complicated legal proceedings between him and Jerdan in 1815. In May 1817 Jerdan was glad to retire from the editorship and sell his interest in the concern for 300l.
On 25 Jan. 1817 Henry Colburn [q. v.] started the ‘Literary Gazette,’ at first a shilling but soon an eightpenny weekly review. In July Jerdan purchased a third share, and on the appearance of the twenty-sixth number was installed as editor. With this enterprise Jerdan was identified for three-and-thirty years. His aim, he tells us, was to ‘praise heartily’ and ‘censure mildly,’ and he gathered around him a very accomplished band of writers, including Crabbe, Barry Cornwall, Dr. Croly, Miss Mitford, Alaric Watts, Maginn, Mrs. Hemans, and Thomas Campbell (for list of writers see Autob. iv. 247). At first the paper proved unremunerative. Jerdan found it necessary to supplement his income by contributing largely to the provincial press, and he edited from London the ‘Sheffield Mercury,’ and ‘at other times a Birmingham, a Staffordshire Potteries, and an Irish journal’ (ib. i. 110). In 1818 he arranged for publication by John Murray Fitzclarence's ‘Journal of a Route across India.’ In 1820 Messrs. Longmans became part-proprietors and publishers of the ‘Gazette,’ and for the next ten years its position in the literary world was supreme. John Wilson (Christopher North), in his account of a conversation with James Hogg (Noctes Ambros. iii. 67, ed. 1866, New York), regarded the paper as unapproachable, because ‘Mr. Jerdan is a gentleman and is assisted by none but gentlemen.’ In February 1820 Letitia Elizabeth Landon, whose father was Jerdan's neighbour at Old Brompton, sent a contribution for the first time, and was subsequently one of the chief writers and the intimate friend of the editor. Jerdan soon removed to a larger house called The Grove, at Old Brompton, and became a leading figure in literary society. In 1821 he helped to found the Royal Society of Literature, and always took an active part in the administration of the Royal Literary Fund. When Sir John Soane, a liberal supporter of the latter, threatened to withdraw his subscription unless the committee removed from their board-room an unflattering portrait of himself, painted and presented by Maclise, Jerdan caused a sensation in London by cutting the picture into shreds, and thus, as he claimed, destroying ‘the bone of contention.’ The exploit was the occasion of many witty epigrams. Jerdan also assisted to promote the formation of the Royal Geographical Society (between 1828 and 1830), and of the Melodists' and the Garrick clubs. In 1826 he was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and joined the convivial club of the Noviomagians formed of his colleagues in the society. He was an original member of the Camden Society (1838), for which he edited the ‘Rutland Papers’ (1842) and the ‘Perth Correspondence,’ and was on the council of the Percy Society.
About 1826 Jerdan projected, in conjunction with his friend Sir J. F. Leicester, lord de Tabley, an elaborate ‘British Ichthyology,’ but although a prospectus was drawn up, De Tabley's death in 1827 prevented the scheme from going further. In the same year Jerdan collected some articles which had appeared in the ‘Gazette,’ and were chiefly written by Coutts Trotter, in a volume entitled ‘National Polity Finance, a Plan for establishing a Sterling Currency.’
In 1827 Colburn, offended with Jerdan's politics and some of his literary criticisms, aided John Silk Buckingham [q. v.] in founding the ‘Athenæum.’ Many rivals to the ‘Gazette’ had been begun and had failed, and the new venture at first showed so few signs of stability, that its proprietor offered to sell it to Jerdan. Jerdan declined the offer, but in July 1831 the price of the ‘Athenæum’ was reduced from eightpence to fourpence, while the ‘Gazette’ remained at the higher price. The older paper found itself over-matched, and its circulation gradually declined.
In 1829 Jerdan published anonymously a skit on the rage for publishing books of travel, under the title ‘Personal Narrative of a Journey overland from the Bank to Barnes’ (cf. Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. ii. 339, 396). In 1831 he contributed a tale entitled ‘The Sleepless Woman’ to ‘The Club Book,’ ii. 33 sq., and established a ‘Foreign Literary Gazette,’ but it died on reaching its thirteenth number. Between 1830 and 1834 Jerdan brought out annually a volume of memoirs of contemporary celebrities, which was illustrated with portraits, and was entitled ‘The National Portrait Gallery of the Nineteenth Century’ (5 vols. 4to). It was best known, from the name of its publisher, as ‘Fisher's National Portrait Gallery.’ In 1839 he published an elaborate plan of a ‘National Association for the Encouragement and Patronage of Authors and Men of Talent and Genius,’ and although he secured the support of many men of rank and wealth, the scheme proved abortive. Jerdan had personally suffered much pecuniary misfortune. The failure of Whitehead's bank in 1808 and the panic of 1826 both injured him severely, and later the dishonesty of a friend, to whom he had entrusted his savings for investment, utterly ruined him. He was compelled to sell his