Winton, Henry David

Henry David Winton, journalist (fl 1830-85? at St John's). Outspoken editor of the St John's Public Ledger, a Protestant, mercantile journal, Winton originally supported representative government but soon felt the system to be ineffective, owing greatly to the influence of "an ignorant, a vicious and a political priesthood." Thus began his vocal crusade against religion in politics, often degenerating to one of mud-slinging, which aroused the active opposition of the Catholics, who reciprocated with equal fervour. In May 1835 he had his ears cut off by a band of 4 men, supposedly fishermen he had insulted some years earlier for assembling to protest the truck system used by merchants. A substantial reward failed to apprehend the guilty. This did not temper Winton's pen, and on a later Christmas night his house was surrounded by a mob, which he had to call garrison troops to disperse. During election riots in 1860-61, which culminated in deaths, Winton advocated the termination of the entire representative system, calling the Assembly an "impossible mob."