As stamp, paper and other duties were progessively reduced from the 1830s onwards (and all duties on newspapers were gone by 1855) there was a massive growth in overall circulation as major events and improved communications developed the public's need for information. The Times was the most significant newspaper of the first half of the 19th century, but from around 1860 there were a number of more strongly competitive titles, each differentiated by its political biases and interests.
The Manchester Guardian was founded in Manchester in 1821 by a group of non-conformist businessmen. Its most famous editor, Charles Prestwich Scott, made the Manchester Guardian into a world-famous newspaper in the 1890s. It is now called The Guardian.
The Chartist Northern Star, first published on May 26, 1838, was a pioneer of popular journalism but was very closely linked to the fortunes of the movement and was out of business by 1852. At the same time there was the establishment of more specialized periodicals and the first cheap newspaper in the Daily Telegraph (1855). From 1860 until around 1910 is considered a 'golden age' of newspaper publication, with technical advances in printing and communication combined with a professionalization of journalism and the prominence of new owners. Newspapers became more partisan and there was the rise of new or yellow journalism (see William Thomas Stead).
WW I saw the rise of the 'press barons' initially the Harmsworth Brothers (later Viscounts Northcliffe and Rothermere) and the Berry Brothers. A trend continued between the wars when the WW I barons were joined by Max Aitken (later Lord Beaverbrook) and the newspaper industry took on an appearance similar to today's. The post-war period was marked by the emergence of tabloid newspapers (or red tops), notably with Cecil Harmsworth King and his International Publishing Corporation.
In the 1970s the powerful print trade unions were challenged and production moved away from Fleet Street, marked by the successes of Rupert Murdoch and the Sun in the 1980s and 1990s. Currently circulation is in a slow but steady decline but still comparatively high.
Major newspapers still in circulation
The Times (1785), The Observer (1791), The Guardian/Manchester Guardian (1821), The Sunday Times (1822), Evening Standard (1827), News of the World (1843), The Daily Telegraph (1855), The People (1881), Financial Times (1888), Daily Mail (1896), Daily Express (1900), Daily Mirror (1903), Sunday Mirror (1915), Sunday Express (1918), Sunday Telegraph (1961), The Sun (1964), Daily Star (1978), Mail on Sunday (1982), Independent (1986), Independent on Sunday (1990).