Doxat, Lewis (DNB00)


DOXAT, LEWIS (1773–1871), journalist, was born in the British West Indies in 1773. He came to London when a boy, and at an early age obtained a position under the manager of the ‘Morning Chronicle,’ in the office of which journal he remained twenty-five years. He afterwards entered the office of the ‘Observer.’ His connection with the ‘Observer,’ the oldest of existing weekly papers, started in 1792, dates as far back as 1804, and was continued until 1857, a period of fifty-three years. During most of this time he was manager of the paper and contributed greatly to its success. But notwithstanding his possession of literary ability and of extensive and varied information, it is said of him that he never wrote a single article or paragraph for the journal (Grant). When, in 1821, after the death of James Perry, the ‘Morning Chronicle’ was bought by Mr. Clements, the proprietor of the ‘Observer,’ Doxat returned to his old office and became manager of the daily paper, suffering great trials of patience from the dilatory ways of its editor, John Black [q. v.] In 1834 the two papers ceased to belong to the same proprietor, and a severance of the official connection between them took place. Doxat confined his attention again to the ‘Observer,’ which stood higher in reputation than any contemporary for its early and exclusive information on political affairs. In 1857 he gave up his position and moved from Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, to Haverstock Hill, where he died peacefully on 4 March 1871.

[Grant's Newspaper Press, iii. 34; The Newspaper Press, v. 94; Observer, 12 March 1871.]

R. H.