The Times

British daily national newspaper based in London

The Times is a daily morning newspaper published in London. It was founded in 1785 as the Daily Universal Register and took its present title at the beginning of 1788. It has often been regarded as the newspaper taken by the British establishment. It was nicknamed "The Thunderer" for its strident editorialising.

Front page of The Times from 4 December 1788.


  • The speaker then said he felt inclined for a bit of fucking.
    • The "Harcourt interpolation", a rogue sentence inserted by malicious compositor in column four of page seven of The Times for 23 January 1882. See Fritz Spiegl, Keep Taking the Tabloids (Pan, 1983), p. 44.
  • No conqueror returning from a victory on the battlefield had come adorned with nobler laurels.

About The Times

  • Top people take The Times.
    • Advertising slogan, 1960s.
  • Too briefly treated is the story of the paper’s virile early days, when the Controller used to send a retired Irish officer round to the homes of gentlemen with erring wives with the threat that All Would Be Revealed unless a sensible financial understanding between the parties could be arranged. "Suppression money", as it was termed, helped to get John Walter I's Daily Universal Register off the ground. I've always found it a pity that Times editors have become so coy about these beginnings (which Harold Evans does at least refer to), especially now. "What would you pay to get all of Lady Fuddington off page three, sport?" Or as John Walter’s man Finey used to say, pocketing the guineas, "Give me a few more, and by St Patrick I will knock out the brains of anyone in our office who dares ever whisper your name."
    • Neal Ascherson "Cross Words" London Review of Books (5:21, 17 November 1983)
    • Oliver Woods and James Bishop's The Story of the 'Times' (Michael Joseph) and Harold Evans' Good Times, Bad Times (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) were the books under review.
  • I do not think we have a free press in Britain today. There is not a single newspaper that I can buy, not one in Britain that reflects my political position. And The Times, dare I say to you, is really disreputable. It does not print truthfully and faithfully what happens ... it is a political propaganda instrument like The Sun, but it is printed in rather better print and rather shrewder language.
    • Tony Benn, Press conference in Athens (12 March 1982), quoted in The Times (13 March 1982), p. 5
  • In Dawson's eyes, it was the moral duty of every British newspaper to promote harmonious relations between Britain and the new Germany. He had no compunction about toning down or spiking outright the dispatches of his newspaper's experienced Berlin correspondent, Norman Ebbut. Some British foreign correspondents, like Sefton Delmer of the Daily Express, were positively enthusiastic about the new Germany. Not Ebbut. To him, Hitler was nothing more than a 'Sergeant Major with a gift of the gab and a far-away look in his eyes'. Despite warnings from the Nazis to mute his criticism, and frequent raids on his apartment, Ebbut wrote regularly on (among other subjects) the new regime's persecution of dissidents within the Protestant churches. As early as November 1934 he was moved to protest about editorial interference with his copy, giving twelve examples of how his stories had been cut to remove critical references to the Nazi regime. He complained bitterly to his American friend William Shirer that his editors did 'not want to hear too much of the bad side of Nazi Germany'; The Times had been 'captured by pro-Nazis in London'. By contrast, articles by Lord Lothian were prominently displayed.
    • Niall Ferguson, The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West (2006), p. 339-340
  • Jim Hacker: Don't tell me about the press. I know exactly who reads the papers. The Daily Mirror is read by people who think they run the country; The Guardian is read by people who think they ought to run the country; The Times is read by the people who actually do run the country; the Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country; the Financial Times is read by people who own the country; the Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by another country, and the Daily Telegraph is read by people who think it is.
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