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"I’ll expose you for who you are and what you’ve done."
— Henry Shaw Senior's threat to wizardkind[src]

Henry Shaw Senior was an American No-Maj newspaper magnate and founder of Shaw News.[4] He was the father of Henry Shaw Junior, a US Senator during the 1920s,[2] and Langdon Shaw.[3] While Henry was proud of Henry Shaw Jnr, he did not think very highly of his younger son Langdon, whom he considered a disappointment.


Early life

Henry Shaw Senior was born in or before 1854. He became a newspaper magnate by founding and running Shaw News, a company that published several newspapers, including the New-York Clarion. He also fathered at least two children, Henry Shaw Junior and Langdon Shaw.

The Obscurus

Meeting Credence Barebone

"Your brother and I are busy here, Langdon. Working on his campaign. We don’t have time for this."
— Henry Shaw Senior's dismissive attitude[src]

The Shaw family addressing the Barebone family

After Langdon Shaw began to believe there was a magical society living amongst them, he brought Mary Lou Barebone from the New Salem Philanthropic Society and her adopted children Credence, Chastity, and Modesty to his father's office. Langdon laid out a portfolio filled with a series of photographic evidence of witchcraft and told his father of his belief that "strange things going all over" New York. However, both he and Henry Shaw Jnr dismissed his story.[4] Mary Lou asked to garnish the support of his newspaper company and his older son re-election platform. But Henry Shaw Senior refused, and asked the Barebone family to leave. While they were leaving, Mary Lou's adopted son Credence dropped a leaflet and his older son the Senator handed the leaflet back to him and called him a freak.[6]

Attack on the Fundraising Dinner Hall

"Sounds of anguish and panic from the crowd as Shaw Snr fights through the debris toward his son’s torn and bleeding body, his face brutally scarred. Shaw Snr looks devastated as he crouches beside his son."
— Henry Shaw Snr reaction about the death of his son[src]

Henry Shaw Snr was present at a rally for his elder son's supporters in New York in the fund-raising dinner, which was also picketed by members of the New Salem Philanthropic Society.[7][8][9] When his older son the Senator was in the middle of his speech, an invisible force burst forth from beneath the organ. It soared across the hall, sending tables flying, and throwing people around as it carved a line toward the stage where Shaw Jnr was still standing.

Henry Shaw Snr watched in horror as the invisible force threw his son backwards against his poster, and then raised him up high where he was suspended for just a moment in midair before being thrown violently back down onto the stage, dead. In the midst of sounds of anguish and panic from the crowd as Henry Shaw Snr fought his way through the crowd to reach his son's dead body, feeling devastated as he crouched beside his slain son.[10]

Obscurial attack on New York

"That thing killed my son — I want justice!"
— Henry Shaw Snr about Credence's Obscurus[src]

Henry Shaw Senior witnessing the carnage in New York city

On the next night of 7 December 1926, when Credence unleashed his Obscurus on New York, eventually taking refuge in the subway station, Shaw fought, along with his other son Langdon, to make his way through the crowd standing before the magical barrier conjured by MACUSA, declaring his intent to get justice for his son, and ordered his photographers to take as many photographs and vowed to expose wizardkind. However, come dawn, Newton Scamander released Frank the Thunderbird into the sky, creating a rainstorm laced with Swooping Evil venom that Obliviated all memories of magic from the minds of Shaw and Langdon and every No-Maj in New York.[11]

Personality and traits

Henry Shaw Snr was a very serious, ambitious and rational individual, who was strongly focused and dedicated to his role as the leader of a huge media empire and the success of both his newspapers and his eldest son Henry. Regarding his two sons, he was evidently elitist and in favour of Henry massively over Langdon, who he admired for his political ambitions and success as a politician, whilst clearly being contemptuous of Langdon for being less motivated and successful, and being prone to seemingly trivial pursuits and ideas. Initially, being a very serious and sharp individual, he rejected the belief of the existence of witchcraft or Wizardkind in New York City, believing it be irrational nonsense, and thus dismisses the Barebones and expresses disappointment in Langdon for believing it himself, showing he had little time or patience for imagination or unproven things. However, upon his discovery of the existence of Wizardkind and magic following Creedence's Obscurial form murdering Henry Shaw Jnr at his campaign dinner, he immediately expressed his desire for answers from and vengeance against the Wizarding community, and threatened to expose their magic to the world. He was fiercely dedicated to his family's success and well-being above all else in the world.

Behind the scenes


The Harry Potter Wiki has 14 images related to Henry Shaw Senior.

Notes and references