29 Facts About Beatrice Webb


Martha Beatrice Webb, Baroness Passfield, was an English sociologist, economist, socialist, labour historian and social reformer.

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Beatrice Webb's was among the founders of the London School of Economics and played a crucial role in forming the Fabian Society.

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Beatrice Webb Potter was born in Standish House in the village of Standish, Gloucestershire, the last but one of the nine daughters of businessman Richard Potter and Laurencina Heyworth, a Liverpool merchant's daughter; Laurencina, was friends for a time with the prolific Victorian novelist, Margaret Oliphant during the 1840s.

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From an early age Beatrice Webb was self-taught and cited as important influences the cooperative movement and the philosopher Herbert Spencer.

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Marriage in 1892 to Sidney Beatrice Webb established a lifelong "partnership" of shared causes.

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Beatrice Webb left unfinished a planned autobiography, under the general title My Creed and My Craft.

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Young Beatrice Webb assisted her cousin by marriage Charles Booth in his pioneering survey of the Victorian slums of London, work which eventually became the massive 17-volume Life and Labour of the People of London .

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In 1890 Beatrice Potter was introduced to Sidney Webb, whose help she sought with her research.

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Beatrice Webb was a lacto-vegetarian, she described herself as an "anti-flesh-fish-egg-alcohol-coffee-and-sugar eater".

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Beatrice Webb made a number of important contributions to the political and economic theory of the co-operative movement.

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Beatrice Webb's identified herself as a co-operative federalist, a school of thought which advocates consumer co-operative societies.

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Beatrice Webb's argued that consumers' co-operatives should be set up as co-operative wholesale societies and that these federal co-operatives should then acquire farms or factories.

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Beatrice Webb dismissed the idea of worker co-operatives where the people who did the work and benefited from it had some control over how it was organised, arguing that – at the time she was writing – such ventures had proved largely unsuccessful, at least in ushering in her form of socialism led by volunteer committees of people like herself.

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Beatrice Webb was the lead author of the dissenting minority report.

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Beatrice Webb was later appointed director of the London School of Economics.

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Beatrice Webb responded by lampooning the couple in his 1911 novel The New Machiavelli as Altiora and Oscar Bailey, a pair of short-sighted, bourgeois manipulators.

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Beatrice Webb's campaigned for his successful election in 1922 to the parliamentary seat of coastal Seaham, a mine-working community in County Durham.

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In 1932, Beatrice Webb was elected a Fellow of the British Academy ; she was the first woman elected to the fellowship.

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Beatrice Webb'storians have criticised the Webbs for the naive supposition that the methods they had developed in analysing and formulating social policy in Britain could be applied to the Soviet Union.

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Beatrice Webb's was among those listed in the German-compiled "Black Book".

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Beatrice Webb did not refer to herself as Lady Passfield or expect others to do so.

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In retirement, Beatrice Webb would reflect on the success of their other progeny.

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Beatrice Webb served as British ambassador to Moscow during the Second World War and later as Chancellor of the Exchequer under Clement Attlee.

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When Beatrice Webb died in 1943, she was cremated at Woking Crematorium.

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Beatrice Webb did not live to see the welfare state set up by the post-war Labour government.

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Beatrice Webb's believed that citizens who were given benefits by the community ought to make an effort to improve themselves, or at least submit themselves to those who would improve them.

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Beatrice Webb's papers, including her diaries, form part of the Passfield archive at the London School of Economics.

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The Beatrice Webb Diaries are now digitised and available online at the LSE's Digital Library.

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Posts about Beatrice Webb regularly appear in the LSE Archives blog, Out of the box.

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