Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hunt, Thornton Leigh

HUNT, THORNTON LEIGH (1810–1873), journalist, eldest son of James Henry Leigh Hunt [q. v.] and his wife, Marianne Kent, was born in London on 10 Sept. 1810. When Leigh Hunt was in gaol in 1813, his son was constantly with him, and his presence there occasioned Lamb's verses addressed 'To T.L.H., a child.' In 1822 Hunt went with his parents to Italy. His father intended to make him an artist, and with this view Hunt passed some time in a studio. He soon, however wearied of the scheme, but he obtained work as an art critic. By Laman Blanchard's influence he became, in 1836, director of the political department of the 'Constitutional,' of which Blanchard was editor; and when that newspaper collapsed he edited the 'North Cheshire Reformer,' and later, at Glasgow, the `Argus.' Returning to London in 1840, he regularly contributed for twenty years to the 'Spectator.' He also wrote for other newspapers, among them the 'Globe' and the 'Morning Chronicle,' and for magazines, and in 1850 helped his friend George Henry Lewes [q. v.] to establish the 'Leader.' In 1855 he joined the staff of the `Daily Telegraph,' writing principally on political subjects, and practically editing it. He died on 25 June 1873. Hunt married Miss Catherine Gliddon, and had a large family by her; but he was irregular in his domestic relations, and was largely responsible for the separation of George Henry Lewes and his wife.

In addition to a few pamphlets, Hunt published a novel, 'The Foster Brother,' London, 1845, 8vo. He also edited his father's 'Autobiography,' London, 1850, 8vo, 'Poetical Works,' London, 1860, 8vo, and 'Correspondence,' London, 1862, 8vo.

[Leigh Hunt's Autob. i. 83, 85, &c., ii. 246, &c.; Corresp. of Leigh Hunt, ii. 146, 149, &c.; Lamb's Poems, Plays, and Misc. Essays, ed. Ainger, pp. 83, 383; Fox Bourne's English Newspapers; Men of the Reign, p. 456; Athenæum, 28 June 1873, p. 825.]

W. A. J. A.