The Hampshire Chronicle was the first weekly newspaper to be published wholly in the county. Founded by James Linden, it first appeared on 24 August 1772 from presses at 130 High Street, Southampton. The initial enterprise was a failure. Despite entering into a succession of partnerships - of which those with J Webber, John Wise, John Ward, James Hodson and John Wheble can be identified - Linden went bankrupt in February 1778. He was defeated by the strength of the established regional paper, the Salisbury Journal, owned by Benjamin Collins. The complexities of the relationship between the two papers - sharing catchment areas, management and agents - can be followed in C Y Ferdinand, Benjamin Collins and the provincial newspaper trade in the eighteenth century, published in 1997. In May 1778, ownership passed to a consortium headed nominally by Thomas Baker, a Southampton printer and bookseller, but the controlling interest was held by Benjamin Collins. Baker's name appeared in the imprint of the last two numbers of May, 1778, but by 1 June the operation had been transferred to Winchester, coming under the management of John Wilkes, former local agent for the Salisbury Journal. The Chronicle has been published from the county town ever since.

A second Hampshire Chronicle began publication in September 1788 under the imprint of D Linden and Co of Southampton. It removed to Portsmouth in 1780. No copies of this rival to the Winchester-based Chronicle have survived.

Further reading:

Benjamin Collins and the provincial newspaper trade in the eighteenth century, by C Y Ferdinand. (H/y)


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