Reynolds, Lawson Wood, H. M. Bateman, Bruce Bairnsfather, C. E. Turner, R. Caton Woodville, A. Forestier, Fortunino Matania, Christina Broom and Louis Wain.

Writers and journalists included Robert Louis Stevenson, Thomas Hardy, George Augustus Sala, J. M. Barrie, Wilkie Collins, Joseph Conrad, Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling, G. K. Chesterton, Agatha Christie[1], Arthur Bryant and Tim Beaumont (who wrote on food).[2]


1842: Frederick William Naylor Bayley
1848: John Timbs
1852: Charles Mackay
1859: John Lash
1891: Clement Shorter
1900: Bruce Ingram
1963: Hugh Ingram
1965: Timothy Green
1966: John Kisch
1970: James Bishop
1995: Mark Palmer

Sources: Peter Biddlecombe, "As much of life that the world can show", Illustrated London News, 13 May 1967; [1]



  • Hibbert, Christopher (1975). The Illustrated London News' Social History of Victorian Britain. Angus and Robertson. ISBN 020795657X.  

External links

Further reading

  • Law, Graham. Indexes to Fiction in the Illustrated London News (1842-1901) and the Graphic, (1869-1901). Victorian Fiction Research Guides 29, Victorian Fiction Research Unit, Department of English, University of Queensland, 2001.
  • Sinnema, Peter. Dynamics of the Pictured Page: Representing the Nation in the Illustrated London News. Aldershot: Ashgate. 1998.

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

←Indexes: Newspapers
Illustrated London News

Illustrated London News - 19 October 1844 header.jpg

May 14, 1842
  • Image:Illustrated London News - front page - first edition.jpg
  • Image:Illustrated London News - page 4 - first edition.jpg
  • Image:Illustrated London News - page 5 - first edition.jpg
  • Image:Illustrated London News - page 12 - first edition.jpg
  • Image:Illustrated London News - page 13 - first edition.jpg
October 6, 1855
  • Image:Island of Capri. From The Illustrated London News , Oct. 6, 1855.jpg - Illustration. page 412.
  • Image:MI - 1859 - East end of Milan Cathedral, Italy- issued in 1859 for the Illustrated London News.jpg
November 7, 1863
  • Image:Bombing of Kagoshima Map - 1863.PNG
January 15, 1870
  • Ages Ago - Image:Ages Ago.png
August 20, 1870
  • Image:Crown Prince Frederick William of Prussia - Illustrated London News August 20, 1870.PNG
September 3, 1870
  • Image:Franco-Prussian War- Illustrated London News, September 3, 1870.PNG
October 1, 1870
  • Image:Image-Franco-Prussian War - Students Going to Man the Barricades - Illustrated London News Oct 1 1870 - top.PNG
  • Image:Image-Franco-Prussian War - Students Going to Man the Barricades - Illustrated London News Oct 1 1870 - bottom.PNG
    • Image:Defence-of-Paris.png
March 29 1873
  • Image:Robert William Thomson - Illustrated London News March 29 1873.png
June 7 1873
  • Obituary of Charles Lucy
October 25, 1873
  • Image:Bristol 1873 - Berkley Tombs.png
  • Image:Bristol 1873 - Blackfriars Priory.png
June 17, 1876
  • Image:A Street Railway in New York - 1876 engraving.jpg
November 18, 1876
  • Image:Dan'l Druce, Blacksmith - Illustrated London News, November 18, 1876.png
  • Image:Dan'l Druce, Blacksmith - Illustrated London News, November 18, 1876 - text.png
  • Image:New Daily Telegraph Offices Fleet Street ILN 1882.jpg


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