Tuesday, April 14, 2009

William Stephens Hayward (1835-1870)



“At the East end of London almost all the murder and highwayman literature of the past sixty years is being republished and sold in penny numbers. In tobacconists’ shop windows, up dirty courts and alleys, this literature may be seen suspended between canisters and brier-roots in strings. The woodcuts are of the Blueskin and Jonathan Wild stamp - slouching fellows with big boots, black masks, and gory poniards flashing high above the victims’ heads. Robinson Crusoe has just been republished in penny portions, and illustrated after the fashion; but it does not seem to be very popular. “It aren’t strong enough, sir,” answered a news agent, in reply to a question put to him.” -- London Review, May 1866.

Nothing much is known of William Stephens Hayward (1835-1870). The most I could find was that he was the eldest son of William Turner Hayward, of Wittenham House, Little Wittenham, Berkshire. (*Actually when I first posted this Steve Holland found quite a bit more about Hayward which he posted HERE.)

On April 7, 1857, the Times reported from Bow-Street that William Stevens (sic) Hayward,* described as a gentleman, “was charged by Jane Betison, servant at a lodging-house in Alfred-place, with committing a rape upon her on the previous evening.” When pressed by the magistrate for the plain facts “she burst into tears, repeating, “I can’t say it; I really can’t, sir.” The case was adjourned for a week and Hayward was granted bail for two sureties of 250l. each. When the case was taken up again on April 14, Miss Betison failed to show and the charge was dismissed.

On November 19, 1858 Hayward, Gentleman, of Wittenham House, applied for a patent for an invention for improvements “in the manufacture of a glutinous and viscous substance or dextrine, to be used in the manufacture of paper and in dressing textile fabrics, by which greater tenaciousness, smoothness of surface, and body is obtained.”

He married Margaret Ellen Allnutt, daughter of John Allnutt, of St. Clare, Reading, at St. John’s, Upper Holloway, on 14 September, 1859.


Hayward’s first known work was Hunted to Death, or Life in Two Hemispheres: a Tale of Love and Adventure, one of a series of timely Civil War romances with plenty of racism, lust, and violence. The hero was an English adventurer, Captain George, who cleans out several New York gambling houses and marries a Creole woman. Hayward’s characters adventures continued through four more novels, The Black Angel, The Star of the South, The Fiery Cross, and The Rebel Privateer, which ended with the assassination of President Lincoln.

Jessie, the Mormon's Daughter A Tale of English and American Life by the author of ‘The Blue Dwarf’ was published by E. Harrison in 1860-61. There were two versions of The Blue Dwarf, the first by “Lady Esther Hope,” (the 1860 title) first published as an anonymous serial in the London Herald, and the second by Percy Bolingbroke St. John. Lady Esther Hope wrote Come Weal Come Woe: A Tale of the Affections which was serialised in The Halfpenny Journal, published by Ward & Lock. Steve Holland has found a song entitled "Come Weal Come Woe" by Robert Arthur Hodgeson (1910) with Words by “Incognita” (a pen-name used by Hayward).


No. 1, vol. 1, of The London Herald, conducted by Percy B. St. John, was published on Saturday September 7, 1861, by H. Vickers. The Black Angel: a Tale of the American Civil War, by Hayward appeared therein throughout 1862, and was then published in book form by Ward & Lock in 1863. It seems very likely that Hayward was “Lady Esther Hope” ; and that he was therefore the author of the Harrison published penny dreadful The Blue Dwarf : a Novel of 1860. Percy B. St. John wrote an entirely different version in 1884 titled The Blue Dwarf, A Tale of Love Mystery and Crime published by Hogarth House.

Hayward contributed to numerous story papers for boys and adults. Among them were Ward & Lock’s Halfpenny Journal, Vickers’ Boys Journal (proto-science-fiction with Up in the Air and Down in the Sea), Boys of England, Young Englishman’s Journal, Sons of Britannia, Young Gentlemen of Britain, Young Briton, and Young Ladies of Great Britain.


