Sir Thomas Wemyss Reid (29 March 1842 – 26 February 1905) was an English newspaper editor, novelist and biographer.
Reid was born at Newcastle upon Tyne in 1842, the son of a Congregational minister
He became chief reporter on the Newcastle Journal aged 19. His reporting of the Hartley Colliery disaster (1862) established his reputation regionally, and two years later he was appointed editor of the Preston Guardian.He was made London correspondent of the Leeds Mercury in 1867, becoming its editor three years later. He reminisced of the changes he had made to the working methods of the Mercury:
When I was appointed editor of the Leeds Mercury I was told that I need never trouble to come to the office in the evening. If I looked in during the afternoon, and wrote my leader and notes, I would do all that was necessary. In those days, the provincial daily editor did not think of forming a judgement of his own on current events. When the pile of London dailies came in, he would read their leaders and base his own on them. In that way he was always a day behind London. I tried to change all that. I was down in my office each night, and I wrote my leaders on the telegraphic news as it came in . When Charles Dickens died, the news came in about eleven at night, and we went to press at one. I wrote a leader on Dickens's death, and that, I believe, was the only comment that appeared next day in any provincial daily on the matter. Other editors awoke to the fact that they, too, must no longer depend on London, and the old, easy-going times everywhere passed away.
He won the right for provincial newspapers to be admitted to the House of Commons press gallery and was (notes his entry in the ODNB ) "the first to establish a provincial paper as a real rival to the London press, in the quality of its news and comment, and in its access to behind-the-scenes information".He held the editorship for seventeen years, until in 1887 he moved to London to become a director and general manager of Cassell & Co, the London publishers, a post he held until his death. From 1890 to 1899, he was the editor-in-chief of the moderate Liberal magazine The Speaker .
He wrote a number of biographies, principally of W E Forster (a personal friend), and of Richard Monckton Milnes, 1st Baron Houghton, but also including one of Charlotte Brontë.He also wrote a book on Tunisia, "Land of the Bey", and a number of popular novels, including "Gladys Fane".
On his death the Yorkshire Post , the Leeds-based rival of the Mercury described him as an inveterate political wire-puller who had known more about the formation of William Ewart Gladstone's administration in 1892 that anybody else outside the official circles.He was knighted in 1894.
Reid died in 1905 and is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London. A former subordinate offered the following pen-portrait:
His style, if direct and clever, was common place, and his manner of speech retained more than a suggestion of Northern provincialism. But at every point and in every situation he had a personality that impressed. He was self-willed, self-assured, and if provoked eminently combative. It was not by suavity alone that he made his way. He could fight, and I know that in politics at any rate he was a tolerably good hater. He was afraid of nobody. Rather below the medium height, without any particular graces of person or of address, he could hold his own anywhere. He talked well and unaffectedly, and in his eyes, which had a curious scintillating brightness, there ever seemed to lurk a shrewd and humorous patronage of all men and things.
Among his more permanent writings are:
He pronounced Heathcliff, from Wuthering Heights, "the greatest villain of literature." (From "A character study from "Wuthering Heights," The Nassau Literary Magazine (1848–1908); Apr 1879; 34, 9; American Periodicals Series Online).
Wuthering Heights is an 1847 novel by Emily Brontë, initially published under her pen name Ellis Bell. It concerns two families of the landed gentry living on the West Yorkshire moors, the Earnshaws and the Lintons, and their turbulent relationships with the Earnshaws' foster son, Heathcliff. The novel was influenced by Romanticism and Gothic fiction.
Edward Baines (1774–1848) was the editor and proprietor of the Leeds Mercury, politician, and the author of historical and geographic works of reference. On his death in 1848, the Leeds Intelligencer described his as "one who has earned for himself an indisputable title to be numbered among the notable men of Leeds".
Lyon Playfair, 1st Baron Playfair was a British scientist and Liberal politician who was Postmaster-General from 1873 to 1874.
