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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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The Trial of Queen Caroline 1820

by Sir George Hayter
oil on canvas, 1820-1823
On display in Room 17 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 999


Thomas Barnes

by Sir William John Newton
watercolour and bodycolour on ivory, 1832
NPG 6064


Lucifera's Procession. Fairy-Queen

attributed to Theodore Lane, published by George Humphrey
etching, published 12 May 1821
NPG D17905



by John ('HB') Doyle, printed by Alfred Ducôte, published by Thomas McLean
lithograph, published 8 April 1834
NPG D41246