Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Pardon, George Frederick

PARDON, GEORGE FREDERICK (1824–1884), miscellaneous writer, descended from a Cornish family, was born in London in 1824. He was educated at a private school, and at the age of fifteen entered the printing office of Stevens & Pardon in Bell Yard, Temple Bar. Soon afterwards he contributed articles to the ‘Old Monthly’ and the ‘Sunbeam,’ periodicals edited by Heraud. In 1841–2 he sub-edited the ‘Evening Star,’ and became intimate with most of the radical leaders. From 1847 to 1850 he edited ‘The People's and Howitt's Journal,’ and in the summer of the latter year he joined the staff of John Cassell [q. v.] as editor of the ‘Working Man's Friend.’ In 1851 he projected the ‘Illustrated Exhibitor,’ a weekly description of the Great Exhibition, which was revived in 1862, and afterwards merged in the ‘Magazine of Art.’ In 1851 he also projected and edited for Cassell the ‘Popular Educator’ and others of Cassell's educational publications. In 1854–5 he was engaged as editor of the ‘Family Friend’ and the ‘Home Companion;’ and he assisted in launching ‘Orr's Circle of Sciences.’ In 1861–2 he wrote for Messrs. Routledge a ‘Guide to the Exhibition,’ the ‘Popular Guide to London,’ besides numerous handbooks to chess, draughts, and card games, still published separately, and as a volume entitled ‘Hoyle Modernised.’ Under the pseudonym of ‘Captain Crawley’ he produced ‘The Billiard Book,’ ‘Games for Gentlemen,’ and about twenty other volumes descriptive of games, sports, and pastimes. Most of them were reproduced in America. For the ninth edition of the ‘Encyclopædia Britannica’ he wrote the articles on ‘Billiards’ and ‘Bagatelle.’ Among Pardon's other works are: 1. ‘The Faces in the Fire; the Shadows on the Wall; with other Tales and Sketches,’ London, 1856, 8vo. 2. ‘Dogs, their Sagacity, Instinct, and Uses,’ illustrated by Harrison Weir, London, 1857 and [1877], 8vo. 3. ‘Stories about Animals,’ London [1858], 8vo. 4. ‘Stories about Birds,’ London [1858], 8vo. 5. ‘Tales from the Operas,’ London, 1858, 12mo. 6. ‘Boldheart the Warrior, and his Adventures in the Haunted Wood: a Tale of the Times of good King Arthur,’ illustrated by Gustave Doré,’ London, 1859, 8vo. 7. ‘Caleb Worthington's Wish.’ 8. ‘Illustrious Women who have distinguished themselves for Virtue, Piety, and Benevolence,’ London, [1868], 8vo. 9. ‘Noble by Heritage,’ a novelette, London, 1877, 8vo; in addition to ‘The Little Traveller,’ ‘Parlour Pastimes,’ and numerous books for boys. Pardon died suddenly on 5 Aug. 1884, at the Fleur de Lis Hotel, Canterbury, while on a visit to that city.

In 1847 he married Rosina Wade (she died in 1889), and he had three sons, Charles Frederick, Sydney Herbert, and Edgar Searles, all of whom were engaged in literature and journalism. His eldest son Charles Frederick Pardon, who died on 18 April 1890, edited ‘Wisden's Cricketer's Almanack’ (1887–90), and wrote, conjointly with A. S. Wilks, a work entitled ‘How to play Solo Whist.’

[Private information; Times, 6 Aug. 1884, p. 8, col. 2; Men of the Time (1884), p. 860.]

T. C.