W.T. Stead & the Pall Mall Gazette

The Pall Mall Gazette was founded in London in 1865 by George Murray Smith. The brainchild of Frederick Greenwood, who became its first editor, the Pall Mall took its name from the fictional newspaper in William Thackeray's novel, The History of Pendennis. In 1880, the newspaper came under the control of Smith's son-in-law, Henry Yates Thompson, whose Liberal stance made Greenwood's position as editor untenable and the latter resigned, with some bitterness, and was replaced by John Morley. Under Morley, the Pall Mall quickly became a dull and ponderous organ that soon began losing money; and within months of Morley taking up the reins, Thompson took the decision to bring in radical Northern Echo editor, W. T. Stead to assist him in his struggling editorship. When Morley resigned in 1883 to enter parliament, Stead took over and immediately set about involving the Pall Mall in numerous sensational political crusades, most notably, "The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon" (1885). Such crusades consolidated Stead's journalistic power and, for a time, made the Pall Mall one of the most influential newspapers in London, with literary contributors that included George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde. But Stead's methods often put him at odds with Thompson and, in 1889, he resigned his editorship to found the Review of Reviews. Stead's departure took some of the life out of the Pall Mall, and despite returning to its Conservative roots in the 1890s, it never again reached the heights of Stead's editorship. In 1921 it was merged with The Globe, and two years later, the fifty-eight-year history of the Pall Mall Gazette came to a close when it was absorbed into the Evening Standard.

© Owen Mulpetre 2012


Chinese Gordon for the Soudan (Jan. 9, 1884)
Chinese Gordon on the Soudan (Stead's famous interview with General Gordon)
In Memoriam (Stead on Gordon's death, Feb. 11, 1885)
What is the Truth About the Navy? (Sept. 15, 1884)
A Startling Revelation (Sept. 18, 1884)
Who is Responsible for the Navy? (Sept. 26, 1884)
The Responsibility for the Navy (Sept. 30, 1884)
The New Tory Programme (July 4, 1885)
A Good Start (July 7, 1885)
A Vote of "No Confidence" (June 5, 1886)

Crime & Social

Is it not Time? (October 16, 1883)
"Outcast London" - Where to Begin? (Oct. 23, 1883)
The "Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon" (July, 1885)
Murder as an Advertisement (September 19, 1888)
Who is Responsible? (October 8, 1888)
The Police and the Criminals of London - I (October 8, 1888)
Can We Save the Children? (October 9, 1888)
The Police and the Criminals of London - II (October 9, 1888)


How the Mail Steamer went Down in Mid Atlantic (March 22, 1886)


Who is behind this website?

I founded this website in 2001 to assist me in my own research on W.T. Stead, little knowing then that it would become the largest online resource on Stead's life and career. Today this site is used by students, scholars and institutions around the world and has significantly contributed to the Study of W.T. Stead and the evils which he campaigned against.

If you have a question or query, feel free to Contact me and I will get back to you at my earliest convenience (but please don't ask me to do your research for you!).

Owen Mulpetre, BA (Hons) MPhil