Founded by William Cowdroy in 1795, the Cowdroy’s Manchester Gazette was one of the few non-Tory papers available in the city. John Edward Taylor reported for the Gazette before founding The Manchester Guardian. Indeed, Taylor and his backers had considered whether taking over the Gazette might be a more viable prospect than founding a new title. However, ultimately, they decided that starting afresh would make better sense financially.
Archibald Prentice had worked with Taylor on the Gazette and they initially moved in the same reforming circles. However, as The Guardian became established, Prentice and some of the original backers became impatient with the moderate tone of The Guardian, wanting it to be more radical in its stance. When William, the last of Cowdroy’s four sons, died, his wife sold the paper to Prentice and his backers in 1824. They relaunched the paper in June as The Manchester Gazette, in direct competition to The Guardian and politically to its left. However, the paper was never a success and Prentice went bankrupt in 1828, leading to the closure of The Gazette in 1829.