The history of Guardian Media Group began in 1821 with the launch of what was then the Manchester Guardian. The paper was founded by the reformer John Edward Taylor in the aftermath of the Peterloo Massacre, when cavalry charged into a crowd of protesters who were calling for the reform of parliamentary representation.
In 1872 Taylor's nephew, CP Scott, became editor at just 26 years old. 'CP', as he was known, held the post for the next 57 years. During his tenure the paper, which he bought in 1907, achieved national and international recognition, and became a potent force in British public life.
After CP's death in 1932, the Scott family examined ways to protect his legacy of independent, liberal journalism and the ethos of public service his newspaper embodied.
In 1936, in an act of extraordinary generosity and sacrifice, the family put all its shares in the business into a trust, from which no individual could ever benefit financially. The sole purpose of the Scott Trust was to secure the future of the Guardian.
The Scott Trust's protection has now lasted for more than 70 years. It remains the sole owner of the Guardian and the wider Guardian Media Group. During the latter decades of the twentieth century the business expanded and diversified in order to provide greater financial support and protection to the Guardian. Today GMG is a leading multimedia business, but its profits do not flow to shareholders or proprietors. It exists to deliver the Scott Trust's core purpose – the financial and editorial independence of the Guardian – and all its profits are reinvested in pursuit of that goal.