The Yorkshire Post – Made In Yorkshire | Volume 13

What is The Yorkshire Post?

The Yorkshire post is a newspaper available throughout Yorkshire, places that were historically in Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire. The company write a daily newspaper. Read about the history of one of the biggest names in British journalism.

The Beginning

Griffith Wright was the son of the clerk who worked at St John’s Church on Briggate in Leeds. On Tuesday 2nd July 1754, Griffith printed his first copy of the Leeds Intelligencer from their premises in Lower Head Row.

It was originally written as a weekly newspaper. It had four pages and three columns. These were a mix of news from the London dailies and advertising.

The newspaper cost a total of 2d. It was extremely popular despite their rival, The Leeds Mercury, being around longer than them – starting out in 1718.

In 1755, Griffith moved to a new building at New Street End. The same year he moved, he married a lady called Mary Pullen. Soon after their marriage they had a son called Thomas.

For over 50 years, Griffith edited the newspaper himself. In 1785, he was ready to retire so he decided to pass his business down to his son.

During this time, the government imposed taxes on newspapers. This caused the business to increase their prices to 3d in 1777.

Thomas remained the editor of the newspaper until his death in 1805. Throughout his time as the editor, he saw another price increase to 4d in 1793, again this was due to taxes.

Both Thomas’ father Griffith and his son Griffith Jnr outlived him. After Thomas died, he passed the role of editor down to his son.

During the election in 1807, the newspaper backed the Tory candidate Lord Lascelles. This cemented their conservative viewpoint.

In 1809, they changed the company’s name to Wright’s Leeds Intelligencer. Two years later, the business printed their first full ‘Supplement’.

Overtime they eventually saved enough money to purchase a Stanhope press. This cost them £50.

In 1815, a man called George Mudie became the editor of the newspaper. He printed the occasional ‘Second Edition’ to cover news stories such as the 1817 Manchester Riots.

Griffith Wright Jnr. decided it was time to sell up due to his grandfather’s death. In 1818, he sold the Intelligencer.

During this time, Mudie formed a close partnership with William Headley. Together, they created the Leeds Independent.

Over the next few decades, the papers saw many changes. This started with the first takeover by Gawtress & Co.

This takeover happened in 1819. They changed the name of the newspaper to The Leeds Intelligencer and Yorkshire General Advertiser.

Then in 1822, the newspaper was sold to Joseph Ogle Robinson and John Hernaman. They moved the paper onto Commercial Street where they shared the Leeds Library building. In 1826, the newspaper absorbed Mudie’s Leeds Independent.

When the paper first started out it was available in Yorkshire, Lancashire and strangely London. At the time it took up to three days for the paper to arrive in the capital; even with improved coaches it would take 23 hours.

With this new company, The Intelligencer became a daily paper. They called it The Yorkshire Conservative Newspaper Co Ltd.

In 1866, they changed the name again this time to the familiar Yorkshire Post. They produced a regional evening paper in 1890 called The Yorkshire Evening Post.

This put a slant on the day’s news. Also, it provided extensive coverage of local and regional sports teams.

This changed the way the day’s news was seen. The newspaper provided their readers with extensive coverage of not only the local sports teams but also regional sports teams.

Becoming what it is today

In 1923, the news paper was in a very good position. They bought out their long time rival The Leeds Mercury and continues to publish alongside its existing ones.

The Yorkshire Post was given the chance to prove it was the top national newspaper in 1936. 

Following a speech made by the Bishop of Bradford, editor Arthur Mann was the first journalist to break the news story of Edward VIII’s affair with Mrs Simpson. This lead to the monarch’s abdication.

Yorkshire Post's soon to be demolished printing building.
The Yorkshire Post buildings at the bottom of Kirkstall Road before their demolition in 2014. Picture credit: Stephen Richards geograph wikipedia creative commons.

At the outbreak of World War Two, a shortage of newsprint led to the merger of the Yorkshire Post and The Leeds Mercury. In 1963, the paper was able to absorb its rival evening paper, the Yorkshire Evening News as well.

Over the years many top journalists have cut their teeth at the Yorkshire Evening Post, along with more surprising names such as Dire Straits frontman, Mark Knopfler, and actor Peter O’Toole.

A merger in 1967 with United Newspapers Ltd to become Yorkshire Post Newspapers Ltd saw the company move to brand new £5 million premises on the banks of the River Aire in 1970. 

With the decline in readership, and rise of digital technologies, Johnston Press who now own the papers, decided to move the printing to Sheffield

This led to the old and now iconic Yorkshire Post building at the bottom of Wellington Street being demolished in 2014 after the journalists and staff had moved out to new offices on Whitehall Road, two years earlier. 

The tower, which has become a Leeds landmark, complete with thermometer, survived the bulldozers, while the empty space left by the old concrete building is being made into apartments and shops. 

It will also include a gym and sky lounge with an outdoor public area, improved cycle links and an enhanced river corridor.

The Yorkshire Post is one of Britain’s oldest newspaper and continues to command respect throughout the journalism world.