Cover of The Commonweal, January 1886
William Morris, founder of the League, was its chief writer, money finder and "responsible head". John Turner, Ernest Belfort Bax and Eleanor Marx also regularly contributed articles. Its publishing office was at Great Queen Street, London.
In 1890, Morris resigned as editor and was replaced by the anarchist David Nicholl. (Morris went on to publish the Hammersmith Socialist Record, the paper of the Hammersmith Socialist Society.) Nicholl published an article on the Walsall Anarchists, and in May 1892 was sentenced to eighteen months hard labour. H. B. Samuels then became acting editor. On Nicholl's release, the paper was closed and replaced by The Anarchist.
Historian Alex Butterworth believes that the staff of Commonweal "may have consisted entirely of informants, unbeknownst to each other," although "[e]ven today, with unprecedented access to police files, Butterworth is often unsure who was reporting back to the cops."