On August 29, 1870, in Sons of Britannia Hayward’s death in Brighton was announced in a black border :

“It is with deep and sincere regret we announce the death of Mr. W. Stephens Hayward, the author of those popular stories “The Eagle and the Vulture,” “The Mutiny of the Thunder,” “Idol’s Eye,” &c., &c., &c. Of him may truly be said, “He died in harness ;” for through a long and painful illness he laboured to amuse our young friends, bearing the pangs of suffering with unflinching fortitude, and only laid aside the pen when his hand was no longer able to grasp it. At a comparatively early age he has passed from among us, and obeying the signal of the grim destroyer Death, has wandered away into the fathomless future, leaving behind him a circle of friends who know but too well the loss they have sustained.”

The Idol’s Eye serial was finished by another author.



On September 9, 1870 a READER’S OWN EDITION of Hayward’s works was announced. The first of the series was The Mutiny of the Thunder, in weekly penny numbers. Presented gratis with the work was MR. W. STEPHENS HAYWARD’S PORTRAIT AND AUTOGRAPH and a second gift, AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF THE LAMENTED AUTHOR. None of these last mentioned seem to have survived.

Stories under Hayward’s name continued to appear through the 1880’s, probably taken from old stock. Frank Jay said that there was a portrait of Hayward’s tragic end in E. Harcourt Burrage’s temperance tract The Ruin of Fleet Street (1880-81). In the tales he tells of drunken hacks Burrage disguises their names.


Below is a list of yellow-backs of the Anonyma series (not really a series, but advertised as such) mostly from Michael Sadleir's bibliography XIX Century Fiction: a Bibliographic Record based on his own Collection, 1951. Much additional material on the 'Anonyma' series and related works can be found in my Penny Bibliography which gives a clearer picture of the publication chronology.

Ward & Lock, (a publisher of much religious material) published some surprisingly notorious works including Illustrated Life and Character of William Palmer, Ward & Lock, 158, Fleet-street in June of 1856, soon after the trial of the criminal for murder. The Era described it as `contemptible,' and `a vile catchpenny publication,' `it would have disgraced the lowest prostitutes of the press.'

“Anonyma”** Yellow-backs.

1858 - Lola Montez (Countess of Lansfeld), Lectures of ; including her Autobiography. Ward & Lock.

1859 - (Sadleir) - Fast Life : An Autobiography. Being the Recollections, Rencounters, Reverses and Reprisals of a Man Upon Town in London and Paris: … together with Details of the Amours of the Marquis of Waterford, etc., etc. Anon. (By J. Lennox - according to Sadleir) Vickers (N.D.) Not part of the `Anonyma' series.

1859 - The Women of London. William Strange (the younger), 183,Fleet-street. Strange was prosecuted for publishing this work and sentenced to 3 months in prison. George Vickers (the younger) was a character witness.

1861-62 -The Women of London Disclosing the Trials and Temptations of a Woman's Life in London With Occasional Glimpses of a Fast Career, published in 24 Nos. George Vickers, Angel Court, Strand.

1862 - Ward & Lock's Shilling Volume Library No. 7. The Cruise of the Blue Jacket by Lieut. Warneford (William Russell alias `Waters")

(N. D.) Dark Deeds By the author of "The Gaol Captain" (Erskine Neale,)Vickers, Angel-court, Strand.

1863 - The Soiled Dove : A Biography of the `Kitten,' A Pretty YoungLady who &c, &c. `Never Before Printed.' The ad in the Era, for 1865, of this work also says `Never Before Printed.' George Vickers, Angel-court. C. H. Clarke re-issue , 1884.

1864 - The Women of Paris : A Romance by the author of `Women of London.' George Vickers, Angel-court.

1864 - Anonyma; or, Fair but Frail. A Romance of West End Life, Manners, and `Captivating' People. George Vickers, Angel-court. Backcover advert. Ward & Lock's `Shilling Volume Library.' C. H. Clarke re-issue 1884.

`Anonyma : A Tale of Female Life and Adventure.'Anon,. ND, unauthorised reprint.

1864 - Skittles : A Biography of a Fascinating Woman. Companion to `Anonyma.' George Vickers. 1864.

1864 - Incognita : A Tale of Love and Passion. George Vickers, Angel-court. C. H. Clarke re-issue , 1884.

1864 -Kate Hamilton : An Autobiography. George Vickers, Angel-court.C. H. Clarke re-issue , 1884.

