This was originally issued on a monthly basis, the first number appearing on 1st July 1851. Initially there was an ‘Editorial Committee’, with William Cunningham as the ‘Revising Editor’, but by September 1852 the burden had devolved on Begg. He continued to act as editor until 1872.
‘From the first Dr Begg was [The Bulwark’s] ruling spirit, and for twentyone years he was its editor. It was his frequent boast that, although he wrote most uncompromising articles, and published in every issue equally uncompromising articles by others, and although the Romanists were constantly on the watch, they never found an opportunity of bringing one action of libel against him. He used also to state with much satisfaction and gratitude that every one of the 250 numbers which bore his name as editor was bona fide edited and arranged by himself, and that not one failed to be issued on the proper day’ (Memoirs of James Begg, 1888, vol. 1, pp.175-6).His biographer, Thomas Smith, who was also his successor as editor of The Bulwark wrote:
In 1852 the circulation of The Bulwark was 30,000, and it remained high as long as Begg was editor, but declined soon after his retirement. A large picture of Begg hangs in the Magdalen Chapel.