Tom Sarginson 1870-1951

While I was working on the records for the Sarginson Cumberland/Westmorland tree I came across Tom. He gave his occupation as a journalist in the 1911 census. Tom was one of four children born on 4 June 1870 in Penrith, Cumberland to Timothy Sarginson (1821-1895) and Mary Innes (1832-died after 1911). Timothy was a tailor and with Mary they had three other children:

  • William Simpson Sarginson (1860-1921) was also a tailor and married Jeanne Tirefort (died 1931) in France; he died in Belgium.
  • Elizabeth Sarginson (1863-1951), a dressmaker before her marriage to Edward Stephenson (1873-1943). She remained in Penrith until her death.
  • James Sarginson (1873-1945) worked as a joiner, married Elizabeth Ann Hill (1880-1960) and also lived in Penrith until his death.

Tom married Isabel Wood (1869-1926) in Penrith in 1889 and, at the time of the 1911 census, they recorded that they had had no children. Tom was still working as a newspaper editor for the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald in 1939 and living in Penrith. He was known by his pen name “SilverPpen” and edited the paper for 38 years from 1913 until his death in 1951. He wrote his “notes and comments” column, covering the news of the week for over 50 years and was known for his wit and humour.

Tom was considered a cultured journalist and was one of five from the provincial press invited to cover the coronation of King George VI in 1937. His descriptive piece on the ceremony in Westminster Abbey was considered to be one of the finest pieces of writing about this historic occasion. The Penrith Observer headlined his death on 20 April 1951 as “Silverpen passes” and noted that “journalism in the North of England” was poorer for his passing. Certainly, quite a different career path to those of his siblings and it seems that his legacy was the opportunities he gave to others to work in the newspaper industry, as remembered in a piece in the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald, written 50 years after his death.

Whilst I make every effort to ensure that the information, I include in my blog posts are accurate mistakes can creep in. Do please contact me if you have any further information.

Note: the Penrith map comes from:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Penrith, in Eden and Cumberland | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time. URL: http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/808   Date accessed: 27th September 2019

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