1864 - Skittles in Paris : A Biography of a Fascinating Woman. GeorgeVickers, Angel-court. C. H. Clarke re-issue , 1884.

1864. Left Her Home : A Tale of Female Life and Adventure, in which the Fortunes and Misfortunes of a Charming Girl are narrated (by `Anonyma'.) George Vickers, Angel Court, 1864. Bracebridge Hemyng rewrote this story for an American audience in the New York Police Gazette in the seventies.

1864 - Leah : The Jewish Maiden. Ward & Lock.

1864 - Annie; or, The Life of a Lady's Maid. Carrying a full description of all the Curious occurrences, Intrigues, Amours, Expedients of Fashionable Gay Life among the Aristocracy. George Vickers, Angel-court. C. H. Clarke re-issue 1884.

1864 - The Beautiful Demon : A Romance. By the authorof `Leah,' `Hunted To Death,' (i.e. W. Stephens Hayward.) GeorgeVickers, Angel-court. Back Cover lists many "Anonyma" titles including The Beautiful Demon "by the author of "The Black Angel,"(Hayward) Preface is initialled "W. S. H." Adaptation of Féval's Bel Demonio. Published by Ward & Lock, 1863 as Bel Demonio : A Love Story by Paul Féval, Translated by Bertha Browne.

1864 - Love Frolics of a Young Scamp. Related by Himself and Edited by Charles Martel. E. Griffiths, 13 Catherine Street, Strand. Re-issue, 1884.

C. H. Clarke.(N.D.) - Cora Pearl. By the author of `Anonyma,' `Skittles,' `LeftHer Home,' `Kate Hamilton,' `Incognita,' `Soiled Dove,' `Skittles in Paris,' &c. E. Griffiths, Catherine Street. Back cover advert. `CoraPearl,' `The Finest Girl in Bloomsbury' by AugustusMayhew, `Anonyma,' `Skittles,' `Left Her Home,' `KateHamilton,' `Incognita,' `Soiled Dove,' `Skittles in Paris,' &c.
1869-70 - Revelations of a Lady Detective. By authorof `Anonyma,' `Skittles,' `Incognita' &c. E. Griffiths, Catherine Street. ND. C. H. Clarke re-issue 1884.

1869-70. Formosa : The Life of a Beautiful Woman. (based on a Dion Bourcicault melodrama produced in 1869.) By the authorof `Anonyma,' `Skittles,' `Left Her Home,' `KateHamilton,' `Incognita,' `Soiled Dove,' `Skittles in Paris,' &c. E.Griffiths, 13 Catherine Street and Evans, Oliver & Co, 81 FleetStreet. ND. C. H. Clarke re-issue , 1884.

1869-70 - Mabel Gray, or, Cast on the Tide. By the author of `Anonyma,' `Skittles,' &c. F. W. Garnham, 44 Ludgate Hill. ND.

1870 ? - London by Night by the author of `Anonyma,' `Skittles,' `Left Her Home,' `Kate Hamilton,' `AgnesWilloughby,' `The Woman (sic) of London,' `The Woman (sic) of Paris,' `Incognita,' `Soiled Dove,' `Skittles in Paris,' `Annie; or, The Life of a Lady's Maid.' William Oliver, 3 Amen Corner. ND. Re-issue, Evans & Co. 81 Fleet Street. Evans & Co.'s back cover states by author of `Anonyma,' `Skittles,' `Left Her Home,' `LadyDetective,' &c. as well as `The Lady With the Golden Hair,'(surely `Woman With the Yellow Hair.')

1884 - Delilah; or, The Little House in Piccadilly. C. H. Clarke re-issue. By the author of `Anonyma,' `Skittles,' `Left Her Home,' `Kate Hamilton,' `Incognita,' `Soiled Dove,' `Mabel Grey,' `Cora Pearl,'&c.

*His registration of death also reads “Stevens,” rather than Stephens, according to Steve Holland.


**‘Anonyma’ was the name given by the Times to Catherine Walters.


1 comment:

  1. An English translation of Paul Feval that is Public Domain is awesome news to me. I wish the text of it would be put online somewhere for me to read.

    And Bel Demonio in particular is part of The BlackCoats continuity.

    ReplyDelete