New light on tragedy

PUBLISHED: 10:37 30 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:17 06 May 2010

Richard Whitmore limited edition biography

Richard Whitmore limited edition biography

FORMER BBC newsreader Richard Whitmore is offering subscribers a chance to order a limited edition of his Reginald Hine biography. The book throws new light on the mystery behind the death of the Hertfordshire lawyer and historian who jumped in front of a

FORMER BBC newsreader Richard Whitmore is offering subscribers a chance to order a limited edition of his Reginald Hine biography.

The book throws new light on the mystery behind the death of the Hertfordshire lawyer and historian who jumped in front of a train at Hitchin station in 1949.

Richard, of St Ippolyts, spent five years researching the book and has uncovered a troubled side to his subject.

He said: "I was surprised to discover that he grew to dislike working in the legal profession and eventually began flouting its rules. It was this - coupled with a serious mental disorder - which eventually led to the historian's downfall and horrific death."

Reginald, best remembered as a talented public speaker and writer, spent more than 30 years at Hitchin law firm Hawkins & Co in Portmill Lane, now named Hawkins Russell Jones.

He produced History of Hitchin, and Hitchin Worthies. Confessions of An Un-Common Attorney sold all over the world and became recommended reading for law students.

After the tragic death of her husband, Florence Hine sold Willian Bury, their home near Letchworth GC, and left the area for good. However, the nanny to Reginald's grandchildren still lives in the area.

She was able to put Richard in contact with Andrew McEwan, the oldest of the three grandsons who now lives in Cremona, Italy, and holds most of the family archives.

He has provided access to photographs, family papers and legal documents, and is as keen as Richard to uncover the truth behind the circumstances of the grandfather he lost at the age of six.

There will be only 1,000 copies published of the biography. The shop price will be £20, but advance subscribers can expect to pay £17.50 plus postage if required.

Subscribers' names will be printed in a special section at the back.

The publication date will be March 3, 2007 if 250 paid-up orders are received by mid December. The event will be a prominent feature of the North Hertfordshire Book Festival, of which Richard is president.

Brochures are available from Eric Moore's bookshop, 24 Bridge Street, Hitchin, or David's bookshop, 14 Eastcheap, Letchworth GC.

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