First page of the first editionThe Illustrated London News was a magazine founded by Herbert Ingram and his friend Mark Lemon, the editor of Punch. With Lemon as chief adviser, the first edition of the Illustrated London News appeared on 14 May 1842. Costing sixpence, the magazine had sixteen pages and thirty-two wood engravings. It included pictures of the war in Afghanistan, a train crash in France, a steamboat explosion in Canada and a fancy dress ball at Buckingham Palace.
Although 26,000 copies were disposed of, there was a falling off in the second and subsequent numbers. Herbert Ingram, however, was determined to make his property a success. He sent every clergyman in the country a copy of the number containing illustrations of the installation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and by this means secured many new subscribers. The publication was later a source of early informal artistic education for the post-impressionist Vincent van Gogh.
The magazine was published weekly until 1971, when it became a monthly. From 1989, it was bi-monthly, then quarterly. The magazine is no longer published, but the Illustrated London News Group still exists. It produces in-house magazines, websites and consultancy. It also controls the archive of the Illustrated London News.