Reviewer, writer, and publisher.
Mr. Stuart Johnson Reid, who died at is residence at East Grinstead on Saturday at the age of 78, had done much work as reviewer, writer, and publisher.
The son of the Rev. Alexander Reid, of Newcastle, he came of Liberal and Nonconformist stock, though in later years, and indeed even before the war, he had come to regard modern Liberalism as incompatible with the Gladstonian tradition of respect for individual liberty. Like his brother, the late Sir Wemyss Reid, he began early in journalism, but, unlike that champion of Liberalism, found his chief employment in literary criticism. For 14 years he was was the chief reviewer of the Leeds Mercury and for 30 years he was on the literary staff of the old Standard. He was also a regular contributor to the Speaker. From 1891 to 1898 he was a director of Sampson, Low and Co. Later he became literary adviser to Cassell's and then literary director and editor-in-chief to Isbister and Co. (Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons). In 1907 he joined the firm of Duckworth and Co., and retired in 1914.
As a publisher Reid's marked business capacity found congenial scope, but it was not for business reasons alone that he delighted in discovering new authors of merit. He was a real bookman, who combined a scholarly habit of mind with wide reading and discriminating taste. He was editor of the "Queen Victoria's Prime Ministers" series, and he edited the memoirs of his brother, Sir Wemyss Reid, and of Sir Edward Blount. His own works were chiefly in the field of biography. He published "Representative Men in the Reign of Queen Victoria," and memoirs of Sydney Smith, Lord John Russell, and Sir Richard Tangye. His edition of the life and letters of the first Earl of Durham brought him the honorary degree of D.C.L. from Durham University. He also published an annotated catalogue of historical tracts from the reign of Queen Elizabeth to that of George III., forming the Redpath collection presented to McGill University. At the request of the eighth Duke of Marlborough he arranged and catalogued the State and family MSS. at Blenheim and drew up a report, 1889-90, which remains in manuscript, and in 1896 to 1900 he was occupied in forming a historical library at Blenheim to take the place of the old Sunderland library. The only published result of his researches was is book on the first Duke and Sarah Duchess of Marlborough from the Blenheim archives, which appeared in 1914. He was a director of the British Equitable Assurance Company and of the Kelani Valley Rubber Produce Company.
Reid was a kindly man with many friends who delighted in his recollections of old times and in his friendly interest and sympathy. His later years were shadowed by the illness of his wife, but nothing exceed his unselfish devotion to her condition of confirmed invalid. He leaves no issue.