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Evelyn Underhill
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/26/20

By the mid-1890s, the Golden Dawn was well established in Great Britain, with over one hundred members from every class of Victorian society. Many celebrities belonged to the Golden Dawn, such as the actress Florence Farr, the Irish revolutionary Maud Gonne, the Irish poet William Butler Yeats, the Welsh author Arthur Machen, and the English authors Evelyn Underhill and Aleister Crowley.

-- Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, by Wikipedia

Evelyn Underhill
Born: 6 December 1875, Wolverhampton, England
Died: 15 June 1941 (aged 65), London, England
Occupation: Novelist, writer, mystic
Genre: Christian mysticism, spirituality
Notable works: Mysticism

Evelyn Underhill (6 December 1875 – 15 June 1941) was an English Anglo-Catholic writer and pacifist known for her numerous works on religion and spiritual practice, in particular Christian mysticism.

In the English-speaking world, she was one of the most widely read writers on such matters in the first half of the 20th century. No other book of its type—until the appearance in 1946 of Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy—met with success to match that of her best-known work, Mysticism, published in 1911.[1]


Underhill was born in Wolverhampton. She was a poet and novelist, as well as a pacifist and mystic. An only child, she described her early mystical insights as "abrupt experiences of the peaceful, undifferentiated plane of reality—like the 'still desert' of the mystic—in which there was no multiplicity nor need of explanation".[2] The meaning of these experiences became a lifelong quest and a source of private angst, provoking her to research and write.

Both her father and her husband were writers (on the law), London barristers, and yachtsmen. She and her husband, Hubert Stuart Moore, grew up together and were married on 3 July 1907. The couple had no children. She travelled regularly within Europe, primarily Switzerland, France and Italy, where she pursued her interests in art and Catholicism, visiting numerous churches and monasteries. Neither her husband (a Protestant) nor her parents shared her interest in spiritual matters.

Underhill was called simply "Mrs Moore" by many of her friends, but was not without her detractors[citation needed]. She was a prolific author and published over 30 books either under her maiden name, Underhill, or under the pseudonym "John Cordelier", as was the case for the 1912 book The Spiral Way. Initially an agnostic, she gradually began to acquire an interest in Neoplatonism and from there was increasingly drawn to Catholicism against the objections of her husband, eventually becoming a prominent Anglo-Catholic. Her spiritual mentor from 1921 to 1924 was Baron Friedrich von Hügel, who was appreciative of her writing yet concerned with her focus on mysticism and who encouraged her to adopt a much more Christocentric view as opposed to the theistic and intellectual one she had previously held. She described him as "the most wonderful personality. saintly, truthful, sane and tolerant" (Cropper, p. 44) and was influenced by him toward more charitable, down-to-earth activities. After his death in 1925, her writings became more focused on the Holy Spirit and she became prominent in the Anglican Church as a lay leader of spiritual retreats, a spiritual director for hundreds of individuals, guest speaker, radio lecturer, and proponent of contemplative prayer.

Underhill came of age in the Edwardian era, at the turn of the 20th century and, like most of her contemporaries, had a decided romantic bent. The enormous excitement in those days was mysteriously compounded of the psychic, the psychological, the occult, the mystical, the medieval, the advance of science, the apotheosis of art, the re-discovery of the feminine, the unashamedly sensuous, and the most ethereally "spiritual" (Armstrong, p. xiii–xiv). Anglicanism seemed to her out-of-key with this, her world. She sought the centre of life as she and many of her generation conceived it, not in the state religion, but in experience and the heart. This age of "the soul" was one of those periods when a sudden easing of social taboos brings on a great sense of personal emancipation and desire for an El Dorado despised by an older, more morose and insensitive generation.[1]

As an only child, she was devoted to her parents and, later, to her husband. She was fully engaged in the life of a barrister's daughter and wife, including the entertainment and charitable work that entailed, and pursued a daily regimen that included writing, research, worship, prayer and meditation. It was a fundamental axiom of hers that all of life was sacred, as that was what "incarnation" was about.

She was a cousin of Francis Underhill, Bishop of Bath and Wells.


Underhill was educated at home, except for three years at a private school in Folkestone, and subsequently read history and botany at King's College London. She was conferred with an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Aberdeen University and made a fellow of King's College. She was the first woman to lecture to the clergy in the Church of England as well as the first woman officially to conduct spiritual retreats for the Church. She was also the first woman to establish ecumenical links between churches and one of the first woman theologians to lecture in English colleges and universities, which she did frequently. Underhill was an award-winning bookbinder, studying with the most renowned masters of the time. She was schooled in the classics, well read in Western spirituality, well informed (in addition to theology) in the philosophy, psychology, and physics of her day, and was a writer and reviewer for The Spectator.

Early work

Before undertaking many of her better known expository works on mysticism, she first published a small book of satirical poems on legal dilemmas, The Bar-Lamb's Ballad Book, which received a favorable welcome. Underhill then wrote three highly unconventional though profoundly spiritual novels. Like Charles Williams and later, Susan Howatch, Underhill uses her narratives to explore the sacramental intersection of the physical with the spiritual. She then uses that sacramental framework very effectively to illustrate the unfolding of a human drama. Her novels are entitled The Grey World (1904), The Lost Word (1907), and The Column of Dust (1909). In her first novel, The Grey World, described by one reviewer as an extremely interesting psychological study, the hero's mystical journey begins with death, and then moves through reincarnation, beyond the grey world, and into the choice of a simple life devoted to beauty, reflecting Underhill's own serious perspective as a young woman.

It seems so much easier in these days to live morally than to live beautifully. Lots of us manage to exist for years without ever sinning against society, but we sin against loveliness every hour of the day.[3]

The Lost Word and The Column of Dust are also concerned with the problem of living in two worlds and reflect the writer's own spiritual challenges. In the 1909 novel, her heroine encounters a rift in the solid stuff of her universe:

She had seen, abruptly, the insecurity of those defences which protect our illusions and ward off the horrors of truth. She had found a little hole in the wall of appearances; and peeping through, had caught a glimpse of that seething pot of spiritual forces whence, now and then, a bubble rises to the surface of things.[4]

Underhill's novels suggest that perhaps for the mystic, two worlds may be better than one. For her, mystical experience seems inseparable from some kind of enhancement of consciousness or expansion of perceptual and aesthetic horizons—to see things as they are, in their meanness and insignificance when viewed in opposition to the divine reality, but in their luminosity and grandeur when seen bathed in divine radiance. But at this stage the mystic's mind is subject to fear and insecurity, its powers undeveloped. The first novel takes us only to this point. Further stages demand suffering, because mysticism is more than merely vision or cultivating a latent potentiality of the soul in cosy isolation. According to Underhill's view, the subsequent pain and tension, and final loss of the private painful ego-centered life for the sake of regaining one's true self, has little to do with the first beatific vision. Her two later novels are built on the ideal of total self-surrender even to the apparent sacrifice of the vision itself, as necessary for the fullest possible integration of human life. This was for her the equivalent of working out within, the metaphorical intent of the life story of Jesus. One is reunited with the original vision—no longer as mere spectator but as part of it. This dimension of self-loss and resurrection is worked out in The Lost Word, but there is some doubt as to its general inevitability. In The Column of Dust, the heroine's physical death reinforces dramatically the mystical death to which she has already surrendered. Two lives are better than one but only on the condition that a process of painful re-integration intervenes to re-establish unity between Self and Reality.[1]

All her characters derive their interest from the theological meaning and value which they represent, and it is her ingenious handling of so much difficult symbolic material that makes her work psychologically interesting as a forerunner of such 20th-century writers as Susan Howatch, whose successful novels also embody the psychological value of religious metaphor and the traditions of Christian mysticism. Her first novel received critical acclaim, but her last was generally derided. However, her novels give remarkable insight into what we may assume was her decision to avoid what St. Augustine described as the temptation of fuga in solitudinem ("the flight into solitude"), but instead acquiescing to a loving, positive acceptance of this world. Not looking back, by this time she was already working on her magnum opus.

Writings on religion

Mysticism (1911)

Underhill's greatest book, Mysticism: A Study of the Nature and Development of Man's Spiritual Consciousness, was published in 1911, and is distinguished by the very qualities which make it ill-suited as a straightforward textbook. The spirit of the book is romantic, engaged, and theoretical rather than historical or scientific. Underhill has little use for theoretical explanations and the traditional religious experience, formal classifications or analysis. She dismisses William James' pioneering study, The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902), and his "four marks of the mystic state" (ineffability, noetic quality, transience, and passivity). James had admitted that his own constitution shut him off almost entirely from the enjoyment of mystical states, thus his treatment was purely objective. Underhill substituted (1) mysticism is practical, not theoretical, (2) mysticism is an entirely spiritual activity, (3) the business and method of mysticism is love, and (4) mysticism entails a definite psychological experience. Her insistence on the psychological approach was that it was the glamorous science of the pre-war period, offering the potential key to the secrets of human advances in intelligence, creativity, and genius, and already psychological findings were being applied in theology (i.e., William Sanday's Christologies Ancient and Modern).[1]

She divided her subject into two parts: the first, an introduction, and the second, a detailed study of the nature and development of human consciousness. In the first section, in order to free the subject of mysticism from confusion and misapprehension, she approached it from the point of view of the psychologist, the symbolist and the theologian. To separate mysticism from its most dubious connection, she included a chapter on mysticism and magic. At the time, and still today, mysticism is associated with the occult, magic, secret rites, and fanaticism, while she knew the mystics throughout history to be the world's spiritual pioneers.

She divided her map of "the way" into five stages: the first was the "Awakening of Self". She quotes Henry Suso (disciple of Meister Eckhart):

That which the Servitor saw had no form neither any manner of being; yet he had of it a joy such as he might have known in the seeing of shapes and substances of all joyful things. His heart was hungry, yet satisfied, his soul was full of contentment and joy: his prayers and his hopes were fulfilled. (Cropper p. 46)

Underhill tells how Suso's description of how the abstract truth (related to each soul's true nature and purpose), once remembered, contains the power of fulfilment became the starting point of her own path. The second stage she presents as psychological "Purgation of Self", quoting the Theologia Germanica (14th century, anonymous) regarding the transcendence of ego (Underhill's "little self"):

We must cast all things from us and strip ourselves of them and refrain from claiming anything for our own.

The third stage she titles "Illumination" and quotes William Law:

Everything in ...nature, is descended out that which is eternal, and stands as a. ..visible outbirth of it, so when we know how to separate out the grossness, death, and darkness. ..from it, we find. in its eternal state.

The fourth stage she describes as the "Dark Night of the Soul" (which her correspondence leads us to believe she struggled with throughout her life) wherein one is deprived of all that has been valuable to the lower self, and quoting Mechthild of Magdeburg:

...since Thou hast taken from me all that I had of Thee, yet of Thy grace leave me the gift which every dog has by nature: that of being true to Thee in my distress, when I am deprived of all consolation. This I desire more fervently than Thy heavenly Kingdom.

And last she devotes a chapter to the unitive life, the sum of the mystic way:

When love has carried us above all things into the Divine Dark, there we are transformed by the Eternal Word Who is the image of the Father; and as the air is penetrated by the sun, thus we receive in peace the Incomprehensible Light, enfolding us, and penetrating us. (Ruysbroech)

Where Underhill struck new ground was in her insistence that this state of union produced a glorious and fruitful creativeness, so that the mystic who attains this final perfectness is the most active doer – not the reclusive dreaming lover of God.

We are all the kindred of the mystics. ..Strange and far away from us though they seem, they are not cut off from us by some impassable abyss. They belong to us; the giants, the heroes of our race. As the achievement of genius belongs not to itself only but also to the society that brought it forth;...the supernal accomplishment of the mystics is ours also. ..our guarantee of the end to which immanent love, the hidden steersman. moving. on the path toward the Real. They come back to us from an encounter with life's most august secret. ..filled with amazing tidings which they can hardly tell. We, longing for some assurance. ..urge them to pass on their revelation. ..the old demand of the dim-sighted and incredulous. ..But they cannot. ..only fragments of the Symbolic Vision. According to their strength and passion, these lovers of the Absolute. ..have not shrunk from the suffering. ..Beauty and agony have called. ..have awakened a heroic response. For them the winter is over. ..Life new, unquenchable and lovely comes to meet them with the dawn. (Cropper, p. 47)

The book ends with an extremely valuable appendix, a kind of who's who of mysticism, which shows its persistence and interconnection from century to century.

Ruysbroeck (1914)

A work by Evelyn Underhill, on the 14th-century Flemish mystic Jan van Ruusbroec (1293–1381), entitled Ruysbroeck was published in London in 1914.[5] She had discussed him from several different perspectives during the course of her 1911 book on Mysticism.

I. Life. She starts with a biography, drawn mainly from two near-contemporary works on his life, each written by a fellow monastic: Pomerius,[6] and Gerard Naghel.[7]

His childhood was spent in the village of Ruysbroeck. [page 7] At eleven he ran away to Brussels, where he began to live with his uncle, John Hinckaert, a Canon at the Cathedral of St. Gudule, and a younger Canon, Francis van Coudenberg. [10] At twenty-four he was ordained a priest and became a prebend at St. Gudule. [12] At his first mass he envisioned his mother's spirit released from Purgatory and entering Heaven. [15] From age 26 to 50 Ruysbroeck was a cathedral chaplain at St. Gudule. [15] Although he "seemed a nobody to those who did not know him", he was developing a strong spiritual life, "a penetrating intellect, a fearless heart, deep knowledge of human nature, remarkable powers of expression". [17] At one point he wrote strong pamphlets and led a campaign against a heretical group, the Brethren of the Free Spirit led by Bloemardinne, who practiced a self-indulgent "mysticality". [18–20] Later, with the two now elderly Canons, he moved into the countryside at Groenendael ("Green Valley"). [21–22] Pomerius writes that he retired not to hide his light "but that he might tend it better" [22]. Five years later their community became a Priory under the Augustinian Canons. [23]

Many of his works were written during this period, often drawing lessons from nature. [24] He had a favorite tree under which he would sit and write what the 'Spirit' gave to him. [25] He solemnly affirmed that his works were composed under the "domination of an inspiring power", writes Underhill. [26] Pomerius says that Ruysbroeck could enter a state of contemplation in which he appeared surrounded by radiant light. [26–27] Alongside his spiritual ascent, Naghel says, he cultivated the friendship of those around him, enriching their lives. [27–28] He worked in the garden fields of the priory, and sought to help out creatures of the forest. [29–30] He moved from the senses to the transcendent without frontiers or cleavage, Underhill writes, these being for him "but two moods within the mind of God". [30] He counseled many who came to him, including Gerard Groot of the Brothers of the Common Life. [31] His advice would plumb the "purity and direction" of the seeker's will, and the seeker's love. [32] There, at Groenendael, he finally made a "leap to a more abundant life". [34] In The Sparkling Stone Ruysbroeck wrote about coming to know the love "which giveth more than one can take, and asketh more than one can pay". [34]

II. Works. Next, Underhill gives a bibliography of Ruysbroeck's eleven admittedly authentic works, providing details concerning each work's origin, nature, and contents, as well as their place in his writings. 1. The Spiritual Tabernacle; 2. The Twelve Points of True Faith; 3. The Book of the Four Temptations; 4. The Book of the Kingdom of God's Lovers; 5. The Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage;[8] 6. The Mirror of Eternal Salvation or Book of the Blessed Sacraments; 7. The Seven Cloisters; 8. The Seven Degrees of the Ladder of Love; 9. The Book of the Sparkling Stone; 10. The Book of the Supreme Truth; 11. The Twelve Béguines. [36–51]

III. Doctrine of God. Several types of mystics are described. The first (e.g., St. Teresa) deals with personal psychological experiences and emotional reactions, leaving the nature of God to existing theology. [page 52] The second (e.g., Plotinus) has passion sprung from the vision of a philosopher; the intellect often is more active than the heart, yet like a poet such a mystic strives to sketch his vision of the Ultimate. [53] The greatest mystics (e.g., St. Augustine) embrace at once "the infinite and the intimate" so that "God is both near and far, and the paradox of transcendent-immanent Reality is a self-evident if an inexpressible truth." Such mystics "give us by turns a subjective and psychological, an objective and metaphysical, reading of spiritual experience." Here is Ruysbroeck. [53–54]

An apostolic mystic [55] represents humanity in its quest to discern the Divine Reality, she writes, being like "the artist extending our universe, the pioneer cutting our path, the hunter winning food for our souls." [56] Yet, although his experience is personal, his language is often drawn from tradition. [57] His words about an ineffable Nature of God, "a dim silence, and a wild desert," may be suggestive, musical, she writes, "which enchant rather than inform the soul". [58] Ruysbroeck goes venturing "to hover over that Abyss which is 'beyond Reason,' stammering and breaking into wild poetry in the desperate attempt to seize the unseizable truth." [55] "[T]he One is 'neither This nor That'." [61]

"God as known by man" is the Absolute One who combines and resolves the contradictory natures of time and eternity, becoming and being; who is both transcendent and immanent, abstract and personal, work and rest, the unmoved mover and movement itself. God is above the storm, yet inspires the flux. [59–60] The "omnipotent and ever-active Creator" who is "perpetually breathing forth His energetic Life in new births of being and new floods of grace." [60] Yet the soul may persist, go beyond this fruitful nature,[9] into the simple essence of God. There we humans would find that "absolute and abiding Reality, which seems to man Eternal Rest, the 'Deep Quiet of the Godhead,' the 'Abyss,' the 'Dim Silence'; and which we can taste indeed but never know. There, 'all lovers lose themselves'." [60]

The Trinity, according to Ruysbroeck, works in living distinctions, "the fruitful nature of the Persons." [61] The Trinity in itself is a Unity, yet a manifestation of the active and creative Divine, a Union of Three Persons, which is the Godhead. [60–61][10] Beyond and within the Trinity, or the Godhead, then, is the "fathomless Abyss" [60] that is the "Simple Being of God" that is "an Eternal Rest of God and of all created things." [61][11]

The Father is the unconditioned Origin, Strength and Power, of all things. [62] The Son is the Eternal Word and Wisdom that shines forth in the world of conditions. [62] The Holy Spirit is Love and Generosity emanating from the mutual contemplation of Father and Son. [62][12] The Three Persons "exist in an eternal distinction [emphasis added] for that world of conditions wherein the human soul is immersed". [63] By the acts of the Three Persons all created things are born; by the incarnation and crucifixion we human souls are adorned with love, and so to be drawn back to our Source. "This is the circling course of the Divine life-process." [63]

But beyond and above this eternal distinction lies "the superessential world, transcending all conditions, inaccessible to thought-- 'the measureless solitude of the Godhead, where God possesses Himself in joy.' This is the ultimate world of the mystic." [63–64] There, she continues, quoting Ruysbroeck:

"[W]e can speak no more of Father, Son and Holy Spirit nor of any creature; but only of one Being, which is the very substance of the Divine Persons. There were we all one before our creation; for this is our superessence... . There the Godhead is, in simple essence, without activity; Eternal Rest, Unconditioned Dark, the Nameless Being, the Superessence of all created things, and the simple and infinite Bliss of God and of all the Saints." [64][13]

"The simple light of this Being... includes and embraces the unity of the Divine Persons and the soul... ." It envelopes and irradiates the ground (movement) of human souls and the fruition of their adherence to God, finding union in the Divine life-process, the Rose. "And this is the union of God and the souls that love Him." [64–65][14]

IV. Doctrine of Humankind. For Ruysbroeck, "God is the 'Living Pattern of Creation' who has impressed His image on each soul, and in every adult spirit the character of that image must be brought from the hiddenness and realized." [66][15] The pattern is trinitarian; there are three properties of the human soul. First, resembling the Father, "the bare, still place to which consciousness retreats in introversion... ." [67] Second, following the Son, "the power of knowing Divine things by intuitive comprehension: man's fragmentary share in the character of the Logos, or Wisdom of God." [67–68] "The third property we call the spark of the soul. It is the inward and natural tendency of the soul towards its Source; and here do we receive the Holy Spirit, the Charity of God." [68].[16] So will God work within the human being; in later spiritual development we may form with God a Union, and eventually a Unity. [70–71][17]

The mighty force of Love is the 'very self-hood of God' in this mysterious communion. [72, 73] "As we lay hold upon the Divine Life, devour and assimilate it, so in that very act the Divine Life devours us, and knits us up into the mystical Body," she writes. "It is the nature of love," says Ruysbroeck, "ever to give and to take, to love and be loved, and these two things meet in whomsoever loves. Thus the love of Christ is both avid and generous... as He devours us, so He would feed us. If He absorbs us utterly into Himself, in return He gives us His very self again." [75–76][18] "Hungry love," "generous love," "stormy love" touches the human soul with its Divine creative energy and, once we become conscious of it, evokes in us an answering storm of love. "The whole of our human growth within the spiritual order is conditioned by the quality of this response; by the will, the industry, the courage, with which [we accept our] part in the Divine give-and-take." [74] As Ruysbroeck puts it:

That measureless Love which is God Himself, dwells in the pure deeps of our spirit, like a burning brazier of coal. And it throws forth brilliant and fiery sparks which stir and enkindle heart and senses, will and desire, and all the powers of the soul, with a fire of love; a storm, a rage, a measureless fury of love. These be the weapons with which we fight against the terrible and immense Love of God, who would consume all loving spirits and swallow them in Himself. Love arms us with its own gifts, and clarifies our reason, and commands, counsels and advises us to oppose Him, to fight against Him, and to maintain against Him our right to love, so long as we may. [74–75][19]

The drama of this giving and receiving Love constitutes a single act, for God is as an "ocean which ebbs and flows" or as an "inbreathing and outbreathing". [75, 76] "Love is a unifying power, manifested in motion itself, 'an outgoing attraction, which drags us out of ourselves and calls us to be melted and naughted in the Unity'; and all his deepest thoughts of it are expressed in terms of movement." [76][20]

Next, the spiritual development of the soul is addressed. [76–88] Ruysbroeck adumbrates how one may progress from the Active life, to the Interior life, to the Superessential life; these correspond to the three natural orders of Becoming, Being, and God, or to the three rôles of the Servant, the Friend, and the "hidden child" of God. [77, 85] The Active life focuses on ethics, on conforming the self's daily life to the Will of God, and takes place in the world of the senses, "by means". [78] The Interior life embraces a vision of spiritual reality, where the self's contacts with the Divine take place "without means". [78] The Superessential life transcends the intellectual plane, whereby the self does not merely behold, but rather has fruition of the Godhead in life and in love, at work and at rest, in union and in bliss. [78, 86, 87][21] The analogy with the traditional threefold way of Purgation, Illumination, and Union, is not exact. The Interior life of Ruysbroeck contains aspects of the traditional Union also, while the Superessential life "takes the soul to heights of fruition which few amongst even the greatest unitive mystics have attained or described." [78–79]

At the end of her chapter IV, she discusses "certain key-words frequent in Ruysbroeck's works," e.g., 'Fruition' [89], 'Simple' [89–90], 'Bareness' or 'Nudity' [90], and "the great pair of opposites, fundamental to his thought, called in the Flemish vernacular Wise and Onwise." [91–93][22] The Wise can be understood by the "normal man [living] within the temporal order" by use of "his ordinary mental furniture". [91] Yet regarding the Onwise he has "escaped alike from the tyrannies and comforts of the world" and made the "ascent into the Nought". [92][23] She comments, "This is the direct, unmediated world of spiritual intuition; where the self touches a Reality that has not been passed through the filters of sense and thought." [92] After a short quote from Jalālu'ddīn, she completes her chapter by presenting eighteen lines from Ruysbroeck's The Twelve Bêguines (cap. viii) which concern Contemplation:

Contemplation is a knowing that is in no wise ...
Never can it sink down into the Reason,
And above it can the Reason never climb. ...
It is not God,
But it is the Light by which we see Him.
Those who walk in the Divine Light of it
Discover in themselves the Unwalled.
That which is in no wise, is above Reason, not without it ...
The contemplative life is without amazement.
That which is in no wise sees, it knows not what;
For it is above all, and is neither This nor That. [93]

V, VI, VII, VIII. In her last four chapters, Underhill continues her discussion of Ruysbroeck, describing the Active Life [94–114], the Interior Life (Illumination and Destitution [115–135], Union and Contemplation [136–163]), and the Superessential Life [164–185].[24]

"The Mysticism of Plotinus" (1919)

An essay originally published in The Quarterly Review (1919),[25] and later collected in The Essentials of Mysticism and other essays (London: J. M. Dent 1920) at pp. 116–140.[26] Underhill here addresses Plotinus (204–270) of Alexandria and later of Rome.

A Neoplatonist as well as a spiritual guide, Plotinus writes regarding both formal philosophy and hands-on, personal, inner experience. Underhill makes the distinction between the geographer who draws maps of the mind, and the seeker who actually travels in the realms of spirit. [page 118] She observes that usually mystics do not follow the mere maps of metaphysicians. [page 117]

In the Enneads Plotinus presents the Divine as an unequal triune, in descending order: (a) the One, perfection, having nothing, seeking nothing, needing nothing, yet it overflows creatively, the source of being; [121] (b) the emitted Nous or Spirit, with intelligence, wisdom, poetic intuition, the "Father and Companion" of the soul; [121–122] and, (c) the emitted Soul or Life, the vital essence of the world, which aspires to communion with the Spirit above, while also directly engaged with the physical world beneath. [123]

People "come forth from God" and will find happiness once re-united, first with the Nous, later with the One. [125] Such might be the merely logical outcome for the metaphysician, yet Plotinus the seeker also presents this return to the Divine as a series of moral purgations and a shedding of irrational delusions, leading eventually to entry into the intuitively beautiful. [126] This intellectual and moral path toward a life aesthetic will progressively disclose an invisible source, the Nous, the forms of Beauty. [127] Love is the prevailing inspiration, although the One is impersonal. [128] The mystic will pass through stages of purification, and of enlightenment, resulting in a shift in the center of our being "from sense to soul, from soul to spirit," in preparation for an ultimate transformation of consciousness. [125, 127] Upon our arrival, we shall know ecstasy and "no longer sing out of tune, but form a divine chorus round the One." [129]

St. Augustine (354–430) criticizes such Neoplatonism as neglecting the needs of struggling and imperfect human beings. The One of Plotinus may act as a magnet for the human soul, but it cannot be said to show mercy, nor to help, or love, or redeem the individual on earth. [130] Other western mystics writing on the Neoplatonists mention this lack of "mutual attraction" between humanity and the unconscious, unknowable One. [130–131] In this regard Julian of Norwich (1342–1416) would write, "Our natural will is to have God, and the good-will of God is to have us." [130]

Plotinus leaves the problem of evil unresolved, but having no place in the blissful life; here, the social, ethical side of religion seems to be shorted. His philosophy does not include qualities comparable to the Gospel's divine "transfiguration of pain" through Jesus. [131] Plotinus "the self-sufficient sage" does not teach us charity, writes St. Augustine. [132]

Nonetheless, Underhill notes, Plotinus and Neoplatonism were very influential among the mystics of Christianity (and Islam). St. Augustine the Church Father was himself deeply affected by Plotinus, and through him the western Church. [133–135, 137] So, too, was Dionysius (5th century, Syria), whose writings would also prove very influential. [133, 135] As well were others, e.g., Erigena [135], Dante [136], Ruysbroeck [136, 138], Eckhart [138], and Boehme [139].

Worship (1936)

In her preface,[27] the author disclaims being "a liturgical expert". Neither is it her purpose to offer criticism of the different approaches to worship as practiced by the various religious bodies. Rather she endeavors to show "the love that has gone to their adornment [and] the shelter they can offer to many different kinds of adoring souls." She begins chapter one by declaring that "Worship, in all its grades and kinds, is the response of the creature to the Eternal: nor need we limit this definition to the human sphere. ...we may think of the whole of the Universe, seen and unseen, conscious and unconscious, as an act of worship."

The chapter headings give an indication of its contents.

Part I: 1. The Nature of Worship, 2. Ritual and Symbol, 3. Sacrament and Sacrifice, 4. The Character of Christian Worship, 5. Principles of Corporate Worship, 6. Liturgical Elements in Worship, 7. The Holy Eucharist: Its Nature, 8. The Holy Eucharist: Its Significance, 9. The Principles of Personal Worship.

Part II: 10. Jewish Worship, 11. The Beginnings of Christian Worship, 12. Catholic Worship: Western and Eastern, 13. Worship in the Reformed Churches, 14. Free Church Worship, 15. The Anglican Tradition. Conclusion.


Underhill's life was greatly affected by her husband's resistance to her joining the Catholic Church to which she was powerfully drawn. At first she believed it to be only a delay in her decision, but it proved to be lifelong. He was, however, a writer himself and was supportive of her writing both before and after their marriage in 1907, though he did not share her spiritual affinities. Her fiction was written in the six years between 1903–1909 and represents her four major interests of that general period: philosophy (neoplatonism), theism/mysticism, the Roman Catholic liturgy, and human love/compassion.[28] In her earlier writings Underhill often wrote using the terms "mysticism" and "mystics" but later began to adopt the terms "spirituality" and "saints" because she felt they were less threatening. She was often criticized for believing that the mystical life should be accessible to the average person.

Her fiction was also influenced by the literary creed expounded by her close friend Arthur Machen, mainly his Hieroglyphics of 1902, summarised by his biographer:

There are certain truths about the universe and its constitution – as distinct from the particular things in it that come before our observation – which cannot be grasped by human reason or expressed in precise words: but they can be apprehended by some people at least, in a semi-mystical experience, called ecstasy, and a work of art is great insofar as this experience is caught and expressed in it. Because, however, the truths concerned transcend a language attuned to the description of material objects, the expression can only be through hieroglyphics, and it is of such hieroglyphics that literature consists.

In Underhill's case the quest for psychological realism is subordinate to larger metaphysical considerations which she shared with Arthur Machen. Incorporating the Holy Grail into their fiction (stimulated perhaps by their association with Arthur Waite and his affiliation with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn), for Machen the Holy Grail was perhaps "the" hieroglyph, "the" crystallisation in one sacred emblem of all man's transcendental yearning, "the" gateway to vision and lasting appeasement of his discontents, while for her it was the center of atonement-linked meanings as she pointed out to Margaret Robinson in a letter responding to Robinson's criticism of Underhill's last novel:

Don't marvel at your own temerity in criticising. Why should you? Of course, this thing wasn't written for you – I never write for anyone at all, except in letters of direction! But, I take leave to think the doctrine contained in it is one you'll have to assimilate sooner or later and which won't do you any harm. It's not "mine" you know. You will find it all in Eckhart. ... They all know, as Richard of St Victor said, that the Fire of Love "burns." We have not fulfilled our destiny when we have sat down at a safe distance from it, purring like overfed cats, 'suffering is the ancient law of love' – and its highest pleasure into the bargain, oddly enough. ... A sponge cake and milk religion is neither true to this world nor to the next. As for the Christ being too august a word for our little hardships – I think it is truer that it is "so" august as to give our little hardships a tincture of Royalty once we try them up into it. I don't think a Pattern which was 'meek & lowly' is likely to fail of application to very humble and ordinary things. For most of us don't get a chance "but" the humble and ordinary: and He came that we might all have life more abundantly, according to our measure. There that's all![29]

Two contemporary philosophical writers dominated Underhill's thinking at the time she wrote "Mysticism": Rudolf Eucken and Henri Bergson. While neither displayed an interest in mysticism, both seemed to their disciples to advance a spiritual explanation of the universe. Also, she describes the fashionable creed of the time as "vitalism" and the term adequately sums up the prevailing worship of life in all its exuberance, variety and limitless possibility which pervaded pre-war culture and society. For her, Eucken and Bergson confirmed the deepest intuitions of the mystics. (Armstrong, Evelyn Underhill)

Among the mystics, Ruysbroeck was to her the most influential and satisfying of all the medieval mystics, and she found herself very much at one with him in the years when he was working as an unknown priest in Brussels, for she herself had also a hidden side.

