Publication of the Northern Liberator, Chartist journal

Event date(s)

21 October 1837


On Saturday, 21 October 1837, Newcastle printer John Turnbull published the first edition of the Northern Liberator, one of the longest-lived and best-read Chartist newspapers. The newspaper was founded and edited by Augustus Hardin Beaumont, a colourful American-born journalist whose radical career had taken him to Jamaica, France, Spain, Belgium and, finally, Newcastle. The paper announced its 'Political creed' to be 'Freedom of the press' and 'Universal suffrage'. In 1838 Beaumont died and the paper, which was by that point averaging a circulation of 4,000 copies a week, came into the hands of Robert Blakey, the former radical mayor of Morpeth. The paper closed in December 1840, with the more famous Northern Star, which had been published a month after the Liberator, becoming the premier voice-piece for radical, working-class parliamentary reform.

Location/map point


89 Side
Newcastle upon Tyne

Further reading

D. Thompson, The Chartists (1984); J. Allen, 'A Small Drop of Ink': Tyneside Chartism & the Northern Liberator’, in Owen R. Ashton, The Chartist Legacy (1999); W. H. Maehl, ‘Augustus Hardin Beaumont: Anglo-American radical (1798-1838)’, International Review of Social History, 14:2 (1969), 237-50; D. J. Rowe, ‘Some aspects of Chartism on Tyneside’, International Review of Social History, 16:1 (171), pp. 17-39. A complete run of the Northern Liberator can be accessed at the Local Studies Library in the City Library, Newcastle.