W.T. Stead to Benjamin Waugh (November 10, 1885)

Quoted in Benjamin Waugh, W.T. Stead: A Life for the People (1885)

The Dock, Old Bailey (November 10, 1885)

Dear Benjamin,

Good-bye, my dear friend. I am going to gaol with joy unspeakable, and a peace which is very rare with me. My peace is usually due to excessive action. Now I am inactive, and still am at peace. It is a new experience - possibly only a transient one - but very pleasant and heavenly while it lasts.

I have a kind of dread of the relapse when this trial is over, and I am left all alone in a cell. But God will be there. Perhaps he wants a quiet talk with me, and has not had time hitherto, and so we are to be alone.

God bless you, dear Mr. Waugh. You have fed me, and kept me in good humour with myself, when I have been inclined to be in doleful dumps. You have loved me with a love passing the love of woman, and I am deeply grateful to you for it all.

But now that we must part for a season, take one parting word from me. Pray do moderate your wrath against those who have been prosecuting me. Remember that we must be as charitable to a Judge as to a harlot, and that we must be just even to those we judge to be unjust.

Pardon this liberty, dear Benjamin, and believe me to be none the less thankful to you for your sympathy and helpful, inspiring loves which I feel you have heaped upon me far more than I deserve.

I am,

Yours, in brotherly love,


About this website

I founded this website in 2001 to assist me in my own research on W.T. Stead, little knowing then that it would become the largest online resource on Stead's life and career. Today this site is used by students, scholars and institutions around the world and has significantly contributed to the Study of W.T. Stead and the evils which he campaigned against. I hope you find it useful.

If you have a question that explicitly concerns any of the content on this website, feel free to Contact me and I will get back to you at my earliest convenience. However, please note that I no longer work in academia. With a very "busy" business to run, the time I can spare responding to enquiries through this website is finite, to say the least. So, please do not ask me to do research for you or assist in matters of family history.

Finally, though this website includes a section on Stead's obsession with spiritualism, I myself am not remotely interested in the subject. So, if you think you have seen Stead's ghost in your kitchen or believe you are the reincarnation of the great editor himself (or anyone else who died on the Titanic), I beg you not to tell me about it..

Owen Mulpetre, BA (Hons) MPhil