His compositions consisted of editorials which he submitted to The Times. Additionally, he edited a four-volume anthology, The English Poets (1880); Men of the Reign (1885); The Reign of Queen Victoria (1887); English Art in the Public Galleries of London (1888); and Men of the Time, which ran to 12 editions. He wrote alone Humphry Sandwith, a Memoir (1884), and jointly The Oxford Spectator (1868) and Romney (1904).
He married Mary Augusta Arnold, who became a best-selling novelist of various genres including victorian values as Mrs Humphry Ward. Arnold was the daughter of a fellow Oxford academic, Tom Arnold and the marriage connected Ward to the influential intellectual families of the Arnolds and the Huxleys. They lived at 17 Bradmore Road in North Oxford, which Ward leased in 1872.