The Examiner, a radical weekly magazine, was founded by John Hunt and Leigh Hunt in 1808. John Stuart Mill argued that it was "the principal representative, in the newspaper press, of radical opinion". The journal gave support to radicals in Parliament such as Henry Brougham and Sir Francis Burdett and the political ideas of people like Robert Owen and Jeremy Bentham. As well as advocating social reform, the magazine published the poetry of young writers such as Percy Bysshe Shelley and William Hazlitt.
The Hunt brothers upset the authorities by pointing out on the front page of every edition of the Examiner that half the cost of the price was the result of the government's "tax on knowledge". In 1812 John and Leigh Hunt were arrested and charged with libel after publishing an article criticizing the Prince of Wales, the future King George IV. The brothers were found guilty and sentenced to two years' imprisonment and a £500 fine. In prison Leigh Hunt continued to edit the magazine.
Leigh Hunt's friend, John Forster edited the Examiner between 1847-1855. The newspaper ceased publication in 1881.