Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

An Account of, notable events, Persons and town history - online book

Home | Order | Support | About | Contact | Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

Chap. XX.] " The Times" Newspaper.                   273
held TTth of frds of 1th of xVths. Details of this kind need a competent knowledge of Colenso's Arithmetic. For the reasons just given, I have known a great deal about the inner history of The Times throughout my life, but this is not the time nor the place to say all that I could say. Much of the earlier history of the paper has already been made public in various ways and at various times, and some of its later history has become public through Mr. Dasent's Life of J. T. Delane, its famous Editor, and in other ways. Its history in recent years has mainly centred round John Walter, the 3rd of that name, successively M.P. for Nottingham and Berkshire, who succeeded his father as Manager in 1847 and died in 1894. He and his son and successor Arthur were often designated as "Chief" proprietors of The Times. This is an entire mistake. They were both of them minority share-holders ; indeed very minority share-holders, for their holdings were no more than about ith, leaving Iths held by other people, brothers and cousins and others. The prominent position occupied by the late John Walter in the public eye was due to the fact that he was Printer and Sole Manager, free of any direct control on the part of his fellow proprietors. This was for them the unfortunate result of the autocratic terms by which the founder of the paper provided, or tried to provide, for its management in perpetuity in the hands of one member of one branch of the families which now are his descendants. If the proprietors other than those of the John Walter chain, had had some co-ordinate authority to control the concern, it would not have been involved in the losses, pecuniary and moral, resulting from the ill-judged Parnell escapade. This was a praise­worthy and patriotic move in its conception, but as the event proved, it lacked an adequate basis for success. The one man personally responsible for it was Mr. John Cameron Macdonald, the manager of the mechanical department at Printing-house Square, who had rendered good service to the paper during the stirring events of the Crimean War, when The Times with the further assistance of Mr. W. H. Russell, did a very great deal to
Previous Contents Next