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Times (London)
31 January 1927


Sir William Thomas Madge, Bt., who died at Putney on Saturday at the age of 81, was formerly a well-known newspaper proprietor. Born on October 6, 1845, the son of Mr. Thomas Madge, of Plymouth, he began his career as a bank clerk, but soon entered the office of the Western Morning News, where he spent six years in gaining experience in various departments. In August, 1866, he came to London to join the staff of the Globe, the oldest London evening newspaper, and resigned in 1908, though he was proprietor from 1912 to 1914. During his period of control the price of the journal was reduced from 4d. to 2d., and later to 1d. In 1867 he was appointed to be its publisher, and subsequently for many years he was its manager. Of the enterprise which he showed in the conduct of the journal the most conspicuous example was the publication, on May 30, 1873, of the terms of the Schouvaloff treaty between Great Britain and Russia, the existence of which had been officially denied.

In conjunction with the late Sir George Armstrong, his colleague on the Globe, Mr. Madge determined to establish a popular weekly organ for the propagation of Conservative principles, and in October, 1881, the first number of the People was issued. As managing director, he was largely responsible for the success of the paper, paying special attention to its distribution. He was also active in news-getting, and prided himself on having secured the confession of the Tichborne claimant and the news of Mrs. Maybrick's reprieve. He was also the first to realize that the first two "Jack the Ripper" murders in East London were committed by the same man. He was less successful in his attempt with the Sun, an evening newspaper, which he conducted in 1904-6.

Sir William, who was created a baronet in 1919, married, first, Miss Mary Helen Webber, of Plymouth; she died in 1891; and, secondly, in 1892, Judith, daughter of Mr. Samuel Ketchell. His elder son died in 1899, leaving a daughter, and his second son died in 1914, leaving a son, Mr. Frank William Madge, who was born in 1897, and now succeeds to the baronetcy.