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During that time, the paper supported parliamentary reform, but opposed a broader franchise and the Chartist leadership.

After Doxat retired in 1857, Clement's heirs sold the paper to Joseph Snowe, who also took over the editor's chair.

In 1870, wealthy businessman Julius Beer bought the paper and appointed Edward Dicey as editor, whose efforts succeeded in reviving circulation.

In the same place on the political spectrum as its sister papers The Guardian and The Guardian Weekly, whose parent company Guardian Media Group Limited acquired it in 1993, it takes a social liberal or social democratic line on most issues.

The woodcut pictures published of the stable and hayloft where the conspirators were arrested reflected a new stage of illustrated journalism that the newspaper pioneered during this time.

Clement maintained ownership of The Observer until his death in 1852.

Though early editions purported editorial independence, Bourne attempted to cut his losses and sell the title to the government.

When this failed, Bourne's brother (a wealthy businessman) made an offer to the government, which also refused to buy the paper but agreed to subsidise it in return for influence over its editorial content.

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