Ruff, William (DNB00)

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RUFF, WILLIAM (1801–1856), author of ‘The Guide to the Turf,’ born in London in 1801, was educated for the law, which he followed for a short period. His father was a reporter of sporting intelligence to the principal London journals, and on his father's death Ruff succeeded to his occupation, which required much bodily as well as mental vigour. The younger Ruff first reported for ‘Bell's Life’ in 1821, and inaugurated a new era in his branch of journalism. He never contracted a betting obligation, and during the quarter of a century of his professional career the utmost reliance was placed on his reports. He continued working until the summer of 1853, when his health failed. He was the author and originator in 1842 of the ‘Guide to the Turf, or Pocket Racing Companion,’ which he brought out annually up to the spring of 1854. The work had a world-wide celebrity. After 1854 the publication, which is still issued twice a year, was edited by W. H. Langley. Ruff died at 33 Doughty Street, Mecklenburgh Square, London, on 30 Dec. 1856.

[Gent. Mag. February 1857, p. 246; Post and Paddock, by The Druid, 1880, p. 174.]

G. C. B.