Talk:Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe

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WikiProject iconAlfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe has been listed as a level-5 vital article in People (Journalists). If you can improve it, please do.
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2004 post[edit]

Wondering if "megalomania" might not be a bit POV -- was Northcliffe so diagnosed, or did he just act that way? Either wouldn't surprise me, but more information here would help if anyone has it. -- Madame Sosostris 08:14, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

For years, it was rumoured that he died of syphilis. But apparently it was another disease with similar symptoms. (talk) 23:43, 26 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The rumours of syphilis are substantial, and quite possibly correct. His subacute bacterial endocarditis may have been a cover up.Korhomme (talk) 17:09, 19 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The citation of the ODNB source here is utterly spurious; this article is in fact a thinly disguised and plagaristic and plagaristic rewrite of the Encyclopædia Britannica article on the same subject (See

The EB goes "In 1894 Harmsworth entered the newspaper field, purchasing the nearly bankrupt London Evening News and transforming it into a popular newspaper with brief news reports, a daily story, and a column for women. Within a year circulation had grown to 160,000 copies, and profits were substantial."

The Wiki version goes "Harmsworth turned to daily newspapers in 1894 when he purchased the nearly bankrupt London Evening News and turned it into a popular paper with brief news reports, a daily story, and a column for women. In just one year, the circulation grew to over 160,000 copies and returned a huge profit."

etc etc

Antithief 10:59, 28 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've added {{copyvio}} and added it to Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2006 December 19/Articles. Previous listing Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2006 August 28/Articles. John Vandenberg 02:40, 19 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm still fairly new here but shouldn't the text of the article be removed? (It clearly has been copied and subjected to a minor copyedit.) We need to start again on this article as Lord Northcliffe is an important figure. Sam Blacketer 20:12, 5 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Gday Sam, I am not sure myself if this is a copyvio because I dont have access to the EB version beyond the abstract, and I cant see similarities between the EB abstract and the WP article. Can you confirm that the WP version is based on the EB version that you personally have access to? If this is a case of infringement, then it would be wise to overwrite the article with a new stub.
I've only been involved in a few copyvio cases, so I'm not familar with how this plays out (I was expecting some action by now). What I do know is that it is important that the contributor of such insidious copyright infringements needs to be found and banned. Finding which text was contributed by that user will also allow for the article to be rolled back to that stage, on this article and any others they have contributed to. John Vandenberg 23:31, 5 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

wife and children?[edit]

nowhere does it state anything about him having children or a wife??-- 02:28, 19 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I have removed POV. It is not up to me to look for citations the original poster says (in his words) he is "too lazy" to look up himself. Also removed more POV, including weasel words ("some say"). The prohibition against POV is POLICY, not a guideline or suggestion. THis article is riddled with POV and badly needs cleanup. The editing on the opening paragraph is just a beginning. The poster is also reminded of the Three Reverts policy, which provides for banning. J M Rice (talk) 06:24, 18 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • It seems a bit of education is in order here on many levels. First, I reverted a change made by you; I am not the original poster of the fact as can be seen in the article history. Second, the NPOV policy does not apply in this instance because if you actually read the policy you would see it refers to presenting contradictory information from reliable sources fairly, which is not the issue here.
I believe you were attempting to make an argument based on wikipedia's policy of verifiability, which requires that "any material challenged or likely to be challenged must be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation." You are in a general sense correct that as the remover of such information you do not have an absolute duty to provide sourcing, but you have also ignored another tenant of the verifiability policy which is as follows: "Any material lacking a reliable source may be removed, but editors might object if you remove material without giving them sufficient time to provide references, and it has always been good practice, and expected behaviour of Wikipedia editors (in line with our editing policy), to make reasonable efforts to find sources onesself that support such material, and cite them." You obviously made no effort to research the sentence you found offending, seeing as even basic reference sources such as britannica mention it, and therefore have failed to conform to what the policy calls "good practice" and "expected behaviour."
I must admit that my edit summary may have bordered on the uncivil, though it was, I must also say, in response to an edit summary on your part that appeared to portray some ignorance on the subject you were editing. Your apparent confusion as to what wikipedia policies cover this debate and your rather feeble threat at the end of your post has provided me enough amusment, however, to get over my initial laziness to cite. I will be returning the material you removed with a proper citation to Britannica, and would hope that brings this matter to a close. If, however, you have some intelligent source critiquing to do here rather than a vague supposition of "POV" with a threat or two thrown in, then I will be happy to discuss the issue further. Indrian (talk) 08:14, 18 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Blah, blah, blah. Despite your long-winded diatribe, I see you made the changes, thus validating the original deletion of your POV. And I was not threatening anything, just reminding you of what happens to repeated reverters. Your page is correct -- Wikipedia fails. The irony is that it fails because of your ilk. J M Rice (talk) 00:43, 19 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You still have no idea what you are talking about do you? I did not add the fact in the first place; I just reverted your removal of the material and later gave a source to it since you decided in your ignorance on the topic to remove it rather than ask for sourcing or use a tag as the verifiability policy prefers. If you cannot even get basic facts like that right, I am certainly not going to be hurt by your rather feeble attempt at insulting me above. Anyway, glad this matter has been brought to a satisfactory conclusion for all parties. Happy editing. Indrian (talk) 03:10, 19 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Additional information: His nephew, 15-year-old Alfred White Curzon King, died in the sinking of the RMS Leinster in the Irish Sea in 1918. Just in case someone cares about that. OfficeBoy (talk) 17:53, 29 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


You mention that he sired a son at seventeen by a 'maidservant in his parents' house'. Were they living in England or Ireland at this time? Do we know anything more about his parents? Valetude (talk) 12:43, 5 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (which you can access if you have a UK public library card) says that Harmsworth's parents were "Alfred Harmsworth (1837–1889), barrister, and his wife, Geraldine Mary (1838–1925), daughter of William Maffett, a land agent from co. Down". The family moved to London two years after he was born, and they were in London when he got the maidservant pregnant (after which his mother kicked him out). It says nothing about the child. --Nicknack009 (talk) 17:53, 5 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Northcliffe's drive for success and respectability bounded main outlet in the commercial world of journalism.

Something wrong here. Valetude (talk) 12:57, 18 August 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Illness and death[edit]

His death is usually ascribed to subacute bacterial endocarditis.

There is strong evidence, if perhaps circumstantial, that this was a result of syphilis. One of his many physicians, Lord Horder, thought he was beyond 'malarial treatment'. This was only given to sufferers of syphilis. The SBE is cited as a cover-up.

Korhomme (talk) 17:07, 19 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]