Page:Dictionary of National Biography, Second Supplement, volume 3.djvu/188

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public places of business were closed during the funeral.

Reid's integrity was unquestioned, his judgment was sound, and his disposition generous. His relations with labour were invariably harmonious: he never had a strike and never employed a private secretary. He left large sums to charitable and educational institutions. In 1865 he married Harriet Duff, whom he met on his way out to Australia. She survived him with three sons and a daughter. The eldest son, William Duff Reid, succeeded his father as president of the Reid Company, and the second, Henry Duff Reid, became vice-president.

[Morgan, Canadian Men and Women of the Time, 1898, 2nd edit. 1912; Prowse, History of Newfoundland, pp. 619-29 (portrait); Canadian Mag. xvi. 329-34 (portrait); Montreal Gazette, 19 June 1908; Montreal Witness, 3 June 1908; Montreal Star, 3 and 8 June 1908; St. John's, Newfoundland, Royal Gazette, 21 Dec. 1898; Free Press, 24 July 1901; St. John's Daily News, 25-29 July 1901; St. John's Evening Herald, 23 July 1901; Toronto Mail, 19 Aug. 1901; Toronto Star, 4 June 1908; personal information.]

D. R. K.


REID, Sir THOMAS WEMYSS (1842–1905), journalist and biographer, born in Elswick Row, Newcastle-on-Tyne, on 29 March 1842, was second son of Alexander Reid, congregational minister of that town from 1830 to 1880, by his second wife, Jessy Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Wemyss (d. 1845) of Darlington, a Hebrew scholar and biblical critic of distinction. After a short stay at Madras College, St. Andrews, where he had brain fever, Reid was educated at Percy Street Academy, Newcastle, by John Collingwood Bruce [q. v. Suppl. I]. In 1856 he became a clerk in the 'W. B.' [i.e. Wentworth Beaumont] Lead office at Newcastle, Cherishing as a boy literary aspirations, at fifteen he sent papers on local topics to the 'Northern Daily Express.' These attracted the notice of the proprietor, who had him taught shorthand. Reid did occasional reporting work at seventeen; and a local cartoon, labelled 'The Press of Newcastle,' depicted him at the time as a boy in a short jacket perched on a stool taking down a speech. Another boyish exploit was the foundation near his father's chapel of 'The West End Literary Institute,' which included a penny bank. In July 1861 he gave up his clerkship for a journalistic career, becoming chief reporter on the 'Newcastle Journal.' His brilliant descriptive report of the Hartley colliery accident in January 1862 was issued as a pamphlet, and realised 40l. for the relief of the victims' families.

In 1863 Reid varied reporting with leader-writing and dramatic criticism. In June 1864 he was appointed editor of the bi-weekly 'Preston Guardian,' the leading journal in North Lancashire; and in January 1866 he moved to Leeds to become head of the reporting staff of the 'Leeds Mercury,' a daily paper founded and for more than a century owned by the Baines family. He maintained a connection with that journal for the rest of his life. From the autumn of 1867 till the spring of 1870 Reid was London representative of the paper. In order to gain admission to the press gallery of the House of Commons he had to become an occasional reporter for the London 'Morning Star,' then edited by Justin McCarthy. He subsequently took a leading part in the movement which resulted in 1881 in the opening of the gallery to the provincial press. An acquaintance with William Edward Baxter [q. v. Suppl. I], secretary to the admiralty, placed at his disposal important political information which gave high interest to his articles.

Reid at this time lived on intimate terms with Sala, James Macdonell [q. v.], W. H. Mudford, and other leading journalists. Meanwhile he sent descriptive articles to 'Chambers's Journal' and formed a life-long friendship with the editor, James Payn. To the 'St. James's Magazine,' edited by Mrs. Riddell, he sent sketches of statesmen which were republished as 'Cabinet Portraits,' his first book, in 1872.

On 15 May 1870 Reid returned to Leeds, to act as editor of the 'Leeds Mercury.' The paper rapidly developed under his alert control. In 1873 he opened on its behalf a London office, sharing it with the 'Glasgow Herald,' and arranged with the 'Standard' for the supply of foreign intelligence. His policy was that of moderate liberalism. A 'writing editor' with an extremely able pen, he was the first provincial editor to bring a newspaper published far from the capital into line with its London rivals alike in the collection of news of the first importance, and in political comments on the proceedings of parliament. He successfully challenged the views of 'The Times' as to the sea-worthiness of the Captain, which was sunk with its designer, Captain Cowper Coles [q. v.], on 7 Sept. 1870; and he obtained early intelligence of Gladstone's intended dissolution of parliament in 1874. Reid upheld Forster's education bill against