Henry Nevinson

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Henry Woodd Nevinson (1856-1941) circa 1915

Henry Woodd Nevinson (11 October 1856 – 9 November 1941) was a British war correspondent during the Second Boer War and World War I, a campaigning journalist exposing slavery in western Africa, political commentator and suffragist.


He was known for his reporting on the Second Boer War, and slavery in Angola in 1904–1905.[1] In 1914 he co-founded the Friends' Ambulance Unit and later in World War I was a war correspondent, being wounded at Gallipoli.[2]


He was hired by Harper's Monthly Magazine to investigate rumours of a trade in slaves from Angola to the cocoa plantations of São Tomé. After a 450 mile journey inland he uncovered a trail of people being handed over to settle debts or seized by Portuguese agents and taken in shackles to the coastal towns. Once there he was enraged to find that Portuguese officials "freed" them and changed their status to that of voluntary workers who agreed to go to São Tomé for five years. Despite ill health so severe that he feared he had been poisoned Nevinson followed the slaves' journey to São Tomé. He found conditions on the plantations so harsh that one in five workers died each year. His account was serialised in the magazine from August 1905 and published as "A Modern Slavery" by Harper and Bros in 1906.

He was also a suffragist, being one of the founders in 1907 of the Men's League for Women's Suffrage.

In Nancy Cunard's pamphlet Authors Take Sides on the Spanish War, Nevinson gave his support to the Spanish Republicans and stated "I detest the cruel systems of persecution and suppression now existing under Hitler in Germany, Mussolini in Italy and Stalin in Russia".[3]


He married Margaret Wynne Jones; the artist Christopher Nevinson was their son.
Shortly after the death of his wife, Margaret, in 1933, Henry married his long-time friend and lover, fellow suffragist, Evelyn Sharp.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "NEVINSON, H. W.". Who's Who 59: p. 1295. 1907. 
  2. ^ See Nevinson's Fire of Life pp.304–318 for his time at the Dardanelles; he doesn't mention his own wound.
  3. ^ Nancy Cunard, Authors Take Sides on the Spanish War. Left Review, 1937. (p.21)

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