Rachel Spencer-Thomas article

The following article, about my grandmother, Rachel Spencer-Thomas, appeared in the Wellington Journal and Shrewsbury News on 21 Feb 1903.

The Wellington Journal was a weekly publication founded in 1854 by Thomas Leake. After taking over the rival Shropshire News in 1874, it became known as the Wellington Journal and Shrewsbury News.  The paper remained in the Leake family until 1965 when it was sold to Shropshire Star and Journal Ltd (a subsidiary of the Midland News Association Ltd.). The title was changed to the Shropshire Journal.


At a Council Meeting of the Society of Women Journalists, London, held yesterday week, Mrs R. Spencer Thomas of Treprenal, near Oswestry, was unanimously elected a member. Her nomination form was signed by Mr. J. S. Wood (editor of “The Gentlewoman”, and founder of the society) and by Miss F. M. Strutt-Cavell )a member of the Council).

The society has for its president Mrs. Arthur Stannard (“John Strange Winter”); the list of former presidents includes Mrs. Craigie (“John Oliver Hobbes”), the Hon Mrs. Arthur Henniker, the Duchess of Sutherland, and Mrs Flora Annie Steele; and amongst the vice-presidents are Lady Colin Campbell (“The World”), the Hon. Coralie Glyn, Miss K. Hayden-Green, Mrs. T. P. O’Connor, and Lady Sarah Wilson.

Rachel Spencer-Thomas article

Mrs. Thomas is the eldest daughter of Mr. John Clemson of Woodford Grange, near Wolverhampton; and her marriage to Mr Robert Spencer Thomas of Treprenal (a nephew of the late Mr Richard Thomas, J.P., of The Buildings, Baschurch, near Shrewsbury, who was so well known as a breeder of pedigree Shropshire sheep and short horn cattle) took place in June, 1901.

Her first introduction to journalism was in the latter part of 1894, when she became secretary to Mrs. Aria, who now edits “The World of Dress”; and in 1895 she held the appointment of private secretary to the late Hon. Francis Charles Lawley uncle of the present Lord Wenlock), of “The Daily Telegraph”.

In 1898 and 1899 she was on the editorial staff of “The Gentlewoman”, and only resigned that appointment for the reason that she was obliged to leave London on account of her health giving way.

Since March, 1900, she has been on the staff of the “Journal”, to which, under the nom de plume of “Sabrina”, she contributes the weekly articles entitled “Fashions and Functions”, and during that time has also contributed articles in her maiden name of Rachel Clemson to “The Wide World Magazine”, “The Home Magazine”, and “The Ladies Field”, and less important items to “The Gentlewoman”, “The Lady’s Pictorial”, &c.

(Other Local News appears on Page 12.)