William Thomas Stead(1849-1912), Journalist, newspaper editor and spiritualist
Sitter in 12 portraits
Apprenticed in a merchant's office at Newcastle-on-Tyne, Stead moved into journalism, and in 1871 became editor of the Darlington Northern Echo. In 1880 he went to London as Assistant Editor of the Pall Mall Gazette becoming Editorial Director three years later. In 1885, he started a crusade against child prostitution in a series of articles entitled 'The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon'. To demonstrate the truth of his revelations, he arranged the 'purchase' of the thirteen-year old daughter of a chimney sweep. This campaign forced the government to raise the age of consent for young girls and to restrict white slavery and juvenile prostitution by passing the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885.