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FREDERICK GREENWOOD (1830-19o9)

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Originally appearing in Volume V12, Page 555 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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FREDERICK GREENWOOD (1830-19o9), English journalist and man of letters, was born in April 183o. He was one of three brothers—the others being James and Charles—who all gained reputation as journalists. Frederick started life in a printing house, but at an early age began to write in periodicals. In 1853 he contributed a sketch of Napoleon III. to a volume called The Napoleon Dynasty (2nd ed., 1855). He also wrote several novels: The Loves of an Apothecary (1854), The Path of Roses (1859) and (with his brother James) Under a Cloud (186o). To the second number of the Cornhill Magazine he contributed " An Essay without End," and this led to an introduction to Thackeray. In 1862, when Thackeray resigned the editorship of the Cornhill, Greenwood became joint editor with G. H. Lewes. In 1864 he was appointed sole editor, a post which he held until 1868. While at the Cornhill he wrote an article in which he suggested, to some extent, how Thackeray might have intended to conclude his unfinished work Denis Duval, and in its pages appeared Margaret Denzil's History, Greenwood's most ambitious work of fiction, published in volume form in 1864. At that time Greenwood had conceived the idea of an evening newspaper, which, while containing " all the news proper to an evening journal," should, for the most part, be made up " of original articles upon the many things which engage the thoughts, or employ the energies, or amuse the leisure of mankind." Public affairs, literature and art, " and all the influences which strengthen or dissipate society " were to be discussed by men whose independence and authority were equally unquestionable. Canning's Anti-Jacobin and the Saturday Review of 1864 were the joint models Greenwood had before him. The idea was taken up by Mr George Smith, and the Pall Mall Gazette (so named after Thackeray's imaginary paper in Pendennis) was launched in February 1865, with Greenwood as editor. Within a few years he had come to exercise a great influence on public affairs. His views somewhat rapidly ripened from what was described as philosophic Liberal-ism into Conservatism. No minister in Great Britain, Mr Gladstone declared, ever had a more able, a more zealous, a more effective supporter for his policy than Lord Beaconsfield observatory. Greenwich Hospital, as it is still called, became in 1873 a Royal Naval College. Upon it or its site centre nearly all the historical associations of the place. The noble buildings, contrasting strangely with the wharves adjacent and opposite to it, make a striking picture, standing on the low river-bank with a background formed by the wooded elevation of Greenwich Park. They occupy the site of an ancient royal palace called Greenwich House, which was a favourite royal residence as early as 1300, but was granted by Henry V. to Thomas Beaufort, duke of Exeter, from whom it passed to Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, who largely improved the property and named it Placentia. It did not revert to the crown till his death in 1447. It was the birthplace of Henry VIII., Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, and here Edward VI. died. The building was enlarged by Edward IV., by Henry VIII., who made it one of his chief residences, by James I. and by Charles I., who erected the " Queen's House " for Henrietta Maria. The tenure of land from the. crown " as of the manor of East Greenwich " became at this time a recognized formula, and occurs in a succession of American colonial charters from those of Virginia in 16o6, 1609 and 1612 to that of New Jersey in 1674. Along with other royal palaces Greenwich was at the Revolution appropriated by the Protector, but it reverted to the crown on the restoration of Charles II., by whom it was pulled down, and the west wing of the present hospital was erected as part of an extensive design which was not further carried out. In its unfinished state it was assigned by the patent of William and Mary to certain of the great officers of state, as commissioners for its conversion into a hospital for seamen; and it was opened as such in 1705. The building consists of four blocks. Behind a terrace 86o ft. in length, stretching along the river side, are the buildings erected in the time of Charles II. from Inigo Jones's designs, and in that of Queen Anne from designs by Sir Christopher Wren; and behind these buildings are on the west those of King William and on the east those of Queen Mary, both from Wren's designs. In the King William range is the painted hall. Here in 18o6 the remains of Nelson lay in state before their burial in St Paul's Cathedral. Its walls and ceiling were painted by Sir James Thornhill with various emblematic devices, and it is hung with portraits of the most distinguished admirals and paintings of the chief naval battles