Pebody, Charles (DNB00)

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PEBODY, CHARLES (1839–1890), journalist, the son of Charles and Eliza Pebody, was born at Leamington, Warwickshire, on 3 Feb. 1839. His parents removing to Watford, Leicestershire, where the family had lived for some three hundred years, Pebody went to the village school, and afterwards was taught privately by the schoolmaster. At the age of fourteen he came up to London, and entered a lawyer's office, but soon found work as a reporter, and afterwards joined the staff of the ‘Chelmsford Chronicle.’ At the age of twenty-one he was appointed editor of the ‘Barnstaple Times.’ From Barnstaple he moved to Exeter as editor of the ‘Flying Post,’ and from Exeter to Bristol as editor of the ‘Bristol Times and Mirror.’ It was while at Bristol that Pebody obtained in 1875 the prize of 50l. offered by Mr. James Heywood for the best essay ‘showing the expediency of an Address by the House of Commons to the Crown in favour of such a Rubrical Revision of the Services of the State Church as will abrogate the threat of everlasting Perdition to those of Her Majesty's Subjects who do not agree with the Doctrines contained in the Athanasian Creed.’ In 1882 Pebody was appointed editor of the ‘Yorkshire Post,’ a conservative morning paper published at Leeds. Under his direction it rapidly grew in circulation and influence, and before his death it stood in the front rank of provincial journals. Although an enthusiastic student of English political history, and profoundly interested in the course of public events, Pebody was not, apart from journalism, a political worker. In 1888 his health showed signs of failure; but after six months' rest he resumed work and organised a new evening paper. He died at Leeds on 30 Oct. 1890. Pebody brought to his work quick intelligence, unfailing industry, and high spirits; a singularly wide knowledge of literature and affairs, great organising power, and a marked capacity for making friends. He married, 22 Aug. 1859, Mary Ann Martyn, who survived him, and by whom he had one daughter.

He published, besides the essay noticed, 1. ‘Authors at Work,’ 1872. 2. ‘English Journalism and the Men who have made it,’ 1882.

[Yorkshire Post, 31 Oct. 1890; Leeds Mercury, 31 Oct. 1890; personal knowledge.]

A. R. B.