Haselden, William Kerridge (1872-1953) by Scholes, Robert

William Kerridge Haselden (1872 – 1953) The following material was prepared for the MJP by David Little: William Kerridge Haselden, cartoonist and caricaturist, was born in Seville on 3 December 1872, the second of five children of Adolphe Henry Haselden and his wife Susan Elizabeth (nee Kerridge). Haselden’s parents were both English but met in Seville, where his father was director of the Seville Gasworks. During a family holiday to England in 1874, Haselden’s father fell ill and died shortly after. The rest of the family remained in England, settling in London. The young William’s education at a private school was cut short following the sale of the family mines, as the family faced an increasingly desperate financial situation. Haselden left school at the age of 16 with no formal artistic training. He worked unhappily as an undertaker at Lloyds in London for thirteen years before some of his sketches were accepted for the periodical, the Sovereign. After this he obtained some freelance work on the Tatler and St. James’s Gazette. After approaching the offices of Alfred Harmsworth in 1903, Haselden managed to obtain a full-time post on Harmsworth’s new venture, the Daily Mirror. Here he remained until his retirement in 1940. Haselden originally started with political cartoons, but soon settled on the style that became intrinsic to his work: gentle, conservative social commentary reflecting on the different fads, fashions, manners and modes of the average middle class householder. Haselden’s cartoons usually consisted of a single frame divided into a number of panels, a style which merits his position as the father of British strip cartooning. During the Great War, Haselden managed to establish himself in the popular consciousness with his only truly sustained attempt at political caricature, mocking the Kaiser and his son, the Crown Prince as “Big and Little Willie”. Between 1906 and 1936 Haselden also contributed to Punch as a theatrical caricaturist, until increasing deafness forced him to retire from this role. Haselden’s work drew praise from figures in the world of art, politics and Society. Sickert hailed Haselden’s work as did Margot Asquith and Baldwin. The latter is said to have offered Haselden a knighthood in 1923, although Haselden turned it down, not wanting “all the fuss”. In 1907 Haselden married Eleanor Charlotte Lane-Bayliff (1875-1944). They had two children, Celia Mary and John Kerridge Haselden. Haselden spent most of his working life resident in London, but from the mid 1930s spent more time at the family’s holiday home in Aldeburgh, Suffolk to where he eventually retired. He died of natural causes on Christmas Day, 1953. Bibliography Works by Haselden, or featuring cartoons by Haselden Haselden, W.K. (with Charles Harrison), Accidents will happen; or the tribulations of Mr and Mrs Boffles under the Employers’ Liability Act, 1907 (London: David Nutt, 1907) — Daily Mirror reflections; being 100 cartoons (and a few more) culled from the pages of the “Daily Mirror”. 29 vols (London: Daily Mirror Newspapers, 1906-1935) (Note: published annually. Reflections changed their name to Daily Mirror reflections in Wartime for 1915-1919 (i.e. published 1914-1918). — The Globe by the way book: a literary quick-lunch for people who have only got 5 minutes to spare (London, 1908) — “How I began as an artist”, T.P.’s Weekly (19 May 1914) — The sad experiences of Big and Little Willie during the first six months of the Great War, August 1914-January 1915; as portrayed by W.K. Haselden in “The Daily Mirror” (London: Fine Art Society / Chatto & Windus, 1915) Tweedie, E.B., America as I saw it; or America revisited; with 54 illustrations, including 16 cartoons by W.K. Haselden (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1913) Other works: interviews, obituaries, books etc. Obituaries in the Times (29 December 1953) and Punch (6 January 1954) Bryant, M. and Heneage, S., Dictionary of British cartoonists and caricaturists, 1730-1980 (London: Scolar Press, 1994) Cudlipp, H., Publish and de damned! (London: Andrew Dakers, 1953) Edelmann, M., The Mirror: a political history (London, 1966) Little, D.J., “Images of Germany as portrayed in the cartoons of W.K. Haselden, 1905-1918″, unpublished M.A. thesis, University of Kent (1996). Low, D., British cartoonists, caricaturists and comic artists (London, 1942) Nash, P, ‘English humorous draughtsmen”, The week-end review (18 July 1931) Pound, R. and Harmsworth, G., Northcliffe (London: Cassell, 1959) Scott, E. Clement, “W.K. Haselden and his work”, The London Magazine, vol. 25, no. 147 (1910) Sitwell, O., A free house! Or, artist as craftsman; being the writings of Walter Richard Sickert (London: Macmillan & Co., 1947)

Back to top

Back to Top