of England. In the Queen Anne range is the Royal Naval Museum, containing models, relics of Nelson and of Franklin, and other objects. In the centre of the principal quadrangle of the hospital there is a statue of George II. by Rysbrack, sculptured out of a single block of marble taken from the French by Admiral Sir George Rooke. In the upper quadrangle is a bust of Nelson by Chantrey, and there are various other memorials and relics. The oldest part of the building was in some measure rebuilt in 1811, and the present chapel was erected to replace one destroyed by fire in 1779. The endowments of the hospital were increased at various periods from bequests and forfeited estates. Formerly 2700 retired seamen were boarded within it, and 5000 or 6oco others, called out-pensioners, received stipends at various rates out of its funds; but in 1865 an act was passed empowering the Admiralty to grant liberal pensions in lieu of food and lodging to such of the inmates as were willing to quit the hospital, and in 1869 another act was passed making their leaving on these conditions compulsory. It was then devoted to the accommodation of the students of the Royal Naval College, the Infirmary being granted to the Seamen's Hospital Society. Behind the College is the Royal Hospital School, where woo boys, sons of petty officers and seamen, are boarded. To the south of the hospital is Greenwich Park (185 acres); lying high, and commanding extensive views over London, the Thames and the plain of Essex. It was enclosed by Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, and laid out by Charles II., and contains a fine avenue of Spanish chestnuts planted in his time. In it is situated the Royal Observatory, built in 1675 for the advancement of navigation and nautical astronomy. From it the exact time is conveyed each day at one o'clock by electric signal to had in Greenwood. It was on the suggestion of Greenwood that Beaconsfield purchased in 1875 the Suez Canal shares of the Khedive Ismail; the British government being ignorant, until informed by Greenwood, that the shares were for sale and likely to be bought by France. It was characteristic of Greenwood that he declined to publish the news of the purchase of the shares in the Pall Mall before the official announcement was made. Early in 188o the Pall Mall changed owners, and the new proprietor required it to support Liberal policy. Greenwood at once resigned his editorship, but in May a new paper, the St James's Gazette, was started for him by Mr Henry Hucks Gibbs (afterwards Lord Aldenham), and Greenwood proceeded to carry on in it the tradition which he had established in the Pall Mall. At the St James's Greenwood remained for over eight years, continuing to exercise a marked influence upon political affairs, notably as a pungent critic of the Gladstone administration (188o–1885) and an independent supporter of Lord Salisbury. His connexion with the paper ceased in August 1888, owing to disagreements with the new proprietor, Mr E. Steinkopff, who had bought the St James's at Greenwood's own suggestion. In January 1891 Greenwood brought out a weekly review which he named the Anti-Jacobin. It failed, however, to gain public support, the last number appearing in January 1892. In 1893 he published The Lover's Lexicon and in 1894 Imagination in Dreams. He continued to express his views on political and social questions in contributions to newspapers and magazines, writing frequently in the Westminster Gazette, the Pall Mall, Blackwood, the Cornhill, &c. Towards the end of his life his political views reverted in some respects to the Liberalism of his early days. In the words of George Meredith " Greenwood was not only a great journalist, he had a statesman's head. The national interests were always urgent at his heart." He was remarkable for securing for his papers the services of the ablest writers of the day, and for the gift of recognizing merit in new writers, such, for instance, as Richard Jeffries and J. M. Barrie. His instinct for capacity in others was as sure as was his journalistic judgment. In 1905, on the occasion of his 75th birthday, a dinner was given in his honour by leading statesmen, journalists, and men of letters (with John Morley—who had succeeded him as editor of the Pall Mall—in the chair). In May 1907 he contributed to Blackwood an article on " The New Journalism," in which he drew a sharp contrast between the old and the new conditions under which the work of a newspaper writer is con-ducted. He died at Sydenham on the 14th of December 1909. See Honouring Frederick Greenwood, being a report of the speeches at the dinner on the 8th of April 1905 (London, privately printed, 1905); " Birth and Infancy of the Pall Mall Gazette," an article contributed by Greenwood to the Pall Mall of the 14th of April 1897; " The Blowing of the Trumpet " in the introduction to the St James's (May 31, 1880); obituary notices in the Athenaeum (Dec. 25, 1909) and The Times (Dec. 17, 1909).
End of Article: FREDERICK GREENWOOD (1830-19o9)
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