An illustrated weekly comic periodical, founded 1841; at first a rather strongly Radical paper, gradually becoming less political. It ceased publication in 1992.
It appears that the idea of starting in London a comic paper first occurred to Ebenezer Landells, draughtsman and wood‐engraver, who submitted it to Mayhew. Mayhew enlisted the support of Lemon and Joseph Stirling Coyne (1803–68), who became the first joint‐editors. The first number was issued on 17 July 1841. Gilbert Abbott À Beckett and Jerrold were among the original staff, soon joined by Thackeray, Hood, Leech, and Tenniel.
The most famous drawing for the cover, by R. Doyle, was used from 1849 to 1956, when it was replaced by a full‐colour design, different each week.