DOUGLAS WILLIAM JERROLD. (1803-1857 )
EDITOR OF PUNCH
He was the son of an actor-manager, when he was four ,his family moved to Sheerness ,his father having acquired the lease of a theatre in the High Street Bluetown ,the oldest part of Sheerness .The theatre ,a wooden building was later demolished and its site used for dock extensions .In 1807 Sheerness was an important naval centre ,its dockyards kept busy by the Napoleonic wars ,so audiences at the Bluetown theatre were largely composed of sailors. Douglas Jerrold attended a local school but finished his formal education by December 1813,when he enlisted on the Namur, a guard ship in the Nore ,later transferring to a gun-brig used to transport wounded soldiers from France .Quite possibly disenchanted by this experience ,Jerrold left the Navy for good when the ship paid off in October 1815.The family then moved to London ,where Douglas became a printers apprentice and set out to complete his education .This eventually led to his successful career as a journalist and playwright whose early acclaimed plays had a nautical theme.
He joined the staff of the newly formed PUNCH in 1841 and contributed until ten days before his death.
His Black-eyed Susie (1829) and The Mutiny at the Nore (1830) were extremely popular
His keen wit and liberal views he was a firm opponent of the death penalty- helped to give PUNCH its distinctive character.
Charles Dickens was a close friend and they acted together and had similar views on society.
He wrote to Charles Dickens
in 1843 from
his holiday visits in a rented house on
the outskirts of
Jerrold began at
( Charles Dickens 1812-1870 in 1817 moved with his family to Sheerness where his father John who was a naval clerk had a temporary posting .They rented a small house next to the theatre before moving to Chatham four months later, The theatre may well have been the same one as that leased by Douglas Jerrold between 1807 and 1815 )