Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: March 10, 2018
Webpage updated: March 10, 2018




Started on June 2nd 1860 by Messrs Isaac Latimer & Sons as competition for the Western Morning News, it was first known as the Daily Western Mercury.  From issue number 79, published on September 26th 1860, it was renamed the Western Daily Mercury and is more usually referred to as such.

Politically it was considered to be a Liberal newspaper.   Its office was in Frankfort Street.  The price of the paper was one penny.

In January 1863 it incorporated the Plymouth and Devonport Weekly Journal and the Western Counties Herald.

The Latimers sold the newspaper to a new company in around April 1889 and the general printing side was disposed of to Mr J T Trend.

By 1895 the newspaper was under the ownership of Mr Thomas Owen MP, a wealthy paper manufacturer, and early that year he invited Mr R A J Walling, the editor's son, to start an evening paper.  The result was the launching of the Western Evening Herald in April 1895.  In due he became editor of the Mercury.

Plymouth Central Library hold microfilmed copies of most of the issues. 

The last Western Daily Mercury was number 20,459 on Monday January 31st 1921, after which it was amalgamated with its former rival, the Western Morning News.  The explanation for this was that the cost of producing the paper had never in its 61 years shown a profit or paid a dividend to its proprietors and it was clear that Plymouth and the Western Counties could not support two morning newspapers.