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Spy (Sir Leslie Ward RP) (1851-1922)

Sir Leslie Ward, RP (1851-1922), known as 'Spy'

For almost 40 years, the caricaturist, Leslie Ward, was synonymous with the society paper, Vanity Fair. His ‘character portraits’ were invariably well observed and witty, but rarely cruel.

Leslie Ward was born on 21 November 1851 at Harewood Square, London (on the site of what is now Marylebone Station). He was the son of the history painter, Edward Matthew Ward, and his wife, Henrietta Ada Ward, a fashionable portrait painter. His mother came from a long line of artists, most notably her paternal grandfather, James Ward. He learned to draw, paint and sculpt within this environment.

Ward was educated at Chase’s School, Salt Hill, near Slough, and then at Eton.

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