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Thomas Barnes (1785-1841), Editor of The Times

Sitter in 4 portraits
In 1811, Barnes began writing on literature, theatre and politics in papers and magazines including The Times. His political sketches in the Examiner were collected and published anonymously as Parliamentary Portraits in 1815. Barnes was appointed editor of The Times in 1817, a post that he held until his death. Under his editorship, The Times established a tradition of independent journalism becoming the country's leading newspaper. Barnes exerted influence in favour of the Reform bill, a campaign that earned both him and his paper the nickname 'the Thunderer'. In 1834, he was described by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Lyndhurst, as 'the most powerful man in the country'.

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