His career which covers the greater part of the fourteenth century, that golden age of Christian Mysticism, seems to exhibit within the circle of a single personality, and carry up to a higher term than ever before, all the best attainments of the Middle Ages in the realm of Eternal life. The central doctrine of the Divine Fatherhood, and of the soul's power to become the Son of God, it is this raised to the nth degree of intensity...and demonstrated with the exactitude of the mathematician, and the passion of a poet, which Ruysbroeck gives us...the ninth and tenth chapters of The Sparkling Stone the high water mark of mystical literature. Nowhere else do we find such a combination of soaring vision with the most delicate and intimate psychological analysis. The old Mystic sitting under his tree, seems here to be gazing at and reporting to us the final secrets of that Eternal World... (Cropper, p. 57)

One of her most significant influences and important collaborations was with the Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, the Indian mystic, author, and world traveler. They published a major translation of the work of Kabir (100 Poems of Kabir, calling Songs of Kabir) together in 1915, to which she wrote the introduction. He introduced her to the spiritual genius of India which she expressed enthusiastically in a letter:

This is the first time I have had the privilege of being with one who is a Master in the things I care so much about but know so little of as yet: & I understand now something of what your writers mean when they insist on the necessity and value of the personal teacher and the fact that he gives something which the learner cannot get in any other way. It has been like hearing the language of which I barely know the alphabet, spoken perfectly.(Letters)

They did not keep up their correspondence in later years. Both suffered debilitating illnesses in the last year of life and died in the summer of 1941, greatly distressed by the outbreak of World War II.

Evelyn in 1921 was to all outward appearances, in an assured and enviable position. She had been asked by the University of Oxford to give the first of a new series of lectures on religion, and she was the first woman to have such an honour. She was an authority on her own subject of mysticism and respected for her research and scholarship. Her writing was in demand, and she had an interesting and notable set of friends, devoted readers, a happy marriage and affectionate and loyal parents. At the same time she felt that her foundations were insecure and that her zeal for Reality was resting on a basis that was too fragile.

By 1939, she was a member of the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship, writing a number of important tracts expressing her anti-war sentiment.

After returning to the Anglican Church, and perhaps overwhelmed by her knowledge of the achievements of the mystics and their perilous heights, her ten-year friendship with Catholic philosopher and writer Baron Friedrich von Hügel turned into one of spiritual direction. Charles Williams wrote in his introduction to her Letters: 'The equal swaying level of devotion and scepticism (related to the church) which is, for some souls, as much the Way as continuous simple faith is to others, was a distress to her...She wanted to be "sure." Writing to Von Hügel of the darkness she struggled with:

What ought I to do?...being naturally self-indulgent and at present unfortunately professionally very prosperous and petted, nothing will get done unless I make a Rule. Neither intellectual work nor religion give me any real discipline because I have a strong attachment to both. is useless advising anything people could notice or that would look pious. That is beyond me. In my lucid moments I see only too clearly that the only possible end of this road is complete, unconditional self-consecration, and for this I have not the nerve, the character or the depth. There has been some sort of mistake. My soul is too small for it and yet it is at bottom the only thing that I really want. It feels sometimes as if, whilst still a jumble of conflicting impulses and violent faults I were being pushed from behind towards an edge I dare not jump over."[30]

In a later letter of 12 July the Baron's practical concerns for signs of strain in Evelyn's spiritual state are expressed. His comments give insight into her struggles:

I do not at all like this craving for absolute certainty that this or that experience of yours, is what it seems to yourself. And I am assuredly not going to declare that I am absolutely certain of the final and evidential worth of any of those experiences. They are not articles of faith. .. You are at times tempted to scepticism and so you long to have some, if only one direct personal experience which shall be beyond the reach of all reasonable doubt. But such an escape. ..would ...possibly be a most dangerous one, and would only weaken you, or shrivel you, or puff you up. By all means...believe them, if and when they humble and yet brace you, to be probably from God. But do not build your faith upon them; do not make them an end when they exist only to be a means...I am not sure that God does want a marked preponderance of this or that work or virtue in our life – that would feed still further your natural temperament, already too vehement. (Cropper biography)

Although Underhill continued to struggle to the end, craving certainty that her beatific visions were purposeful, suffering as only a pacifist can from the devastating onslaught of World War II and the Church's powerlessness to affect events, she may well have played a powerful part in the survival of her country through the influence of her words and the impact of her teachings on thousands regarding the power of prayer. Surviving the London Blitz of 1940, her health disintegrated further and she died in the following year. She is buried with her husband in the churchyard extension at St John-at-Hampstead in London.

More than any other person, she was responsible for introducing the forgotten authors of medieval and Catholic spirituality to a largely Protestant audience and the lives of eastern mystics to the English-speaking world. As a frequent guest on radio, her 1936 work The Spiritual Life was especially influential as transcribed from a series of broadcasts given as a sequel to those by Dom Bernard Clements on the subject of prayer. Fellow theologian Charles Williams wrote the introduction to her published Letters in 1943, which reveal much about this prodigious woman. Upon her death, The Times reported that on the subject of theology, she was "unmatched by any of the professional teachers of her day."


Since 2000, the Church of England commemorates Underhill liturgically on 15 June. She is also honoured with a feast day in the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on 15 June.



• The Bar-Lamb's Ballad Book (1902). Online
• Immanence (1916). Online
• Theophanies (1916). Online


• The Grey World (1904). Reprint Kessinger Publishing, 1942: ISBN 0-7661-0158-4. Online
• The Lost Word (1907).
• The Column of Dust (1909). Online

Religion (non-fiction)

• The Miracles of Our Lady Saint Mary: Brought Out of Divers Tongues and Newly Set Forth in English (1906) Online
• Mysticism: A Study of the Nature and Development of Man's Spiritual Consciousness (1911). Twelfth edition published by E. P. Dutton in 1930. Republished by Dover Publications in 2002 (ISBN 978-0-486-42238-1). See also online editions at Christian Classics Ethereal Library and at Wikisource.
• The Path of Eternal Wisdom. A mystical commentary on the Way of the Cross (1912).
• "Introduction" to her edition of the anonymous The Cloud of Unknowing (c. 1370) from the British Library manuscript [here entitled A Book of Contemplation the which is called the Cloud of Unknowing, in the which a Soul is oned with God] (London: John M. Walkins 1912); reprinted as Cloud of Unknowing (1998) [her "Introduction" at 5–37]; 2007: ISBN 1-60506-228-6; see her text at Google books.
• The Spiral Way. Being a meditation on the fifteen mysteries of the soul's ascent (1912).
• The Mystic Way. A psychological study of Christian origins (1914). Online
• Practical Mysticism. A Little Book for Normal People (1914); reprint 1942 (ISBN 0-7661-0141-X); reprinted by Vintage Books, New York 2003 [with Abba (1940)]: ISBN 0-375-72570-9; see text at Wikisource.
• Ruysbroeck (London: Bell 1915). Online
• "Introduction" to Songs of Kabir (1915) transl. by Rabindranath Tagore; reprint 1977 Samuel Weiser (ISBN 0-87728-271-4), text at 5–43.
• The Essentials of Mysticism and other essays (1920); reprint 1999 (ISBN 1-85168-195-7).[31]
• The Life of the Spirit and the Life of Today (1920). Online
• The Mystics of the Church (1925).
• Concerning the Inner Life (1927); reprint 1999 (ISBN 1-85168-194-9). Online
• Man and the Supernatural. A study in theism (1927).
• The House of the Soul (1929).
• The Light of Christ (1932).
• The Golden Sequence. A fourfold study of the spiritual life (1933).
• The School of Charity. Meditations on the Christian Creed (1934); reprinted by Longmans, London 1954 [with M.of S. (1938)].
• Worship (1936).
• The Spiritual Life (1936); reprint 1999 (ISBN 1-85168-197-3); see also online edition.
• The Mystery of Sacrifice. A study on the liturgy (1938); reprinted by Longmans, London 1954 [with S.of C. (1934)].
• Abba. A meditation on the Lord's Prayer (1940); reprint 2003 [with Practical Mysticism (1914)].
• The Letters of Evelyn Underhill (1943), as edited by Charles Williams; reprint Christian Classics 1989: ISBN 0-87061-172-0.
• Shrines and Cities of France and Italy (1949), as edited by Lucy Menzies.
• Fragments from an inner life. Notebooks of Evelyn Underhill (1993), as edited by Dana Greene.
• The Mysticism of Plotinus (2005) Kessinger offprint, 48 pages. Taken from The Essentials of Mysticism (1920).


• Fruits of the Spirit (1942) edited by R. L. Roberts; reprint 1982, ISBN 0-8192-1314-4
• Collected Papers of Evelyn Underhill (1946) edited by L. Menzies and introduced by L. Barkway.
• Lent with Evelyn Underhill (1964) edited by G. P. Mellick Belshaw.
• An Anthology of the Love of God. From the writings of Evelyn Underhill (1976) edited by L. Barkway and L. Menzies.
• The Ways of the Spirit (1990) edited by G. A. Brame; reprint 1993, ISBN 0-8245-1232-4
• Evelyn Underhill. Modern guide to the ancient quest for the Holy (1988) edited and introduced by D. Greene.
• Evelyn Underhill. Essential writings (2003) edited by E. Griffin.
• Radiance: A Spiritual Memoir (2004) edited by Bernard Bangley, ISBN 1-55725-355-2

See also

• John of Ruysbroeck
• John of the Cross


1. Armstrong, C.J.R., "Evelyn Underhill: An Introduction to Her Life and Writings", A.R. Mowbray & Co., 1975
2. Williams, Charles, editor, "The Letters of Evelyn Underhill", Longmans Green, pp. 122–23
3. Underhill, E., The Grey World, London: William Heinemann, 1904
4. Underhill, E., The Column of Dust, London: Methuen & Co., 1909
5. By G. Bell & Sons; since reprinted [no date, circa 2003] by Kessinger Publishing.
6. Canon Henricus Pomerius was prior of the monastery where Ruysbroeck resided, but two generations later; he spoke with several of those who had known Ruysbroeck well [pages 5–6] and may have based his history on the work of a contemporary of Ruysbroek.
7. Gerard Naghel was a contemporary and a close friend of Ruysbroeck, as well as being the neighboring prior; he wrote a shorter work about his life [6].
8. Also known as The Spiritual Espousals (e.g., Wiseman's translation in his John Ruusbroec (Paulist Press 1985); it is "the best known" of Ruysbroeck's works. [42].
9. "Fruition is one of the master-words of Ruysbroeck's thought," she observes. [page 59] Later she more fully discusses it, at [89].
10. Here, she comments, Ruysbroeck parallels the Hindu mystics, the Christian Neoplatonists, and Meister Eckhart. [61]
11. She quotes from The Twelve Béguines at cap. xiv.
12. "[F]or these two Persons are always hungry for love," she adds, quoting The Spiritual Marriage, lib. ii at cap. xxxvii.
13. She gives her source as The Seven Degrees of Love at cap. xiv.
14. She quotes from The Kingdom of God's Lovers at cap. xxix.
15. Evelyn Underhill here refers to Julian of Norwich and quotes her phrase on the human soul being "made Trinity, like to the unmade Blessed Trinity." Then our author makes the comparison of Ruysbroeck's uncreated Pattern of humankind to an archetype, and to a Platonic Idea. [68].
16. Here she quotes The Mirror of Eternal Salvation at cap. viii. Cf., [70].
17. She quotes Ruysbroeck, The Book of Truth at cap. xi, "[T]his union is in God, through grace and our homeward-tending love. Yet even here does the creature feel a distinction and otherness between itself and God in its inward ground." [71].
18. Quoting The Mirror of Eternal Salvation at cap. vii. She refers here to St. Francis of Assisi.
19. She again quotes from The Mirror of Eternal Salvation at cap. xvii.
20. Ruysbroeck, The Sparkling Stone at cap. x: quoted.
21. Re the Superessential life, citing The Twelve Béguines at cap. xiii [86]; and, The Seven Degrees of Love at cap. xiv [87].
22. These opposites are variously translated into English, Underhill sometimes favoring "in some wise" and "in no wise" or "conditioned' and "unconditioned" or "somehow" and "nohow". That is, the second opposite Onwise she gives it translated as no wise [93]. Cf., "Superessential" [85 & 86–87; 90–91].
23. Ruysbroeck, The Twelve Bêguines at cap. xii.
24. As mentioned, Underhill earlier addressed how Ruysbroeck distinguishes the Active, Interior, and Superessential at pages 76–88 in her book.
25. QR (1919) at 479–497.
26. Recently offprinted by Kessinger Publishing as The Mysticism of Plotinus (2005), 48 pages.
27. Evelyn Underhill, Worship (New York: Harper and Brothers 1936; reprint Harper Torchbook 1957) pp. vii–x.
28. name="Armstrong, C.J.R."
29. Armstrong, C. J. R., Evelyn Underhill: An Introduction to her Life and Writings, pp. 86–87, A. R. Mowbray & Co., 1975
30. Cropper, Margaret, Life of Evelyn Underhill, Harper & Brothers, 1958
31. This may be two different compilations, rather than a 1999 re-issue of the 1920 original.

Further reading

• A.M. Allchin, Friendship in God - The Encounter of Evelyn Underhill and Sorella Maria of Campello (SLG Press, Fairacres Oxford 2003)
• Margaret Cropper, The Life of Evelyn Underhill (New York 1958).
• Christopher J. R. Armstrong, Evelyn Underhil (1875–1941). An introduction to her life and writings (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans 1976).
• Michael Ramsey and A. M. Allchin, Evelyn Underhill. Two centenary essays (Oxford 1977).
• Annice Callahan, Evelyn Underhill: Spirituality for daily living (University Press of America 1997).
• Dana Greene, Evelyn Underhill. Artist of the infinite life (University of Notre Dame 1998).

External links

• Quotations related to Evelyn Underhill at Wikiquote
• Works related to Evelyn Underhill at Wikisource
• The Evelyn Underhill Association
• Evelyn Underhill bio and writing at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library
• Works by Evelyn Underhill at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Evelyn Underhill at Internet Archive
• Works at Open Library
• Works by Evelyn Underhill at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• Works by Evelyn Underhill at University of St. Andrews, [1]
• Works by Evelyn Underhill at King's College, London [2]
• Works by Evelyn Underhill at Virginia Theological Seminary [3]
• Christianity portal
• Biography portal
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David Lloyd George
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/26/20

The Right Honourable David Lloyd George OM PC (n.b.)
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
In office: 6 December 1916 – 19 October 1922
Monarch: George V
Preceded by: H. H. Asquith
Succeeded by: Bonar Law
Leader of the Liberal Party
In office: 14 October 1926 – 4 November 1931
Preceded by: H. H. Asquith
Succeeded by: Herbert Samuel
Secretary of State for War
In office: 6 July 1916 – 5 December 1916
Prime Minister: H. H. Asquith
Preceded by: The Earl Kitchener
Succeeded by: The Earl of Derby
Minister of Munitions
In office: 25 May 1915 – 9 July 1916
Prime Minister: H. H. Asquith
Preceded by: Office created
Succeeded by: Edwin Montagu
Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office: 12 April 1908 – 25 May 1915
Prime Minister: H. H. Asquith
Preceded by: H. H. Asquith
Succeeded by: Reginald McKenna
President of the Board of Trade
In office: 10 December 1905 – 12 April 1908
Prime Minister: Henry Campbell-Bannerman; H. H. Asquith
Preceded by: The Marquess of Salisbury
Succeeded by: Winston Churchill
Father of the House
In office: 31 May 1929 – 13 February 1945
Preceded by: T. P. O'Connor
Succeeded by: The Earl Winterton
Member of the House of Lord, Lord Temporal
In office: 1 January 1945 – 26 March 1945
Hereditary peerage
Preceded by: Peerage created
Succeeded by: The 2nd Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor
Member of Parliament for Carnarvon Boroughs
In office: 10 April 1890 – 13 February 1945
Preceded by: Edmund Swetenham[1]
Succeeded by: Seaborne Davies
Personal details
Born: 17 January 1863, Manchester, Lancashire, England
Died: 26 March 1945 (aged 82), Tŷ Newydd, Caernarfonshire, Wales
Resting place: Llanystumdwy, Gwynedd, Wales
Nationality: British
Political party: Liberal (1890–19161924–1945); Coalition Liberal (1916–1922); National Liberal (1922–1923)
Spouse(s): Margaret Owen, (m. 1888; died 1941); Frances Stevenson (m. 1943)
Children: 5 (including RichardGwilymMegan)
Occupation: Solicitor politician
n.b. Styled as 'The Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor' from 1945.

David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor, OM, PC (17 January 1863 – 26 March 1945) was a British statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom between 1916 and 1922. He was the final Liberal to hold the post.

Lloyd George was born in Manchester to Welsh parents. His father—a schoolmaster—died in 1864 and he was raised in Wales by his mother and her shoemaker brother, whose Liberal politics and Baptist faith strongly influenced Lloyd George; the same uncle helped the boy embark on a career as a solicitor after leaving school. Lloyd George became active in local politics, gaining a reputation as an orator and a proponent of a Welsh blend of radical Liberalism which championed nonconformism and the disestablishment of the Anglican church in Wales, equality for labourers and tenant farmers, and reform of landownership. In 1890 he narrowly won a by-election to become the Member of Parliament for Caernarvon Boroughs, in which seat he remained for fifty-five years. Lloyd George served in Henry Campbell-Bannerman's cabinet from 1905. After H. H. Asquith succeeded to the premiership in 1908 Lloyd George replaced him as Chancellor of the Exchequer. To fund extensive welfare reforms he proposed taxes on land ownership and high incomes in the "People's Budget" (1909), which the Conservative-dominated House of Lords rejected. The resulting constitutional crisis was only resolved after two elections in 1910 and the passage of the Parliament Act 1911. His budget was then enacted alongside the National Insurance Act 1911 which helped to establish the modern welfare state. In 1913 he was embroiled in the Marconi scandal, but he remained in office and promoted the disestablishment of the Church in Wales, until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 suspended its implementation.

As wartime Chancellor Lloyd George strengthened the country's finances and forged agreements with trade unions to maintain production. In 1915 Asquith formed a Liberal-led wartime coalition with the Conservatives and Labour. Lloyd George became Minister of Munitions and rapidly expanded production. In 1916 he was appointed Secretary of State for War but was frustrated by his limited power and clashes with the military establishment over strategy. Amid stalemate on the Western Front, confidence in Asquith's leadership waned. He was forced to resign in December 1916; Lloyd George succeeded him as Prime Minister, supported by the Conservatives and some Liberals. He centralised authority through a smaller war cabinet, a new Cabinet Office and his "Garden Suburb" of advisers. To combat food shortages he implemented the convoy system, established rationing, and stimulated farming. After supporting the disastrous French Nivelle Offensive in 1917, he had to reluctantly approve Field Marshal Haig's plans for the Battle of Passchendaele which resulted in huge casualties with little strategic benefit. Against the views of his commanders, he was finally able to see the Allies brought under one command in March 1918. The war effort turned to their favour that August and was won in November. In the aftermath he and the Conservatives maintained their coalition with popular support following the December 1918 "Coupon" election. His government had extended the franchise to all men and some women earlier in the year.

Lloyd George was a major player in Paris Peace Conference of 1919 but the situation in Ireland worsened that year, erupting into the Irish War of Independence which lasted until Lloyd George negotiated independence for the Irish Free State in 1921. At home he initiated reforms to education and housing but trade union militancy entered record levels, the economy became depressed in 1920 and unemployment rose; spending cuts followed (1921–22) and he was embroiled in a scandal over the sale of honours and the Chanak Crisis in 1922. Bonar Law won backbench support for the Conservatives to contend the next election alone. Lloyd George resigned; with his party split between his and Asquith's supporters, his faction won just over 50 seats in the 1922 election, Asquith's just over 60. The next year the pair reunited to oppose Stanley Baldwin's tariff proposal which he put to the country. The Liberals made gains in 1923 but remained third after the Conservatives and Labour, propping up a Labour minority government; they never regained their status as second party and, when the Labour government fell, went down to just over 40 seats in 1924 under Asquith. Lloyd George led the Liberals from 1926 to 1931, putting forward innovative proposals for public works; this failed to convert into seats in 1929 and from 1931 he was a marginalised and mistrusted figure heading a small rump of breakaway Liberals opposed to the National Government. He declined an offer to serve in Winston Churchill's War Cabinet in 1940 and was raised to the peerage in 1945, shortly before his death.

Upbringing and early life

Lloyd George was born on 17 January 1863 in Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester, to Welsh parents, and was brought up as a Welsh-speaker. He is so far the only British Prime Minister to have been Welsh[a] and to have spoken English as a second language.[2]

His father, William George, had been a teacher in both London and Liverpool. He also taught in the Hope Street Sunday Schools, which were administered by the Unitarians, where he met Unitarian minister James Martineau.[3]:1 In March of the same year, on account of his failing health, William George returned with his family to his native Pembrokeshire. He took up farming but died in June 1864 of pneumonia, aged 44. His widow, Elizabeth George (1828–96), sold the farm and moved with her children to her native Llanystumdwy in Caernarfonshire, where she lived in a cottage known as Highgate with her brother Richard Lloyd (1834–1917), who was a shoemaker, a minister (in the Scottish Baptists and then the Church of Christ),[4] and a strong Liberal. Lloyd George was educated at the local Anglican school Llanystumdwy National School and later under tutors. Lloyd George's uncle was a towering influence on him, encouraging him to take up a career in law and enter politics; his uncle remained influential up until his death at age 83 in February 1917, by which time his nephew had become Prime Minister. He added his uncle's surname to become "Lloyd George". His surname is usually given as "Lloyd George" and sometimes as "George". The influence of his childhood showed through in his entire career, as he attempted to aid the common man at the expense of what he liked to call "the Dukes" (that is, the aristocracy); however, biographer John Grigg argued that Lloyd George's childhood was nowhere near as poverty-stricken as he liked to suggest.[5]

Brought up a devout evangelical, as a young man he suddenly lost his religious faith. Biographer Don Cregier says he became "a Deist and perhaps an agnostic, though he remained a chapel-goer and connoisseur of good preaching all his life". He kept quiet about this, and was, according to Frank Owen, for 25 years "one of the foremost fighting leaders of a fanatical Welsh Nonconformity".[6][3]:6[7]

It was also during this period of his life that Lloyd George first became interested in the issue of land ownership. As a young man he read books by Thomas Spence, John Stuart Mill and Henry George, as well as pamphlets written by George Bernard Shaw and Sidney Webb of the Fabian Society on the issue of land ownership.[8] By the age of twenty-one, he had already read and taken notes on Henry George's Progress and Poverty.[9] This strongly influenced Lloyd George's politics later in life; the People's Budget drew heavily on Georgist tax reform ideas.

Lloyd George circa 1890

Articled to a firm of solicitors in Porthmadog, Lloyd George was admitted in 1884 after taking Honours in his final law examination and set up his own practice in the back parlour of his uncle's house in 1885. The practice flourished, and he established branch offices in surrounding towns, taking his brother William into partnership in 1887. Although many Prime Ministers have been barristers, Lloyd George is to date the only solicitor to have held that office.[10]

By then he was politically active, having campaigned for the Liberal Party in the 1885 election, attracted by Joseph Chamberlain's "unauthorised programme" of reforms.[11]:43 The election resulted firstly in a stalemate with neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives having a majority, the balance of power being held by the Irish Parliamentary Party. William Gladstone's proposal to bring about Irish Home Rule split the party, with Chamberlain eventually leading the breakaway Liberal Unionists. Uncertain of which wing to follow, Lloyd George moved a resolution in support of Chamberlain at a local Liberal Club and travelled to Birmingham to attend the first meeting of Chamberlain's National Radical Union, but he had his dates wrong and arrived a week too early.[11]:53 In 1907 he told Herbert Lewis that he thought Chamberlain's plan for a federal solution correct in 1886 and still thought so, that he preferred the unauthorised programme to the Whig-like platform of the official Liberal Party, and that "If Henry Richmond, Osborne Morgan and the Welsh members had stood by Chamberlain on an agreement as regards the disestablishment, they would have carried Wales with them".[11]:53

He married Margaret Owen, the daughter of a well-to-do local farming family, on 24 January 1888.[3]:15-16 Also in that year, he and other young Welsh Liberals founded a monthly paper Udgorn Rhyddid (Bugle of Freedom). They also won the Llanfrothen burial case, which established the right of Nonconformists to be buried according to their own denominational rites in parish burial grounds, a right given by the Burial Laws Amendment Act 1880 but which had up to then been ignored by the Anglican clergy. On Lloyd George's advice, a Baptist burial party broke open a gate to a cemetery which had been locked against them by the vicar. The vicar sued them for trespass and the local judge misrecorded the jury's verdict and found in his favour, awakening suspicions of bias by the local Tory landowning class. Lloyd George's clients won on appeal to the Divisional Court of Queen's Bench in London, where Lord Chief Justice Coleridge found in their favour.[12][3]:14-15 This case, which was hailed as a great victory throughout Wales, led to his adoption as the Liberal candidate for Carnarvon Boroughs on 27 December 1888.[13]:46

In 1889 he became an Alderman on Carnarvonshire County Council which had been created by the Local Government Act 1888, and was to remain so for the rest of his life.[3]:15[11]:65-66 For the same county Lloyd George would also become a JP (1910)[14] and chairman of Quarter Sessions (1929–38),[15] and Deputy Lieutenant in 1921.[14]

At that time he appeared to be trying to create a separate Welsh national party modelled on Parnell's Irish Parliamentary Party and worked towards a union of the North and South Wales Liberal Federations.

Member of Parliament

Lloyd George was returned as Liberal MP for Carnarvon Boroughs – by a margin of 18 votes – in the by-election on 10 April 1890, following the death of the Conservative member Edmund Swetenham.[16] He sat with an informal grouping of Welsh Liberal members who had a programme of disestablishing and disendowing the Church of England in Wales, temperance reform, and Welsh home rule. He would remain an MP for the same constituency until 1945, 55 years later.[13]:50

As backbench members of the House of Commons were not paid at that time, he supported himself and his growing family by continuing to practise as a solicitor, opening an office in London under the name of 'Lloyd George and Co.' and continuing in partnership with William George in Criccieth. In 1897 he merged his growing London practice with that of Arthur Rhys Roberts (who was to become Official Solicitor) under the name of 'Lloyd George, Roberts and Co.'.[17]

He served as the legal adviser of Theodor Herzl in his negotiations with the British government regarding the Uganda Scheme, proposed as an alternative homeland for the Jews due to Turkish refusal to grant a charter for Jewish settlement in Palestine.[18]


He was soon speaking on Liberal issues (particularly temperance – the "local option" – and national as opposed to denominational education) throughout England as well as Wales. During the next decade Lloyd George campaigned in Parliament largely on Welsh issues and in particular for disestablishment and disendowment of the Church of England. He wrote extensively for Liberal papers such as the Manchester Guardian. When Gladstone retired in 1894 after the defeat of the second Home Rule Bill, the Welsh Liberal members chose him to serve on a deputation to William Harcourt to press for specific assurances on Welsh issues; when those were not provided, they resolved to take independent action if the government did not bring a bill for disestablishment. When that was not forthcoming, he and three other Welsh Liberals (D. A. Thomas, Herbert Lewis and Frank Edwards) refused the whip on 14 April 1894, but accepted Lord Rosebery's assurance and rejoined the official Liberals on 29 May. Thereafter he devoted much time to setting up branches of Cymru Fydd (Young Wales), which, he said, would in time become a force like the Irish National Party. He abandoned this idea after being criticised in Welsh newspapers for bringing about the defeat of the Liberal Party in the 1895 election and at a meeting in Newport on 16 January 1896 of the South Wales Liberal Federation, led by D. A. Thomas, he was shouted down.[19]

Lloyd George also supported the idea of Pan-Celtic unity and gave a speech at the 1904 Pan-Celtic Congress in Caernarfon.[20]

Opposes Boer War

Lloyd George had been impressed by his journey to Canada in 1899. Although sometimes wrongly supposed – both at the time and subsequently – to be a Little Englander, he was not an opponent of the British Empire per se, but in a speech at Birkenhead (21 November 1901) he stressed that it needed to be based on freedom, including for India, not "racial arrogance".[21]:61 Consequently, he gained national fame by displaying vehement opposition to the Second Boer War.[22]

Following Rosebery's lead he based his attack firstly on what were supposed to be Britain's war aims – remedying the grievances of the Uitlanders and in particular the claim that they were wrongly denied the right to vote, saying "I do not believe the war has any connection with the franchise. It is a question of 45% dividends" and that England (which did not then have universal male suffrage) was more in need of franchise reform than the Boer republics. A second attack came on the cost of the war, which, he argued, prevented overdue social reform in England, such as old age pensions and workmen's cottages. As the fighting continued his attacks moved to its conduct by the generals, who, he said (basing his words on reports by William Burdett-Coutts in The Times), were not providing for the sick or wounded soldiers and were starving Boer women and children in concentration camps. But his major thrusts were reserved for the Chamberlains, accusing them of war profiteering through the family company Kynoch Ltd, of which Chamberlain's brother was Chairman. The firm had won tenders to the War Office though its prices were higher than some of its competitors. After speaking at a meeting in Birmingham Lloyd George had to be smuggled out disguised as a policeman, as his life was in danger from the mob. At this time the Liberal Party was badly split as H. H. Asquith, R. B. Haldane and others were supporters of the war and formed the Liberal Imperial League.[23]

David Lloyd George in 1902

Opposes Education Act of 1902

Lloyd George was the main spokesman for the Nonconformists, and they made a major issue out of the government's Education Act 1902. It provided funding for Church of England schools, paid out of local taxation. The bill passed but opposition to it helped reunite the Liberals. His successful amendment that county councils need only fund those schools where the buildings were in good repair served to make the Act a dead letter in Wales, where the counties were able to show that most Church of England schools were in poor repair. Having already gained national recognition for his anti-Boer War campaigns, his leadership of the attacks on the Education Act gave him a strong parliamentary reputation and marked him as a likely future cabinet member.[24]

The Act served to reunify the Liberals after their divisions over the Boer War, and to increase Nonconformist influence in the party, which then included educational reform as policy in the 1906 election, which resulted in a Liberal landslide.[25]

President of the Board of Trade (1905–1908)

David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill in 1907

Further information: Education Act 1902 § The failed Education Bill of 1906
In 1905 Lloyd George entered the new Liberal Cabinet of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman as President of the Board of Trade.[26]:63

The first priority on taking office was repeal of the 1902 Education Act. Lloyd George took the lead along with Augustine Birrell, President of the Board of Education. Lloyd George appears to have been the dominant figure on the committee drawing up the bill in its later stages, and insisted that the bill create a separate education committee for Wales. Birrell complained privately that the bill, introduced in the Commons on 9 April 1906, owed more to Lloyd George and that he himself had had little say in its contents.[27]:74-77 The bill passed the House of Commons greatly amended, but was completely mangled by the House of Lords.[25] For the rest of the year, Lloyd George made numerous public speeches attacking the House of Lords for mutilating the bill with wrecking amendments, in defiance of the Liberals' electoral mandate to reform the 1902 Act. Lloyd George was rebuked by King Edward VII for these speeches: the Prime Minister defended him to the Kings's secretary Francis Knollys, stating that his behaviour in Parliament was more constructive but that in speeches to the public "the combative spirit seems to get the better of him".[27]:74-77 No compromise was possible and the bill was abandoned, allowing the 1902 Act to continue in effect.[25] As a result of Lloyd George's lobbying, a separate department for Wales[ b] was created within the Board of Education.[27]:74-77

Nonconformists were bitterly upset by the failure of the Liberal Party to carry through on its most important promise to them, and over time their support for the Liberal Party slowly fell away.[28]

At the Board of Trade Lloyd George introduced legislation on many topics, from merchant shipping and the Port of London to companies and railway regulation. His main achievement was in stopping a proposed national strike of the railway unions by brokering an agreement between the unions and the railway companies. While almost all the companies refused to recognise the unions, Lloyd George persuaded the companies to recognise elected representatives of the workers who sat with the company representatives on conciliation boards—one for each company. If those boards failed to agree then an arbitrator would be called upon.[27]:69-73

Chancellor of the Exchequer (1908–1915)

See also: David Lloyd George and the suffrage movement, 1907–1912

On Campbell-Bannerman's death he succeeded Asquith, who had become Prime Minister, as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1908 to 1915.[27]:81[29]:189-190 While he continued some work from the Board of Trade—for example, legislation to establish the Port of London Authority and to pursue traditional Liberal programmes such as licensing law reforms—his first major trial in this role was over the 1908–1909 Naval Estimates. The Liberal manifesto at the 1906 general election included a commitment to reduce military expenditure. Lloyd George strongly supported this, writing to Reginald McKenna, First Lord of the Admiralty, "the emphatic pledges given by all of us at the last general election to reduce the gigantic expenditure on armaments built up by the recklessness of our predecessors." He then proposed the programme be reduced from six to four dreadnoughts. This was adopted by the government, but there was a public storm when the Conservatives, with covert support from the First Sea Lord, Admiral Jackie Fisher, campaigned for more with the slogan "We want eight and we won't wait". This resulted in Lloyd George's defeat in Cabinet and the adoption of estimates including provision for eight dreadnoughts.[30] During this period he was also a target of protest by the women's suffrage movement, as he professed support personally but did not move for changes within the Parliament process.[31]

Portrait of Chancellor Lloyd George by Christopher Williams (1911)

People's Budget, 1909

Further information: People's Budget

In 1909 Lloyd George introduced his People's Budget, imposing a 20% tax on the unearned increase in value of land, payable at death of the owner or sale of the land, and ½ d. on undeveloped land and minerals, increased death duties, a rise in income tax, and the introduction of Supertax on income over £3,000.[32] There were taxes also on luxuries, alcohol, and tobacco, so that money could be made available for the new welfare programmes as well as new battleships. The nation's landowners (well represented in the House of Lords) were intensely angry at the new taxes, mostly at the proposed very high tax on land values, but also because the instrumental redistribution of wealth could be used to detract from an argument for protective tariffs.[33][page needed]

The immediate consequences included the end of the Liberal League, and Rosebery breaking friendship with the Liberal Party, which in itself was for Lloyd George a triumph. He had won the case of social reform without losing the debate on Free Trade.[34]:166 Arthur Balfour denounced the budget as "vindictive, inequitable, based on no principles, and injurious to the productive capacity of the country."[34]:167 Roy Jenkins described it as the most reverberating since Gladstone's in 1860.[34]:172

In the House of Commons Lloyd George gave a brilliant account of the budget, which was attacked by the Conservatives. On the stump, notably at his Limehouse speech in 1909, he denounced the Conservatives and the wealthy classes with all his very considerable oratorical power. The budget was defeated by the Conservative majority in the House of Lords. The elections of 1910 narrowly upheld the Liberal government. The 1909 budget was passed on 28 April 1910 by the Lords, and received the Royal Assent on the 29th.[35][36] Subsequently, the Parliament Act 1911 curtailed the veto power of the House of Lords.

