Dictionary of National Biography - Phillips, George Searle (1815-1889)

PHILLIPS, GEORGE SEARLE (1815-1889), miscellaneous writer, was born in 1815 at Peterborough, and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he is said to have graduated B.A., but his name does not appear among the 'graduati.' He then went to America, where he became connected with the 'New York World' and the 'Herald.' In 1845 he returned to England, and undertook the editorship of the 'Leeds Times.' In the following year he was appointed secretary of the People's College at Huddersfield, and in 1854 was made lecturer to the Yorkshire Union of Mechanics' Institutes and Literary Societies. A few years later he again went to the United States, and was associated with Charles A. Dana on the 'Chicago Tribune;' he then became literary editor of the 'New York Sun.' In 1873 he lost his reason, and was confined in the Trenton Insane Asylum, Three years later he was removed to the Morristown Asylum, New Jersey, where he died in January 1889.

Phillips was a 'prolific and graceful writer.' His works, most of them published under the pseudonym 'January Searle,' are ; 1. 'A Guide to Peterborough Cathedral,' Peterborough, 1848. 2. 'The Life, Character, and Genius of Ebenezer Elliott, the Corn-law Rhymer,' London, 1850. 3. 'Chapters in the History of a Life,' London, 1850, 4. 'Leaves from Sherwood Forest,' London, 1851. 5. 'The Country Sketch Book,' London, 1851, 6. 'Memoirs of William Wordsworth,' London, 1852. 7. 'Emerson, his Life and Writings,' London, 1855. 8. 'Gypsies of the Danes' Dyke,' London,1864. 9. 'Chicago and her Churches,' Chicago, 1868. He also published various pamphlets and some verse, edited, among other books, 'The Memorials of Pel. Verjuice,' by Charles Beece Pemberton [q.v.], and was a voluminous contributor to periodical literature.

[Works in Brit. Mus. Library; Times, 2 Feb. 1889 ; Allibone's Dict, of English Lit. ; and see Notes and Queries, 8th ser. ix, 264.] A.F.P.