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Front page of Farmers Guardian, March 2007

Farmers Guardian is a weekly newspaper aimed at the British farming industry. It provides comprehensive and topical news with Livestock, Arable and Machinery sections; as well as business information and latest market prices. It is sold nationally and published on a Friday. Based in Preston, Lancashire, it is currently owned by United Business Media.

Related products in the UBM stable include: Dairy Farmer, Dairy Vet and the website The website was launched in May 2005, and includes sections on news, arable, livestock, machinery, equestrianism, reader offers and all classified adverts from the paper.[1]


The newspaper started life, on 10 February 1844, priced 4½d, as the Preston Guardian,[2] and was founded by Joseph Livesey, the "father" of the total abstinence movement in Britain to support the campaign for the repeal of the Corn Laws. He was assisted by his sons: William, as sub-editor and manager of the business department (until forced to retire by ill health); John, who came in as editor at the age of 21; and younger sons Franklin and Howard. Livesey Snr. was, however, the overall superintendent and wrote the leaders for local news items.[3]

The success of the newspaper can be attested by a remark of Richard Cobden: "I never remember a case of a local newspaper succeeding as this has done in so short a time and subject to the same competition". The paper lasted for 15 years under the Livesey's management, until 1859. By then it had become a valuable commodity and was sold to local businessman and fellow teetotaller, George Toulmin (1857–1923), who owned the paper until 1883. Thomas Wemyss Reid was an editor from 1864-1866.[4]

In 1872, a new office building was completed in Fishergate, Preston, and the paper moved into the ground floor (the building was demolished in 1989). The paper lasted under its original name until October 1964 and continue to the present day as the "Farmers Guardian".[2][5]


  1. Farmers Guardian
  2. 2.0 2.1 Guide to the Local Collections (Preston Harris Library Collection - 16 Sep 2010).
  3. Weston, James. Joseph Livesey: the story of his life, 1794-1884 (London: Partridge, 1884) pp. 75-76.
  4. Leslie Stephen, ed. (1885). "Reid, Sir Thomas Wemyss", Dictionary of National Biography, 1885–1900. 3. London: Smith, Elder & Co, 
  5. Descendants Of John Toulmin And Milcah Pooler.

External links

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