Although old-age pensions had already been introduced by Asquith as Chancellor, Lloyd George was largely responsible for the introduction of state financial support for the sick and infirm (known colloquially as "going on the Lloyd George" for decades afterwards)—legislation referred to as the Liberal Reforms. Lloyd George also succeeded in putting through Parliament his National Insurance Act 1911, making provision for sickness and invalidism, and a system of unemployment insurance. He was helped in his endeavours by forty or so backbenchers who regularly pushed for new social measures, often voted with Labour MPs.[37][page needed] These social reforms in Britain were the beginnings of a welfare state and fulfilled the aim of dampening down the demands of the growing working class for rather more radical solutions to their impoverishment.[citation needed]

Under his leadership after 1909 the Liberals extended minimum wages to farm workers.[38]

David Lloyd George circa 1911

Mansion House Speech, 1911

Lloyd George was considered an opponent of war until the Agadir Crisis of 1911, during which he gave a stirring and patriotic speech at Mansion House on 21 July 1911. Grey was aghast and felt that the Chancellor was more qualified to be Foreign Secretary than he was; German opinion recognised that Britain would resist further German aggression.[39] Haldane and Lloyd George were among the minority in the Cabinet who were pro-German, on grounds of a shared religion, philosophy, artistic culture and scientific enquiry. Germany blamed Lloyd George for doing "untold harm both with regard to German public opinion and the negotiations...namely, to the despatch of the German warship to Agadir", and citing Count Metternich "...Mr Lloyd George's speech came upon us like a thunderbolt"[40]

Marconi scandal 1913

In 1913 Lloyd George, along with Rufus Isaacs, the Attorney General, was involved in the Marconi scandal. Accused of speculating in Marconi shares on the inside information that they were about to be awarded a key government contract (which would have caused them to increase in value), he told the House of Commons that he had not speculated in the shares of "that company". He had in fact bought shares in the American Marconi Company.[41]

Welsh Church Act 1914

The Church of England no longer had majority adherence in most parts of Wales in preference to Wales-led Protestantism, in particular Methodism. Lloyd George had long called for disestablishment and was instrumental in introducing the Welsh Church Act 1914 which disestablished the Anglican Church in Wales (though, upon the outbreak of war, the actual coming into force of the Act was postponed by the Suspensory Act 1914 until 1920), removing the opportunity of the six Welsh Bishops in the new Church in Wales to sit in the House of Lords and removing (disendowing) certain pre-1662 property rights.[42][43]

First World War

Lloyd George was as surprised as almost everyone else by the outbreak of the First World War. On 23 July 1914, almost a month after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and on the eve of the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia, he made a speech advocating "economy" in the House of Commons, saying that Britain's relations with Germany were better than for many years.[44]:325-326 On 27 July he told C. P. Scott of the Manchester Guardian that Britain would keep out of the impending war.[45] With the Cabinet divided, and most ministers reluctant for Britain to get involved, he struck Asquith as "statesmanlike" at the Cabinet meeting on 1 August, favouring keeping Britain's options open. The next day he seemed likely to resign if Britain intervened, but he held back at Cabinet on Monday 3 August, moved by news that Belgium would resist Germany's demand for passage for her army across her soil. He was seen as a key figure whose stance helped to persuade almost the entire Cabinet to support British intervention.[46][44]:327-329 He was able to give the more pacifist members of the cabinet and the Liberal Party a principle - the rights of small nations - which meant they could support the war and maintain united political and popular support.[47]

Lloyd George remained in office as Chancellor of the Exchequer for the first year of the Great War. The budget of 17 November 1914 had to allow for lower taxation receipts because of the reduction in world trade. The Crimean and Boer Wars had largely been paid for out of taxation; but Lloyd George raised debt financing of £321 million. Large (but deferred) increases in Supertax and income tax rates were accompanied by increases in excise duties, and the budget produced a tax increase of £63 million in a full year.[34]:174-175 His last budget, on 4 May 1915, showed a growing concern for the effects of alcohol on the war effort, with large increases in duties, and a scheme of state control of alcohol sales in specified areas. The excise proposals were opposed by the Irish Nationalists and the Conservatives, and were abandoned.[34]:175-176

Minister of Munitions

David Lloyd George in 1915

See also: Minister of Munitions and Shell Crisis of 1915

Lloyd George gained a heroic reputation with his energetic work as Minister of Munitions, 1915–16, setting the stage for his move up to the height of power. After a long struggle with the War Office, he wrested responsibility for arms production away from the generals, making it a purely industrial department, with considerable expert assistance from Walter Runciman.[48] The two men gained the respect of Liberal cabinet colleagues for improving administrative capabilities, and increasing outputs.[49]

When the Shell Crisis of 1915 dismayed public opinion with the news that the Army was running short of artillery shells, demands rose for a strong leader to take charge of munitions. In the first coalition ministry, formed in May 1915, Lloyd George was made Minister of Munitions, heading a new department.[50] In this position he won great acclaim, which formed the basis for his political ascent. All historians agree that he boosted national morale and focussed attention on the urgent need for greater output, but many also say the increase in munitions output in 1915–16 was due largely to reforms already underway, though not yet effective, before he had even arrived. The Ministry broke through the cumbersome bureaucracy of the War Office, resolved labour problems, rationalised the supply system and dramatically increased production. Within a year it became the largest buyer, seller, and employer in Britain.[48]

Lloyd George, Edward Grey, Herbert Kitchener, Nikola Pašić, Antonio Salandra, Alexander Izvolsky, Aristide Briand, Joseph Joffre at a conference of the Allied Powers on 27–28 March 1916 in Paris

Lloyd George was not at all satisfied with the progress of the war. He wanted to "knock away the props", by attacking Germany's allies – from early in 1915 he argued for the sending of British troops to the Balkans to assist Serbia and bring Greece and other Balkan countries onto the side of the Allies (this was eventually done – the Salonika expedition – although not on the scale that Lloyd George had wanted, and mountain ranges made his suggestions of grand Balkan offensives impractical); in 1916 he wanted to send machine guns to Romania (insufficient amounts were available for this to be feasible). These suggestions began a period of poor relations with the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, General Robertson, who was "brusque to the point of rudeness" and "barely concealed his contempt for Lloyd George's military opinions", to which he was in the habit of retorting "I've 'eard different".[51]

Lloyd George persuaded Kitchener, the Secretary of State for War, to raise a Welsh Division, and, despite Kitchener's threat of resignation, to recognise nonconformist chaplains in the Army.[52]

Late in 1915 Lloyd George became a strong supporter of general conscription, an issue that divided Liberals, and helped the passage of several conscription acts from January 1916 onwards. In spring 1916 Alfred Milner hoped Lloyd George could be persuaded to bring down the coalition government by resigning, but this did not happen.[53]

Secretary of State for War

Lloyd George in 1916

In June 1916 Lloyd George succeeded Lord Kitchener (who died when his ship was sunk) as Secretary of State for War, although he had little control over strategy, as General Robertson had been given direct right of access to the Cabinet so as to bypass Kitchener. He did succeed in securing the appointment of Sir Eric Geddes to take charge of military railways behind British lines in France, with the honorary rank of major-general.[54] Lloyd George told a journalist, Roy W. Howard, in late September that "the fight must be to a finish – to a knockout", a rejection of President Woodrow Wilson's offer to mediate.[55]

Lloyd George was increasingly frustrated at the limited gains of the Somme Offensive, criticising General Haig to Ferdinand Foch on a visit to the Western Front in September (British casualty ratios were worse than those of the French, who were more experienced and had more artillery), proposing sending Robertson on a mission to Russia (he refused to go), and demanding that more troops be sent to Salonika to help Romania. Robertson eventually threatened to resign.[56]

Much of the press still argued that the professional leadership of Haig and Robertson was preferable to civilian interference which had led to disasters like Gallipoli and Kut. Lord Northcliffe, owner of The Times stormed into Lloyd George's office and, finding him unavailable, told his secretary "You can tell him that I hear he has been interfering with Strategy, and that if he goes on I will break him", and the same day (11 October) Lloyd George also received a warning letter from H. A. Gwynne, editor of the Morning Post. He was obliged to give his "word of honour" to Asquith that he had complete confidence in Haig and Robertson and thought them irreplaceable, but he wrote to Robertson wanting to know how their differences had been leaked to the press (affecting to believe that Robertson had not personally "authorised such a breach of confidence & discipline"). He asserted his right to express his opinions about strategy in November, by which time ministers had taken to holding meetings to which Robertson was not invited.[57]

The weakness of Asquith as a planner and organiser was increasingly apparent to senior officials. After Asquith had refused, then agreed, and then refused again to agree to Lloyd George's demand that he should be allowed to chair a small committee to manage the war, he resigned in December 1916. Grey was among leading Asquithians who had identified Lloyd George's intentions the previous month.[58] Lloyd George became Prime Minister, with the nation demanding he take vigorous charge of the war. A Punch cartoon of the time showed him as "The New Conductor" conducting the orchestra in the "Opening of the 1917 Overture".[59]

Although during the political crisis Robertson had advised Lloyd George to "stick to it" and form a small War Council, Lloyd George had planned if necessary to appeal to the country, his Military Secretary Colonel Arthur Lee having prepared a memo blaming Robertson and the General Staff for the loss of Serbia and Romania. Lloyd George was restricted by his promise to the Unionists to keep Haig as Commander-in-Chief and the press support for the generals, although Milner and Curzon were also sympathetic to campaigns to increase British power in the Middle East.[60] After Germany's offer (12 December 1916) of a negotiated peace Lloyd George rebuffed President Wilson's request for the belligerents to state their war aims by demanding terms tantamount to German defeat.[61]

Prime Minister (1916–1922)

Further information: Lloyd George ministry

War leader (1916–1918)

Forming a government

The fall of Asquith as Prime Minister split the Liberal Party into two factions: those who supported him and those who supported the coalition government. In his War Memoirs, Lloyd George compared himself with Asquith:[62]

There are certain indispensable qualities essential to the Chief Minister of the Crown in a great war. . . . Such a minister must have courage, composure, and judgment. All this Mr. Asquith possessed in a superlative degree. . . . But a war minister must also have vision, imagination and initiative—he must show untiring assiduity, must exercise constant oversight and supervision of every sphere of war activity, must possess driving force to energize this activity, must be in continuous consultation with experts, official and unofficial, as to the best means of utilising the resources of the country in conjunction with the Allies for the achievement of victory. If to this can be added a flair for conducting a great fight, then you have an ideal War Minister.

After December 1916 Lloyd George relied on the support of Conservatives and of the press baron Lord Northcliffe (who owned both The Times and the Daily Mail). Besides the Prime Minister, the five-member War Cabinet contained three Conservatives (Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Lords Lord Curzon, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons Bonar Law, and Minister without Portfolio Lord Milner) and Arthur Henderson, unofficially representing Labour. Edward Carson was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty, as had been widely touted during the intrigues of the previous month, but excluded from the War Cabinet. Amongst the few Liberal frontbenchers to support Lloyd George were Christopher Addison (who had played an important role in drumming up some backbench Liberal support for Lloyd George), H. A. L. Fisher, Lord Rhondda and Sir Albert Stanley. Edwin Montagu and Churchill joined the government in the summer of 1917.[63]

Lloyd George's Secretariat, popularly known as Downing Street's "Garden Suburb", assisted him in discharging his responsibilities within the constraints of the war cabinet system. Its function was to maintain contact with the numerous departments of government, to collect information, and to report on matters of special concern. Its leading members were George Adams and Philip Kerr, and the other secretaries included David Davies, Joseph Davies, Waldorf Astor and, later, Cecil Harmsworth.[64]

Lloyd George wanted to make the destruction of Ottoman Empire a major British war aim, and two days after taking office told Robertson that he wanted a major victory, preferably the capture of Jerusalem, to impress British public opinion.[65]

At the Rome Conference (5–6 January 1917) Lloyd George was discreetly quiet about plans to take Jerusalem, an object which advanced British interests rather than doing much to win the war. Lloyd George proposed sending heavy guns to Italy with a view to defeating Austria-Hungary, possibly to be balanced by a transfer of Italian troops to Salonika, but was unable to obtain the support of the French or Italians, and Robertson talked of resigning.[66]
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Part 2 of 3

Nivelle Affair

Lloyd George engaged almost constantly in intrigues calculated to reduce the power of the generals, including trying to subordinate British forces in France to the French General Nivelle. He backed Nivelle because he thought he had 'proved himself to be a Man' by his successful counterattacks at Verdun, and because of his promises that he could break the German lines in 48 hours. Nivelle increasingly complained of Haig's dragging his feet rather than co-operating with their plans for the offensive.[67]

The plan was to put British forces under Nivelle's direct command for the great 1917 offensive. The British would attack first, thereby tying down the German reserves. Then the French would strike and score an overwhelming victory in two days. It was announced at a War Cabinet meeting on 24 February, to which neither Robertson nor Lord Derby (Secretary of State for War) had been invited. Ministers felt that the French generals and staff had shown themselves more skillful than the British in 1916, whilst politically Britain had to give wholehearted support to what would probably be the last major French effort of the war. The Nivelle proposal was then given to Robertson and Haig without warning on 26–27 February at the Calais Conference (minutes from the War Cabinet meeting were not sent to the King until 28 February, so that he did not have a prior chance to object). Robertson in particular protested vehemently. Finally a compromise was reached whereby Haig would be under Nivelle's orders but would retain operational control of British forces and keep a right of appeal to London "if he saw good reason". After further argument the status quo, that Haig was an ally of the French but was expected to defer to their wishes, was largely restored in mid-March.[68][69][70][71]

In the event the British attack at the Battle of Arras (9–14 April 1917) was partly successful but with much higher casualties than the Germans suffered. There had been many delays and the Germans, suspecting an attack, had shortened their lines to the strong Hindenburg Line. The French attack on the Aisne River in mid-April gained some tactically important high ground but failed to achieve the promised decisive breakthrough, pushing the French Army to the point of mutiny. While Haig gained prestige, Lloyd George lost credibility, and the affair further poisoned relations between himself and the "Brasshats".[72]

The U-Boat War


In early 1917 the Germans had resumed unrestricted submarine warfare in a bid to achieve victory on the Western Approaches. Lloyd George set up a Ministry of Shipping under Sir Joseph Maclay, a Glasgow shipowner who was not, until after he left office, a member of either House of Parliament, and housed in a wooden building in a specially drained lake in St James's Park, within a few minutes' walk from the Admiralty. The Junior Minister and House of Commons spokesman was Leo Chiozza Money, with whom Maclay did not get on, but on whose appointment Lloyd George insisted, feeling that their qualities would complement one another. The Civil Service staff was headed by the highly able John Anderson (then only thirty-four years old) and included Arthur Salter. A number of shipping magnates were persuaded, like Maclay himself, to work unpaid for the ministry (as had a number of industrialists for the Ministry of Munitions), who were also able to obtain ideas privately from junior naval officers who were reluctant to argue with their superiors in meetings. The ministers heading the Board of Trade, for Munitions (Addison) and for Agriculture and Food (Lord Rhondda), were also expected to co-operate with Maclay.[21]:45–47, 49

In accordance with a pledge Lloyd George had given in December 1916 nearly 90% of Britain's merchant shipping tonnage was soon brought under state control (previously less than half had been controlled by the Admiralty), whilst remaining privately owned (similar measures were in force at the time for the railways). Merchant shipping was concentrated, largely on Chiozza Money's initiative, on the transatlantic route where it could more easily be protected, instead of being spread out all over the globe (this relied on imports coming first into North America). Maclay began the process of increasing ship construction, although he was hampered by shortages of steel and labour, and ships under construction in the United States were confiscated by the Americans when she entered the war. In May 1917 Eric Geddes, based at the Admiralty, was put in charge of shipbuilding, and in July he became First Lord of the Admiralty.[21]:47–49 Later the German U-Boats were defeated in 1918.


Main article: Convoys in World War I

Lloyd George had raised the matter of convoys at the War Committee in November 1916, only to be told by the admirals present, including Jellicoe, that convoys presented too large a target, and that merchant ship masters lacked the discipline to keep station in a convoy.[21]:49-50

In February 1917 Maurice Hankey, the secretary of the War Cabinet, wrote a memorandum for Lloyd George calling for the introduction of "scientifically organised convoys", almost certainly after being persuaded by Commander Reginald Henderson and the Shipping Ministry officials with whom he was in contact. After a breakfast meeting (13 February 1917) with Lloyd George, Sir Edward Carson (First Lord of the Admiralty) and Admirals Jellicoe and Duff agreed to "conduct experiments"; however, convoys were not in general use until August, by which time the rate of shipping losses was already in decline after peaking in April.[21]:51, 53

Lloyd George later claimed in his War Memoirs that the delay in introducing convoys was because the Admiralty mishandled an experimental convoy between Britain and Norway, and because Jellicoe obtained, behind Maclay's back, an unrepresentative sample of merchant skippers claiming that they lacked the skill to "keep station" in convoy. In fact Hankey's diary shows that Lloyd George's interest in the matter was intermittent, whilst Frances Stevenson's diaries contain no mention of the topic. He may well have been reluctant, especially at a time when his relations with the generals were so poor, for a showdown with Carson, a weak administrator who was as much the mouthpiece of the admirals as Derby was of the generals, but who had played a key role in the fall of Asquith and who led a significant bloc of Conservative and Irish Unionist MPs.[21]:50, 52

The new Commander of the Grand Fleet Admiral Beatty, whom Lloyd George visited at Invergordon on 15 April, was a supporter of convoys, as was the American Admiral Sims (the USA had just entered the war). The War Cabinet on 25 April authorised Lloyd George to look into the anti-submarine campaign, and on 30 April he visited the Admiralty. Duff had already recommended to Jellicoe that the Admiralty adopt convoys after a recent successful convoy from Gibraltar.[21]:52-53

Most of the organisations Lloyd George created during the First World War were replicated with the outbreak of the Second World War. As Lord Beaverbrook remarked, "There were no signposts to guide Lloyd George." The latter's personal efforts to promote convoys were less consistent than he (and Churchill in The World Crisis and Beaverbrook in Men and Power) later claimed; the idea that he, after a hard struggle, sat in the First Lord's chair (on his 30 April visit to the Admiralty) and imposed convoys on a hostile Board is a myth; however, in Grigg's view the credit goes largely to men and institutions which he set in place, and with a freer hand, and making fewer mistakes, than in his dealings with the generals, he and his appointees took decisions which can reasonably be said to have saved the country. "It was a close-run thing … failure would have been catastrophic."[21]:45, 49, 52-52

Russian Revolution

Lloyd George welcomed the Fall of the Tsar, both in a private letter to his brother and in a message to the new Russian Prime Minister Prince Lvov, not least as the war could now be portrayed as a clash between liberal governments and the autocratic Central Powers. Like many observers he had been taken by surprise by the exact timing of the revolution (it had not been predicted by Lord Milner or General Wilson on their visit to Russia a few weeks earlier) and hoped – albeit with some concerns – that Russia's war effort would be invigorated like that of France in the early 1790s.[21]:58-59

Lloyd George gave a cautious welcome to the suggestion (19 March on the western calendar) by the Russian Foreign Minister Pavel Milyukov that the toppled Tsar and his family be given sanctuary in Britain (although Lloyd George would have preferred that they go to a neutral country). From the very start the King's adviser Stamfordham raised objections, and in April the British government withdrew its consent under Royal pressure. Eventually the Russian Royal Family were moved to the Urals where they were executed in 1918. Lloyd George was often blamed for the refusal of asylum, and in his War Memoirs he did not mention King George V's role in the matter, which was not explicitly confirmed until Kenneth Rose's biography of the King was published in 1983.[21]:60-61

Imperial War Cabinet

David Lloyd George circa 1918

An Imperial War Cabinet, including representatives from Canada, Newfoundland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India, met in March–May 1917 (a crisis period of the war) and twice in 1918. The idea was not entirely without precedent as there had been Imperial Conferences in 1902, 1907 and 1911, whilst the Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes had been invited to attend the Cabinet and War Committee on his visit to the UK in the spring of 1916. The South African Jan Smuts was appointed to the British War Cabinet in the early summer of 1917.[21]:61-64


Lloyd George set up a War Policy Committee (himself, Curzon, Milner, Law and Smuts, with Maurice Hankey as secretary) to discuss strategy, which held 16 meetings over the next six weeks. At the very first meeting (11 June) Lloyd George proposed helping the Italians to capture Trieste,[73] explicitly telling the War Policy Committee (21 June 1917) that he wanted Italian soldiers to be killed rather than British.[74]

Haig believed that a Flanders Offensive had good chance of clearing the Belgian coast, from which German submarines and destroyers were operating (a popular goal with politicians), and that victory at Ypres "might quite possibly lead to (German) collapse". Robertson was less optimistic, but preferred Britain to keep her focus on defeating Germany on the Western Front, and had told Haig that the politicians would not "dare" overrule both soldiers if they gave the same advice. Haig promised he had no "intention of entering into a tremendous offensive involving heavy losses" (20 June) whilst Robertson wanted to avoid "disproportionate loss" (23 June).[75]

The Flanders Offensive was reluctantly sanctioned by the War Policy Committee on 18 July and the War Cabinet two days later, on condition it did not degenerate into a long drawn-out fight like the Somme. The War Cabinet promised to monitor progress and casualties and, if necessary call a halt, although in the event they made little effort to monitor progress until September. Frustrated at his inability to get his way, Lloyd George talked of resigning and taking his case to the public.[76]

The Battle of Passchendaele began on 31 July, but soon became bogged down in unseasonably early wet weather, which turned much of the battlefield into barely passable swamp in which men and animals sometimes drowned, whilst the mud and rain severely reduced the accuracy and effectiveness of artillery, the dominant weapon of the time. Lloyd George tried to enlist the King for diverting efforts against Austria-Hungary, telling Stamfordham (14 August) that the King and Prime Minister were "joint trustees of the nation" who had to avoid waste of manpower. A new Italian offensive began (18 August), but Robertson advised that it was "false strategy" to call off Passchendaele to send reinforcements to Italy, and despite being summoned to George Riddell's home in Sussex, where he was served apple pudding (his favourite dish), agreed only reluctantly. The Anglo-French leadership agreed in early September to send 100 heavy guns to Italy (50 of them French) rather than the 300 which Lloyd George wanted – Lloyd George talked of ordering a halt to Passchendaele, but in Hankey's words "funked it" (4 September). Had he not done so his government might have fallen, for as soon as the guns reached Italy Cadorna called off his offensive (21 September).[77]

At a meeting at Boulogne (25 September) Lloyd George broached with Painlevé the setting up of an Allied Supreme War Council then making Foch generalissimo.[78] Bonar Law had written to Lloyd George that ministers must soon decide whether or not the offensive was to continue. Lloyd George and Robertson met Haig in France (26 September) to discuss the recent German peace feelers (which in the end were publicly repudiated by Chancellor Michaelis)[79] and the progress of the offensive. Haig preferred to continue, encouraged by Plumer's recent successful attacks in dry weather at Menin Road (20 September) and Polygon Wood (26 September), and stating that the Germans were "very worn out". In October the wet weather returned for the final attack towards Passchendaele.[80] At the final meeting of the War Policy Committee on 11 October 1917, Lloyd George authorised the offensive to continue, but warning of failure in three weeks' time. Hankey (21 October) claimed in his diary that Lloyd George had deliberately allowed Passchendaele to continue in order to discredit Haig and Robertson and make it easier for him to forbid similar offensives in 1918.[81]

Supreme War Council

Lloyd George played a critical role in the Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour's famous Declaration: "His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

The Italians suffered disastrous defeat at Caporetto, requiring British and French reinforcements to be sent. Lloyd George said he "wanted to take advantage of Caporetto to gain "control of the War".[82] The Supreme War Council was inaugurated at the Rapallo Conference (6–7 November 1917). Lloyd George then gave a controversial speech at Paris (12 November) at which he criticised the high casualties of recent Allied "victories" (a word which he used with an element of sarcasm). These events led to an angry Commons debate (19 November), which Lloyd George survived.[83]

In reply to Robertson's 19 November memo, which warned (correctly) that the Germans would use the opportunity of Russia's departure from the war to attack in 1918 before the Americans were present in strength, Lloyd George wrote (wrongly) that the Germans would not attack and would fail if they did. That autumn he declared that he was willing "to risk his whole political reputation" to avoid a repetition of the Somme or Passchendaele.[84]

In December 1917 Lloyd George remarked to C. P. Scott that: "If people really knew, the war would be stopped tomorrow. But of course they don't know, and can't know."[85]

Manpower crisis and the unions

A Manpower Committee was set up on 6 December 1917, consisting of the Prime Minister, Curzon, Carson, George Barnes and Smuts with Maurice Hankey as secretary, and Auckland Geddes (Minister of National Service – in charge of Army recruitment) in regular attendance.[86]:366

The first meeting of the Manpower Committee was on 10 December, and it met twice the next day and again on 15 December. Lloyd George questioned Generals Macready (Adjutant-General) and Macdonogh (Chief of Military Intelligence), who advised that the Allied superiority of numbers on the Western Front would not survive the transfer of German reinforcements from the East now that Russia was dropping out of the war. Deeply concerned about the publicity attracted by the recent Lansdowne Letter's mention of casualties, he suggested removing Haig and Robertson from office at this time, but this was met by a threat of resignation from Lord Derby. At this stage Lloyd George opposed extending conscription to Ireland – Carson advised that extending conscription to Ulster alone would be impractical.[86]:366-369

When Hankey's report eventually emerged it reflected Lloyd George's wishes: it gave top priority to shipbuilding and merchant shipping (not least to ship US troops to Europe), and placed Army manpower below both weapons production and civilian industry. The size of the Army in Britain was to be reduced from eight divisions to four, freeing about 40,000 men for service in France.[86]:369-370. In the House of Commons (20 December) Lloyd George also argued that the collapse of Russia and defeat of Italy required further "combing-out" of men from industry, in breach of pledges given to the trade unions in 1916. Auckland Geddes was given increased powers to direct labour – a new bill became law, despite the opposition of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, in February 1918.[86]:369-370

The unions were placated with the Caxton Hall conference (5 January 1918), at which Lloyd George outlined Allied war aims. He called for Germany to be stripped of her conquests (including her colonies, and Alsace-Lorraine, annexed in 1871) and democratised (although he was clear that this was not an Allied war aim, but something which would help to ensure the future peace of Europe), and for the liberation of the subject peoples of Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. He also hinted at reparations (although it was suggested that these would not be on the scale imposed on France after 1871) and a new international order. Lloyd George explained to critics that he was hoping to detach Austria-Hungary and turn the German people against her rulers; the speech greatly increased his support amongst trade unions and the Labour Party.[87]:380-383 President Wilson at first considered abandoning his speech outlining US war aims – the "Fourteen Points", many of which were similar to the aims outlined by Lloyd George – but was persuaded by his adviser Colonel House to deliver it. Wilson's speech (8 January) overshadowed Lloyd George's, and is better remembered by posterity.[87]:383-385

Strategic priorities

Lloyd George had told Edmund Allenby, who was appointed the new commander in Egypt in June, that his objective was "Jerusalem before Christmas" and that he had only to ask for reinforcements, although the exact nature of his offensives was still undecided when he was appointed. Amidst months of argument throughout the autumn of 1917 Robertson was able to block Lloyd George's plan to make Palestine the main theatre of operations by having Allenby make the impossible demand that thirteen extra divisions be sent to him.[88][89] Allenby captured Jerusalem in December 1917.

