Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: March 16, 2016
Webpage updated: March 23, 2020

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When Plymouth-Dock became Devonport on January 1st 1824 it is believed that Mr Congdon improperly changed the title of his paper from "The Plymouth and Dock Telegraph and Plymouth Chronicle" to "The Royal Devonport Telegraph and Plymouth Chronicle".

Mr Congdon retired in 1827 and sold the newspaper to Mr George Isabell Soper  By 1830 the use of the word "Royal" had been dropped and the paper was now simply "The Devonport Telegraph and Plymouth Chronicle".

The "Devonport Telegraph and Plymouth Chronicle" was published every Saturday morning by the proprietor, editor and publisher, Mr George Isabell Soper, of Saint Aubyn Street.  Although it was said to have still been printed by Mr Lazarus Congdon, he is supposed to have retired in 1827 so this statement may be a mistake.

'The wide and extensive circulation of this paper bespeaks its own merit, affording both to the mercantile and political world, the passing events of he week.' stated Robert Brindley in his "Plymouth, Stonehouse and Devonport Directory" in 1830.

In 1832 Mr Soper took on a partner, a Mr William Richards, printer and bookseller.

Another change of ownership saw another change of title.  Mr Richard Clarkson Smith of 1 Chapel Street took the newspaper over and from the issue dated Saturday February 8th 1851 it became "The Devonport and Plymouth Telegraph: Naval and Military Gazette, and Western Counties Advertiser", all for 4d a copy, thanks to a reduction in the newspaper tax.

The imposition of newspaper tax, whereby the proprietor had to purchase a stamp for each copy, meant that the circulation of that paper was common knowledge.  It was claimed by the "Exeter and Plymouth Gazette" in 1866 that the circulation of the "Devonport Telegraph" was 9,000 copies compared to their own 83,714 copies.