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W.T. Stead Timeline

  • 1849: Born on July 5th to Rev. William Stead and Isabella Stead at Embleton Manse, Northumberland.
  • 1850-60: Family removed to Howdon-on-Tyne. Stead educated at home by his father.
  • 1861: Went to Silcoates School for the sons of Congregational ministers to finish his education.
  • 1863-70: Wrote several essays (“Coal”, “The Villains of Shakespeare”, and “Oliver Cromwell”) for prize competition in the Boys’ Own Magazine. Engaged as a clerk in a counting house on Quayside (Newcastle-on-Tyne). Began to write for the Darlington Northern Echo.
  • 1871-80: Became Editor of the Northern Echo. Married Emma Lucy, daughter of Henry Wilson, of Howdon-on-Tyne. Supported Josephine Butler’s campaign against the Contagious Diseases Acts. Agitated against Turkish atrocities in Bulgaria, following A. J. MacGahan’s frontline dispatches to The Daily News. Became acquainted with Madame Olga Novikoff, Gladstone, Thomas Carlyle and Albert, 4th Earl Grey.
  • 1880-82: Left The Northern Echo to assist John Morley at The Pall Mall Gazette.
  • 1883-90: Became editor of The Pall Mall Gazette. Interviewed General Gordon, which led to the latter’s dispatch to Khartoum. Backed Andrew Mearns pamphlet, “The Bitter Cry of Outcast London”. Launched “The Truth About the Navy” campaign. Published “The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon.” Stood trial at Bow Street and the Old Bailey with Bramwell Booth. Sampson Jacques, Mrs. Coombes, and Mrs. Jarrett on charges of abduction and indecent assault. Was sentenced to three months inprisonment. Took up the causes of Mrs. Langworthy and Florence Maybrick. Visited Russia, was received by Tsar Alexander III, and published The Truth About Russia. Visited Rome and published The Pope and the New Era.
  • 1890: Resigned editorship of The Pall Mall Gazette. Co-founded the Review of Reviews with Sir George Newness. Bought out Newness’ interest and became sole owner. Published The Story that Transformed the World.
  • 1891: Published Character Sketches and Real Ghost Stories. Founded the American Review of Reviews.
  • 1892: Published More Ghost Stories. Founded the Australasian Review of Reviews.
  • 1893: Founded Borderland, a spiritualist quarterly. Visited America and the Chicago World’s Fair. Wrote Two and Two Make Four. Tried (and failed) to float The Daily Paper, an organ funded by subscriptions paid a year in advance.
  • 1894: Published If Christ Came to Chicago and The Splendid Paupers.
  • 1895: Started Books for the Bairns and The Masterpiece Library of Penny Poets, Novels, and Prose Classics. Published Blastus, the King’s Chamberlain.
  • 1896: Published The History of the Mystery; or, the Skeleton in Blastus’s Cupboard.
  • 1897: Visited America. Published Satan’s Invisible World: a Study of Despairing Democracy, and Letters from Julia. Publication of Borderland discontinued.
  • 1898: Visited Russia; twice received by Nicholas II. Embarked on a whistle-stop tour of Europe to promote Tsar Nicholas’ scheme for Peace. Attended the Hague Peace Conference.
  • 1899-1903: Published The United States of Europe. Opposed the South African War (Boer War). Began anti-war periodical War Against War in South Africa and published Shall I Slay My Brother Boer? Visited Oberammergau to witness the Passion Play. Published The Conference of the HagueThe Americanisation of the WorldThe Last Will and Testament of Cecil John Rhodes, and The Despised Sex.
  • 1904: Made first visit to the theatre. Founded The Daily Paper, which collapsed after only a few weeks. Narrowly avoided bancruptcy and suffered nervous breakdown. Made a controversial visited to South Africa with daughter Estelle. Published Here Am I, Send Me.
  • 1905-07: Visited Russia. Published Tales and Talks of Tolstoy. Visited America. Revisited The Hague and edited Courrier de la Conference. Suffered a second breakdown following the death (through septicaemia) of his eldest son “Willy” .
  • 1909-11: Published The M.P. for Russia: Reminiscences and Correspondence of Madam Olga Novikov. Revisited Oberammergau. Gave evidence at the Divorce Commission.Visited Constantinople.
  • 1912: Accepted an all-expenses-paid invitation to speak at the next congress of the Men and Religion Forward Movement at Carnegie Hall (New York). Perished en route on the R.M.S Titanic on the morning of April 15.