The Salisbury Journal is one of Britain’s oldest provincial newspapers, founded by William Collins in 1729. Benjamin Collins (1715-1785) took over the business when his brother died in 1740. The paper was later run by Collin’s son Benjamin, and by the 1780’s its circulation was claimed to exceed 4,000. Historically, the Salisbury Journal represented landed, agricultural and commercial interests.
With no issue, ownership passed to Benjamin Charles Collins’ nephew William Bird Brodie in 1808. Brodie also took over the banking business begun by Collins in the 1770’s. Politically active, he was Whig M.P. for Salisbury, 1832–43 and wrote pamphlets on slavery. His strong Whig and pro-reform views were reflected in the paper.
When Brodie went bankrupt in 1847, the Salisbury Journal was sold in 1848 to James Bennett. Under Bennett, the paper became more politically neutral, adopting a distinctly Unionist stance by the 1890’s. The Bennett family managed the business for over 100 years before selling on to Berrow’s Organisation Ltd.
Source: British Newspaper Archive