Edward Levy Lawson Burnham - Encyclopedia




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"EDWARD LEVY LAWSON BURNHAM, 1ST Baron (1833-1916), English newspaper proprietor, was born in London Dec. 28 1833. His father, Joseph Moses Levy (d. 1888) who married Esther Cohen, was managing proprietor of a paper manufacturing and printing company and proprietor of the Sunday Times. Edward Levy, who took the added surname of Lawson in 1875 in accordance with the will of an uncle, Lionel Lawson, was educated at University College school, London. On leaving school he entered his father's business, and there received a thorough training in the printing and paper trades. In June 1855, immediately after the stamp duty on newspapers had been removed, the Daily Telegraph and Courier (see 19.559) was started by Colonel Sleigh. In September it was acquired by Mr. J. M. Levy, in liquidation of the debt due to him for paper and printing. Edward Levy, who was already dramatic critic of the Sunday Times, now became editor of the Daily Telegraph, and 30 years later its managing proprietor and sole director. It was not until 1903 that he relinquished this position to his eldest son. He took a leading place in English journalism, and was largely instrumental in getting the paper duty abolished in 1861. He was more than once president of the Institute of Journalists, and was active in his support of press charities, especially as trustee and treasurer to the Newspaper Press Fund. In 1909 he presided over the first Imperial Press conference, held in London; in 1920 his son similarly presided at the conference held in Canada. On Lord Burnham's 80th birthday he was the recipient of an address signed by the leading journalists of the British Empire, the United States and many European countries, expressing their sense of his great services to journalism. He was created a baronet in 1892 and was raised to the peerage as Baron Burnham in 1903. He married Harriette Georgiana (d. 1897), daughter of the actor Benjamin Webster (see 28.459). He died in London Jan. 9 1916.

His eldest son, Harry Lawson Webster Lawson, Ist Viscount Burnham (1862-), was born in London Dec. 18 1862, and was educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford. He represented W. St. Pancras in the House of Commons from 1885 to 1892, E. Gloucestershire from 1893-5, and Tower Hamlets from 1905-6, and again from 1910-6. He was also a member of the London County Council from 1889-92 and from 1897 to 1904, as well as mayor of Stepney 1908-9. He succeeded to his father's barony in 1916, and was created a viscount in 1919. In his position as editor and managing proprietor of the Daily Telegraph he did valuable work during the World War. In 1917 he was included in the first gazette of the new Order of Companions of Honour. He was hon. colonel of the Royal Bucks Hussars. He married in 1884 Olive, daughter of Gen. Sir Henry de Bathe, Bart., but had no son. The heir to the barony in 1921 was, therefore, his brother, Col. William Arnold Webster Lawson (b. 1864) .

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