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In 1752 Thornton founded the Drury Lane Journal, a satirical periodical which, among other things, lampooned other journals such as Johnson's Rambler, The Gentleman's Magazine and The London Magazine. Twelve issues were published between January and April, 1752. From 1754 to 1756 he published, with George Colman, a six-page weekly serial, The Connoisseur, which, although criticised by Dr. Johnson for lack of substance, ran to 140 issues. He was a frequent contributor to The Gentleman's Magazine.
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