Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hood, Thomas (1835-1874)

HOOD, THOMAS, the younger (1835–1874), known as Tom Hood, humorist, only surviving son of Thomas Hood [q. v.], poet and humorist, was born at Lake House, Wanstead, Essex, 19 Jan. 1835. From March 1835 till 1838 he was with his parents abroad. After attending a private school at St. John's Wood, he went to University College School in 1845, and then to the grammar school at Louth, Lincolnshire. On 10 Jan. 1853 he matriculated from Pembroke College, Oxford, with a view to reading for the church; he passed his examinations, but did not take a degree. He early commenced writing. His first poem, ‘Farewell to the Swallows,’ appeared in ‘Sharpe's Magazine,’ 1853, ii. 44. While residing at Shutta, near Looe in Cornwall, in 1857, his first book, ‘Pen and Pencil Pictures,’ passed through the press, and soon reached a second edition. He obtained employment on the ‘Liskeard Gazette’ in 1856, and was editor during 1858–9. He lived in Cornwall till 1860. While there he was a frequent guest of Sir William and Lady Molesworth at Pencarrow. Chiefly through Lady Molesworth's interest he was admitted into the war office as a temporary clerk in the accountant-general's department on 11 July 1860. There he became a great favourite, and was noted for his skill as a caricaturist. He left the war office in May 1865 to become editor of ‘Fun,’ the comic newspaper which had been founded in 1861. Hood not only wrote much for his paper, but drew and engraved many of its illustrations. His jokes were somewhat mechanical, but his verses were always lively, and were produced with little effort. His ‘Rules of Rhyme, a Guide to English Versification,’ printed in 1869, was twice reissued (1877 and 1889). For the ‘Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine’ he wrote his best novel, ‘Captain Masters's Children,’ a work issued in three volumes in 1865. ‘Tom Hood's Comic Annual’ was first issued by him in 1867, and has been continued annually since. With his sister, Frances Freeling Broderip [q. v.], he illustrated and wrote many children's books, and throughout his life he practised painting, drawing, modelling, and carving. He died at Gloucestershire Cottage, Peckham Rye, Surrey, 20 Nov. 1874.

Hood's novels, besides that already noticed, include:

  1. ‘Vere Vereker's Vengeance,’ 1865.
  2. ‘A Golden Heart,’ a novel, 1867, 3 vols.; 1868.
  3. ‘The Lost Link,’ 1868, 3 vols.
  4. ‘Money's Worth,’ 1870, 3 vols.
  5. ‘Love and Valour,’ 1871, 3 vols.

His ‘Favourite Poems’ appeared at Boston, Massachusetts, 1877, with a memoir by his sister. Hood edited many miscellaneous collections in prose and verse.

[Favourite Poems, with a Memoir by his sister, F. F. Broderip, 1877; Gent. Mag. January 1875, pp. 77–88, by Henry W. Lucy; Illustrated Sporting News, 12 Aug. 1865, pp. 357, 363, with portrait; Illustrated London News, 28 Nov. 1874, p. 521, with portrait; Cartoon Portraits, 1873, p. 64, with portrait; Boase and Courtney's Bibl. Cornub. i. 252.]

G. C. B.