Cartoon portraits and biographical sketches of men of the day/William Tinsley


Among our portraits are included some few of those gentlemen who, not being known in the strict sense as literary men, are identified with literary interests. We have already given Mr. W. H. Smith, M.P. for Westminster, and Mr. Mudie, the well-known librarian; we now add Mr. William Tinsley, of 18 Catherine-street, Strand, the proprietor of 'Tinsleys' Magazine,' whom we have selected as a representative publisher.

Mr. William Tinsley trades under the name of Tinsley Brothers; he has, however, no brother in partnership with him, nor has he had for several years past. The business known as 'Tinsley Brothers' was founded some twenty years ago by William and Edward Tinsley, hence the name under which the business is still carried on by the surviving partner. Mr. Edward Tinsley was, we believe, the younger brother of the two, and at his death, six or seven years ago, the business came into the sole possession of the present proprietor.

William Tinsley was born, in the year 1830, at the village of South Mimms, in the county of Middlesex; and we hope we are violating no confidence when we mention that he was sent to work by his father as a farmer's boy before he was twelve years old; that the only actual schooling he ever received was at the national school at South Mimms, and this for no more than a few months.

At the age of fourteen, young William Tinsley was offered the chance of learning a trade. He availed himself of the opportunity thus afforded him; and it was with the few pounds he had saved whilst working at his trade that he, with his brother Edward, opened a small shop in the Strand for the sale of second-hand books. But the brothers were not long content with being merely booksellers: they soon began to print and publish books on their own account. The few books they published to start with
"Tinsley Brothers"


bore the name of William Tinsley only as publisher. Before long they removed to premises in Catherine-street, where the publishing business of the firm of Tinsley Brothers has since that time been carried on.

From a farmer's boy, with two shillings or half a crown a week for wages, to the position Mr. William Tinsley now holds as a publisher, is no ordinary leap in life, especially when it must be taken into consideration that he had only the advantage in early life of the most rudimentary education. Mr. Tinsley is now, we believe, sometimes a contributor upon dramatic and social subjects to the pages of his own magazine. The story of William Tinsley's life, if told at length, would no doubt add but one more to the thousands of proofs of what perseverance and pluck can accomplish when put to the test.

⁂The Editor of this volume, and indeed Mr. William Tinsley himself, are both aware that the short statement of the rise and progress of the firm of Tinsley Brothers, and the few particulars about Mr. Tinsley's own life, will be interesting to but a small portion, if any, of ths reading public; nor would the statement have been put forth but for very good reasons.