Douglas William Jerrold was born in 1803 , the son of theatre manager Samuel Jerrold, and after two years in the Royal Navy from the age of ten in 1813 until the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 he became a professional journalist and popular dramatist, but was most renowned for his witty conversational style – for example the surest way to a woman’s heart is to take aim kneeling. In 1829 his play Black Eyed Susan, about press gangs , was a runaway success, but his lasting fame depends on the contribution he made to Punch, from its second edition in 1841 until Jerrold’s death in 1857. He was a close friend of Dickens and Thackeray and Wilkie Collins. In 1848 he established an institution – the Whittington club – for clerks and city workers, with access to library and reading rooms, lectures and meals and very unusually, it admitted women as full members. Before the opening of the Great Exhibition he coined the phrase the palace of very crystal, which became the name that forever described Paxton’s building in Hyde Park.
In 1855 he moved into a pretty semi detached villa in Circus Road , St Johns Wood, and in autumn 1856 to a grander house built in 1820 at 11 Greville Place he but died soon after in June 1857.