YORKSGEN-L ArchivesArchiver > YORKSGEN > 2000-05 > 0957434073
From: Roy Stockdill <>
Subject: Hannen Swaffer
Date: Thu, 4 May 2000 05:54:33 -0400
Beth Wearing asked.....
>>Has anyone on the list heard of this gentleman-------Roy? A friend
believes he is a relative but we can'y find anythimg sensible about him
on the Net.<<
HANNEN SWAFFER was one of the most famous British journalists of all time -
literally a legend of Fleet Street. He was a reporter, editor, columnist
and crusading journalist for over 50 years. He was a staunch Socialist and
a great spiritualist (an unusual combination) and an eccentric character.
He had a mop of straggly white hair and wore a frock coat that was always
covered in cigarette ash, since he always had a cigarette hanging
permanently out of the side of his mouth. His famous nickname was "Swaff".
He started in newspapers around the turn of the century, joined the Daily
Mail under the equally legendary press baron Lord Northcliffe and was
editing a national paper by 1925 (the People). He wrote a column for many
years for the former Daily Herald, a Socialist paper that no longer exists,
and also for the People. He died in 1962 aged 82. Sadly, I never met him,
since he was near the end of his life when I was just starting out in
journalism, but to older newspapermen today he is still one of those names
that is spoken with reverence and awe. Probably one of the greatest
journalists of all time. Here is is entry from the (truncated) Dictionary
of National Biography on CC-ROM.....
"Swaffer, Hannen (1879-1962) , journalist; educated at Stroud Green Grammar
School, Kent; reporter on Folkestone paper; joined Daily Mail , under the
future Lord *Northcliffe , 1902; editor, Weekly Dispatch ; helped transform
Daily Mirror into mass-circulation paper; invented `Mr Gossip' for Daily
Sketch , 1913; and `Mr London' for Daily Graphic ; editor, the People ;
drama critic, Daily Express , 1926; joined Daily Herald , 1931; espoused
socialism and became a spiritualist; said to write nearly a million words a
year; resigned from Labour party, 1957; publications include Northcliffe's
Return (1925), Really Behind the Scenes (1929), Hannen Swaffer's Who's Who
(1929), Adventures with Inspiration (1929), When Men Talk Truth (1934), My
Greatest Story (1945), and What Would Nelson Do? (1946)."
I am afraid I know nothing of his ancestry, though. I suggest your friend
trawls a few libraries and looks in the section on the British press.
Swaffer has been mentioned in many books and, as you can see from the
above, wrote a few himself.
Editor, The Journal of One-Name Studies
The Stockdill Family History Society (Guild of One-Name Studies, FedFHS)
STOCKDILL PREST YELLOW BOLTON WORSNOP
GIBSON MIDGLEY BRACEWELL SHACKLETON BRADLEY MOODY in Yorkshire North &
MEAD YOUNG in Somerset, Wiltshire & Gloucestershire
Web page of the Stockdill Family History Society:-
Never ask a man if he comes from Yorkshire. If he does he will tell you.
If he does not, why humiliate him?" - Canon Sydney Smith (scholar and