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LAWSON (Levy-Lawson ), English family of newspaper publishers and editors. joseph moses levy (1812–1888) owned and edited the Sunday Times for a year. In 1855 he took over the Daily Telegraph and Courier (which had been founded three months previously), abridged its name to the Daily Telegraph and halved its price, making it the first penny morning paper in London. Levy and his son Edward eventually made the paper one of the leading voices in British journalism. He ran the paper as a Liberal mouthpiece, but in 1879 transferred its allegiance from Gladstone to Disraeli and ultimately adopted the Conservative line. edward levy-lawson (1833–1916), first Baron Burnham, was the eldest son of Joseph Moses Levy. He added the name Lawson by royal license in 1875. When his father acquired the Daily Telegraph and made him editor, Levy-Lawson utilized the telegraph for newsgathering, broke away from the ponderous newspaper style of the period, adopted a livelier news presentation, and employed many distinguished writers. The paper organized "shilling funds" for soldiers' dependents, the famine relief drives in Lancashire, and supported other worthy causes. In 1871 the Daily Telegraph and the New York Herald cosponsored H.M. Stanley's search for Livingstone in Africa. In 1873 it sponsored George Smith's Assyrian archeological expedition which discovered cuneiform records of the Flood. The daily circulation of the Daily Telegraph had risen to 200,000 by 1871. Levy-Lawson was made a baronet in 1892 and a baron upon his retirement from active control of the paper in 1903. He was not a professing Jew. sir harry lawson webster levy-lawson, Viscount Burnham (1862–1933), was son of the first baron. Levy-Lawson, who had no connections with the Jewish community, served in parliament as a Liberal mp in the years 1885–92 and 1893–95. He then switched parties in opposition to Irish Home Rule, serving as a Tory mp in 1905–06 and 1910–16. He was made a Companion of Honour (ch) in 1917 and a viscount in 1919. He succeeded his father as owner of the Daily Telegraph in 1903. In 1927 he sold the paper. Levy-Lawson was chairman of the committee which formulated the "Burnham scale" for teachers' pay.


H. Herd, March of Journalism (1952), 162–6. add. bibliography: odnb online for Joseph M. Levy, Edward Levy-Lawson, and Harry Levy-Lawson.

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