Thomas Wemyss Reid

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Sir Wemyss Reid.

Sir Thomas Wemyss Reid (29 March 1842 – 26 February 1905) was an English newspaper editor, novelist and biographer.

Early life[edit]

Reid was born at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1842.


He became chief reporter on the Newcastle Journal aged 19. While working on the Leeds Mercury (1870–87), he won the right for provincial newspapers to be admitted to the House of Commons press gallery.

He was made editor of the Leeds Mercury, and there, "he was 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", according to his profile in the ODNB.[1]

After being connected with various provincial newspapers – including as editor of the Leeds Mercury[2] – he came to London in 1887 as manager for Cassell & Co, the London publishers.

From 1890–99, he was the editor-in-chief of the moderate Liberal magazine The Speaker and wrote a number of biographies, 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.[3]

He was knighted in 1894. Reid died in 1905 and is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London.


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).


  1. ^ "Thomas Reid". 
  2. ^ The Victorian Age of English Literature by Margaret Oliphant, Lovell, Coryell & Company, 1892
  3. ^ "Reid, Sir (Thomas) Wemyss". Who's Who: p. 1343. 1905. 


External links[edit]