by George Dance

Montreal Herald extra, August 4, 1812.

Montreal Herald Extra of August 4, 1812, announcing capture of Fort Michilimackinac.

The Montreal Herald was a newspaper that published in Montreal, Quebec, Canada through most of the 19th and 20th centuries.


19th centuryEdit

The Herald was founded in 1811 by William Gray and Mungo Kay, who were also its owners and publishers.[1] It first appeared on Saturday, October 19, 1811, as a weekly.[2]

"Decidedly Whiggish in its endorsement of the rights of individuals and peoples, its support of the British constitution, and its alignment with 'the Canadian Character,' The Montreal Herald also conceived of itself primarily as a vehicle for authors who were male, gifted, privileged, and of British extraction - 'Gentlemen, whose talents and leisure may enable them to favor ... [the newspaper] with ... productions ... in the English language.'"[3]

The newspaper's "first 40 years marked a running struggle with the governing authority which universally distrusted the free and independent press.... Gray, and his successors, played key roles in determining the future of the press in Canada." The press won a major victory in 1816, when the court of King's Bench fined a lower court judge for having "falsely committed to jail" a Herald reporter for "pretended libel" and "pretended contempt."[4]

Gray ran the paper until 1825, when it was acquired by Archibald Ferguson.[3] Ferguson's major concern seemed "to have been to further the cause of the Presbyterian Church in its struggle with the Church of England for official recognition." Under his ownership, the paper began publishing every second day. By 1840, it was publishing as a daily.[4]

The paper initially opposed Confederation, "on the ground it endangered the British connection."[5] The Herald ceases publication]," The Herald, Oct. 19, 1957, 4. Web, June 11, 2011.</ref>

In 1892 John W. Dafoe briefly served as the Herald's editor.[5]

20th centuryEdit

In 1925 poet Goodridge MacDonald "was working for the Montreal Herald and rose to become its associate editor."[6] The New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia calls the Herald of that period "a prominent newspaper that supported the British constitution. In MacDonald's time, it served as a voice for well educated British men and expressed ideals that reiterated liberal fundamentals."[7]

In its last years the Herald was owned by the Montreal Star. The new owners published the paper at a loss for a number of years, before concluding that "the place occupied by the Herald in the competitive Montreal newspaper field is too small to secure it a sound economic position."[2]

The final issue of the Herald was published on Friday, October 18, 1957.[2]


  1. "List of defunct newspapers of Quebec," Wikipedia, Apr. 14, 2011, Web, June 11, 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "The Herald ceases publication," The Herald, Oct. 19, 1957, 1. Web, June 11, 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 D.M.R. Bentley, "Montreal Herald: Introduction," Poems in Early Canadian Newspapers, Canadian Poetry Press, UWO, Web, June 11, 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "The Herald ceases publication," The Herald, Oct. 19, 1957, 4. Web, June 11, 2011.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "The Herald ceases publication," The Herald, Oct. 19, 1957, 5. Web, June 11, 2011.
  6. Brian Trehearne, "Goodridge MacDonald", Canadian Poetry 1920 to 1960 (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1910), 379-382, Google Books, Web, June 11, 2011.
  7. Laura Houlihan, "Cuthbert Goodridge MacDonald," New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia, St. Thomas University,, Web, June 11, 2011.

External linksEdit

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