Born in Belfast and educated at R.B.A.I. and the then Queen’s College, where he studied classics. He worked briefly for The Northern Whig before moving to Manchester and then to London as a free-lance journalist. In the capital he shared a flat with the artist Paul Henry (q.v.), with whom he had graduated.
Lynd became a staff writer for the Daily News (later the News Chronicle) and from 1912 to 1947 was its literary editor. He also wrote for the Nation, and – under the pseudonym of Y. Y. – contributed, from 1913 to 1945, a weekly literary essay to the New Statesman. In politics he was a socialist and adherent of Sinn Fein and the Gaelic League; he also edited some of the works of James Connolly.
He is remembered today for the remarkable sequence of essays he wrote over a period of more than forty years. They never fall below a high level of elegance and fluency, and while some are too self-consciously literary for today’s taste, the best of them – such as The Herring Fleet, inspired by his memories of Ardglass – have become twentieth century classics.
Location of plaque: Windsor Avenue, Belfast
Date of Unveiling: 7 June 1996