a media industry resource

Iliffe, Berry, Hulton: Iliffe

Iliffe and Yattendon

This page considers the Iliffe family of the UK and their media interests.

It covers -

  • introduction
  • history
  • current holdings
  • studies


The Iliffe family expanded from printing and book publishing into magazines and newspapers, famously giving Northcliffe a start as editor of a bicycling journal and acquiring a stake in the Daily Telegraph in partnership with the Berry brothers.

Iliffe's printing and magazine interests were acquired by IPC (absorbed by Maxwell) in the second half of last century and the family has sold its major newspapers such as the Birmingham Post & Mail (now part of Trinity Mirror).


Edward Mauger Iliffe (1877-1960) joined the family's Coventry-based printing operations in 1894. His father William Iliffe had founded the Midland Evening Telegraph in 1891 and Autocar magazine in 1895.

Edward formed Allied Newspapers with the Berry brothers in 1923. Allied bought the Evening Standard, Daily Sketch, Sunday Herald and 11 other titles from Sir Edward Hulton for £6 million. In 1928 it acquired the Daily Telegraph from Lord Burnham.

Iliffe was knighted in 1922 and served as conservative MP for Tamworth from 1923 to 1929. He became a baron in 1933. The partnership with the Berrys through Allied Newspapers was disslved in 1937. Iliffe retained The lucrative Kelly's Directories in addition to newspaper titles that the family had held outside Allied. In the 1940s it acquired the BMP group, centred on the Birmingham Post & Mail.

The family's extensive printing operations were disposed of to International Publishing Corporation (part of Reed and then the failed Maxwell group).

The Post was sold to Ralph Ingersoll II in 1987 for £60 million (with an MBO in 1991 before acquisition by Midland Independent Newspapers in 1994, acquired by Mirror for £305 million in 1997).

The current Lord Iliffe has been reported as the 64th richest person in the UK (est £150 million in 2002). The family holds the 3,650 hectare Yattendon Estate (Berkshire), along with some 1,600 hectares in Warwickshire and over 10,000 hectares in Scotland.

Current holdings

The family's Yattendon Investment Trust plc encompasses newspaper publishing, agriculture and property development. The newspaper portfolio includes evening daily newspapers and some 20 paid-for and free weekly titles in Cambridgeshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Suffolk, Essex and Hertfordshire.

Titles under the Iliffe News & Media subsidiary include -

  • Ashbourne News Telegraph
  • Burton & South Derbyshire Advertiser
  • Burton Mail
  • Cambridge Evening News
  • Cambridge Town Crier
  • Cambridge Weekly News
  • Dunmow Observer
  • Ely Weekly News
  • Harlow Star
  • Haverhill Weekly News
  • Hertfordshire Mercury
  • Hertfordshire Star
  • Herts and Essex Observer
  • Huntingdon & St Ives Weekly News
  • Newmarket Weekly News
  • Royston & Buntingford Mercury
  • Royston Weekly News
  • Saffron Walden Observer
  • Saffron Walden Weekly News
  • St Neots Weekly News
  • Staffordshire Newsletter
  • Stansted Observer
  • Stevenage Mercury
  • Uttoxeter Advertiser

The family is the dominant shareholder in UK commercial television broadcaster Channel TV (150,000 viewers).


There has been no major academic study of the Iliffes. A perspective is provided by Stephen Koss's two volume The Rise & Fall of the Political Press in Britain (London: Hamish Hamilton 1984).