James Runciman (1852-1891) was an English teacher, author and journalist. He was born at Cresswell, a village near Morpeth in Northumberland. He was educated at Ellington school, and then for two years (1863-5) in the naval school at Greenwich, Kent, becoming afterwards a pupil-teacher at North Shields ragged school. While still a schoolmaster, he read for himself at night, and attempted journalism. He soon wrote regularly for the Teacher, the Schoolmaster, and Vanity Fair; of the last paper he became sub-editor in 1874. In January 1874, he matriculated at the University of London. About 1880, while continuing his school-work, he was sub-editor of London. Subsequently he confined himself solely to the profession of journalism. As a writer on social or ethical topics, he proved himself equally vigorous and versatile, but his best literary work described the life of the fishermen of the North Sea, with whom he spent many of his vacations. His most famous works include: The Romance of the Coast (1883), The Chequers (1888) and A Dream of the North Sea (1889).