In the winter of 1917/18 Lloyd George secured the resignations of both the service chiefs. Removing the First Sea Lord Admiral Jellicoe earlier in 1917, as Lloyd George wanted, would have been politically impossible given Conservative anger at the return of Churchill (still blamed for the Dardanelles) to office as Minister of Munitions in July, and Lloyd George's preoccupations with Passchendaele, Caporetto and the Supreme War Council from July onward. By December it was clear that Lloyd George would have to sack Jellicoe or lose Eric Geddes (First Lord of the Admiralty), who wanted to return to his previous job in charge of military transport in France. The Christmas holiday, when Parliament was not sitting, provided a good opportunity. Before Jellicoe left for leave on Christmas Eve he received a letter from Geddes demanding his resignation. The other Sea Lords talked of resigning but did not do so, whilst Jellicoe's ally Carson remained a member of the War Cabinet until he resigned in January over Irish Home Rule.[86]:371-376

Relations with General Robertson had worsened further over the creation of the Supreme War Council at Versailles and he was eventually forced out over his insistence that the British delegate there be subordinate to Robertson as CIGS in London.[90]

Home Front

Order of Merit

The War Cabinet was a very successful innovation. It met almost daily, with Maurice Hankey as secretary, and made all major political, military, economic and diplomatic decisions. Rationing was finally imposed in early 1918 for meat, sugar and fats (butter and margarine) – but not bread; the new system worked smoothly. From 1914 to 1918 trade-union membership doubled, from a little over four million to a little over eight million. Work stoppages and strikes became frequent in 1917–18 as the unions expressed grievances regarding prices, alcohol control, pay disputes, dilution of labour, fatigue from overtime and from Sunday work, and inadequate housing.[citation needed]

The Corn Production Act 1917 bestowed upon the Board of Agriculture the power to ensure that all land was properly cultivated, appointed a wages board to operate a new minimum wage in agriculture, and guaranteed minimum prices for wheat and oats.[91]

Conscription put into uniform nearly every physically fit man, six million out of ten million eligible. Of these about 750,000 lost their lives and 1,700,000 were wounded. Most deaths were of young unmarried men; however, 160,000 wives lost their husbands and 300,000 children lost their fathers.[92]

Crises of 1918

In rapid succession in spring 1918 came a series of military and political crises.[93] The Germans, having moved troops from the Eastern front and retrained them in new tactics, now had more soldiers on the Western Front than the Allies. Germany launched the full scale Spring Offensive starting on 21 March against the British and French lines, hoping for victory on the battlefield before the American troops arrived in numbers. The Allied armies fell back 40 miles in confusion, and, facing defeat, London realised it needed more troops to fight a mobile war. Lloyd George found half a million soldiers and rushed them to France, asked American President Woodrow Wilson for immediate help, and agreed to the appointment of French General Foch as commander in chief on the Western Front. He considered taking on the role of War Minister himself, but was dissuaded by the king, and instead appointed Lord Milner.[94]:478-483

Despite strong warnings that it was a bad idea, the War Cabinet decided to impose conscription on Ireland. The main reason was that trade unions in Britain demanded it as the price for cutting back on conscription exemptions for certain workers. Labour wanted the principle established that no one was exempt, but it did not demand that conscription actually take place in Ireland. The proposal was enacted but never enforced. The Catholic bishops for the first time entered the fray and called for open resistance to conscription. Many Irish Catholics and nationalists moved into Sinn Féin, a decisive moment marking the dominance of Irish politics by a party committed to leaving the UK altogether.[95][94]:465-488

At one point Lloyd George unknowingly misled the House of Commons in claiming that Haig's forces were stronger at the start of 1918 than they had been a year earlier – in fact the increase was in the number of labourers, most of them Chinese, Indians and black South Africans, and Haig had fewer infantry, holding a longer stretch of front.[96] The prime minister had used incorrect information furnished by the War Department office headed by Major-General Sir Frederick Maurice. Maurice then made the spectacular public allegation that the War Cabinet had deliberately held soldiers back from the Western Front, and both Lloyd George and Bonar Law had lied to Parliament about it. Instead of going to the prime minister about the problem Maurice had waited and then broke King's Regulations by making a public attack. Asquith, still Liberal Party leader, took up the allegations and called for a Parliamentary Inquiry. While Asquith's presentation was poorly done, Lloyd George vigorously defended his position, treating the debate as a vote of confidence. He won over the House with a powerful refutation of Maurice's allegations. The Liberal Party was openly split for the first time.[97][98]

Meanwhile, the German offensive stalled. By summer the Americans were sending 10,000 fresh men a day to the Western Front, a speedup made possible by leaving their equipment behind and using British and French munitions. The German army had used up its last reserves and was steadily shrinking in numbers, further weakening its resolve. Victory came on 11 November 1918.[99]

That autumn Lloyd George was one of the many infected during the 1918 flu pandemic, but he survived.[100]

Postwar Prime Minister (1918–1922)

Snowed under
St. Bernard Pup (to his Master). "This situation appeals to my hereditary instincts. Shall I come to the rescue?"
[Before leaving Switzerland Mr. Lloyd George purchased a St. Bernard pup.]
Cartoon from Punch 15 September 1920

At the end of the war Lloyd George's reputation stood at its zenith. Bonar Law, who was from a similar modest provincial background, said "He can be dictator for life if he wishes."[101] Headlines at this time declared a "huge majority win" and that "pacifists, even 'shining lights' such as Arnold Lupton, had been completely overthrown by Ramsay MacDonald and Philip Snowden".[102]

Coupon election of 1918

Main article: 1918 United Kingdom general election

In the "Coupon election" of December 1918 he led a coalition of Conservatives and his own faction of Liberals to a landslide victory.[103] Coalition candidates received a "coalition coupon" (an endorsement letter signed by Lloyd George and Bonar Law). He did not say "We shall squeeze the German lemon until the pips squeak" (that was Sir Eric Geddes), but he did express that sentiment about reparations from Germany to pay the entire cost of the war, including pensions. He said that German industrial capacity "will go a pretty long way". We must have "the uttermost farthing", and "shall search their pockets for it".[104] As the campaign closed, he summarised his programme:[105]

1. Trial of the exiled Kaiser Wilhelm II;
2. Punishment of those guilty of atrocities;
3. Fullest indemnity from Germany;
4. Britain for the British, socially and industrially;
5. Rehabilitation of those broken in the war; and
6. A happier country for all.

The election was fought not so much on the peace issue and what to do with Germany, although those themes played a role. More important was the voters' evaluation of Lloyd George in terms of what he had accomplished so far and what he promised for the future. His supporters emphasised that he had won the Great War. Against his strong record in social legislation, he himself called for making "a country fit for heroes to live in".[106]

The Coalition gained an overwhelming victory, winning 525 of the 707 seats contested; however, the Conservatives had more than two-thirds of the Coalition's seats. Asquith's independent Liberals were crushed, although they were still the official opposition as the two Liberal factions combined had more seats than Labour.[107] Accounts vary about the factional allegiance of some MPs: by some accounts as few as 29 uncouponed Liberals had been elected, only 3 with any junior ministerial experience, and only 23 of them were actually opponents of the coalition. Until April 1919 the government whip was extended to all Liberal MPs and Lloyd George might easily have been elected chairman of the Liberal MPs (Asquith was still party leader but had lost his seat) had he been willing to antagonise his Conservative coalition partners by doing so.[108]

Paris 1919

Georges Clemenceau, David Lloyd George and Vittorio Orlando at Paris

"The Big Four" made all the major decisions at the Paris Peace Conference (from left to right, Lloyd George, Vittorio Emanuele Orlando of Italy, Georges Clemenceau of France, Woodrow Wilson of the U.S.)

Lloyd George represented Britain at the Paris Peace Conference, clashing with the French Prime Minister, Georges Clemenceau, the US President, Woodrow Wilson, and the Italian Prime Minister, Vittorio Orlando.[109] Unlike Clemenceau and Orlando, Lloyd George on the whole stood on the side of generosity and moderation. He did not want to utterly destroy the German economy and political system—as Clemenceau demanded—with massive reparations. The economist John Maynard Keynes looked askance at Lloyd George's economic credentials in The Economic Consequences of the Peace,[citation needed] and in Essays in Biography called the Prime Minister a "goat-footed bard, half-human visitor to our age from the hag-ridden magic and enchanted woods of Celtic antiquity".[110]

Lloyd George was also responsible for the pro-German shift in the peace conditions regarding borders of Poland. Instead of handing over Upper Silesia (2,073,000 people), and the southern part of East Prussia (720,000 people) to Poland as was planned before, the plebiscite was organised. Danzig (366,000 people) was organised as Free City of Danzig. Poles were grateful that he had saved that country from the Bolsheviks but were annoyed by his comment that Poles were "children who gave trouble".[111] Asked how he had done at the peace conference, he commented, "I think I did as well as might be expected, seated as I was between Jesus Christ [Wilson] and Napoleon Bonaparte [Clemenceau]."[112]

Historian Antony Lentin evaluated his role in Paris as a major success, saying:

He was an unrivalled negotiator: on top of his brief, full of bounce, sure of himself, forceful, engaging, compelling....Acutely sensitive to what he divined as the motive force in his listeners, he was adept at finding the right tone and turn of phrase to divert that force in the desired direction....[he had] powerful combative instincts, executive drive and an indomitable determination to succeed....[He secured] as visible and immediate trophies...the spoils of empire: the coveted Middle Eastern mandates, protecting the route to India and rich in oil. There were the confiscated German colonies in Africa and the South Pacific, making a reality of British rule from Cairo to the Cape and setting the far-flung bounds of Empire at their widest....[while being] wholly in accord with British interest in a continental balance of power.[113]

Postwar social reforms

A major programme of social reform was introduced under Lloyd George in the last months of the war, and in the post-war years. The Workmen's Compensation (Silicosis) Act 1918 (which was introduced a year later) allowed for compensation to be paid to men "who could prove they had worked in rock which contained no less than 80% silica."[114] The Education Act 1918 raised the school leaving age to 14, increased the powers and duties of the Board of Education (together with the money it could provide to Local Education Authorities), and introduced a system of compulsory part-time continuation schools for children between the ages of 14 and 16.[115] The Blind Persons Act 1920 provided assistance for unemployed blind people and blind persons who were in low paid employment.[116]

The Housing and Town Planning Act 1919 provided subsidies for house building by local authorities, and 170,000 dwellings were built under it by the end of 1922.[117] which established, according to A. J. P. Taylor, "the principle that housing was a social service".[118] A further 30,000 houses were constructed by private enterprise with government subsidy under a second act.[117] The Land Settlement (Facilities) Act 1919 and Land Settlement (Scotland) Acts of 1919 encouraged local authorities to provide land for people to take up farming "and also to provide allotments in urban areas."

The Rent Act 1920 was intended to safeguard working-class tenants against exorbitant rent increases, but it failed.[119][page needed] Rent controls were continued after the war, and an "out-of-work donation" was introduced for ex-servicemen and civilians.[120]

Electoral changes: Suffragism

Main article: Women's suffrage in Wales § David Lloyd George and the suffrage movement, 1907–1912

The Representation of the People Act 1918 greatly extended the franchise for men (by abolishing most property qualifications) and gave the vote to many women over 30, and the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918 enabled women to sit in the House of Commons. The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 provided that "A person shall not be disqualified by sex or marriage from the exercise of any public function, or from being appointed to or holding any civil or judicial office or post, or from entering or assuming or carrying on any civil profession or vocation, or for admission to any incorporated society...".

Wages for Workers

The Unemployment Insurance Act 1920 extended national insurance to 11 million additional workers. This was considered to be a revolutionary measure, in that it extended unemployment insurance to almost the entire labour force, whereas only certain categories of workers had been covered before.[121] As a result of this legislation, roughly three-quarters of the British workforce were now covered by unemployment insurance.[122]

Lloyd George with Japanese Prince Hirohito, 1921

The Agriculture Act 1920 provided for farm labourers to receive a minimum wage while the state continued to guarantee the prices of farm produce until 1921. It also provided tenant farmers with greater protection by granting them better security of tenure[123][page needed] In education, teachers' salaries were standardised, and more than doubled from pre-War levels, in 1921 by the Burnham Committee.[124]

The Mining Industry Act 1920 placed a mandatory requirement to provide social welfare opportunities to mining communities,[125] while the Public Health (Tuberculosis) Act 1921 increased the obligation of local authorities to treat and prevent TB.[126]

Health for the Heroes

In 1919, the government set up a Ministry of Health, a development which led to major improvements in public health in the years that followed.[121] whilst the Unemployed Workers' Dependants (Temporary Provisions) Act 1921 provided payments for the wives and dependent children of unemployed workers.[127] The Employment of Women, Young Persons, and Children Act 1920 prohibited the employment of children below the limit of compulsory school age in railways and transport undertakings, building and engineering construction works, factories, and mines. The legislation also prohibited the employment of children in ships at sea (except in certain circumstances, such as in respect of family members employed on the same vessel).[128]

Portrait of David Lloyd George by Hal Hurst, 1915

The National Health Insurance Act 1920 increased insurance benefits, and eligibility for pensions was extended to more people. The means limit for pensions was raised by about two-thirds, aliens and their wives were allowed to receive pensions after living in Britain for ten years, and the imprisonment and "failure to work" disqualifications for receiving pensions were abolished.[citation needed] The Blind Persons Act 1920 reduced the pension age for blind people from 70 to 50.[129]

Old age pensions were nearly doubled (from £26 5s to £47 5s a year),[124] efforts were made to help returning soldiers find employment, and the Whitley Councils of employees and employers set up.[130]

What was the cost?

The reforming efforts of the Coalition Government were such that, according to the historian Kenneth O. Morgan, its achievements were greater than those of the pre-war Liberal governments; however, the reform programme was substantially rolled back by the Geddes Axe, which cut public expenditure by £76 million, including substantial cuts to education,[131] and abolished the Agricultural Wages Board.[132]


The armed insurrection by Irish republicans, known as the Easter Rising, took place in Dublin during Easter Week, 1916. The government responded with harsh repression; key leaders were quickly executed. The mostly Catholic Irish nationalists then underwent a dramatic change of mood, and shifted to demand vengeance and independence.[133][134] In 1917 Lloyd George called the 1917–18 Irish Convention in an attempt to settle the outstanding Home Rule for Ireland issue; however, the upsurge in republican sympathies in Ireland following the Easter Rising coupled with Lloyd George's disastrous attempt to extend conscription to Ireland in April 1918 led to the wipeout of the Irish Parliamentary Party at the December 1918 election.[135] Replaced by Sinn Féin MPs, they immediately declared an Irish Republic.

Lloyd George presided over the Government of Ireland Act 1920 which partitioned Ireland into Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland in May 1921 during the Anglo-Irish War. Lloyd George famously declared of the Irish Republican Army that "We have murder by the throat!"[136] However, he soon afterwards began negotiations with IRA leaders to recognise their authority and to end a bloody conflict. This culminated in the Anglo-Irish Treaty signed in December 1921 with Irish leaders. Under it Southern Ireland, representing over a fifth of the United Kingdom's territory, seceded in 1922 to form the Irish Free State.

Foreign policy crises

Lloyd George in 1922

A series of foreign policy crises gave Lloyd George his last opportunity to hold national and international leadership. Everything went wrong.[137] The League of Nations got off to a slow start and was largely ineffective. The Treaty of Versailles had set up a series of temporary organisations, composed of delegations from key powers, to ensure the successful application of the Treaty. The system worked poorly. The assembly of ambassadors was repeatedly overruled and became a nonentity. Most of the commissions were deeply divided and unable to either make decisions or convince the interested parties to carry them out. The most important commission was on Reparations, and France seized full control of it.[138] Raymond Poincaré, president of France, was intensely anti-German, was unrelenting in his demands for huge reparations, and was repeatedly challenged by Germany. France finally invaded western Germany, and Berlin responded by imposing a runaway inflation that seriously damaged the German economy and also damaged the French economy.[139] The United States, after refusing to ratify the League in 1920, almost completely disassociated itself from it. In 1921 the U.S. set up its own international programme for world disarmament that led to the successful Washington Naval Conference, leaving only a minor role for Britain. As the reparations crisis escalated, the United States seized control of it too, with the Dawes Plan of 1924 by which American banks loaned large sums to Germany, which paid reparations to the Allies, who in turn paid off their war loans to the United States.[140] In 1921 Lloyd George successfully concluded the Anglo-Soviet Trade Agreement. Despite much effort he was unable to negotiate full diplomatic relations, as the Russians rejected all repayment of Tsarist era debts, and Conservatives in Britain grew exceedingly wary of the communist threat to European stability. Indeed, Henry Wilson, the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, believed Lloyd George had become "a traitor & a Bolshevist".[141] Lloyd George in 1922 set about to make himself master of peace in the world, especially through the Genoa Conference that he expected would rival Paris of 1919 in visibility, and restore his reputation. Poincaré and the French demanded a military alliance that was far beyond what the British would accept. Germany and Russia made their own agreement at Rapallo which wrecked the Genoa conference.[142] Finally, Lloyd George decided to support Greece in a war against Turkey. This led to the Chanak Crisis when the Dominions, with the exception of Newfoundalnd and New Zealand, rejected the British policy and refused to support the proposed war.[143]

Domestic crises

The more conservative wing of the Unionist Party had no intention of introducing reforms, which led to three years of frustrated fighting within the coalition both between the National Liberals and the Unionists and between factions within the Conservatives themselves. Many Conservatives were angered by the granting of independence to the Irish Free State and by Edwin Montagu's moves towards limited self-government for India, while a sharp economic downturn and wave of strikes in 1921 damaged Lloyd George's credibility. A scandal erupted in 1922 when it became known that Lloyd George had awarded honours and titles, such as baronetcies, to rich businessmen in return for cash in the range of £10,000 and more, via Maundy Gregory. A major attack on his corruption in the House of Lords followed, resulting in the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925. Other complaints were that the Cabinet contained too many Scots, too few men from Oxbridge and the great public schools, too many businessmen, and too few gentlemen.[144]:330-331[145]

Fall from power 1922

Lloyd George statue at Caernarfon Castle (1921), in recognition of his service as local MP and Prime Minister

The coalition was dealt its final blow in October 1922. The Conservatives felt let down by France over the Chanak Crisis, with Bonar Law telling France, "We cannot act alone as the policeman of the world."[146] The Conservative leader, Austen Chamberlain, summoned a meeting of Conservative Members of Parliament at the Carlton Club to discuss their attitude to the Coalition in the forthcoming election. Chamberlain and most Conservative leaders supported Lloyd George; however, the rank and file rejected the coalition. The main attack came from Stanley Baldwin, then President of the Board of Trade, who spoke of Lloyd George as a "dynamic force" who would break the Conservative Party. They sealed Lloyd George's fate on 19 October 1922 by voting in favour of the motion to end the coalition and fight the election "as an independent party, with its own leader and its own programme." Lloyd George submitted his resignation to the King that afternoon.[147][148]

Later political career (1922–1945)

Liberal reunion

David Lloyd George

Throughout the 1920s Lloyd George remained highly visible in politics; predictions that he would return to power were common, but it never happened.[149] He still controlled a large fund (thought to have been between £1m and £3m, or £50m–£150m at 2015 prices) from his investments in newspaper ownership and from his sale of titles.[150][151]

Before the 1923 election, he resolved his dispute with Asquith, allowing the Liberals to run a united ticket against Stanley Baldwin's policy of protective tariffs. Baldwin both feared and despised Lloyd George, and one of his aims was to keep him out of power. He later claimed that he had adopted tariffs, which cost the Conservatives their majority, out of concern that Lloyd George was about to do so on his return from a tour of North America. Although there was press speculation at the time that Lloyd George would do so (or adopt US-style Prohibition to appeal to newly enfranchised women voters), there is no evidence that this was his intent.[152] Asquith and Lloyd George reached agreement on 13 November 1923 and issued a joint Free Trade manifesto, followed by a more general one. Lloyd George agreed to contribute £100,000 (in the event he claimed to have contributed £160,000 including help given to individual candidates; Liberal HQ put the number at £90,000).[153]

In 1924 Lloyd George, realising that Liberal defeat was inevitable and keen to take control of the party himself, spent only £60,000.[154]:631 At the 1924 general election, Baldwin won a clear victory. Despite having a large majority, he appointed the leading coalitionists such as Austen Chamberlain and Lord Birkenhead (and former Liberal Winston Churchill) to senior cabinet places, to discourage any restoration of the 1916–1922 coalition.[155]

Liberal leader

Vera Weizmann, Chaim Weizmann, Herbert Samuel, Lloyd George, Ethel Snowden, and Philip Snowden

The disastrous election result in 1924 left the Liberals as a weak third party in British politics, with just over 40 MPs. Although Asquith, who had again lost his seat and was created an Earl, remained Liberal leader, Lloyd George was elected chairman of the Liberal MPs by 26 votes to 7. Sir John Simon and his followers were still loyal to Asquith (after 1931 Simon would lead a breakaway National Liberal Party, which eventually merged with the Conservatives) whilst Walter Runciman led a separate radical group within the Parliamentary Party.[156]

Lloyd George was now mainly interested in the reform of land ownership, but had only been permitted to put a brief paragraph about it in the hastily drafted 1924 Liberal manifesto. In the autumn of 1925, despite the hostility of Charles Hobhouse, Runciman and Alfred Mond, he began an independent campaign, soon to become "The Land and the Nation" (the Green Book, first of a series of policy papers produced by Lloyd George in the late 1920s). Asquith rebuked him, but was ignored, and they reached an agreement in principle on 2 December, then together they presented Lloyd George's plans to the National Liberal Federation on 26 February 1926.[157][158]

The Liberal Shadow Cabinet, including Lloyd George, unequivocally backed Baldwin's handling of the General Strike on 3 May, but Lloyd George then wrote an article for the American press more sympathetic to the strikers, and did not attend the Shadow Cabinet on 10 May, sending his apologies on "policy grounds". Asquith sent him a public letter (20 May) rebuking him for not attending the meeting to discuss his opinions with colleagues in private. Lloyd George's letter of 10 May had not been published, making it appear that Asquith had fired the first shot, and Lloyd George sent a public reply, moderate in tone (the journalist C. P. Scott helped him draft it), on 25 May. In late May, the executive of the National Liberal Federation convened to plan the agenda for the following month's conference. 16 were pro Asquith and 8 pro Lloyd George; they planned a motion expressing confidence in Asquith, but another option was also proposed to seek Asquith's opinion first, and also general feeling of regret at having been forced to choose between Asquith and Lloyd George. Asquith then wrote another public letter (1 June) stating that he regarded Lloyd George's behaviour as tantamount to resignation, the same as if a Cabinet Minister had refused to abide by the principle of collective responsibility. Twelve leading Liberals wrote in Asquith's support to The Times (1 June); however, Lloyd George had more support in the wider party than among the grandees: the London Liberal Candidates' Association (3 June) defied its officers and expressed its dismay at the split, effectively supporting Lloyd George, and on 8 June the Liberal MPs voted 20:10 urging a reconciliation. Asquith had planned to launch a fightback at the National Liberal Federation in Weston-Super-Mare, but on 12 June, five days before the conference was due to start, he suffered a stroke which put him out of action for three months. Lloyd George was given a rapturous welcome. Asquith resigned as party leader in October, dying in 1928.[159][160]

As Liberal leader at last, Lloyd George used his fund to finance candidates and put forward innovative ideas for public works to reduce unemployment, detailed in works such as Britain's Industrial Future (known as the Yellow Book), and We Can Conquer Unemployment (known as the Orange Book). Charles Masterman, a member of the commission which prepared Britain's Industrial Future, wrote: "When Lloyd George came back to the party, ideas came back to the party".[161] Lloyd George was helped by John Maynard Keynes to write We Can Conquer Unemployment, setting out economic policies to solve unemployment. In 1927 Lloyd George gave £300,000 and an annual grant of between £30,000 and £40,000 for the operations of the Liberal headquarters. He also gave £2,000 per annum to the parliamentary party until 1931.[162][154]:630 Even with the money the results at the 1929 general election were disappointing. The Liberals increased their support only to 60 or so seats, while Labour became the largest party for the first time. Once again, the Liberals ended up supporting a minority Labour government. In 1929 Lloyd George became Father of the House (longest-serving member of the Commons), an honorific position without power.


In 1931 an illness prevented his joining the National Government when it was formed. Later when the National Government called a General Election he tried to pull the Liberal Party out of it but succeeded in taking only a few followers, most of whom were related to him; the main Liberal Party remained in the coalition for a year longer, under the leadership of Sir Herbert Samuel. By the 1930s Lloyd George was on the margins of British politics, although still intermittently in the public eye and publishing his War Memoirs. Lloyd George was President of the London Welsh Trust, which runs the London Welsh Centre, Gray's Inn Road, from 1934 until 1935.[163]

Lloyd George's "New Deal"

Lloyd George in 1932

In January 1935 Lloyd George announced a programme of economic reform, called "Lloyd George's New Deal" after the American New Deal. This Keynesian economic programme was essentially the same as that of 1929. MacDonald requested that he put his case before the Cabinet, and so in March Lloyd George submitted a 100-page memorandum (published as Organizing Prosperity: A Scheme of National Reconstruction)[164] that was cross-examined between April and June in ten meetings of the Cabinet's sub-committee; however, the programme did not find favour; two-thirds of Conservative MPs were against Lloyd George joining the National government, and some Cabinet members would have resigned if he had joined.[165]
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Appeasement of Germany

Lloyd George was consistently pro-German after 1923.[166] He supported German demands for territorial concessions and recognition of its "great power" status; he paid much less attention to the security concerns of France, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Belgium.[167] In a speech in 1933 he warned that if Adolf Hitler were overthrown Communism would replace him in Germany.[168] In August 1934 (following Austria's transition to fascism), he insisted Germany could not wage war, and assured European nations that there would be no risk of war during the next ten years.[169] In September 1936, he went to Germany to talk with Hitler. Hitler said he was pleased to have met "the man who won the war"; Lloyd George was moved, and called Hitler "the greatest living German".[170] Lloyd George also visited Germany's public works programmes and was impressed. On his return to Britain, he wrote an article for the Daily Express praising Hitler, stating: "The Germans have definitely made up their minds never to quarrel with us again."[171] He believed Hitler was "the George Washington of Germany"; that he was rearming Germany for defence and not for offensive war; that a war between Germany and the Soviet Union would not happen for at least ten years; that Hitler admired the British and wanted their friendship but that there was no British leadership to exploit this; however, by 1937, Lloyd George's distaste for Neville Chamberlain led him to disavow Chamberlain's appeasement policies.[171][172]

Final years

In the last important parliamentary intervention of his career, which occurred during the crucial Norway Debate of May 1940, Lloyd George made a powerful speech that helped to undermine Chamberlain as Prime Minister and to pave the way for the ascendancy of Churchill. Churchill offered Lloyd George the agriculture portfolio in his Cabinet but he refused, citing his unwillingness to sit alongside Chamberlain. Lloyd George also thought that Britain's chances in the war were dim, and he remarked to his secretary: "I shall wait until Winston is bust."[173] He wrote to the Duke of Bedford in September 1940, during the Battle of Britain, advocating a negotiated peace with Germany.[174]

A pessimistic speech by Lloyd George on 7 May 1941 led Churchill to compare him with Philippe Pétain. On 11 June 1942, he made his last speech in the House of Commons, and he cast his last vote in the Commons on 18 February 1943 as one of the 121 MPs (97 Labour) condemning the Government for its failure to back the Beveridge Report. Fittingly, his final vote was in defence of the welfare state which he had helped to create.[175]

Although he had displayed political courage all his life, in his last years he gave way to physical timidity and hypochondria.[citation needed] He continued to attend Castle Street Baptist Chapel in London, and to preside over the National Eisteddfod at its Thursday session each summer. In September 1944 he and Frances left his home, Bron-y-de in Churt, for Tŷ Newydd, a farm near his boyhood home in Llanystumdwy. He was now weakening rapidly and his voice failing. He was still an MP but, concerned about his health (he felt physically unable to campaign) and the wartime social changes in the constituency, he feared Carnarvon Boroughs might go Conservative at the next election.[176] Wishing, as the last surviving author of the Versailles settlement, to have an official platform to speak on any peace settlement he accepted a peerage.[176] It was announced in the 1945 New Year Honours that Lloyd George would be made an earl, which he was as Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor, and Viscount Gwynedd, of Dwyfor in the County of Caernarvonshire on 12 February 1945; however, he did not live long enough to take his seat in the House of Lords.[177]


Lloyd George's grave, Llanystumdwy

Lloyd George died of cancer at the age of 82 on 26 March 1945, with his wife Frances and his daughter Megan at his bedside. Four days later, on Good Friday, he was buried beside the river Dwyfor in Llanystumdwy.[178] A boulder marks the grave; there is no inscription; however a monument designed by the architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis was subsequently erected around the grave,[179] bearing an englyn (strict-metre stanza) engraved on slate in his memory composed by his nephew Dr W. R. P. George. Nearby stands the Lloyd George Museum, also designed by Williams-Ellis and opened in 1963.


Lloyd George has often been ranked highly among modern British prime ministers, but his legacy remains complicated and controversial. Scholars have praised his welfare reforms and his efforts to mobilise and lead Britain to victory during the First World War, but he has also been criticised for adopting a "presidential" style of leadership, for distrusting his own commanders during the war, and for his strategic failures and involvement in various scandals. His legacies over Ireland and the Treaty of Versailles are also controversial. In the post-war period he arguably alienated many of the workers he had earlier championed, helping to swell Labour's popular support at the Liberals' expense (not helped by his conflicts with Asquithian Liberals after 1916).

Historian Martin Pugh in The Oxford Companion to British History argues that:

[Lloyd George] made a greater impact on British public life than any other 20th-cent. statesman. He laid the foundations of what later became the welfare state, and put a progressive income tax system at the centre of government finance. He also left his mark on the system of government by enlarging the scope of the prime minister's role. He was acclaimed, not without reason, as the 'Man Who Won the War'....he was blamed by many Liberals for destroying their party in 1918, hated in the Labour movement for his handling of industrial issues after 1918, and disparaged by Conservatives for his radicalism.[180]

George Riddell, 1st Baron Riddell, a wealthy newspaper publisher, was a close confidant and financial supporter of Lloyd George from 1908 to 1922, and Riddell's revealing diary is a valuable source for the period.[181] During Lloyd George's first year as prime minister, in summer 1917, Riddell assessed his personality:

His energy, capacity for work, and power of recuperation are remarkable. He has an extraordinary memory, imagination, and the art of getting at the root of a matter....He is not afraid of responsibility, and has no respect for tradition or convention. He is always ready to examine, scrap or revise established theories and practices. These qualities give him unlimited confidence in himself.... He is one of the craftiest of men, and his extraordinary charm of manner not only wins him friends, but does much to soften the asperities of his opponents and enemies. He is full of humour and a born actor....He has an instinctive power of divining the thoughts and intentions of people with whom he is conversing...His chief defects are: (1) Lack of appreciation of existing institutions, organisations, and stolid, dull people...their ways are not his ways and their methods are not his methods. (2) Fondness for a grandiose scheme in preference to an attempt to improve existing machinery. (3) Disregard of difficulties in carrying out big projects...he is not a man of detail.[182]

In 2007, historian John Shepherd wrote in History Today:

In any poll of modern historians Winston Churchill and David Lloyd George would emerge as the two most renowned prime ministers during the past century.[183]


Margaret and children

David Lloyd George with his daughter Megan in 1911

He had five children by his first wife, Margaret: Richard (1889–1968), Mair (1890–1907, who died during an appendectomy), Olwen (1892–1990), Gwilym (1894–1967) and Megan (1902–1966). Despite his long-term affair with Frances Stevenson, he remained married to Margaret, and remained fond of her until her death[184]:6 on 20 January 1941; Lloyd George was deeply upset by the fact that bad weather prevented him from being with her when she died.

Gwilym and Megan both followed him into politics, and were elected members of parliament. They were politically faithful to their father throughout his life, but after 1945 each drifted away from the Liberal Party, Gwilym finishing his career as a Conservative Home Secretary and Megan becoming a Labour MP in 1957.


Lloyd George met Frances Stevenson in 1910; she worked for him first as a teacher for Megan in 1911;[184]:1 she became his secretary and, from early 1913, his long-term mistress.[184]:11-12 Lloyd George may have been the father of Stevenson's daughter Jennifer (1929–2012), born long before they wed,[185] but it is more likely that she was the daughter of Thomas Tweed, with whom Stevenson had had an affair.[186] To the disapproval of his children he finally married Frances in October 1943; he was aged 80 at the time.[187]:154-156

Frances was the first Countess Lloyd-George, and is now largely remembered for her diaries, which dealt with the great issues, and statesmen, of Lloyd George's heyday. A volume of their letters, My Darling Pussy, has also been published; Lloyd George's nickname for Frances referred to her gentle personality.[184]:12


The Canadian historian Margaret MacMillan, who detailed Lloyd George's role at the 1919 Peace Conference in her book, Peacemakers, is his great-granddaughter. The British television historian and presenter Dan Snow is a great-great-grandson.[188] Other descendants include the late Owen, 3rd Earl Lloyd-George, his grandson, and the late 3rd Earl's younger son The Hon. Robert Lloyd George (Chairman of Lloyd George Management),[189] brother of David, the 4th and present Earl, who has two sons: Viscount Gwynedd (born 1986), a journalist, and Captain the Hon. Fred Lloyd George, an officer in the Welsh Guards (born 1987).

Lloyd George's Cabinets

War Cabinet

• Lord Curzon of Kedleston – Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Lords
• Bonar Law – Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons
• Arthur Henderson – Minister without Portfolio
• Lord Milner – Minister without Portfolio

War Cabinet changes

• May–August 1917 – In temporary absence of Arthur Henderson, George Barnes, Minister of Pensions, acts as a member of the War Cabinet.
• June 1917 – Jan Smuts enters the War Cabinet as a Minister without Portfolio
• July 1917 – Sir Edward Carson enters the War Cabinet as a Minister without Portfolio
• August 1917 – George Barnes succeeds Arthur Henderson (resigned) as Minister without Portfolio and Labour Party member of the War Cabinet.
• January 1918 – Carson resigns and is not replaced
• April 1918 – Austen Chamberlain succeeds Lord Milner as Minister without Portfolio.
• January 1919 Law becomes Lord Privy Seal, remaining Leader of the House of Commons, and is succeeded as Chancellor of the Exchequer by Chamberlain; both remaining in the War Cabinet. Smuts is succeeded by Sir Eric Geddes as Minister without Portfolio.