William Edward Forster, PC, FRS was an English industrialist, philanthropist and Liberal Party statesman. His purported advocacy of the Irish Constabulary's use of lethal force against the National Land League earned him the nickname Buckshot Forster from Irish nationalists.
George Robert Gissing was an English novelist, who published 23 novels between 1880 and 1903. His best-known works have reappeared in modern editions. They include The Nether World (1889), New Grub Street (1891) and The Odd Women (1893).
John Forster was an important Victorian English biographer and literary critic.
Ludovic Stewart, 2nd Duke of Lennox and 1st Duke of Richmond, lord of the Manor of Cobham, Kent, was a Scottish nobleman who through their paternal lines was a second cousin of King James VI of Scotland and I of England. He was involved in the Plantation of Ulster in Ireland and the colonization of Maine in New England. Richmond's Island and Cape Richmond as well as Richmond, Maine, are named after him. His magnificent monument with effigies survives in Westminster Abbey.
Ellen Lawless Ternan, also known as Nelly Ternan or Nelly Wharton-Robinson, was an English actress known for association with the author Charles Dickens.
The Daily News was a national daily newspaper in the United Kingdom published from 1846 to 1930.
Mildmay Fane, 2nd Earl of Westmorland, styled Lord le Despenser between 1624 and 1628, was an English nobleman, politician and writer.
Farmers Guardian is a weekly newspaper aimed at the British farming industry. It provides comprehensive and topical news with Livestock, Arable and Machinery sections; as well as business information and latest market prices. It is sold nationally and is published each Friday. Based in Preston, Lancashire, it was for many years owned by United Business Media but it, and sister title Pulse, were sold to UK business-to-business publisher AgriBriefing in February 2012 in a deal worth £10 million.
Sir Edward Baines, also known as Edward Baines Jr, was a nonconformist English newspaper editor and Member of Parliament (MP).
The Lupton family in Yorkshire achieved prominence in ecclesiastical and academic circles in England in the Tudor era through the fame of Roger Lupton, provost of Eton College and chaplain to Henry VII and Henry VIII. By the Georgian era, the family was established as merchants and ministers in Leeds. Described in the city's archives as "landed gentry, a political and business dynasty", they had become successful woollen cloth merchants and manufacturers who flourished during the Industrial Revolution and traded throughout northern Europe, the Americas and Australia.
The Battle of Leeds took place during the First English Civil War on 23 January 1643, when a Parliamentarian force attacked the Royalist garrison of Leeds, Yorkshire. The attack was partly dictated by the need to maintain local support for the Parliamentarian cause; the Earl of Newcastle had recently shifted the balance of power in Yorkshire in the Royalists' favour with the addition of his 8,000-strong army, and sent one of his commanders, Sir William Savile to capture Leeds. The West Riding of Yorkshire relied on the cloth trade, and Ferdinando, Lord Fairfax sent his son, Sir Thomas Fairfax to bolster the defences of nearby Bradford, before agreeing to his request to attack Leeds.
(John) Joseph Knight (1829–1907) was an English dramatic critic and theatre historian.
Sir John Richard Robinson was an English journalist, manager and editor of the Daily News.
Edward Chapman was a British publisher who, with William Hall founded Chapman & Hall, publishers for Charles Dickens, William Thackeray, Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Anthony Trollope, Eadweard Muybridge and Evelyn Waugh among others.
Frederick Thomas Thorne, stage name Eric Thorne, was an English singer and actor in musical theatre and comic opera.
Fox Ghyll or Foxghyll, earlier Fox Gill, is a historic house near Ambleside in Cumbria, England, and is a Grade II listed building. It is a Regency building which seems to have been added to a much older house that was on the site. It was the home of many notable people including Thomas De Quincey over the next two centuries.
The Leeds Tiger is a taxidermy-mounted 19th-century Bengal tiger, displayed at Leeds City Museum in West Yorkshire, England. It has been a local visitor attraction for over 150 years.