The Hampshire Independent was a Liberal weekly newspaper established in Southampton in March 1835: the first issue is dated 28 March. Its foundation and troubled early life is the subject of an article: ‘John Wheeler and the Hampshire Independent, 1835-40’: Southampton Occasional Papers No.12.

The second proprietor – between October 1840 and April 1859 - was Thomas Leader Harman. For this period see ‘Thomas Leader Harman: a gentleman of fortune in mid-nineteenth century Southampton’ in Southampton Local History Forum Journal, no. 16, Winter 2010, p3-27.

The paper was acquired from Harman in April 1859 by the Hampshire Independent Company. The Independent became the first penny paper in the county with its issue of 2 October 1861 (F A Edwards, The early newspaper press of Hampshire: a paper read before the Hampshire Literary and Philosophical Society, Southampton, Monday, March 4th 1889).

Declining circulation prompted a further sale, in October 1885, to Passmore Edwards, philanthropist and Liberal. The Independent became part of the Storey-Carnegie Syndicate, of which Edwards was the principal shareholder. Passmore brought out the first issue of the evening Southern Echo in August 1888. After long and complicated negotiations, the Independent and the Echo were purchased in 1891 by the Hampshire Advertiser Company, publishers of the Conservative Hampshire Advertiser which for over fifty years had been a bitter rival of the Independent. The former competitor continued to be published by the Hampshire Advertiser Company until the two papers were amalgamated in 1923: the last issue of the Independent is dated 20 July.

see also

Further reading:
Echoes of a century: the centenary history of Southern Newspapers Limited, by Gordon Sewell (H/y)


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