Other members of Lloyd George's War Government

• Lord Finlay – Lord Chancellor
• Lord Crawford – Lord Privy Seal
• Sir George Cave – Secretary of State for the Home Department
• Arthur Balfour – Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
• Walter Long – Secretary of State for the Colonies
• Lord Derby, and then (after April 1918), Lord Milner – Secretary of State for War
• Austen Chamberlain (to 1917), and then Edwin Montagu – Secretary of State for India
• Sir Edward Carson, and then (from 1917) Sir Eric Geddes – First Lord of the Admiralty
• Sir Frederick Cawley (to 1918), and then Lord Beaverbrook and Lord Downham – Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
• Sir Albert Stanley – President of the Board of Trade
• H. E. Duke and then Edward Shortt – Chief Secretary for Ireland
• Hayes Fisher – President of the Local Government Board (to 1918)
• Sir Auckland Geddes – President of the Local Government Board (to 1919)
• Winston Churchill – Minister of Munitions (appointed 17/7/17)
• Neville Chamberlain, and then (from 1917) Sir Auckland Geddes – Director of National Service

Peacetime Government, January 1919 – October 1922

The War Cabinet was formally maintained for much of 1919, but as Lloyd George was out of the country for many months this made little difference. In October 1919 a formal Cabinet was reinstated.

• David Lloyd George — Prime Minister
• Lord Birkenhead – Lord Chancellor
• Lord Curzon of Kedleston – Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Lords
• Bonar Law – Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons
• Austen Chamberlain – Chancellor of the Exchequer
• Edward Shortt – Secretary of State for the Home Department
• Arthur Balfour – Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
• Lord Milner – Secretary of State for the Colonies
• Winston Churchill – Secretary of State for War and Air
• Edwin Montagu – Secretary of State for India
• Walter Long – First Lord of the Admiralty
• Sir Albert Stanley – President of the Board of Trade
• Robert Munro – Secretary for Scotland
• Ian Macpherson – Chief Secretary for Ireland
• Lord French – Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland
• Christopher Addison – President of the Local Government Board
• Rowland Prothero – President of the Board of Agriculture
• H. A. L. Fisher – President of the Board of Education
• Lord Inverforth – Minister of Munitions
• Sir Robert Horne – Minister of Labour
• George Barnes – Minister without Portfolio
• Sir Eric Geddes – Minister without Portfolio

Peacetime changes

• May 1919 – Sir Auckland Geddes succeeds Sir Albert Stanley as President of the Board of Trade. Sir Eric Geddes becomes Minister of Transport.
• October 1919 – Lord Curzon of Kedleston succeeds Balfour as Foreign Secretary. Balfour succeeds Curzon as Lord President. The Local Government Board is abolished. Christopher Addison becomes Minister of Health. The Board of Agriculture is abolished. Lord Lee of Fareham becomes Minister of Agriculture. Sir Eric Geddes becomes Minister of Transport.
• January 1920 – George Barnes leaves the cabinet.
• March 1920 – Sir Robert Horne succeeds Sir Auckland Geddes as President of the Board of Trade. Thomas Macnamara succeeds Horne as Minister of Labour.
• April 1920 – Sir Hamar Greenwood succeeds Ian Macpherson as Chief Secretary for Ireland. Sir Laming Worthington-Evans joins the Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio.
• February 1921 – Winston Churchill succeeds Lord Milner as Colonial Secretary. Sir Laming Worthington-Evans succeeds Churchill as War Secretary. Freddie Guest, Churchill's successor as Air Secretary, was not in the Cabinet. Lord Lee of Fareham succeeds Walter Long at the Admiralty. Sir Arthur Griffith-Boscawen succeeds Lee as Minister of Agriculture.
• March 1921 – Austen Chamberlain succeeds Bonar Law as Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the Commons. Sir Robert Horne succeeds Chamberlain at the Exchequer. Stanley Baldwin succeeds Horne at the Board of Trade.
• April 1921 – Lord French resigns from the cabinet, remaining Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Christopher Addison becomes a Minister without Portfolio. Sir Alfred Mond succeeds him as Minister of Health. The Ministry of Munitions is abolished.
• November 1921 – Sir Eric Geddes resigns from the cabinet. His successor as Minister of Transport, Viscount Peel, is not in the Cabinet. The Attorney General, Sir Gordon Hewart, enters the Cabinet.
• March 1922 – Lord Peel succeeds Edwin Montagu as India Secretary.
• April 1922 – The First Commissioner of Works, Lord Crawford, enters the Cabinet.


Lloyd George arms


• Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor and Viscount Gwynedd of Dwyfor in the county of Caernarvonshire (created 12 February 1945).


• Order of Merit (Civil) 1919[190]
• Knight of Grace, Order of Saint John; Chancellor of the Welsh Priory from 1918 and Prior of Wales from 1943.[15]
• Grand Cordon of the Legion of Honour (France) 1920[190]
• Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold (Belgium)[14]
• Grand Cross of the Order of St Maurice and St Lazarus (Italy)[15]
• Cross of Liberty (Estonia) (3rd class 1st rank) for civilian service, 29 April 1925[191]


• Oxford University – DCL 1908[190]
o Fellow of Jesus College 1910
• University of Wales – LLD 1908[190]
• Glasgow University – LLD 1917[15]
• University of Edinburgh – LLD 1918[190]
o Rector – 1920[15]
• Durham University – DCL 1919[15]
• Sheffield University – DLitt 1919[190]
• Cambridge University – LLD 1920[15]
• Birmingham University – LLD 1921[15]
• Leeds University – LLD 1922[15]


Lloyd George was made Honorary Freeman of the following cities and towns:[15]

• Blackpool[192] – 1918
• City of London, Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff - 24 June 1908[193], Bristol, York, Glasgow, Barnsley – 1921
• Leeds, Aberystwyth – 1922
• Montreal, Canada; Brecon, Llandovery, Carmarthen, Llanelli, Swansea – 1923
o Master of the Worshipful Company of Curriers (London)


Lloyd George Avenue is an extension of the A470 road, connecting Central Cardiff to Cardiff Bay.

Mount Lloyd George in the Northern Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada was named after Lloyd George during the First World War, and still retains the name.[194]

Kibbutz Ramat David in the Jezreel Valley in northern Israel and the adjacent Ramat David Airbase are named after him.

David Lloyd George Elementary School in Vancouver was named after Lloyd George in 1921.[195]

Cultural depictions

Further information: Cultural depictions of British prime ministers § David Lloyd George

See also: Category:Cultural depictions of David Lloyd George

Selected works

• Better Times, Hodder & Stoughton 1910
• Through Terror to Triumph (edited by Frances Stevenson), Hodder and Stoughton, 1915
• The Great Crusade (edited by Frances Stevenson), Hodder and Stoughton, 1918
• Is It Peace?, Hodder and Stoughton, 1923
• Where Are We Going?, George H. Doran Company, 1923 (American version of Is It Peace?, same contents but re-arranged)
• Slings and Arrows (selected and with an introduction by Philip Guedalla), Cassell and Company, Ltd, 1929
• The Truth About Reparations and War-Debts, William Heinemann Ltd, 1932
• War Memoirs, 6 volumes, Ivor Nicholson and Watson, 1933 – 1936: re-published in 2 volumes by Odhams Press, 1938
• Organizing Prosperity, Ivor Nicholson and Watson, 1935
• The Truth About the Peace Treaties (published in USA as Memoirs of the Peace Conference), 2 volumes, Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1938

See also

• Interwar Britain
• Biography portal
• Statue of David Lloyd George, Parliament Square
• Lloyd George's Beer Song


1. James Callaghan represented a Welsh constituency (in Cardiff), but was English by birth, upbringing and language.
2. Scotland has its own education system, separate from that of England and Wales


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2. Harnden 2011, p. 11
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7. Owen 1955, p. 31
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14. Kelly's 1945, p. 1185
15. Burke's 1949, p. 1241
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17. Rowland, Peter (1975). "M.P. for Caernarvon Boroughs, 1896-1900". Lloyd George. London: Barrie & Jenkins Ltd. pp. 125–126. ISBN 0214200493.
18. Mr. Lloyd George Was Legal Adviser to Dr. Herzl on Uganda Project and Submitted Dr. Herzl's Views
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29. Crosby, Travis L. (2014). ""The Righteousness That Exalteth a Nation"". The Unknown Lloyd George: A Statesman in Conflict. London: I. B. Tauris. ISBN 9781780764856.
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37. Watts 2002
38. Alun Howkins and Nicola Verdon. "The state and the farm worker: the evolution of the minimum wage in agriculture in England and Wales, 1909–24." Agricultural History Review 57.2 (2009): 257–274. online
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40. Grey 1925, i, pp. 236–237
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46. Koss 1985, p. 157-9.
47. Gilbert, Bentley Brinkerhoff (1992). "From Crisis into War". Lloyd George: A Political Life: Organizer of Victory 1912–1916. London: B. T. Batsford Ltd. pp. 110–113. ISBN 0713457279.
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52. Corrigan 2003, pp. 309–311
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54. Corrigan 2003, p. 317
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56. Woodward 1998, pp. 62–63
57. Woodward 1998, pp. 64–65, 71–72
58. Grey 1925, ii, p. 248
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61. Woodward 1998, p. 79
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63. Koss 1985, p. 224.
64. Andrew Blick and George Jones, A Century of Policy Advice at No.10, Part I. Official UK government history of policy advice. See also John Turner, Lloyd George's Secretariat (Cambridge University Press, 1980).
65. Woodward 1998, pp. 119–120
66. Woodward 1998, pp. 83–85
67. Woodward 1998, pp. 88–90
68. Woodward 1998, pp. 90–93
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71. Grigg, John (2003). "Nivelle's Nemesis". Lloyd George: War Leader 1916-1918. Penguin Books. pp. 82–98. ISBN 0140284273.
72. Taylor 1976, pp. 80–81, 86
73. Woodward 1998, pp. 136–138
74. Woodward 1998, p. 80
75. Woodward 1998, pp. 136–140
76. Woodward 1998, pp. 139–142
77. Woodward 1998, pp. 144–146
78. Woodward 1998, pp. 190–191
79. Woodward 1998, pp. 146–148
80. Woodward 1998, pp. 148–149
81. Woodward 1998, pp. 64–65, 190–191
82. Woodward 1998, p. 191
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114. McIvor & Johnston 2007, p. 74
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118. Taylor, A. J. P. (2000). "Post-War, 1918–22". England 1914–1945. London: The Folio Society. p. 128.
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131. Pugh, Martin (1988). "The Failure of the Centre Party 1918-1922". Lloyd George. Profiles in Power. London and New York: Longman. pp. 142–143. ISBN 0582552680.
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145. Morgan, Kenneth O. (1979). "The Downfall of the Coalition: Party Politics". Consensus and Disunity: The Lloyd George Coalition Government 1918-1922. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 331–356. ISBN 0198224974.
146. Robert Boyce (2009). The Great Interwar Crisis and the Collapse of Globalization. Palgrave Macmillan UK. p. 125. ISBN 9780230280762.
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153. Koss 1985, pp. 261–3
154. Rowland, Peter (1975). "Genuinely Seeking Work, 1922-1929". Lloyd George. London: Barrie & Jenkins. ISBN 0214200493.
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156. Koss 1985, pp. 272
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158. Jenkins 1964, pp. 513–4
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• Lord Beaverbrook (1963), The Decline and Fall of Lloyd George, Collins
• Cassar, George (2009), Lloyd George at War, 1916–1918, ISBN 978-1843317937
• Charmley, John (1995) [1993], Churchill: The End of Glory, Sceptre, ISBN 978-0340599228
• Cregier, Don M. (1976), Bounder from Wales: Lloyd George's Career Before the First World War, Columbia and London: University of Missouri Press, ISBN 0-8262-0203-9
• Crosby, Travis. L. (2014), The Unknown David Lloyd George: A Statesman in Conflict, London: IB Tauris and Co. Ltd, ISBN 978-1-78076-485-6, retrieved 23 August 2014
• Gilbert, Bentley Brinkerhoff (1987), David Lloyd George: A Political Life: The Architect of Change 1863–1912
• Gilbert, Bentley Brinkerhoff (1992), David Lloyd George: A Political Life: Organizer of Victory, 1912–1916
• Grigg, John (2002) [first published 1973–2002], Lloyd George, 4 vols. all volumes reprinted in 2002
o The Young Lloyd George (1973); Lloyd George: The People's Champion, 1902–1911 (1978); Lloyd George: From Peace to War, 1912–1916 (1985); Lloyd George: War Leader, 1916–1918 (2002)
• Hattersley, Roy (2010), David Lloyd George: The Great Outsider, Little Brown
• Jones, Thomas (1951), Lloyd George, Harvard University Press
• Morgan, Kenneth O. "George, David Lloyd, first Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/34570. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
• Owen, Frank (1954), Tempestuous Journey: Lloyd George, His Life and Times, London: Hutchinson
• Price, Emyr (2006), David Lloyd George, Celtic Radicals, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, ISBN 0708319475
• Pugh, Martin (2009), Cannon, John (ed.), Lloyd George, David, 1st Earl Lloyd-George in The Oxford Companion to British History (1st Revised ed.), Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/acref/9780199567638.001.0001, ISBN 978-0-19-956763-8, retrieved 9 February 2016
• Purcell, Hugh (2006), Lloyd George, The 20 British Prime Ministers of the 20th Century, London: Haus Publishing, ISBN 1904950582
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• Taylor, A. J. P. (1961), Lloyd George: rise and fall
• Taylor, A. J. P., ed. (1971), Lloyd George: Twelve Essays, London: Hamish Hamilton, ISBN 0241019052

Specialised studies

• Adams, R. J. Q. (1978), Arms and the Wizard: Lloyd George and the Ministry of Munitions, London: Cassell & Co Ltd, ISBN 0304299162
• Adams, R. J. Q. (1997), "Andrew Bonar Law and the Fall of the Asquith Coalition: the December 1916 Cabinet Crisis", Canadian Journal of History, 32 (2): 185–200, doi:10.3138/cjh.32.2.185, ISSN 0008-4107
• Adams, R. J. Q. (1975), "Delivering the Goods: Reappraising the Ministry of Munitions: 1915–1916", Albion, 7 (3): 232–244, doi:10.2307/4048178, JSTOR 4048178
• Adams, W.S. (February 1953), "Lloyd George and the Labour Movement", Past and Present, 3 (1): 55–64, doi:10.1093/past/3.1.55, JSTOR 650036
• Addison, Paul (1994), The Road to 1945. British Politics and the Second World War, London: Pimlico
• Akrigg, G. P. V.; Akrigg, Helen B. (1997), British Columbia Place Names, UBC Press, ISBN 978-0-7748-0637-4, retrieved 21 October 2012
• Bennett, G. H. (December 1999), "Lloyd George, Curzon and the Control of British Foreign Policy 1919–22", The Australian Journal of Politics and History, 45 (4): 467–482, doi:10.1111/1467-8497.00076
• Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, 1949, Burke's Peerage Ltd., 1949
• Byrne, Tony; Padfield, Colin F (1980), Social Services Made Simple, Made Simple Books, ISBN 0-434-90076-1
• Campbell, John (1977), Lloyd George, The Goat in the Wilderness, 1922–31, ISBN 0-224-01296-7
• Cashman, Sean (1988), America in the Age of the Titans: The Progressive Era and World War I, New York University Press, ISBN 978-0-8147-1411-9
• Corrigan, Gordon (10 July 2003), Mud, Blood and Poppycock, Cassell, ISBN 978-0-304-35955-4
• Davies, John (1994), A History of Wales, Penguin Books, ISBN 978-0-14-014581-6
• Davies, Norman (1971), "Lloyd George and Poland 1919–1920", Journal of Contemporary History, 6 (3): 132–154, doi:10.1177/002200947100600309, JSTOR 259884
• Egerton, George W. (March 1988), "The Lloyd George 'War Memoirs': A Study in the Politics of Memory", The Journal of Modern History, 60 (1): 55–94, doi:10.1086/243335, JSTOR 1880406
• Ehrman, John (1961), "Lloyd George and Churchill as War Ministers", Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 11 (5th Ser): 101–115, doi:10.2307/3678753, JSTOR 3678753
• Fair, John D. (September 1977), "Politicians, Historians, and the War: A Reassessment of the Political Crisis of December 1916", The Journal of Modern History, 49 (3, On Demand Supplement): D1329–D1343, doi:10.1086/241657, JSTOR 1876750
• Fraser, Peter (1982), "The British 'Shells Scandal' of 1915", Canadian Journal of History, 18 (1): 69–86, doi:10.3138/cjh.18.1.69
• French, David (1995), The Strategy of the Lloyd George Coalition, 1916–1918, Oxford U.P., ISBN 978-0-19-820559-3
• Fry, Michael (September 1988), "Political Change in Britain, August 1914 to December 1916: Lloyd George Replaces Asquith: The Issues Underlying the Drama", The Historical Journal, 31 (3): 609–627, doi:10.1017/s0018246x00023517, JSTOR 2639759
• Gilbert, Bentley Brinkerhoff (March 1978), "David Lloyd George: The Reform of British Landholding and the Budget of 1914", The Historical Journal, 21 (1): 117–141, doi:10.1017/s0018246x00000388, JSTOR 2638451
• Gilbert, Bentley Brinkerhoff (December 1976), "David Lloyd George: Land, The Budget, and Social Reform", The American Historical Review, 81 (5): 1058–1066, doi:10.2307/1852870, JSTOR 1852870
• Gooch, John (1968), "The Maurice Debate 1918", Journal of Contemporary History, 3 (4): 211–228, doi:10.1177/002200946800300413, JSTOR 259859
• Grey, Viscount (1925), Twenty-Five Years 1892–1916, London
• Hankey, Lord (1961), The Supreme Command, 1914–1918, 2 vols.
• Harnden, Toby (27 October 2011), Dead Men Risen: The Welsh Guards and the Real Story of Britain's War in Afghanistan, Quercus, ISBN 978-1-84916-423-8
• Hart, Peter (2008), 1918: A Very British Victory, London: Phoenix Books, ISBN 978-0-7538-2689-8
• Havighurst, Alfred F. (1966), Twentieth-Century Britain
• Havighurst, Alfred F. (1985), Britain in Transition: The Twentieth Century, University of Chicago Press, ISBN 978-0-226-31970-4, retrieved 10 February 2016
• Hazlehurst, Cameron (July 1970), "Asquith as Prime Minister, 1908–1916", The English Historical Review, 85 (336): 502–531, doi:10.1093/ehr/lxxxv.336.502, JSTOR 563193
• Jeffery, Keith (2006), Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson: A Political Soldier, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-820358-2
• Jenkins, Roy (1964), Asquith (first ed.), London: Collins, OCLC 243906913
• Jenkins, Roy (1998), The Chancellors, Macmillan, ISBN 0333730577
• Jones, J Graham. (2007), "Lloyd George", Dictionary of Liberal Thought, London: Brack & Randall
• Kelly's Handbook of the Titled, Landed and Official Classes, 1945, Kelly's Directories Ltd., 1945, p. 1185
• Kernek, Sterling J. (1975), "Distractions of Peace during War: The Lloyd George Government's Reactions to Woodrow Wilson, December, 1916-November, 1918", Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, 65 (2): 1–117, doi:10.2307/1006183, JSTOR 1006183
• Keynes, John Maynard (1920). The Economic Consequences of the Peace. Harcourt, Brace and Howe. Economic Consequences of the Peace.
• Koss, Stephen (1985), Asquith, London: Hamish Hamilton, ISBN 978-0-231-06155-1
• Lentin, Antony (2004), Lloyd George and the Lost Peace: From Versailles to Hitler, 1919–1940
• Lentin, Antony (December 2004), "Maynard Keynes and the 'Bamboozlement' of Woodrow Wilson: What Really Happened at Paris?", Diplomacy & Statecraft, 15 (4): 725–763, doi:10.1080/09592290490886829 – via EBSCO
• Lentin, Antony (March 1995). "Several Types of Ambiguity: Lloyd George at the Paris Peace Conference". Diplomacy & Statecraft. Frank Cass. 6 (1): 223–251. doi:10.1080/09592299508405960.
• Longford, Ruth (1996), Frances, Countess Lloyd George: more than a mistress, Gracewing Publishing
• Lowe, Norman (1984), Mastering Modern World History, St. Martin's Press, ISBN 978-0-312-52102-8
• McIvor, Arthur; Johnston, Ronald (2007), Miners' Lung: A History of Dust Disease in British Coal Mining, Ashgate, ISBN 978-0-7546-3673-1
• McKinstry, Leo (23 May 2005), Rosebery: Statesman in Turmoil, John Murray, ISBN 978-0-7195-5879-5
• MacMillan, Margaret (2001), Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War, John Murray, ISBN 978-0-7195-5939-6
• McGarry, Fearghal (2010), The Rising: Easter 1916, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-150109-8
• Marriott, J. A. R. Modern England 1885-1945 A History Of My Own Times (1948) pp 390–516. online
• Millman, Brock (2001), "A Counsel of Despair: British Strategy and War Aims, 1917–18", Journal of Contemporary History, 36 (2): 241–270, doi:10.1177/002200940103600201, ISSN 0022-0094, JSTOR 261225
• Millman, Brock (Winter 2002), "The Lloyd George War Government, 1917–18", Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions, 3 (3): 99–127, doi:10.1080/714005491
• Morgan, Kenneth O. (1974), Lloyd George
• Morgan, Kenneth O. (March 1970), "Lloyd George's Premiership: A Study in 'Prime Ministerial Government", The Historical Journal, 13 (1): 130–157, doi:10.1017/S0018246X00009122, JSTOR 2637826
• Morgan, Kenneth O (1996), "Lloyd George and Germany", The Historical Journal, 39 (3): 755–766, doi:10.1017/s0018246x00024547, JSTOR 2639970
• Mowat, C. L. (1955), Britain Between The Wars 1918–1940, Methuen
• Murray, Bruce K. (September 1973), "The Politics of the 'People's Budget'", The Historical Journal, 16 (3): 555–570, doi:10.1017/s0018246x00002946, JSTOR 2638204
• Murray, Bruce K. (1980), The People's Budget, 1909/10: Lloyd George and Liberal politics, Oxford: Clarendon Press, ISBN 0198226268
• Owen, David (2014), The Hidden Perspective: The Military Conversations 1906–1914, London
• Powell, David (2004), British Politics, 1910–1935: The Crisis of the Party System
• Ramsden, John (5 October 1998), An Appetite for Power: A New History of the Conservative Party, HarperCollins, ISBN 978-0-00-255686-6
• Reynolds, David (2006), From World War to Cold War: Churchill, Roosevelt, and the International History of the 1940s, Oxford University Press
• Rose, Inbal A. (1999), Conservatism and Foreign Policy During the Lloyd George Coalition 1918–1922, Frank Cass & Co. Ltd., ISBN 0-7146-4486-2, retrieved 10 February 2016
• Rudman, Stella (2011), Lloyd George and the Appeasement of Germany, 1919–1945, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, ISBN 978-1-4438-2657-0
• Taylor, A. J. P. (1976) [First published 1965 as volume fifteen of The Oxford History of England.], English History 1914–1945, Oxford: Clarendon Press, ISBN 978-0-19-821715-2
• Taylor, W. D. (4 August 1988), Mastering Economic and Social History, Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 978-0-333-36804-6
• Thane, Pat (22 November 1996), Foundations of the Welfare State, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-582-27952-0
• Timmins, Nicholas (2001), The Five Giants: A Biography of the Welfare State, ISBN 978-0-00-710264-8
• Thomas, Nigel; Smith, Andy (5 December 2008), Disability, sport, and society: an introduction, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-37819-2
• Thorpe, Andrew (19 September 2014), The Longman Companion to Britain in the Era of the Two World Wars 1914–45, Routledge, ISBN 978-1-317-89747-7
• Turner, John (31 January 1992), British Politics and the Great War: Coalition and Conflict, 1915–1918, Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0-300-05046-2
• Ward, Alan J. (1974), "Lloyd George and the 1918 Irish Conscription Crisis", The Historical Journal, 17 (1): 107–129, doi:10.1017/s0018246x00005689, JSTOR 2638335
• Watts, Duncan (2002), Whigs, Radicals and Liberals, 1815–1914, Hodder & Stoughton, ISBN 978-0-340-80206-9
• Wilson, Trevor (1964), "The Coupon and the British General Election of 1918", Journal of Modern History, 36 (1): 28–42, doi:10.1086/239234, JSTOR 1874424
• Wilson, Trevor (1966), The Downfall of the Liberal Party 1914–1935, Collins
• Woodward, David R. (1998), Field Marshal Sir William Robertson: Chief of the Imperial General Staff in the Great War, Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, ISBN 0-275-95422-6
• Woodward, David R. (1983), Lloyd George and the Generals, Newark, London, and Toronto: University of Delaware Press and Associated University Presses, ISBN 0874132118
• Woodward, Sir Llewellyn (1967), Great Britain and the War of 1914–1918
• Wrigley, Chris (1976), David Lloyd George and the British Labour Movement: Peace and War, Hassocks and New York: The Harvester Press and Barnes and Noble Books, ISBN 0855272546
• Wrigley, Chris (1990). Lloyd George and the Challenge of Labour: The Post-War Coalition 19118-1922. Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf. ISBN 0710810237.

Primary sources

• A. J. Sylvester (1975), Cross, Colin (ed.), Life with Lloyd George: The Diary of A. J. Sylvester, London: Macmillan, ISBN 0333149076
• Jones, J. Graham (2001), Lloyd George Papers at the National Library of Wales and Other Repositories, Aberystwyth: Welsh Political Archive, National Library of Wales, ISBN 1862250235
• Lloyd George, David (1938), The Truth About the Peace Treaties, 1, London: Victor Gollancz Ltd
• Lloyd George, David (1938), The Truth About the Peace Treaties, 2, London: Victor Gollancz Ltd
• Lloyd George, David (1938), War Memoirs Of David Lloyd George: Volume 1 (New ed.), Odhams Press
• Lloyd George, David (1918), The Great Crusade: Extracts from Speeches Delivered During the War
• David Lloyd George (1973), Kenneth O. Morgan (ed.), Lloyd George Family Letters, 1885–1936, Cardiff and London: University of Wales Press and Oxford University Press, ISBN 0192117173
• Lord Riddell. Lord Riddell's Intimate Diary of the Peace Conference And After (1933) online free
• David Lloyd George; Frances Stevenson (1975), Taylor, A. J. P. (ed.), My Darling Pussy: The Letters of Lloyd George and Frances Stevenson, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, ISBN 0297770179
• Frances Stevenson (1971), Taylor, A. J. P. (ed.), Lloyd George: A Diary by Frances Stevenson, Hutchinson, ISBN 0091072700

Further reading

• Brack, Duncan, Robert Ingham, and Tony Little, eds. British Liberal Leaders (Biteback Publishing, 2015).
• Cregier, Don M. (May 1970), "The Murder of the British Liberal Party", The History Teacher, 3 (4): 27–36, doi:10.2307/3054322, JSTOR 3054322
• Dangerfield, George. The Strange Death of Liberal England (1935) online free;
• Fry, Michael G. (1977), Lloyd George and Foreign Policy., Vol. 1: The Education of a Statesman: 1890–1916, Montreal and London: McGill-Queen's University Press, ISBN 0773502742
• Johnson, Matthew (June 2008), "The Liberal War Committee and the Liberal Advocacy of Conscription in Britain, 1914–1916", The Historical Journal, 51 (2): 399–420, doi:10.1017/s0018246x08006766, JSTOR 20175167
• Morgan, Kenneth O. (1979). Consensus and Disunity: The Lloyd Coalition Government 1918 - 1922. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0198224974.
• Searle, G. R. (2004), A New England? Peace and war, 1886–1918, Oxford University Press
• Somervell, D. C. The Reign of King George V, (1936) pp 161–306. online free
• Suttie, Andrew (2006), Rewriting the First World War: Lloyd George, Politics & Strategy, 1914–1918
• Toye, Richard (2007). Lloyd George & Churchill: Rivals for Greatness. London: Macmillan. ISBN 9781405048965.
• Wilson, Trevor (1989), The Myriad Faces of War: Britain and the Great War 1914–1918, ISBN 0745606458

External links

• Media from Wikimedia Commons
• Quotations from Wikiquote
• Texts from Wikisource
• Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by David Lloyd George
• More about David Lloyd George on the Downing Street website.
• Lloyd George Society website
• BBC Wales History – Profile of David Lloyd George
• David Lloyd George Exhibition, National Library of Wales
• Portraits of David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George at the National Portrait Gallery, London
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Part 1 of 2

The Rise and Fall of the Parliament of Religions at Greenacre
by Robert P. Richardson
The Open Court
A Monthly Magazine Devoted to the Science of Religion, the Religion of Science, and the Extension of the Religious Parliament Idea
Copyright by Open Court Publishing Company 1931
Volume XLVI (No. 3), Number 898
March, 1931

Joseph Jefferson, Sarah J. Farmer, Swami Abhedananda (The Camp at Green Acre)

ON THE THIRD day of July, 1894, there gathered in the little town of Eliot, Maine, a group of men and women resolved to form a center where might be continued each summer the work so auspiciously begun at [url=x]the Chicago Columbian Exposition in 1893,[/url] when thinkers of the most opposite schools had freely expressed their views on religion, ethics, philosophy and sociology, and had amicably listened to the other side of each question. In the call for the Chicago Congresses their purposes had been stated as to "review the progress already achieved in the world, state the living problems now awaiting solution, and suggest the means of farther progress." Quoting this and reaffirming it as the purpose of the summer meetings at Eliot, the program of the first season promised "a series of lectures and courses on topics which shall quicken and energize the spiritual, mental and moral natures, and give the surest and serenest physical rest." It had been determined "to form a center at the Greenacre Inn where thinking men and women, reaching out to help their fellows through means tried and untried, might find an audience recognizing not alone revealed truth, but truth in the process of revelation. It was believed that for those of different faiths, different nationalities, different training, the points of contact might be found, the great underlying principles — the oneness of truth, the brotherhood of man; that to the individual this spot might mean the opening door to freedom, the tearing down of walls of prejudice and superstition."

This view from the Piscataqua River shows the Sarah Farmer Inn atop the hill on the Green Acre property. At the time this photograph was taken, the Inn was called the Eliot Hotel and acted as a resort for summer guests. It was owned by Martin Tobey, George Hammond, Dr. John Willis, Francis Keefe and Sarah Farmer. John Greenleaf Whittier called the Hotel 'Green Acre' and Sarah Farmer, one of the Hotel owners, renamed the inn to be Green Acre Inn.

Eventually the Inn and surrounding properties became a center for spiritual thought, where speakers would come from all over the world to share religious and spiritual subjects with the guests and Eliot residents.

-- Green Acre Property, by Maine Memory Network

The place selected for this work had been well chosen. At a beautiful spot on a tidal estuary (the so-called Piscataqua "river") six miles from the sea, there had been built in 1890 the Greenacre Inn. Even in the beginning it was designed to accommodate people of the more cultured classes and persons with literary and artistic tastes. John Greenleaf Whittier had found there a pleasant refuge from the heats of the New England hinterland, declaring it to be ''the pleasantest place I was ever in." Whittier had brought with him the authoress "Grace Greenwood" (Mrs. Lippincott) and his cousin, Mrs. Gertrude Cartland who, clad in her simple but dignified garb of a Quakeress, had charmed all present by her impressive recitals from the mystical writings of Madame Guyon. Looking from the windows of the Inn the guests had sometimes seen Miss Olea Bull gracefully dancing the Norwegian "Spring Dance." Sometimes too she played, and one of the enthusiastic beholders wrote: "You will hear grand music from her. She is the only daughter of Ole Bull who played the violin as no other person ever did. I do not think you ever saw such willowy grace as there is in that child's every movement. She is wonderfully made."

