William Senior (journalist)

William Senior (June 1837 – October 1920) was an Anglo-Australian journalist, angler, Chief Hansard Short Hand Writer, co-founder of Brisbane's famed Johnsonian Club, editor and writer of short stories, known also by his pen name 'Red Spinner'.

Senior was born in Holmfirth, Yorkshire, England in June 1837, son of Joseph Senior and wife Martha.

Senior became the first officially appointed Principal Short Hand writer for the Parliament of Queensland's 'Hansard'.[1] He had by then served ten years as a special correspondent and parliamentary reporter for the London Daily News and London special reporter for the Manchester Examiner when he was employed (on the instigation of Queensland's Colonial Secretary and Premier, Arthur Macalister and the Speaker, William Henry Walsh), as Queensland Parliament's first Short Hand Writer on 13 January 1876. He was an able writer who produced in his spare time a number of short stories for the Queenslander during his time in office, simultaneously being a Queensland correspondent for his old journal the London Daily News.[2]

Senior returned to England in April 1881 where he took up his old profession as a journalist on the Daily News[1] and editor. He became editor-in-chief of the sports journal 'The Field,' of which journal he was formerly the angling editor. He wrote and edited this journal for over twenty-five years, still frequently using his old nom de plume "Red Spinner", simultaneously being for a number of years the London correspondent for the Brisbane Courier. He died in London in October 1920.[3]


  • Senior, William ('Red Spinner'): Notable Shipwrecks, 1873[1]
  • Senior, William ('Red Spinner'): Waterside sketches. A book for wanderers and anglers. By W. Senior ("Red Spinner"), London 1875.
  • Senior, William ('Red Spinner'): By stream and sea. A book for wanderers and anglers, London 1877.[1]
  • Senior, William ('Red Spinner'): Anderton's Angling, a novelette, 1878[1]
  • Senior, William ('Red Spinner'): Travel and Trout in the Antipodes, 1880[1]
  • Senior, William ('Red Spinner'): Scotch loch-fishing by 'Black Palmer'[pseud.], Edinburgh 1882.
  • Senior, William ('Red Spinner'): Angling in Great Britain, London 1883.[1]
  • Senior, William ('Red Spinner'): Sea fishing by 'John Bickerdyke' [pseud.] with contributions on 'Antipodean and foreign fish' by W. Senior, 'Tarpon' by A.C. Harmsworth, 'Whaling' by Sir H.W. Gore-Booth, London 1895.
  • Senior, William ('Red Spinner'): Pike and perch (with chapters by 'John Bickerdyke' [pseud.] and W. H. Pope, Cookery by Alexander Innes Shand; illustrated by George Roller and from photographs). London 1900
  • Senior, William ('Red Spinner'): Lines in Pleasant Places: Being the Aftermath of an Old Angler, London 1920.


  1. Mennell, Philip (1892). "Senior, William" . The Dictionary of Australasian Biography. London: Hutchinson & Co via Wikisource.
  2. Queenslander 15 Feb 1881, p.166a-b; Queenslander 18 Dec 1920, p36a-b, Obituary; IGI;
  3. Capricornian 29 Feb 1908, p.15b; Queenslander 18 Dec 1920, p36a-b, Obituary
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