Robert Lynd

Nationalist writer, essayist and editor.

Robert Wilson Lynd, nationalist writer, essayist and editor, was born at Belfast’s Cliftonville Road in April 1879. His father Robert John Lynd was minister at May Street Presbyterian Church. Lynd was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institute and at the Queen’s University of Belfast.

After a period as a reporter on the Northern Whig, he moved first to Manchester, and then to London, where he shared a studio with fellow Belfast man, the painter Paul Henry. 

Although much of his writing life was spent living in England, and he volunteered for army service on the outbreak of the first world war, Lynd was an outspoken advocate of Irish independence, the Gaelic revival, and the Irish language. Under the pen name Roibeard Ua Flionn, he wrote pieces in support of Sinn Fein.

As well as editing James Connolly’s Labour in Ireland, Labour in Irish History and The Reconquest of Ireland, Lynd’s publications include Irish and English and Home Life in Ireland (both 1908), Ireland a Nation (1919), The Art of Letters (1920), and Dr Johnson and his Company (1929). His collected essays for the New Statesman and Nation run to 30 volumes.   

On his death in 1949, Robert Lynd was buried at Belfast City Cemetery.