The Greenacre Inn was thus well known to the intellectuals of New England who gave an enthusiastic reception to the announcement of the new Greenacre idea, and flocked to Eliot to take part in the meetings. Mrs. Ole Bull gave the opening address of the first season, and Miss Sarah J. Farmer acted as secretary of the conferences. Among the speakers of that summer are to be noted the names of Edward Everett Hale, [url=x]Swami Vivekananda[/url], Lewis G. Janes, Ralph Waldo Trine, B. O. Flower of The Arena, Neal Dow and a host of others, fifty or sixty speakers in all being listed. The subjects discussed included Universal Religion, Prophets and Prophecy, [url=x]The Theosophical Movement[/url], The Religion of India, Is Spiritualism Worth While if True? The Relation of Religion to Art, Evolution and Life, The Possibilities of Woman, Motherhood, Mental Freedom, The Education of the Future, [url=x]Immanuel Kant[/url], Individualism and Socialism, and Economic Natural Law.

Among the celebrities visiting Greenacre in the next few years and contributing to the programs were William Lloyd Garrison, Walter H. Page, Clarence Darrow, Lilian Whiting, Alice B. Stockham. B. Fay Mills, Orison Swett Marden, Elbert Hubbard, George D. Herron, Bolton Hall, Percival Chubb, W. M. Salter, Alfred W. Martin, Judge W. C. Robinson (Dean of the Catholic University of America), Prof. Joseph Le Conte, J. H. Hyslop, Lester A. Ward, John Fiske, C. H. A. Bjerregaard of the New York Astor Library, W. T. Harris (U. S. Commissioner of Education), Carroll D. Wright (U. S. Commissioner of Labor) and [url=x]Annie Besant[/url]. Theodore T. Wright, Secretary of the Palestine Exploration Fund, lectured on Recent Explorations confirming and interpreting the Bible. John Burroughs gave a Talk on Nature. J. T. Trowbridge, Edwin Markham and Sam E. Foss gave readings from their works, W. D. Howells came and read his Traveller from Altruria, and the famous actor Joseph Jefferson (who became a charter member of the Green Acre Fellowship when this was formed in 1902) regaled the Greenacreites every summer under the pines with informal talks on the drama. Some practical talks on art were given by painters and sculptors not unknown to fame (e.g. Arthur W. Dow of Ipswich and F. Edwin Elwell of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art) and musical instruction was available for those who cared to take it. A number of musicians and singers of the first rank likewise found their way to Eliot and freely gave their aid in enlivening the Greenacre proceedings with song and music. Geraldine Farrar was at Greenacre as a girl, and even then a great future was predicted for the youthful singer. The story is told that on one occasion, when she consented to entertain Greenacre with her singing, she uttered a very long drawn out note, and just as she was about to terminate it the whistle of a distant locomotive prolonged the sound for some live minutes. Whereupon the waggish Joseph Jefferson said in a loud aside that brought down the house: "My! What a voice that girl has!"[1]

Noteworthy was the Evolution Conference of 1895 organized by Lewis G. Janes. The proceedings were opened with an address by Dr. E. D. Cope of the University of Pennsylvania on Present Problems of Organic Evolution, and in the second meeting there was read a paper on Social Evolution and Social Duty contributed by Herbert Spencer to this Greenacre conference, though originally prepared in view of being read at the Chicago Congress of Religions of 1893. Two sessions of the conference were held daily. Papers were read on such subjects as Social Ideals tested by Evolutionary Principles, Natural Selection and Crime, and The Evolution of the God-Idea, the conference being finally closed with two addresses by John Fiske.

The first week of the Summer Congress at Greenacre, on the Piscataqua, was devoted to the Conference of Evolutionists which held its first meeting on July 6th, under the direction of Dr. Lewis G. Janes, President of the Brooklyn Ethical Association. The program was as follows:

Saturday, July 6th - Evolution Conference under the direction of Dr. Lewis G. Janes, President of the Ethical Association; S.P.M., Professor Edward D. Cope, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania, 'The President Problems of Organic Evolution'; S.P.M., paper from Herbert Spencer, of London, Eng., 'Social Evolution and Social Duty,' to be followed by a symposium and brief addresses.

Monday, July 8 - 3 P.M., Mr. Henry Wood, of Boston, Mass., 'Industrial Evolution'; S.P.M., Mr. Benjamin F. Underwood, Editor Philosophical Journal, Chicago, Ill., 'How Evolution Reconciles Opposing Views of Ethics and Philosophy'; letters and brief addresses.

Tuesday, July 9 - 3 P.M., Professor Edward S. Morse, of the Peabody Institute, Salem, Mass., 'Natural Section and Crime'; S.P.M., Dr. Martin L. Holbrook, editor Journal of Hygiene, New York, 'Evolution's Hopeful Promise for Human Health.'

Wednesday, July 10 - 3 P.M., Rev. Edward P. Powell, of Clinton, N.Y., 'Evolution of Individuality'; S.P.M., Miss Mary Proctor, of New York, 'Other Worlds Than Ours,' with stereopticon Illustrations.

Thursday, July 11 - 3 P.M., Rev. James T. Bixby, Ph.D. of Yonkers, N.Y., 'Evolution of the God-Idea'; S.P.M., Dr. Lewis G. Janes, President Brooklyn Ethical Association, 'Evolution of Morals.'

The Congress will be continued during the months of July and August, a lecture being delivered on each afternoon and occasionally one also in the evening. The last lecture will be delivered on August 31st, by Hon. Carroll D. Wright.

-- Science, A Weekly Journal Devoted to the Advancement of Science, Volume II - July to December, 1895, edited by John Michels (Journalist)

This conference led in the following season to the organization of the School of Comparative Religion which, under the supervision of Dr. Janes, functioned each summer at Greenacre from 1893 on, the meetings being usually held in the open air under the pines. Thoroughly in sympathy with the Religious Parliament idea, Dr. Janes was exceptionally well fitted to put on a scientific and systematic basis the work in this line which had hitherto been carried on at Greenacre in a somewhat desultory way. One of the early contributors to The Open Court, he was prominent in the Ethical Culture movement and in the Free Religious Association, and had been President of the Brooklyn Ethical Association for eleven years. Remarkable for the breadth of his intellectual and religious sympathies, he knew how to insure a cordial welcome to the representative of every shade of opinion, and to make each speaker feel that the atmosphere of his audience was receptive and sympathetic. Dr. Janes brought to Greenacre, among others, the Vedantist Swamis Saradananda and Abhedananda, the Buddhist [url=x]Anagarika H. Dharmapala[/url], the Jain Virchand R. Gandhi, Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf, and, above all, Prof. Nathaniel Schmidt of Cornell University, who for many years was the chief standby of the scholarly and scientific element of the Greenacreites. [url=x]Dr. Carus[/url] came to Greenacre for a short time in August 1897 and lectured on Religion in Science and Philosophy. The report of the conferences notes that he "was greeted with great cordiality and found here many friends who read and appreciate his writings." He also "had a few conferences informally in which he discussed the problem of the Ego and the philosophy of Lao-tze." Dr. Carus was hailed at Greenacre as "the representative of sober criticism and exact science" and although "he did not countenance the various aberrations of occultism" in vogue among the more erratic and emotional of the Greenacreites, it is recorded that his "criticism is not offensive; he confines himself to a sober exposition of his own views, and when he is requested to speak his word on the various mystic tendencies he makes an occasional fling at others, but he does it with humor and is never sarcastic."

The Greenacre movement grew apace, and soon the Inn proved inadequate to lodge the attendants at the meetings who overflowed into the near-by farm houses. An array of sixty or seventy tents — Sunrise Camp— grew up on the banks of the Piscataqua, and people of prominence did not disdain their primitive accommodations. "The soil is very porous" wrote E. P. Powell in The Christian Register, "and absorbs water very speedily. You will lie in the tents, laughing at storms and never catching cold. One reason, I imagine, is that we have something else to think of, for colds have a certain dependence on spiritual and intellectual conditions. In the Inn you will see the Whittier Table; and if you are a lecturer, you will be permitted to sit in his chair." Near the Inn was erected a modest auditorium tent, holding three hundred people, but this proved too small, and it was soon necessary to provide another with double the capacity. Usually the program for the day began at 9 A. M. with unsectarian devotional exercises in the large tent, following which, in fair weather, the Greenacreites trooped off to the beautiful Lysekloster Pines (so named from the Norwegian home of Ole Bull) where they seated themselves on the soft carpet of pine needles and, drinking in the fragrance of the piney forest, listened to the morning lectures. Only on rainy days was a tent used for these morning meetings, but in the afternoon lectures were commonly given in the large tent, its sides being left wide open so that one could gaze across the river at the New Hampshire countryside and see in the distance the foothills of the White [Mountains. The tent served in the evenings, sometimes for lectures, sometimes for musical or dramatic entertainments. The latter purposes how-ever were better served by the "Eirenion" (Abode of Peace), a large wooden structure erected not far from the Inn in 1897. In 1896 the gratuitous services of an enthusiastic printer were enlisted, and there was published at Eliot, in the interests of the conferences, a weekly newspaper. The Greenacre Voice, this effort persevering for several seasons.

Side by side with the conferences on religion other activities went on. It is narrated that on one record-breaking day sixteen different meetings were held, the first being a Vedantist devotional exercise at 6 A. M. which was an addition to, not a substitute for the usual service at 9, and that a certain lady, trying to take in all that Greenacre had to offer on that occasion, lamented because she had been able to attend only nine! There were educational conferences, more evolution conferences, nature conferences and sociological conferences. Classes for teaching the New Thought practices were held by Horatio Dresser and his assistant. Miss Ellen M. Dyer, when weather permitted in the open air, these and the classes of Miss Mary H. Burnham's School of Music being the only functions at which payment of a fee was required of those taking part. "We all wander around as fancy leads us" said a lady "and if we see a group of people anywhere, just drop in. And the freedom and informality is a large part of the charm of Greenacre life." Each year a Peace Conference was held under the Greenacre flag which floated on a tall pole near the river, a white silken banner on which was inscribed in green letters the single word "Peace." In later years when factional quarrels were rife among the Greenacreites, some cynic suggested that this be described as "The flag we fight under," and there is told the story that once, when two ladies at a meeting in the Eirenion were so angry with each other as to all but come to blows, the custodian of the standard, Mr. Douglass, hastened to lower the Peace Flag as a sign that peace no longer reigned at Greenacre.

Once a year was celebrated Emerson Day in honor of the great Transcendentalist. The meetings were held in the Pines and presided over by Frank B. Sanborn, the last resident member of the Concord School of Philosophy and the friend and companion of Emerson and Thoreau. A favorite spot for this celebration was in front of a gigantic boulder known as The Mystic Rock (also called the Druid Stone) which sometimes served as a platform for the speakers of the day. One who was accustomed to be present described the occasion as follows: "We sit under the trees and listen to the tender intimate touches from Emerson's life and experiences. Then Charles Malloy gives a series of Emerson readings, with lines and interlines of interpretation, the wealth of a lifetime of study." There were group walks through the woods, made more profitable by talks on the birds and other forms of wild life which could be seen at times, for Eliot, though legally a town, only two short hours' ride from Boston and but three miles from the city of Portsmouth, is really a slice of the country, there being no large aggregation of houses but rather a scattering of homesteads, some quite small but others covering many acres, interspersed with tracts of woodland several miles deep. In these woods could be found the camps of one or two Greenacreites who preferred the seclusion they afforded, notably Dharmapala, the Buddhist monk, and Ralph Waldo Trine, familiarly known at as "Judge Trine" on account of the judicial serenity of his countenance. It was in a willow-woven hut by the side of the Mystic Rock that Mr. Trine wrote his famous work: In Tune with the Infinite, and it is said that more than once when engaged in its composition he was interrupted by a curious cow who poked her head in the open doorway. Sometimes the early morning "Kneippers" would wind up their exercises with a call on Mr. Trine who, when not preoccupied with literary work, always gave them a hearty welcome and served them coffee, reputed to be the best in Greenacre.

It would be a great mistake to suppose that the majority of Greenacreites had any intention of keeping their noses to the grindstone and acquiring new knowledge by a severe course of mental discipline. The magnet that drew summer visitors to Eliot was the life that could be led there, the possibility seen, by people with tastes above that of the common herd, of mingling with their own kind. One could go to a lecture and, if not inclined to listen too attentively, gaze dreamily at the blue sky just showing through the green branches or look out on the broad expanse of the Piscataqua and become oblivious to everything else. After a lecture the Greenacreites would stroll through the woods and along the country lanes, and no introduction was necessary for the commencement of a conversation. This conversation might not go very deeply into the questions discussed at the conferences, but would be very much above the level of the conversation of the card party or the talk at the conventional dinner table. Social distinctions and the possession of a fortune or the lack of one played no part in the fellowship of the Greenacreites; the only thing that mattered was behaving decently and being interesting to talk with. Men and women of wealth were by no means unknown in the colony, but coming, as they almost invariably did, from a long line of more or less wealthy forbears, they never thought of flaunting their prosperity in the eyes of the less fortunate Greenacreites, but donned their old clothes and enjoyed the simple life like the rest. The nouveau riche were conspicuous by their absence, and women who at home had their full staffs of servants could here be seen clad in calico, picking blackberries along the country lanes to take back to their landladies as part of the evening repast. Greenacre was thus as different from the ordinary summer resort as day is from night, and even people who were not inclined to do much high thinking found to their taste the simple living, coupled with refinement and culture that was in vogue in Eliot.

We must not exaggerate the influence of the lecturers and conferences on the Greenacreites, and there is no doubt that the intellectual atmosphere of the place was far more potent than any formal course of instruction could be in spreading the spirit of the Parliament of Religions. No religious or philosophical or sociological sect was dominant, and a Greenacreite had necessarily to throw oft' the sectarian attitude and listen with respectful attention to doctrines which he could not possibly bring himself to accept. The customs and scruples of the religionists from foreign lands were courteously respected even when they seemed very far fetched to Occidental minds. To do this was sometimes far from easy. It is recorded that one lady invited the Jain, Gandhi, to a dinner which she had taken care to make vegetarian, hoping thus to suit his tastes. But "he would eat nothing save ice cream, and if he had known there were eggs in it he would not have eaten that. He taboos all vegetables grown under ground."

A Good Greenacreite would not even hesitate to take part in the ceremonies of alien faiths. One night the Buddhist monk, Dharmapala, who had astonished the natives of Eliot by going about clad in bright orange colored robes and equally gaudy yellow shoes, organized a pilgrimage to the Pines in which all Greenacre took part, to celebrate the festival of the Full ^loon. The Greenacreites gathered at nightfall, arrayed in white, each person carrying a bunch of flowers and a lighted candle-lantern. Headed by Dharmapala, who chanted in sing-song tones as he walked, the picturesque procession wended its way to the Pines where the posies were used to build an altar of flowers under a magnificent tree which had been named The Bodhi Pine in memory of the Tree of Wisdom under which tradition says the Gautama Buddha sat. By its side Dharmapala seated himself on the ground, cross-legged, in Buddha posture, while the Greenacreites, kept en rapport by a circlet of yellow cord which each held by one hand, grouped themselves around him endeavoring to adjust themselves to the same uncomfortable position. For several hours each gazed at his own candle on which he concentrated all his thoughts, and some of the pilgrims who had taken the matter so seriously as to follow Dharmapala's injunction to prepare for the occasion by a fast beginning at daybreak, and had let nothing but a few drops of water pass their lips all that day, were rewarded by imagining they saw the ghostly forms which they had been told might be made manifest to them. With a fine Catholicism the same men and women who participated in this Buddhist ceremony would lend their aid to the worship of the setting sun by the Parsee, Jehangier D. Cola, and stand by his side in respectful silence as he made obeisance to the glowing orb. Equal zest was shown in going through the ceremonies of the Midsummer Nature Worship, inaugurated by Mr. Bjerregaard. Such proceedings, though they made Greenacre more interesting to people of broad mentality, were quite incomprehensible to the good Congregationalists of Eliot, who began to show some aversion to the "pagan" summer visitors. The feelings of the towns' folk were also aroused by the practices of some Greenacreites who took mud baths, and walked about on the shores of the Piscataqua in garbs that at the beaches of to-day would be deemed ultra-modest bathing costumes. "Kneipping"' was another trial to the natives. Those were the days in which Father Kneipp gained a brief celebrity by advocating running barefooted in the dewy grass as the royal road to health, and the Eliot people often saw the summer visitors engaging in these unseemly antics as they were deemed. A contemporary account of Greenacre throws a vivid light on the attitude of Eliot people in 1897. "'This world is an amazin' queer place,' was confided to me by one of the farmers' wives" wrote Laura S. "McAdoo," 'and Greenacre is the queerest part of it. Why have you seen those droves of people that run through the fields in a kind of dogtrot early in the morning, They call that Kneipping. and they go to see the sun rise too" I'm sure I don't think that sunrise is such a sight, and I've seen it almost every day of my life. And they actually go worshipping the sun, and say heathen prayers when it goes down. I don't know what the world's coming to. when we have these foreigners over here dressed up in outlandish clothes preaching all sorts of strange doctrines, after we've been trying to convert them for hundreds of years. It's ridiculous" Why my little girl saw this new eastern man that wears purple and orange and I almost had to laugh at the young one. She said: Oh mamma" Here comes another devil" It must be Mr. Dharmapala's brother. Just look at that now' she continued, going to the window as the expounder of Parseeism passed by attired in the national costume of his race. 'What's he after now? I believe they dress so just to look queer.'" Doubtless the little Eliot girl who called the foreigners in queer costumes "devils" had shuddered at the tales she heard in church' of the heathen Chinese who call Americans and Europeans "foreign devils," but we may be quite sure that neither she nor her mother had any inkling of how near culturally they were to the ignorant Chinese they so despised.

In the boom year of 1897 everything seemed rosy at Greenacre. Visitors flocked from all parts of the country to attend the conferences and take part in the life they had heard was so enjoyable. The lectures at times drew audiences of over eight hundred people, who, not finding seats inside the tent where the meetings were being held, stood around outside listening to the proceedings. Funds flowed in freely and were used (rather recklessly, as it turned out) in putting up the Eirenion, erecting three cottages to shelter the more distinguished summer visitors (the Whittier, Hildegard and Duon cottages) and enlarging and improving the kitchen and dining room of the Inn — in lieu of paying the long over-due rent on the latter. Thinking that a prosperous future was assured to Greenacre, several of the town's people built annexes to their homesteads to house future flocks of summer visitors, and during the next two years had no difficulty in filling them. To the superficial view all was well with Greenacre. But the institution was booked for a decline, as it had no satisfactory financial basis. Admission to all the lectures and conferences was absolutely free, and although it was suggested that those who attended should make voluntary contributions according to their means, the response was never sufficient for the needs of Greenacre. The only other resource was the money received at the Inn and at Sunrise Camp, that paid by the summer visitors for board in other places in no way benefitting Greenacre. And as the capacity of the Inn was so limited — it having only thirty-five rooms — and as the prices charged at it and in the tents were exceedingly moderate, the profits in any event could not be large. Moreover the possible profits were reduced by the fact that the lecturers at Greenacre received as compensation, besides their traveling expenses, free board at the Inn for a more or less lengthy stay, and the excessive number of lecturers and other non-paying guests made the situation very difficult. Notwithstanding various substantial gifts that were made to Greenacre the financial situation became so bad that in 1900 the work was all but dropped. The School of Comparative Religion was suspended, and the only lecturers made use of that season were persons who had come to Eliot at their own expense and were paying the full charge for board at the Inn or elsewhere. The facts however were kept in the shade by calling this a "Sabbatical Year," the leading spirit in the Greenacre work, ]Miss Sarah Farmer, passing the summer abroad as the guest of a friend, Miss Alaria Wilson, a fervent devotee of the Bahai religion: the first Greenacreites to succumb to the fascinations of that offshoot of Mohammedanism.

In the spring of 1901 Miss Farmer gave no inkling of any intention of continuing the Greenacre work, and at the solicitation of those desirous of seeing it go on, including the lessee of the Greenacre Inn and the various persons in Eliot who eked out their budget by taking in summer boarders. Dr. Janes decided to take up anew the work of the School of Comparative Religion and conduct it on a sounder financial basis, charging a small fee to those who should attend the lectures. In previous years voluntary contributions had been made by those taking the course and others, amounting in 1899, the peak year of the school when 214 persons enrolled, to $375. It had been customary to divide the sum remaining, after paying incidental expenses, among the workers of the school, but in 1899, after defraying the travelling expenses of the workers, the balance was turned over to Greenacre, the lecturers at the school willingly foregoing that year even the meagre cash compensation that had been usual. Dr. Janes, under the new plan, set a fixed registration fee of two dollars, with an additional charge, if lecturers were attended for more than one week, of five dollars for the course, or fifty cents for each single lecture. On account of the summer visitors that it was known the reopened school would bring to Eliot, the Innkeeper and the boarding house proprietors expressed their willingness to be responsible for the board of Dr. Janes' modest staff of lecturers.

On hearing of the new departure Miss Farmer rose up in arms and resuming her activity managed to gather together enough money to carry on a Greenacre program during the season of 1901. She sponsored a course of lectures similar to those of Dr. Janes, conflicting with these as to time, and there were thus two rival Schools of Comparative Religion at Eliot that season. The only ostensible reasons Miss Farmer had for opposing Dr. Janes instead of co-operating with him were his "abandonment of the voluntary principle" (i. e. his requiring a minimum fee to be paid by all attendants at his course) and his "attempting to cut one of the branches of Greenacre from its parent stem" (in other words his daring to continue the work of the School of Comparative Religion without asking her permission and refusing to submit to her authority as paramount). Sarah Farmer, in fact, claimed proprietary rights in the Greenacre movement, and assumed that if she chose to abandon it no one else had any right to carry it forward. Now it is true that to her had first come the idea of using the Greenacre Inn as a center for lectures and conferences, and to her persuasive powers were due the consent of the proprietors of the Inn to try this experiment: an experiment conducted on so grandiose a scale as to spell disaster to the owners of the Inn who had not received a single cent in rental during the five years (1894-1898) in which Miss Farmer had control of the property. To her initiative also were due most of the arrangements for the lectures and conferences, and besides contributing money of her own to the work, she had induced a number of well-wishers to the cause to contribute liberally towards its support. She ought however have recognized that her fellow laborers had likewise given time and money freely, and that they could not be expected to stand idle and see the movement fall to the ground merely because Aliss Farmer seemed unwilling or unable to go on with it. Many of the original Greenacreites, heavy contributors to the movement, took the part of Dr. Janes, notably Mrs. Bull, whose contribution of one thousand dollars had made possible the purchase of the Lysekloster Pines.[2] Mrs. Ole Bull, nee Sara Chapman Thorp, had been prominent in the movement from the very beginning. She was accustomed to move in the literary and artistic world, as w'as her family, her brother, Air. Joseph G. Thorp, Jr., having married a daughter of Longfellow. She had undoubtedly rendered great service in getting Greenacre in touch with people of prominence besides aiding with her counsels the erratic and culturally somewhat undeveloped Miss Farmer. It was Mrs. Bull who, in the winter season at Boston, had sponsored and largely financed a work very similar to that of the Greenacre summer school: the "Cambridge Conferences" directed by Dr. Janes and held in the house of Mrs. Bull who intended these conferences to be "in some degree a memorial to her mother, Mrs. Thorp, a woman of unusual benevolence and energy." Mrs. Bull strove in vain to heal the breach between Miss Farmer and Dr. Janes. The latter carried his plans for a summer school at Eliot in 1901 to successful fruition, but died in September of the same year, and Miss Farmer, perhaps somewhat chastened by this temporary rivalry, continued to reign at Greenacre.

In the years subsequent to 1900 Miss Farmer managed to secure enough "free will offerings" to keep up the work, though Greenacre always lived from hand to mouth, the close of each season showing a deficit which had to be made up by fresh solicitation for funds. Andrew Carnegie, at one time, offered a yearly subvention of $250 with the stipulation that $750 more must be guaranteed, and a reasonably business-like accounting be given of subscriptions received and money paid out, but these conditions were never satisfactorily met. Mrs. Bull however continued to contribute liberally to Greenacre, and other heavy contributors were Edwin Ginn, the Boston publisher, Mr. and Mrs. George D. Ayers of "Ayers' Cherry Pectoral" fame, Frank Jones, the wealthy Portsmouth brewer, and Mrs. Phoebe Hearst, the mother of the originator of yellow journalism. It was the last who provided the funds, for purchase of the Inn property in 1902, title to which was put in the name of James C. Hooe of Washington, a life interest in the property being assured to Miss Farmer who henceforth had free use of the Inn subject to payment of taxes and insurance. Mrs. Hearst had shown some interest in the Bahai movement, but in arranging to have the Inn subserve the work at Greenacre, made no effort to change the latter into a sectarian institution. The like holds of Helen E. Cole who, on her death in 1906 left a substantial bequest to the Green Acre Fellowship. As to the other contributors mentioned above, none of them showed any particular sympathy for the Bahai cause.

During her trip abroad Miss Farmer had visited Acre, where she met Abdul Baha, the leader of the religious body known as Bahais, and on her return she announced herself a convert to this Persian cult. Whether or not her new-found faith had any influence in making Miss Farmer oppose the work of Dr. Janes is a moot question. But there can hardly be any doubt that she had found him too liberal, or, perhaps it would be better to say, too scientific and scholarly. Her own naive idea of the study of comparative religions is shown by the statement that appeared in her program of 1903: "The Monsalvat School for the Comparative Study of Religion will be held in Lysekloster Pines at 10:30 A. M. except Saturday. Fillmore Moore, M. D., the Director will lecture on dietetics (!!!!) and will be assisted by ....." — the subjects discussed by the lecturers whose names followed including psychology, education, literature and biography" It is doubtful whether the Religious Parliament idea, in its full implication, ever had any real appeal for Miss Farmer, who is on record as having declared that the Chicago Congresses had played no part in making her conceive the project of summer courses and conferences at Greenacre. She, in fact, sometimes spoke of the purpose of Greenacre as the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. And thus is not precisely the same as the promotion of the Religious Parliament movement, for every religious bigot will avow his adhesion to the former while refusing to accept the latter as a step in that direction. It is probable indeed that the reference to the Chicago Congresses in the original Greenacre program was by no means due to Sarah Farmer but was the thought of some more liberal promoter of the project — very possibly Mrs. Bull. It is worthy of note that the memory of this gifted lady is still kept green in Eliot, the cottage she once owned and occupied adjacent to the Inn being invariably called The Ole Bull Cottage, though since her day it has had many other occupants.

Though we deprive Sarah Jane Farmer of the halo with which the imagination of her more ardent admirers invested her, there can be no doubt that taken all in all she was a very remarkable woman. Through her father, Moses Farmer, an electrical inventor of some note, she was descended from Lord William Russell executed in London for treason under Charles II, being thus a distant relative of the present-day Bertrand Russell. The greater part of her life drifted by uneventfully, and it was only after the death of her father in 1893 who bequeathed her a modest inheritance of a few thousand dollars and the homestead of "Bittersweet" that she blossomed forth as the founder of Greenacre. She founded this at an age, forty-seven, when most women are contented to He placidly on the shelf, and it became famous almost over-night, being soon renowned among the intellectuals, from coast to coast, from Canada to California.[3] Her personality was most charming, and the smile with which she silenced her critics and bent the will of others to her own is still talked of. She "smiled as the angels must smile" wrote Miss Churchill. Those who called upon her were regaled with the smile — "a cup of tea and a welcome" being her motto as hostess — and none went away feeling dissatisfied. She had a marvellous faculty for obtaining gratuitous labor for the cause of Greenacre, her smile and words of praise being adjudged sufficient recompense. She was equally proficient in persuading people to open their purses to contribute to a worth}- cause, and boasted that she had "once raised $2,000 for a struggling little French church in twenty minutes time, and the audience was not a wealthy one."

Sarah Farmer, while not precisely beautiful, was a tall woman of graceful presence and slender proportions. "Her face with its habitual expression of introspective interest was the face of a dreamer." An enthusiastic admirer, Kate Pitkin, writing in 1899 in The New Orleans Times-Democrat, tells us that "her light slender hair is drawn back from her fine brow into an unobtrusive knot on her neck. Her complexion is suggestive of exquisite cleanliness and her eyes of inward purity and upward devotion." In the morning she usually appeared in a soft gray woolen gown which followed the curves of her body in unbroken lines. About her throat she wore a white lace scarf crossed on the bosom with an Egyptian pin. "Her afternoon gowns are of crepe, of dull silks or satiny cashmere, gray always, of the pale silver shade, and whenever she appears with a bonnet, which is rare at Greenacre, it is small and close, and covered with a silvery nun's veiling which hangs to her waist behind."

Dr. Carus wrote:[4] "I knew Miss Farmer personally and stayed at Greenacre once. It was an interesting atmosphere, and it was her spirit that gave all the attractions to it. It was really a home of many cranks, and I will not deny that her judgment was not very well grounded or sufficient to keeping cranks out, but it was interesting to outsiders even to listen to a crank. As you say, everybody was welcome and a brotherly spirit obtained everywhere . . . Her sympathetic character . . . was friendly to all kinds of thought and welcomed every sincere faith." "I met Miss Farmer for the first time at the house of Judge Waterman in Chicago. Mrs. Waterman had died recently and Miss Farmer met on her visit to Chicago Mr. Bonney as well as myself and she expressed to Mr. Bonney her desire to produce a continued institution which should serve the spirit of the Religions Parliament, and it was in this sense that she invited me to deliver some lectures out in Greenacre. I have the impression that Miss Farmer was a lovely spirit of deep religious convictions, but not very definite or clear in her aims. She was willing to accept from Mr. Bonney what he proposed to her, and while I was in Greenacre she tried her best to serve the spirit of the Religious Parliament in universal brotherhood as well as in service in spreading light and scientific insight on religious questions."

A certain proportion of the Greenacreites followed Miss Farmer into the Bahai fold (some of them developing a fanaticism which she never exhibited) but this was very far from being the case with all even of those who willingly accepted her as leader in the work at Eliot. Nor did Miss Farmer ever make any attempt to have this Persian religion preached at Greenacre to the exclusion of other religious doctrines. In the beginning she contented herself with giving the Bahai teachings a prominent place on her program and writing Greenacre in two words "Green Acre" that it might be reminiscent of the Acre in Syria. She announced in her program of 1903 that "the Green Acre Conferences were established in 1894 on the banks of the Piscataqua in Maine, with the express purpose of bringing together all who were looking earnestly towards the new Day which seemed to be breaking over the entire world and were ready to serve and be served. The motive was to find the Truth, the Reality, underlying all religious forms in order to promote the unity necessary for the ushering in of the coming Day of God. Believing that the Revelation of the Baha Ullah of Persia is the announcement of this great Day — the beginning of the Golden Age foretold by all seers, sung by poets — and finding that it provides a platform on which the Jew, the Christian (both Catholic and Protestant), the Mohammedan, as well as the members of all other great religious bodies can stand together in love and harmony, each holding to the form which best nourishes his individual life, an opportunity will be given to all who desire to study its Message." Evidently what is here alleged to have been the original purpose of the Greenacre Conferences is very different from that set forth in the program of 1894 cited above. Miss Farmer however took care to add: "As in previous years there will be no sectarianism at Green Acre. The effort will be to inspire and strengthen each to follow his highest light in order that by degrees he may know Truth for himself from the invisible guiding of the Eternal Spirit." In the 1904 program it was stated that "For ten years Green Acre has stood with open doors calling to the people of all nations to come together in peace and unity to prepare for the approaching glad New Day. Now that it has been shown that what was held in vision through faith has become fact through the great Revelation of the Baha Ullah, the time seems to be at hand to lay special emphasis upon the command: Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, and upon the joys and blessings of servitude."' And in that year Myron H. Phelps, accepted from his ultra-eulogistic Life and Teachings of Abbas Effendi as a staunch Bahai, replaced Dr. Moore (who was not of that category) as Director of the School of Comparative Religion. In 1905 the program stated that "For four years Green Acre has proclaimed from the printed page of its program that, at least in the mind of its founder, what is known to the world as Bahaism is not a new 'ism' to stand side by side with and rival former religious systems, but that it is the completion and fulfillment of all that has preceded it. Whatever of truth is found in the great religious systems of the world, is found in Bahaism, elucidated and explained so fully in detail that the 'abundant life' revealed centuries ago now becomes a joyful reality. Each year, however, this message seems less and less understood by those into whose life the realization of this fullness had previously come, and it seems that placing this system on the same forum with the other in the Monsalvat School is in danger of bringing confusion to the mind instead of the desired peace. For this reason she who has carried in her heart for twelve years or more the thought of unity and concord among the sons of God, has decided to return to the original forum under the Persian Pine, that this great Revelation may be studied and interpreted in a place apart by itself, thus relieving other Green Acre workers from embarrassment and the necessity of explanation."

