Historical & Special Collections is pleased to hold six pencil drawings by the British cartoonist and illustrator Edward Tennyson Reed (1860-1933). In the introduction to Reed’s memoirs, compiler Shane Leslie writes, “He excelled in the painless —gentlemanly caricature – never brutal or bestial….Whomsoever he caricatured…he made loveable.”
A number of Reed’s drawings in our collection deal with legal cases dating from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries. One featured case is Armory v. Delamirie, (1722) 1 Strange 505; 93 E.R. 664 (King’s Bench). Armory, a chimney sweeper’s boy found a jewel in the setting of a ring, which he took to Delamirie’s shop for appraisal. When the jewel wasn’t returned to him, Armory brought an action against Delamirie. The court found that both plaintiff and defendant had property rights but as finder, Armory had better title to property and was awarded the maximum value for the jewel.
E.T. Reed was born March 27, 1860, in Greenwich, London to Sir Edward James Reed and Rosetta (Barnaby) Reed. After studying at Calderon’s Art School Reed tried working as a portrait painter but when this failed he focused on illustration and cartoons. As a young man, he would accompany his father to the House of Commons where he would sketch politicians in action. This experience paid off and in June 1889 Reed went on to contribute to Punch magazine, becoming a permanent staff member the following year. From 1894-1912 he served as the magazine’s parliamentary caricaturist. After leaving Punch, Reed contributed to The Bystander, the Passing Show, the Sunday Times, Pall Mall Gazette, Sunday Evening Telegraph, and the Evening Standard. He preferred pencil but also drew in pen, ink, and wash. Reed died July 12, 1933, in London after a long illness.
Close up of E.T. Reed’s signature
Detail from Armory v. Delamirie. XVII.
If you are interested in more of Reed’s work, Punch has a great website with a selection of cartoons from over the years.
1890 Punch cartoon by E.T. Reed titled: Automatic Arbitration
1901 Punch cartoon by E.T. Reed titled: Reviving “a certain splendid memory.”
Mark Bryant, Dictionary of twentieth-century British cartoonists and caricaturists, Aldershot, England: Ashgate, 2000.
Mark Bryant and Simon Heneage, Dictionary of British cartoonists and caricaturists, 1730–1980, Aldershot, England: Scolar Press, 1994.
E. V. Knox, ‘Reed, Edward Tennyson (1860–1933)’, rev. Jane Newton, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/35708, accessed 13 Feb 2014]
Edward Reed Tennyson, Edward Tennyson Reed, 1860-1933; a memoir compiled by Shane Leslie from an incomplete autobiography with a choice of his caricatures made by Kenneth Bird, London: Heinemann, .