It is clear that what this amounted to was that the proponents of the new cult had in the beginning supposed that when set forth side by side with the teachings of other faiths everyone who gave ear would at once recognize the superiority of the Bahai revelation to all others.' But they had now come to realize their mistake and to perceive that with a fair field and no favor the Persian cult would not be accepted as all-sufficient by more than a small percentage of those who heard it advocated. The prevalent attitude, in fact, was that of listening sympathetically to the preachings of all faiths and taking from each whatever the individual listener thought valuable: it was the tolerant pagan attitude of the old Greenacre and not the intolerant bigotry of Mohammedanism. Although the favored position of Bahaism was further accentuated by having the Bahai advocates continue to preach at the School of Comparative Religion (in addition to carrying on sectarian meetings under the Persian Pine) this measure failed of its purpose: the Greenacreites did not abandon the School of Comparative Religion held under the Prophets' Pine and flock to the Persian Pine to hear the one true and genuine revelation. And to-day while the stately Bodhi Pine and Swami Pine and Prophets' Pine still proudly lift their branches towards heaven and continue to flourish in their original healthy vigor, the Persian Pine, which the sacred array of nine encircling stones has failed to protect, is dying, rotting away at the very heart: an interesting bit of symbolism for those who believe in portents.
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Militant though the Bahais were at Greenacre they did not for some years succeed in getting full control of the place. Sarah Farmer (though her name and alleged wishes w^ere made use of) took no part in the final battle, having long ere this been adjudged insane and immured behind the walls of a lunatic asylum. She had undoubtedly inherited a predisposition to mental trouble from her mother, Hannah Shapleigh Farmer, who had delusions of grandeur, imagining that Jesus spoke to her "in a voice as distinct as if he had been visible by my bedside" to quote her own words, the purpose for which the Lord had thought it necessary to address himself directly to Mrs. Farmer having been to prevent th| proposed demolition of the disused Old South Meeting House in Boston: something the mother of Sarah Farmer declared herself determined to resist, in accordance with the command of the Lord, even "if the path he has marked out for me leads to a martyr's stake or the noose of a gallows." Sarah Farmer likewise had sometimes intimated that "she was vert chummy with God" to use the indignant expression of the spirited Mrs. Rena Haskell, a lady who resented Miss Farmer's dominant attitude at the time of the conflict with Dr. Janes. ]Iiss Farmer had, in fact, stated that her Greenacre plans were divinely inspired, and had asserted that "the promise connected with the Greenacre work when it was put into my hands was that it should reach to the uttermost ends of the earth." "I hold myself," she said, "accountable not to individuals, but to God who gave me the work in charge."

In reply to a criticism from Dr. Janes she wrote: "The methods of Greenacre which you condemn as 'dishonest' or 'unethical'[5] are the methods in vogue in most of the charitable organizations of this city (i.e., New York, where she was then visiting), with the exception that we do not have paid services. Very few charitable organizations are so liberally endowed that they have no room for faith, but all the same they go forward and engage expensive quarters, and agree to pay salaries as high sometimes as three thousand dollars or more to those who carry them forward. They do this through faith in God, and if any year their expenses exceed the receipts they make a statement and ask that the deficit be made good. ... I have back of me the eternal promises of God which are as sure as the Bank of England to the soul who puts an unwavering trust in them. For the future you need have no fear." This attitude did not please the owners of Greenacre Inn who would have preferred payment of the rent due them. An Eliot woman (Mrs. M. Parry Tobey) whose aged husband had contributed all his spare cash towards the building of the Inn and was subsequently compelled to mortgage his farm to pay his share of the taxes and the interest of the floating debt on the Inn property (being in dire financial straits in consequence) greatly resented Miss Farmer's complaint that "we by our worldly thoughts and claiming our own that we might be just to our children and our grocer" were interfering with Sarah Farmer's divinely inspired plans, and said to her: "Do you call it God, when you are getting yourself all in debt? Oh no! God's ways are not debt."

Even after she became a convert to Bahaism the best and staunchest friends of Miss Farmer were men and women quite outside the Bahai fold, and these have always contended that she never consented to handing Greenacre over to this sect. Indeed we may be quite sure that she realized what so doing would entail: the alienation of her most valued supporters and the complete wrecking of the original Greenacre. Just how soon pressure was brought to bear upon Miss Farmer to induce her to consent to putting complete control of the place into Bahai hands cannot be ascertained. But as early as 1908 the necessity of such a change was urged by Abdul Baha in a letter that has only recently come to light. Writing on July 19 of that year to "The Attracted Servant of God, Sarah J. Farmer" he commanded her to turn Greenacre into a sectarian institution. Said he: "Hear the voice of God and behold the effulgence of Truth. Oh thou beloved Maid Servant of God, exert thyself with all heart and soul that Green Acre become the arena for the action of the Beloved of Baha (His People) and that its administration pass into the hands of the friends. If such become the case, good results will ensue; otherwise all endeavors will come to naught. Devise thou a plan that that place become the Lamp of the Light of the Cause of God, and that the old sects and beliefs, like unto spurious decayed and unproductive trees, produce no influence there, that the time of those assembled be not uselessly spent. Should the Friends of God get Greenacre and make that place the center for the diffusion of the fragrance of God and establish meetings for teaching the Truth unquestionably good results will be manifest."

It is reported that Miss Farmer spent the night after receiving this message wringing her hands and sobbing, crying out again and again: "I cannot do it! I cannot do it! How can I destroy the work of all these years!" And some of her friends have thought that the primary cause of the loss of her reason was the strain and anguish she thus underwent when called upon by him whom she deemed the representative of God upon earth to an action she could not possibly bring herself to carry out. It was in fact, in 1909 that she first showed signs of great mental stress, and the opening of the Greenacre season of 1910 found her in a lunatic asylum, suffering from recurrent attacks of violent mania alternating with lucid intervals on the one hand and a state of depression, not free from insane delusions, on the other.

The control over the Green Acre Fellowship which the Bahai members desired to obtain was gained after Miss Farmer became insane. Prominent in their opposition to the Bahais in this struggle were Dr. Fillmore Moore (Miss Farmer's life long friend) and such representative old Greenacreites as Prof. Schmidt of Cornell University, Frank B. Sanborn, ex-Governor Waller of Connecticut and May Wright Sewall. These last four (with Horatio Dresser, whose attitude was somewhat equivocal[6]) were all that remained of the long array of celebrities that had once adorned Greenacre. One by one, men and women of standing had dropped off, driven away by the sectarianism that every year became more and more rampant, and this scanty remnant was all that was left, no person know^n to fame being found on the Bahai side in the battle. An account of the Bahai cult and the story of the capture of the Fellowship will be found in two articles by the present writer: The Persian Rival to Jesus and His American Disciples {Open Court, August, 1915) and The Precursor, the Prophet and the Pope, Contributions to the History of the Bahai Movement (Open Court, Oct. and Xov., 1916). Roughly speaking the Bahai religion bears to Mohammedanism much the same relation that Mohammedanism does to Christianity and Christianity to Judaism. The Christians contend that the teachings of Moses, though truly divine in their day, have been superseded by those of Christ. The Mohammedans, going a step further, hold that Christ's teachings were in turn superseded by those of Mohammed. And the Bahais cap the climax by asserting that the teachings of Moses, those of Mohammed and those of Christ (to say nothing of the prophetic utterances of Zoroaster, etc.) though each very good in its own time, must in this Dispensation alike make way for those of the very latest Prophet of God, Huseyn Ali surnamed Baha Ullah, a Persian who was born in 1817 and died in 1892. And thus, as Mr. Wilson well says in The Open Court of January 1930 (p. 27) the Bahais while proclaiming the ideals of world unity, by putting forward a new revelation and a new saviour, "have merely set up further barriers to that unity." Indeed there is a noteworthy lack of unity among the Bahais themselves. For on the death of Baha Ullah one section accepted the doctrine put forward by the son of the prophet, Abbas Effendi, surnamed Abdul Baha, who succeeded his father on the Bahai throne, that he alone was authorized to interpret the utterances of his father, the prophet, and was absolutely infallible, while another faction, led by Mohammed Ali, the brother of Abbas, repudiated this Papist doctrine and took the Protestant ground of the right of private interpretation of the Bahai Scriptures. Bahaism, while not very strong numerically in the Occident, gets considerable newspaper publicity, and the world was informed a year or two ago that Helen Kellar, the blind and deaf prodigx', and Queen Marie of Roumania had both accepted the Bahai faith, though in each case it later transpired that the report was incorrect. A resident in Palestine, Rosamund Dale Owen (Mrs. Laurence Oliphant) has in My Perilous Life in Palestine (1929 — p. 239) recorded the impression made upon her by what the American Bahais call "The Holy Family" at Haifa. "In all the years the family of Baha Ullah have lived in their home they have not had, the last I knew of them, the energy to build a well or cistern such as is possessed by every smallest German cottage, nor the enterprise to make a decent road to the house. None of the sons of Baha Ullah have done any practical wage-earning work. In short the Bahais are Orientals."

My articles attracted considerable attention and brought forth various protests from Bahai sympathizers. One of those who took the field against me was Mr. James F. Morton Jr. At that time, disclaiming all sympathy with supernaturalism, Mr. Morton posed as an Agnostic and contributed regularly to the New York Truth Seeker, a freethought and agnostic periodical where he poured the vials of his scorn on his more superstitious fellow citizens. My intimation then that in all probability Mr. Morton would ere long become a convert to Bahaism has been completely justified. He is now a full-fledged Bahai and has been honored by a special, "Tablet" from his Pope, Abdul Baha dictating to him the course of action to pursue regarding certain Esperanto congress. Mr. Morton to-day speaks of the "blasphemy" of "the professed Agnostics and Atheists" whose "resistant intellects" he hopes may ultimately be penetrated. And at a Bahai Unity feast in 1929 Mr. Morton spoke on The Oneness of Science and Religion, "giving many illustrations of how these two erstwhile enemies are now close friends and walking hand in hand towards a common goal, this being due to the advent of Baha Ullah and the advance of his teachings and principles""

It may be noted that neither Mr. Morton nor anyone else who protested against my articles made any attempt to deal with the specific facts I brought to light. One serious accusation that history has to bring against the Bahais is the murder of the Azalites: the adherents of Subh-i-Azal, the half-brother of the Bahai prophet Baha Ullah by the followers of the latter. In a book published in 1917, O Christians Why Do Ye Believe not on Christ?, whose purpose is stated as "to prove to the whole world the infallibility of Beha Ullah and that the attacks and accusations of H. H. Wilson, D. D., and those of H. H. Jessup, D. D., and Robert P. Richardson, against Him and His teachings are not true" the author, I. G. Kheiralla, who was the first apostle of the Bahai faith in America, makes the following remarkable comment on the matter: "Now to settle this question of religious assassination . . . allow me to give the whole world the following satisfactory elucidation which will meet the approval of every reasonable and learned man: Beha Ullah (glory be to Him) acknowledged that his followers assassinated the Azalists, and every True Behai should do the same. On my part it gives me great delight to acknowledge it, and greater satisfaction that it happened. Because the happening of this event is a decisive proof that Christ was a Manifestation of God and that which he foretold was literally fulfilled, otherwise the authenticity of his Revelations would be questioned. The war in heaven which Christ prophesied was on earth where the Father manifested Himself. This prophecy was fulfilled by the defeat of Satan (Azal) and his angels by Michael (Beha Ullah) and his angels" — the prophecy which Air. Kheiralla here attributes to Christ being the words of The Revelation of John, 13:7-10.

Dr. Carus found much that was interesting in the history of the Bahai movement and himself published an article upon the beginnings of this new cult. {Open Court, V. 18, p. 411ff. A New Religion, Babism.) He remarked (in a letter to me, Sept. 20, 1915) that "the interest of Behaism lies in the fact that here we have to deal with a religion that has originated under our very eyes in historical times" and which has "certain resemblances to Christianity, as for instance the appearance of the Bab before Baha Ullah is quite similar to the appearance of John the Baptist before Jesus."[7] Another marked similarity is in the separation of various heretics from the orthodox Bahai body and the institution of a doctrine of Papal infallability. A heretic who takes the Protestant position is stigmatized by the orthodox Bahais as a Nakaz or Nakazi (plural Nakazeen or Nakazis.) Mr. Kheiralla became numbered among the Nakazeen because he followed Mohammed Ali, the brother of Abdul Baha, instead of accepting the latter as Pope after the death of his father, Baha Ullah. A further parallel to Christianity is afforded by the fact that just as there are Mandaeans who recognize the "precursor," John the Baptist, but not Christ, there are Azalites who recognize the Bab, alleged precursor of Baha Ullah, but refuse to accept the latter. The thesis, undoubtedly historically correct, that the legitimate successor to the Bab was not Baha Cllah but his half-brother, Subh-i-Azal, is upheld in this country by Mr. August J. Stenstrand of Chicago, who accepts Subh-i-Azal as his prophet.

Mrs. Albert Kirchner of Chicago, supposed to belong to the orthodox faction, was another who raised protest against me (in The Open Court of Nov. 1915) claiming I had erred in what I said of the Bahai view of the relative "stations" of Jesus and Baha Ullah. Yet only two years later, upon the very point of the stations to be ascribed to Baha Ullah and Abdul Baha, Mrs. Kirchner was found guilty of "false teaching" by a Bahai investigating committee. Of the Report of the Bahai Committee of Investigation in this case there were issued "a limited number of copies for private circulation only," one of which I now hold in my hand. It is a curious document dealing with the accusations against Mrs. Kirchner of "violation" of the faith by false teaching, disobedience and the sending out of "seditious letters." It records an ex parte condemnation, not a true trial, for the accused was not given a hearing, and the investigators took care to exclude from their deliberations all who might have any sympathy for Mrs. Kirchner and her friends of the "Bahai Reading Room" of Chicago. The report (p. 3) specifically states that "In the course of their investigation the committee had found an antagonistic and hostile spirit among those who were violating the Covenant of God, and it was deemed necessary to protect this meeting from such intrusion." Consequently the utmost harmony prevailed, and Mrs. Kirchner on Dec. 9, 1917, was unanimously adjudged guilty of all the charges brought against her.

Mrs. Kirchner, according to the report of the committee, had held meetings in her house at which "the stations of Baha I'llah and Abdul Baha are explained in terms that are not in accordance with the words and teachings of Baha Ullah and Abdul Baha" and had mingled with the pure Bahai teachings those of Mr. W. W. Harmon, thus making "a human interpretation of the Creative Word of which Abdul Baha is the only divinely appointed interpreter." Violation of the Covenant of God by which Pope Abbas was made infallible interpreter of the divine words of Baha Ullah is a grievous sin in Bahai eyes, Abdul Baha having stated that "were it not for the protecting power of the Covenant to guard the impregnable fort of the Cause of God, there would arise among the Bahais. in a day, a thousand different sects, as was the case in former ages, but in this Blessed Dispensation, for the sake of the permanency of the Cause of God, and the avoidance of dissention amongst the people of God the Blessed Beauty . . . has through the Supreme Pen written the Covenant and Testament. He has appointed a Center, the Expounder of the Book, and the Annuler of disputes. Whatever is written or said by Him (i.e. by Abdul Baha himself) is conformable to the truth and under the protection of the Blessed Beauty. He is infallible." "Not one soul has the right to say one word on his own account, to explain anything or to elucidate the texts of the Book whether in public or in private."

These words of the Bahai Pope are cited from the secret report, where there are carefully gathered together all the utterances of Abdul Baha dealing with "violation," the second of the quotations just given having been part of Abdul Baha's address to the San Francisco Bahai Assembly in 1912. Other pronunciamentos of Abdul Baha cited in the report are equally definite. Among them are the following: Abdul Baha declared that Baha Ullah "has appointed the One who should be looked upon as authority by all. He has shown the Interpreter of the Book. He has closed the doors of outside interpretation." The Prophet, says Abdul-Baha, has required that all the faithful "must obey the Center of the Covenant (Abdul Baha) and must not deviate one hair's breadth from obedience to him." "Firmness in the Covenant means obedience, so that no one may say 'This is my opinion,' nay rather he must obey that which proceeds from the pen and tongue of the Covenant." "No one should say 'My thought is this,' 'My opinion is this,'" "Beware, if anyone should say anything out of his own thoughts, or should create a new thing out of himself." "Praise be to God, Baha Ullah left nothing unsaid, he explained everything. He left no room for anything further to be said." "Briefly every statement and word which is not based on the divine (Bahai) texts is not truth. No one must listen to it. No one must interfere (sic) with it. This is the irrefutable command." "All that is contrary to the teachings of Baha Ullah is wrong, and you must never accept it ... If an angel should manifestly come down from heaven and if a word contrarv to the Teaching of Baha Ullah would proceed from his lips, it would be wrong and you should not heed it." It is worthy of note that among the names given by this secret report, of Bahais who stood sponsors for it, is that of A. B. McDaniel, the present head of The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahais of the United States and Canada, and that this same Mr. McDaniel is quoted in The Literary Digest of Nov. 22, 1930, as putting forth (for public consumption) the statement that Abdul Baha, besides advocating various other liberal principles, "laid special stress upon the independent search for truth""""

The admonition of Baha Ullah to "associate with all religions with joy and fragrance" which the Bahais are so fond of quoting in their public utterances as evidence of the liberal attitude of their Prophet, did not, says the infallible interpreter of the Prophet's words, apply to heretics. "By this is meant the humankind, not the wicked" and "Baha Ullah has even called down the vengeance of God upon any one who violates the Center of the Covenant" said Abdul Baha as quoted in the secret report, which also ascribes to him the admonition "As soon as they (the Bahais) see a trace of violation of the Covenant they must hold aloof from the violators." Since heretics are not even admitted to be among "the humankind," it is not surprising that Mrs. Kirchner should have incurred a reprimand some years before when she associated with a certain Dr. Nutt alleged to have been a Nakaz, going together with him into the business of keeping a curio store. Mrs. Kirchner had however (according to the report) later repented and obediently ceased to have anything further to do with the heretic. In consequence she received a commendatory Tablet from Pope Abbas in Oct. 1912, and was once more allowed to mingle with the True Believers. In the heresy case of 1917 the commendations of this Tablet were cited in Mrs. Kirchner's favor, but the committee remarked that "The history of violation shows that many souls who have received Tablets and have had wonderful stations have afterwards fallen and become Violators ... If the fact that one has been favored with a Tablet at some time, taken alone, makes a clear record, some of the worst violators can claim perfection. Mirza Assad Ullah,[8] Dr. Fareed, and Sprague each and all received Tablets which are recorded. Sprague once received a Tablet commencing 'O thou who art firm in the Covenant!' There can be no doubt of his firmness and sincerity at the time this Holy Word was revealed, but where is he today? Where are his associates? Where is Judas Iscariot once chief among the disciples?" Rather harsh language to use towards Mr. Sprague, an unsullied idealist if ever there was one, who gave himself whole-heartedly to the Bahai movement for a number of years and merely withdrew quietly when he found himself no longer able to obey the dictatorial commands of Pope Abbas. Mr. Sprague, as I can personally testify, has never a harsh word to say against those who treated him so scurvily. The Bahais attached sufficient importance to the heresy hunt which resulted in the decision that " a serious state of violation" existed in Chicago and in the condemnation of Mrs. Kirchner to devote considerable time to the task and to expend money sufficient for mimeographing a fifty-one page report, specifically endorsed by certain Bahais who took the lead in the battle for the control of Greenacre. The report reminds one of the old days of Christianity when dogmatism was rampant and heretic baiting the favorite deUght of Churchmen. A good natured debate as to the precise position in the divine scheme of one's favorite prophet is as justifiable for intellectual recreation as the playing of a game of bridge, but to hound a fellow believer as a heretic for having a different opinion in this respect is far from being in accord with the professions of religious liberalism of which the Bahai propagandists are so profuse. And it is to be noted that, though the Bahais are no more exempt from misconduct than any other people, there seems to be no case on record where an American Bahai has been investigated, much less ostracised for his or her immorality.

In the years immediately following 1913 while the Bahais controlled the Green Acre Fellowship they did not control the person of Miss Farmer, who held title to much of the Greenacre property and remained under the care of a physician not particularly friendly to the Bahai cause. The anti-Bahais at Greenacre continued to hope that ultimately she would regain her health sufficiently to take Greenacre affairs again in her own hands or failing this, would make a will bequeathing the property away from the sectarian Fellowship. It is hardly within my province to discuss the removal of Miss Farmer on the night of Aug. 3, 1916 from the sanitarium of Dr. Edward S. Cowles in Portsmouth — the so-called "Kidnapping of Miss Farmer." Accounts of this will be found in the issues for August of that year of The Boston Post, The Boston Herald and The Springfield Republican: in the last discussed at some length in Frank B. Sanborn's Weekly Boston Letters." One published story is that after admission to the sanitarium had been gained by means of a search warrant, Miss Farmer was seized in her bed. wrapped up in blankets, and carried out of New Hampshire, across the Piscataqua into the state of Maine where she was under the jurisdiction of a certain guardian appointed by the Maine courts but not recognized in New Hampshire. Another account is that Miss Farmer was waiting fully dressed and was eager to leave the sanitarium. Whether she really desired to go or to stay is a moot question, and a woman in her condition may have vacillated in her feelings as to this. Previously those who desired her removal from the sanitarium had brought her case before the New Hampshire probate court, asking to have a guardian appointed for her in the state of New Hampshire. This request was refused after the judge of that court had interviewed Miss Farmer in one of her periods of rationality, on which occasion she professed herself satisfied with her life in the sanitarium and desirous of remaining there. It is again a moot question whether she was better cared for in the sanitarium or at her homestead of "Bittersweet" where she died, three months after her conveyance thereto. She had often expressed extreme repugnance to again taking up her residence in that house, and Dr. Cowles had stated as his opinion that if she were not given treatment equivalent to that of his sanitarium she would die within six months. It is understood that after her removal she was treated by a local general practitioner — and was guarded, night and day, by a deputy sheriff and two special constables. The prime mover in the matter of taking Miss Farmer out of the sanitarium was (according to The Bahai Magazine, V. 20, p. 23) the late William H. Randall, the Boston Bahai leader, the actual execution of the scheme being entrusted to Urban J. Ledoux, sometimes known as "Mr. Zero." It was also largely through Mr. Randall that funds were raised by which, after the death of Miss Farmer, Greenacre Inn was purchased (for the Bahai faction) from the Hooe estate.

Sarah Farmer died without recovering her reason on Nov. 23, 1916, having been born July 22, 1847. She lies buried in the family graveyard not a stone's throw from where I am writing these lines — which it may interest old Greenacreites to know is at "Bittersweet," the former home at Eliot of Miss Farmer. On a granite boulder near by the Bahais have fastened a metal tablet with the inscription "Allah O'Abha" Sara J. Farmer. Rahebah," the latter being the new Bahai name given her by Abdul Baha. Dates of her birth and death follow: both given incorrectly. The correct dates are however given on another tablet, likewise affixed to a boulder and furnished by her family this year (1930). The Greenacre property title to which stood in Miss Farmer's name comprised the Lysekloster Pines, the Eirenion, the three cottages and a tract of land on Sunset Hill which Miss Farmer had christened "Monsalvat" and on which she had dreamed of establishing a great university to be conducted on the Greenacre principle of gratuitous services rendered by the professorial staff and free tuition. Her will made long before, provided that after her death all this should pass to the Fellowship. The latter (of course under Bahai control) retained ownership for a few years, but title to all the Fellowship property has now been legally (?) transferred to the Bahai organization governing that Persian sect on this continent: "The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahais of the United States and Canada." This is what is legally known as a Trust and has as stated purpose "to administer the affairs of the Cause of Baha Ullah for the benefit of the Bahais of the United States and Canada." The Green Acre Fellowship was a Corporation having quite a different purpose, namely "to bring about better conditions of living by the dissemination of knowledge pertaining to the development of a higher and richer life for humanity, by means of conferences of an art, educational, scientific, musical, charitable, social, ethical, religious and other character."

The National Spiritual Assembly takes its orders from the Pope of the sect who resides at Haifa near Acre. During his lifetime the office was held by Abbas Effendi (Abdul Baha), who after the British occupation of Palestine, became Sir Abdul Baha, Knight of the British Empire, his followers boasting with a curious elation of the bestowal of this distinction, by the King of England, upon him whom they regarded as the representative of God upon earth. Abdul Baha died in 1921, and by his will bequeathed his spiritual authority to his grandson, Shoghi (or Shoughi) Effendi to whom all truly orthodox Bahais yield unquestioned obedience. The infallibility of Pope Abbas is evidently deemed to have continued with Pope Shoghi, for The Bahai Magazine of June 1930 tells us that the appointment by Abdul Baha's will of Shoghi as Guardian of the Bahai Cause "means that the Teachings revealed by Baha Ullah and Abdul Baha will be protected, that is, never become subject to human interpretation." Shoghi Effendi had had an Occidental education, having been a student at Balliol College, Oxford when, at the age of twenty-five he was called to the Papal throne.[9] His assumption of this has however resulted in a new heretical movement whose sponsor, Mrs. Ruth White, in her book: The Bahai Religion and Its Enemy the Bahai Organization (1929) and its appendix Abdul Baha's Alleged Will is Fraudulent (1930) claims that "in the seven years that have elapsed since the passing of Abdul Baha . . . the Bahai Religion has been diverted from its original intent and strangled more completely by organization than Christianity was diverted and strangled in the first three hundred years of its inception" and that "the Bahai Religion has, in the hands of Shoghi Effendi and the leaders of the Bahai organization become a more pharisaical cult than any in existence." Mrs. White, pointing out that Abdul Baha had specifically stated that in the Bahai movement "there will never be any paid ministers, no appointed clergy, no bishops, no cardinals, no popes, no ceremonies" and had said that "after him the power of the Bahai cause was to vest in what would be known as Houses of Justice" declines to acknowledge the authority of Shoghi as Guardian of the Bahai Cause. The alleged holograph will of Abdul Baha appointing his grandson to this office is not, in her opinion, authentic, and she cites in support of this view the decision of "one of the best and most honored handwriting experts in England" who at her request examined photographs of the document. In New York, besides the Nakazeen followers of Mohammed Ali, there are or were three factions among the Bahais, one of which, headed by Mary Hanford Ford considers Shoghi Effendi "merely as business manager or errand boy"' for the Bahais: to use Mrs. Ford's own words as quoted by Mrs. White. A second faction is headed by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, and includes the "New History" group which has held Sunday meetings under the auspices of Mrs. Lewis Stuyvesant Chandler in the Oak Room of the Hotel Ritz Carlton. The third and most orthodox of the three is that of the New York City Bahai Assembly. Of late more or less successful efforts have been made to heal the breach between the three factions. Mrs. White however remains aloof, and senses divine retribution in the fact that all of the men who have served Pope Shoghi as secretary have already come to grief, either dying prematurely or completely losing their health. She asserts that "most of the activities of the leaders of the Bahai organization are characterized by the inquisitorial methods of the dark ages" and denounces as "hypocrisy and false statements" the Bahai claim that a characteristic of Bahai administration "is the entire absence of anything approaching the institution of a salaried professional clergy." Mrs. White shows that this issue is side-stepped by the simple device of calling the Bahai preachers by the name of "teachers" and (while disclaiming any desire to reproach him personally) she instances Mr. Vail, a former Unitarian clergyman, now a Bahai "teacher," who "still calls himself the Reverend Albert Vail and receives a regular salary and devotes his entire time to preaching." Mrs. White states that "during 1926 when I visited the Bahai Assemblies in all the large cities ... I heard much talk about universal peace and the brotherhood of man. But talk about these principles is worse than ineffectual when people act in a narrow sectarian way as the Bahais were and are doing."

In Pope Shoghi's recent pronunciamentos to the American Bahais he has been especially concerned with the question of social intercourse between whites and blacks in America, and has told his white followers here that it is not enough to give cold greetings at the Bahai meetings to their negro fellow believers. It is, he says, their duty "to cultivate close and intimate social relations" with their black co-religionaries, and to admit them to the family circle and to association with the children of the whites. In accordance with this the faithful look forward hopefully to a time "when in America there will be neither blacks nor whites, but everyone will be of a rich chocolate color" — to quote the words of an enthusiastic young lady, though neither she nor any other of the Bahai young people have as yet shown any inclination to unite themselves with husbands and wives of other races. Notwithstanding the acceptance of the dictum of Pope Shoghi, gaining converts to the cause still proves uphill work among blacks as well as among whites. Better days are however expected w^hen the Bahais succeed in finishing the magnificent and costly Temple they are endeavoring to build at Wilmette near Chicago, an edifice which they firmly believe will draw untold myriads of new converts into the fold, "attracting them as irresistibly as a magnet attracts iron."

The aim of the present Green Acre is avowedly the study of the sacred Bahai writings of them alone.[10] In these — in the pronunciamentos of Baha Ullah and Abdul Baha — all wisdom is expected to be found, and there is no thought of turning to anything else for guidance. Activities in other fields are designed merely as bait to attract to Greenacre prospective converts to the Bahai faith. The Religious Parliament idea: that of agreeing to disagree and of admitting that one can and ought to learn from his opponents — that he ought to listen attentively to the latter with as sympathetic an attitude as possible — has been completely shelved. The bond which unites the new Greenacreites is not a common broadmindedness and appreciation of the blessings of diversity of thought, but the bearing the brand of a particular sectarian herd. If the Bahais come across a person who will assent to all the teachings usually put forward as those of the Bahai faith and who leads a life that may be deemed as in accord with them the zealots are far from being satisfied. Instead of being content to bestow their blessings upon such persons and passing on to spread elsewhere the message of the new revelation, the propagandists concentrate all their efforts on "prospects" of this description, and will pursue them day after day, week after week, year after year, endeavoring to get them to accept the Bahai tag. With the Bahais, as with other sectarians, the divine message is forgotten, and all that is kept in mind is the personality of the messenger and the name which distinguishes his followers.

Sometimes religious leaders outside the Bahai fold who have heard of the old Greenacre and are unaware of the change come to Eliot, hoping to find a forum where their own message can be expounded, but they are doomed to go away disappointed. In the old days the Vedantist Swamis were regarded by the Greenacre Bahais as their most dangerous rivals, and it is said that on one occasion a delegation of True Believers went to Pope Abbas to ask how they should deal with the Swami problem. He listened attentively, and then said with an air of finality: "Close the door, but close it gently." This was ultimately done, and Greenacre knew the picturesque Swamis no more.

As to Bahai ceremonials a veil is kept over the more picturesque features. On the Greenacre grounds an iron rod marks the spot where Abdul Baha once stood and blessed Greenacre. It is said that the stauncher of the Bahais sometimes on passing strike this rod nine times with an iron bar, uttering each time "The Most Great Name," but the performance of this ceremony does not usually take place when any of the profane are at hand. Another interesting though somewhat gruesome ceremony is said to have taken place upon the death of a Bahai lady whose body was taken to the Pines where, while it reposed in state, a ring was placed on the dead finger to symbolize that in death the departed was wedded to God. With the living, union with the Bahai faith is sometimes very prettily symbolized by throwing confetti upon the new convert. On one occasion this was done to a young lady who had never accepted the Bahai tag though having expressed her sympathy with the ostensible principles of the Bahai movement. Determined to perform the marriage ceremony of this lady to the Bahai faith — although she herself knew nothing of the union and had described herself to the present writer as an Agnostic — her Bahai friends gave a tea in her honor at the end of her stay at Greenacre and duly besprinkled her with confetti, she being quite unaware of the deep religious significance of what was taking place.

The simplicity of life which characterized the old Greenacre is now completely gone; the informal walks and talks and festivities are no longer known. Lectures and conferences in the open air have been abandoned, and part of the Pines have been cut down. The Eirenion, by mischance, burned to the ground in 1924, and as the carrying of insurance had been neglected, it was not replaced, Greenacre functions being transferred to the Fellowship House, a new building erected some distance away from the scene of the old Greenacre activity with the funds of the Cole bequest. Soon after the Bahais gained control of the Fellowship the dictum went forth that "No poor people are wanted at Green Acre" — an attitude precisely the antithesis of that of Miss Farmer, who invariably gave as cordial a welcome to the poor as to the rich. The new management however failed to attract any considerable number of wealthy persons, those of this description now to be found at Green Acre being far fewer than in the old days. On the other hand it must be admitted that some success has been attained in introducing at the new Green Acre the ideals of the nouveau riche.

Though the old Greenacre is no more, to those who knew and loved it there still lingers a glamour around the place where once it flourished. A few of us even find the charms of Eliot and the memories attached to it sufficient to make enjoyable the passing there of several months of each year. When we travel through other parts of the country we are frequently given an unexpected and hearty greeting from one of the old Greenacreites, for these are scattered through the land, north, east, south and west, and there seems to be something particularly strong and lasting to a tie of friendship formed at Greenacre in the old days. At such a meeting there is always expressed the wish that a new Greenacre might arise, conducted on the same broad lines as the old. Nothing of that nature seems to be in existence at the present day. There are indeed in certain cities, in the winter season, meetings at which various religious faiths are expounded by their advocates on one and the same platform, conducted under the able leadership of Charles Frederick Waller and Kedar Math Das Gupta. These head what is known as The Threefold Movement: The Fellowship of Faiths, The League of Neighbors and The Union of East and West, designed to promote respectively spiritual, human and cultural unity. The meetings in any one city however come only after long periods of inactivity. Moreover the personal contact afforded by summer sessions in the country is entirely absent. On the Island of Nantucket there functions during July and August in "The Tavern on the Moors," the Siasconset Summer School under the direction of Frederic C. Howe, formerly U. S. Commissioner of Immigration at New York. The lecturers are of high calibre, those of last season including H. Addington Bruce, Dr. Robert Wernaer and two editors of The New Republic: Bruce Bliven and Robert M. Lovett. The well known actress Miss Blanche Yurka (who in davs past charmed the Greenacreites by her contributions to their entertainments) was likewise scheduled to give a series of readings and dramatic recitals. The chief interest here however is sociological, though attention is occasionally given to other subjects. The attendance at the lectures numbers from fifty to seventy-five, an admission charge being made. While the group gathering at Siasconset seems to be composed of people well worth while, it is improbable that there could be much expansion or that an institution with the broad outlook of the old Greenacre could ever arise on Nantucket. The atmosphere there is that of the highly conventional summer resort, the few persons of intellectual tastes who visit the island being overshadowed and influenced, consciously or unconsciously, by the thousand and one other visitors whose sole interests lie in golf, yachting and dancing. Nor are the material surroundings inspiring since they consist chiefly of villas of wealthy non-intellectuals on the fringe of wide expanses of hot bare sands and flat desolate moors void of trees and of animal life, all that is to be seen on these being golf links and the signs of realtors.

The founding again of a summer Parliament of Religions would undoubtedly supply a much needed want: that of a place where persons of liberal views could have the opportunity of meeting those of like cast of mind. It is not enough merely to attend as individuals, lectures of progressive tendencies and then to go away again to be submerged in the mass of the conventionally minded multitude. The stimulus that comes from association with one's progressive fellow citizens and the possibility of effective work that comes from cooperation is essential to the development of any liberal movement. The obscurantists and the reactionaries have their rallying grounds; the devotees of sport, the frivolous and the fashionable, have meeting places galore, and the radicals (so-called) have their centers and communities. But those who adhere to a sane progressive liberalism are to-day isolated and often do not even know how to obtain a contact with one another. Such contact would be afforded by a place where summer conferences were held on the various phases of intellectual activity: religion, philosophy, sociology, etc. Music, art and the drama, powerful agents in stimulating and uplifting, if properly used, ought also be cultivated. An exhibition of various works of art, executed by promising amateurs of the colony could be held, and plays could be produced at a very moderate expense by utilizing amateur talent, use being made of the new productions of playwrights who have not yet "arrived" but show ability and promise, the history of the old Greenacre indicating that there would be no lack of really gifted musicians, artists, players and playwrights.

In the new Greenacre instead of stress being laid upon "unity" (so dear to the Bahais and other sectarians) what would be given appreciation would be the virtue of differences of opinion and the advantage of there being practiced diversity of modes of living. In consequence there would be cultivated the art of amicably disagreeing and of receiving criticism good naturedly as well as giving it without animosity. The custom of the Catholic Church of having an "Advocate of the Devil" take part in canonization proceedings might well be imitated at the conferences. Each speaker would then be confronted with a criticism of his own views, sincere and amicable, but none the less thorough and searching. This feature was unfortunately lacking at the old Greenacre, Miss Farmer having banned everything savoring of controversy. The function of each speaker, she contended, was solely to present his or her own ideals, and comparison of the different views and ideals set forth was to be made only in "the heart of the listener." This immunity from sane and sober criticism made cranks of all description thrive at Greenacre (as Dr. Cams noted) and was one factor which contributed to its downfall. Had Greenacre cultivated the scientific spirit of calm and judicious examination of everything set forth on its platform the cranks would not have flourished and the "Seekers" would have been repelled instead of having been attracted. A seeker after a new creed, a person who after liberation from the bonds of the old dogmatism is uneasy until he has shackled himself anew to a cult and again entered into spiritual bondage, is simply a natural born slave in search of a master, and such a person is no asset to a liberal movement.

It would not be difficult to inaugurate a new Greenacre provided suitable backing were obtained, and if properly conducted the yearly expenditure would not be great. Making it pay its own way could indeed hardly be expected, but there are other recompenses for work than material gain. The desire to feel that one is doing something really worth while has made many men and women of wealth engage in activities which are by no means commercial and are carried on at a financial loss. To some person of that type the founding of a summer Parliament of Religions might be well worthy of consideration. The annual cost would be less than many men spend on yachting or hunting, less than many women spend on needless additions to their wardrobes. Sarah Farmer undoubtedly got far more from life by carrying on Greenacre than could have accrued to her by acting as a society butterfly or by conducting a profitable business venture. Through Greenacre she came in contact with the best minds her day and country afforded. Looking over the letters and programs of the old days one gets the impression that everyone in America worth while was invited to take part in the Greenacre conferences and that nearly all who were invited accepted. The contacts and social position Miss Farmer thus established could not possibly have been attained by her in any other way. Yet the expenditures made by her in the early years, in addition to the receipts, amounted only to about $1500 annually — to which ought to be added the unpaid rental for the Inn. At the close of each season a special appeal was made to meet this $1500 deficit, and a more or less satisfactory response was always obtained. Many enthusiastic Greenacreites contributed liberally towards the expenses of the conferences, and these contributions would have been far larger and would probably have provided a permanent endowment for carrying on Greenacre had Miss Farmer conducted the institution in a more business-like manner. But again and again she refused "to organize Greenacre," and her methods of handling it made Greenacre appear so unstable that one might well have hesitated at putting any really substantial sum of money in her hands. It was only with reluctance that she consented to the formation of The Green Acre Fellowship in 1902 and even then she avoided turning over to that body the Greenacre property which had been held in her name and could at any moment have been disposed of in accordance with a passing whim. Had Sarah Farmer shown better judgment Greenacre might still be functioning on its original lines. And those who felt the stirring appeal of the old Greenacre movement stand firm in the conviction that the time is ripe for a renaissance; for the institution of a new summer Parliament of Religions.[11]



1. A variorum version substitutes for the name of Geraldine Farrar that of another Greenacre songbird, Estelle Harris, who, like Miss Farrar, was a pupil of the Greenacreite prima donna, Emma Cecelia Thursby. A pretty little story The Lifting Up of Liza Ann, written by a Greenacreite, Lida A. Churchill, tells how the "Lady in Gray" (Sarah Farmer) persuaded a shy young waitress of Greenacre Inn to sing at one of the meetings, with the result that she was taken up as a protegee by wealthy listeners and ultimately blossomed out into a famous singer. It has often been supposed that Geraldine Farrar was here referred to: a supposition which always aroused great indignation in Miss Farrar, as her relation to the Inn was never other than that of a paying guest. In the story the Inn is designated as "The House on the Bluff," the "brother Paul of the Tents" mentioned being Mr. H. C. Douglass who had charge of Sunrise Camp — one of the many Greenacreites who gladly toiled day after day without any compensation whatsoever.

2 The tract included a farm house, farm land and pine wood land. Adjacent was another pine woods (used by but not owned by Greenacre) known as the Cathedral Pines, and about a quarter of a mile south of the latter stood The Mystic Rock. Among the Lysekloster Pines were four magnificent trees distinguished as the Bodhi Pine, the Swami Pine, the Prophets' Pine and the Persian Pine. The last of these was surrounded by an array of stones to the number of nine, which is one of the numbers held sacred in the Persian religion known as Bahaism. There were also three pine trees dedicated respectively to Whittier, Thoreau and Emerson. After the Bahais gained control of Greenacre they replenished their treasury by cutting down the southern half of the pines and selling them for lumber: an act of vandalism, as the old Greenacreites deemed it, which aroused much indignation.

3 It is recorded that in 1895 forty people came from Chicago to attend the Greenacre Conferences in a special railroad car, chartered for the occasion, and that quite a number of attendants came from Minnesota, both this second season and the first (that of 1894). During the 1897 season between one and two thousand persons desirous of attending the conferences had to be turned away when they sought accommodations at Eliot. Some took up quarters in Portsmouth, but had difficulty in securing passage each day on the steam launch which ran up the river to Greenacre pier, and was often crowded to the gunwales leaving disappointed at the wharf scores of would-be visitors to the conferences of the day.

4 In letters to me dated July 9 and July 28, 1915.

5 An illustration of the methods Dr. Janes objected to is afforded by the following incident. In 1899 a new auditorium tent was purchased on credit. The debt coming due, funds for the specific purpose of paying it, were solicited from the Greenacreites. The required sum was raised and turned over to Miss Farmer who, instead of applying it to extinguish the debt, used it for an entirely different purpose.

6 While on the Board of Trustees of the Green Acre Fellowship he acted more or less in unison with the Bahai members, but when re-elected on the Bahai ticket in 1913 refused to serve. The office of trustee was likewise declined on that occasion by Dr. J. L. M. Willis, one of the builders of Greenacre Inn, a man of real culture, President of the Eliot Historical Society and family physician of Miss Farmer. The other builders of the Inn were Martin Parry Tobey, Francis Keefe (foster brother of Miss Farmer) and George Everett Hammond.

7 And in neither case did the so-called precursor really sanction the recognition of the alleged prophet (respectively Jesus and Baha Ullah) as the Great Teacher who was to come. See my Jesus and John the Baptist, {Open Court, Oct. 1929) and my Bahai articles cited above.

8 An account of the episode of Mirza Assad Ullah of Nur and Dr. Farced will be found in The Precursor, the Prophet and the Pope. p. 636. Mr. Sydney Sprague is an American who married the sister of Dr. Fareed (and daughter of Assad Ullah) and took leave of the Bahai cause when his father-in-law and brother-in-law were execommunicated. Feeling that their lives would not be safe among the fanatical Oriental Bahais, the three families, instead of returning to the East, went from England to California. Here Assad Ullah died at Glendale in Sept., 1930. Dr. Fareed is still (I believe) a practicing physician at that place, while Mr. Sprague is a resident of Los Angeles.

9 Another grandson of Abdul Baha, Ruhi (or Rouhi) Afnan Effendi, was at Greenacre during the season of 1927. Very modest and unassuming, he gave the impression of a man of considerable culture and high intellectual powers. He, like his cousin, has had an Occidental education, having graduated from the American College at Beirut and then spent two years as a student at University College, London.

10 According to The Bahai Magazine. V. 20, p. 67, the primary object of Green Acre is now "to teach by word and deed the essential principles of the Reality upon which the Bahai Movement is founded."

11 In justice to my Bahai friends I must state that I have in no instance here made use of any information gleaned from their private conversation. For documents and data concerning Greenacre in its earlier years I am especially indebted to Mr. Frederick L. Bangs of Eliot, without whose aid this article could never have been written. Among other friends who have kindly put at my disposal recollections and records of the past are Mrs. E. Bernice Hayes, Mrs. Grace Emerson Gutterson, Mrs. Abbie Jackson and Mrs. Norah Onthank. Valuable information has been obtained from various unpublished letters of Miss Farmer, Dr. Janes and the clever and witty Mrs. Rena Haskell (Mrs. Edmund Mayhew Haskell) of Medford, Mass. The last ought for posterity's sake have kept a diary recording the chronicles of Greenacre. While the contemporary literature concerning Miss Farmer and Greenacre was quite voluminous no life of Sarah Farmer has been published and no comprehensive account of the rise and fall of Greenacre has hitherto appeared in print.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:26 pm

Dr. Lewis G. Janes Dead
by Cambridge Chronicle
7 September 1901

One of Ramakrishna Vedanta's staunchest supporters in the West, Lewis George Janes (1844-1901) [q.v.], to some extent a self-educated man, became the first president of the Brooklyn Ethical Association (1885-96), a lecturer on sociology and civics at the school of political science of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences (1893-96), instructor in history at Adelphi College in Brooklyn (1894-95), director of Sara Bull's winter Cambridge Conferences for the study of ethics, philosophy, sociology, and religion (1896-1901), cofounder and director of the Monsalvat (Mount of Peace) School for the Comparative Study of Religion at Greenacre during the summer of 1896-99, and, in addition, president of the Free Religious Association beginning in June 1899, fostering religion free of theological dogma and ecclesiastical control. The retiring president of the Free Religious Association, Thomas Higginson, affirmed that Janes was "capable of great labour, and possessing the greatest facility in bringing together amicably persons of the most opposing opinions."64

It is possible that Vivekananda first met Lewis Janes in New York City in late June or early July 1894. James was the president of the Brooklyn Ethical Association, and in July his assistant, Charles Higgins, was already lining up future New York speaking engagements for Swamiji.65 They made contact at Greenacre and travelled together to the Free Religious Association in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in August. On December 28 Janes attended Charles Higgins' reception for Vivekananda in New York. In a letter Swamiji mentioned, "Dr. Janes was as usual very kind and good."66 Swamiji gave a series of six talks (December 30-April 7, 1895) sponsored by the Brooklyn Ethical Association, and made a single appearance the following year in February.67 After his first lecture, a number of questions were put to him by Robert G. Eccles, M.D. (1848-1934), who, during his lifetime, held the position of vice-president of the Brooklyn Ethical Society, president of the New York Pharmaceutical Association, and the first dean of the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy. Questions also came from Asa. W. Tenney (1833-97), a leading lawyer of the city who previously had been appointed by three U.S. presidents to be U.S. district attorney for the eastern district of New York. On the 3rd of January 1895 Swamiji wrote to Mrs. Bull:

Some of them thought that such Oriental religious subjects will not interest the Brooklyn public. But the lecture, through the blessings of the Lord, proved a tremendous success. About 800 of the elite of Brooklyn were present, and the very gentlemen who thought it would not prove a success are trying for organising a series in Brooklyn.68

Janes was a strong supporter of the Vedanta Movement and a loyal defender of the faith. In two 1895 publications, he sent long letters to the Brooklyn Eagle (published March 6, 17) defending Vivekananda against the allegations of the Ramabai Circle.69 Swamiji very much appreciated Janes' letters in the Eagle and wrote to him on the 25th of April:

It was so scholarly, truthful and noble and withal so permeated with your natural universal love for the good and true everywhere. It is a great work to bring this world into a spirit of sympathy with each other but it should be done no doubt when such brave souls as you still hold your own. Lord help you ever and ever my brother and may you live long to carry on the mighty work you and your society has undertaken.70

In November 1896 the Swami noted in a letter to Sara Bull, "Dr. Janes is doing splendid work indeed. I can hardly express my gratitude for the many kindnesses and the help he has given me and my work."71 After Vivekananda returned to India, Janes, along with other people, mailed a letter to the Swami in 1897, asking him to come again to the United States. Z. Sidney Sampson, the president, and Janes, the ex-president of the Brooklyn Ethical Association, sent another letter to the Indian Mirror stating in part:

We wish also to testify to our high appreciation of the value of the work of the Swami Vivekananda in this country. His lectures before the Brooklyn Ethical Association opened up a new world of thought to many of his hearers and renewed the interest of others in the comparative study of religions and philosophy systems, which gives breadth to the mind and an uplifted stimulus to the moral nature.72

Swami Saradananda visited Janes' wife and son in January 1897, and mailed him a copy of N.N. Ghose's critique of Reverend John Henry Barrows' first lecture in Calcutta. The next month and in March of 1898, Janes sent two letters to the Outlook, a Protestant periodical, as a rejoinder to a criticism they made about Swamiji. In the first letter he praised Sri Ramakrishna'73 Janes wrote to the editor of the Brahmavadin in June:

In Cambridge, the classes in the Vedanta philosophy, constituting a single feature in the broad field of comparative study outlined for the Cambridge Conferences, attracted large and intelligent audiences, in part made up of Professors and Students in Harvard University. The Swami's exposition of the principles of the Advaita doctrine, in just comparison with other views which are held in India, was admirably lucid and clear. His replies to questions were always ready and satisfactory. His great fairness of mind and soundness of judgment enabled him to present the doctrine in a manner which at once convinced all of his sincerity and earnestness, while it disarmed the factious opposition which is sometimes stirred up by a more dogmatic and assertive manner.74

At the invitation of Lewis Janes, Abhedananda spoke before the Free Religious Association in May, then at Greenacre in August 1898, and at the Cambridge Conference the following April. A year or two before that time, Saradananda gave talks before these and other groups, no doubt largely as a result of Janes' influence.

In an article that appeared in the journal Mind (January 1899) and in the Brahmavadin (January 1, 1899), Janes defended Oriental Philosophy, particularly "the profound metaphysics of the Vedanta, the noble ethics and psychology of Buddhism." He cites German thinkers like Schopenhauer, Muller, Deussen and the American Emerson to defend his point of view. In 1900 Janes wrote a letter of over fifteen-hundred words to the editor of the Herald attacking anti-Hindu addresses given before the Ramabai Association in Brooklyn, New York, and published in part in the newspaper. Having read the Law of Manu in its entirety, he defended its teachings against its critics. In the article Janes provided evidence to show that most Hindus are "gentle, humane, and truthful," and show a reverence for women. He cited four Westerners, viz. Mall Muller (1823-1900), Horace Wilson (1786-1860), translator of the Vishnu Purana with extensive notes, Sir William H. Sleeman (1788-1856), a major-general in the British Indian Service, and Sir Thomas Munro (1761-1827), a brigadier-general and the governor of Madras, all of whom spoke well of the Indian moral character. Swamiji and Janes probably met again in Paris in 1900. Janes wrote a letter to the editor of the Protestant journal Outlook in October 1900, showing the errors in their article: "Indian Famine Notes." He pointed out how Saradananda and the Ramakrishna Mission took an active part in famine relief, and that the famines were due largely to the inadequacies of the government. Before his sudden death from a heart attack at Greenacre, Maine, Janes published four articles in the Prabuddha Bharata between 1899 and 1901, including "In Defense of the Swami Vivekananda." His last words before his passing were, "It is a beautiful world."75

After his departure from this life, Saradananda wrote to Sara Bull, "I thought of him (Janes) as an Indian Rishi of old born in the West to fight the growing materialistic tendency of the age."76 A year later a book of tributes from Swamis Saradananda and Abhedananda, and many other eminent people, was published about him. In the book, Thomas Higginson adeptly described Janes as "the most wholly stainless man I knew."77

Swami Abhedananda wrote the following tribute:

He was a soul adorned with those noble qualities that make one just, honest, and self-sacrificing. Doctor Janes was an indefatigable worker for the good of humanity, and he sacrificed his health in his ardent efforts to help manking.... He carried with him the courage of his convictions wherever he went, and succeeded in commanding the respect of his hearers and friends. He was a true lover of peace and justice, and was always surrounded by a peaceful atmosphere. That such a gentle, noble, and peace-loving soul may rest in the eternal abode of Peace forever and ever is the constant prayer of his friend, Swami Abhedananda, of India.78

-- Western Admirers of Ramakrishna and His Disciples, by Gopal Stavig

Dr. Lewis G. Janes, M. A., head of the conference school of comparative religion at Greenacre, Eliot, Me., died Thursday afternoon after a short illness. He was fifty-seven years old. He was educated In Brown university and practically all his life has been engaged in lecturing and writing on social and ethical questions. On the death of John Fiske. the historian, he was mentioned as his probable and legitimate successor in the lecture field on popular social and scientific questions.

For the last four years he has made his residence in this city, during this year on Lexington avenue, but before that time in Mrs. Ole Bull's studio, off Brattle street. Mrs. Bull's residence numbered 168 Brattle street, really backs on the beautiful avenue made famous by so many men of learning. The architectural front of this house faces the Charles, overlooking an old-fashioned garden. At the end of this garden stands the studio where Dr. Janes made his home and gave his lectures at the Cambridge conferences. The subjects at these conferences covered many fields, and the lecturers who spoke there were from many countries.

Dr. Janes' activity, however, was by no means confined to the Cambridge conferences. He was president of the Free Religious association, which for many years has held Its annual meeting in Boston, and of which Thomas Wentworth Hlgglnson was the previous president. He was director of the Montsalvant School of Comparative Religion; councillor of the American Institute of Civics, and for a number of years president of the Brooklyn Ethical association connected with the religious society of which John W. Chadwlck is minister, succeeding the late Samuel Longfellow

He has taught in Brown university and was for some years lecturer on sociology and civics in the School of Political Science connected with the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences. His last published work was "Health and a Day." Among his other writings are: "Life as a Fine Art." "A Study of Primitive Chrlstianity." "Social Ideals and Social Progress." "The Problem of City Government." "Samuel Gorton First Settler of Warwick. R.I.," "War and Progress." "The Scope and Principles of the Evolution of Philosophy."

Dr. Janes leaves a widow and two young children, and also there survives an older son by a former marriage.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:57 pm

Martin Luther Holbrook
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/27/20

Martin Luther Holbrook
Born: February 3, 1831, Mantua Township, Portage County, Ohio
Died: August 12, 1902 (aged 71), New York City
Occupation: Physician, writer

Martin Luther Holbrook (February 3, 1831 - August 12, 1902) was an American physician and vegetarian activist associated with the natural hygiene and physical culture movements.


Holbrook was born in Mantua Township, Portage County, Ohio.[1] Holbrook graduated from Ohio Agricultural College and edited the Ohio Farmer (1859-1861).[2] During 1861-1863, Holbrook worked with Dio Lewis in Boston to promote physical culture and hygiene.[1] He graduated from Lewis's Normal School of Physical Culture.[2] He moved to New York City and obtained his medical degree from the Hygeio-Therapeutic College in 1864.[3]

Holbrook was coproprietor of the New Hygienic Institute at Laight Street in New York City, the property was previously Russell Trall's water-cure institution.[4][5] A Turkish bath was located at the institute.[1][4][6] He was a founder of Miller, Wood and Holbrook firm and Miller, Wood & Co publishers of medical books. He later published under his own name, M. L. Holbrook and was an important publisher of medical and hygienic literature up until the 1890s.[2][7] The printing press was located at Laight Street in New York City.[7] It shared the same address as Russell Trall's New York Hygeio-Therapeutic College.[7]

Holbrook was a vegetarian and promoted abstinence from alcohol, coffee, meat, tea, and tobacco.[2][8] He translated the German raw food book Fruit and Bread by Gustav Schlickeysen. The book promoted a fruitarian diet of uncooked fruits, grains and nuts.[8]

Holbrook was an advocate of chastity.
His 1894 book on the subject recommended a physical culture regimen to increase the body's strength and diminish "morbid craving for unnatural and unreasonable indulgence of the passional nature."[2] He was a prominent eugenicist and authored the 1897 book Stirpiculture, later re-printed as Homo-Culture.

The Herald of Health

From 1866, Holbrook was a long-term editor for Russell Trall's The Herald of Health (it became the Journal of Hygiene in 1893).[2][7] He edited the journal until 1898.[1] It was a very popular journal.[9]

In 1898, the journal was renamed Omega and was edited by Holbrook and Charles Alfred Tyrrell.[10] It merged with Physical Culture.[5]

Selected publications

Holbrook's publications can be found in the New York Public Library.[11]

• Parturition without Pain: A Code of Directions for Escaping the Primal Curse (1874)
• Hygiene of the Brain and Nerves and the Cure of Nervousness (1878)
• How to Strengthen the Memory (1886)
• Dr. Holbrook's American Cookery (1888)
• Eating for Strength (1888)
• Physical, Intellectual, and Moral Advantages of Chastity (1894)
Stirpiculture: Or, the Improvement of Offspring Through Wiser Generation (1897)[12]
• Homo-Culture: Or, the Improvement of Offspring Through Wiser Generation (1899)


1. Anonymous. (1902). Dr. Martin Luther Holbrook. The Publisher's Weekly 62 (1594): 249-250.
2. Hoolihan, Christopher. (2001). An Annotated Catalogue of the Edward C. Atwater Collection of American Popular Medicine and Health Reform, Volume 1. University of Rochester Press. p. 460-465. ISBN 1-58046-098-4
3. Anonymous. (1902). Obituary Notes. Medical Record 62 (8): 301.
4. Weiss, Harry Bischoff; Kemble, Howard R. (1967). The Great American Water-Cure Craze: A History of Hydropathy in the United States. The Past Times Press. p. 83
5. Whorton, James C. (2016 edition). Crusaders for Fitness: The History of American Health Reformers. Princeton University Press. pp. 139-140. ISBN 978-0691641898
6. "The first Turkish baths in the USA: New York: Manhattan: Laight Street". Retrieved 8 July 2019.
7. Brodie, Janet Farrell. (1994). Contraception and Abortion in Nineteenth-century America. Cornell University Press. p. 338. ISBN 0-8014-8433-2
8. Iacobbo, Karen; Iacobbo, Michael. (2004). Vegetarian America: A History. Praeger Publishing. p. 119. ISBN 978-0275975197
9. Anonymous. (1876). The Herald of Health. Am J Dent Sci 9 (9): 432.
10. Todd, Jan; Roark, Joe; Todd, Terry. (1991). A Briefly Annotated bibliography of English Language Serial Publications in the Field of Physical Culture. Iron Game History 1 (4-5): 25-40.
11. Lord, Andrew Roberts. (1942). Holbrook and Allied Families. New York: Thesis Publishing Company. p. 58
12. Newcomb McGee, Anita. (1898). Reviewed Work: Stirpiculture; Or the Improvement of Offspring Through Wiser Generation by M. L. Holbrook. American Anthropologist 11 (1): 24.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Thu Feb 27, 2020 11:55 pm

Herbert Spencer
by Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
First published Sun Dec 15, 2002; substantive revision Tue Aug 27, 2019

Herbert Spencer (1820–1903) is typically, though quite wrongly, considered a coarse social Darwinist. After all, Spencer, and not Darwin, coined the infamous expression “survival of the fittest”, leading G. E. Moore to conclude erroneously in Principia Ethica (1903) that Spencer committed the naturalistic fallacy. According to Moore, Spencer’s practical reasoning was deeply flawed insofar as he purportedly conflated mere survivability (a natural property) with goodness itself (a non-natural property).

Roughly fifty years later, Richard Hofstadter devoted an entire chapter of Social Darwinism in American Thought (1955) to Spencer, arguing that Spencer’s unfortunate vogue in late nineteenth-century America inspired Andrew Carnegie and William Graham Sumner’s visions of unbridled and unrepentant capitalism. For Hofstadter, Spencer was an “ultra-conservative” for whom the poor were so much unfit detritus. His social philosophy “walked hand in hand” with reaction, making it little more than a “biological apology for laissez-faire” (Hofstadter, 1955: 41 and 46). But just because Carnegie interpreted Spencer’s social theory as justifying merciless economic competition, we shouldn’t automatically attribute such justificatory ambitions to Spencer. Otherwise, we risk uncritically reading the fact that Spencer happened to influence popularizers of social Darwinism into our interpretation of him. We risk falling victim to what Skinner perceptively calls the “mythology of prolepsis.”

Spencer’s reputation has never fully recovered from Moore and Hofstadter’s interpretative caricatures, thus marginalizing him to the hinterlands of intellectual history, though recent scholarship has begun restoring and repairing his legacy. Happily, in rehabilitating him, some moral philosophers have begun to appreciate just how fundamentally utilitarian his practical reasoning was. And some sociologists have likewise begun reassessing Spencer.

Intellectual history is forever being rewritten as we necessarily reinterpret its canonical texts and occasionally renominate marginalized thinkers for canonical consideration. Changing philosophical fashions and ideological agendas invariably doom us to reconstructing incessantly our intellectual heritage regardless the discipline. Take political theory instance. Isaiah Berlin’s understandable preoccupation with totalitarianism induced him to read T. H. Green and Bernard Bosanquet as its unwitting accomplices insofar as both purportedly equated freedom with dangerously enriched, neo-Hegelian fancies about self-realization. Regrettably, this ideological reconstruction of new liberals like Green and Bosanquet continues largely unabated (see Skinner, 2002: 16). But as our ideological sensitivities shift, we can now begin rereading them with changed prejudice, if not less prejudice. And the same goes for how we can now reread other marginalized, nineteenth-century English liberals like Spencer. As the shadow of European totalitarianism wanes, the lens through which we do intellectual history changes and we can more easily read our Spencer as he intended to be read, namely as a utilitarian who wanted to be a liberal just as much.

Like J. S. Mill, Spencer struggled to make utilitarianism authentically liberal by infusing it with a demanding principle of liberty and robust moral rights. He was convinced, like Mill, that utilitarianism could accommodate rights with independent moral force and yet remain genuinely consequentialist. Subtly construed, utilitarianism can effectively mimick the very best deontological liberalism.


1. First Principles
2.The Principles of Sociology
3. Spencer’s “Liberal” Utilitarianism
4. Rational Versus Empirical Utilitarianism
5. Political Rights
6. Conclusion
Primary Sources: Works by Spencer
Secondary Sources
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1. First Principles

Spencer’s output was vast, covering several other disciplines besides philosophy and making it difficult to make sense of his philosophizing separate from his non-philosophical writing. And there is so much Spencer to make sense of, namely many thousand printed pages.[1] Besides ethics and political philosophy, Spencer wrote at length about psychology, biology and, especially, about sociology. Certain themes, not unexpectedly, run through much of this material. Coming to terms with Spencer and measuring his legacy requires expertise in all of these fields, which no one today has. Notwithstanding this caveat, it seems fair to say that next to ethics and political philosophy, Spencer’s lasting impact has been most pronounced in sociology. In many revealing respects, the latter grounds and orients the former. Hence, it seems best to discuss his sociology first before turning to his moral and political theory. But taking up his sociological theory, in turn, requires addressing, however briefly, the elemental axioms undergirding his entire “Synthetic Philosophy,” which consisted of The Principles of Biology (1864–7), The Principles of Psychology (1855 and 1870–2), The Principles of Sociology (1876–96), and The Principles of Ethics (1879–93).

First Principles was issued in 1862 as an axiomatic prolegomena to the synthetic philosophy, which came to a close with the publication of the 1896, final volume of The Principles of Sociology. Though disguised as mid-19th century speculative physics, First Principles is mostly metaphysics encompassing all inorganic change and organic evolution. The synthetic philosophy purports to illustrate in often maddening detail what follows from First Principles.

According to Spencer in First Principles, three principles regulate the universe, namely the Law of the Persistence of Force, the Law of the Instability of the Homogeneous and the Law of the Multiplicity of Effects. Though originally homogeneous, the universe is gradually becoming increasingly heterogeneous because Force or Energy expands un-uniformly. Homogeneity is unstable because Force is unstable and variable. And because of the Law of the Multiplicity of Effects, heterogeneous consequences grow exponentially, forever accelerating the tempo of homogeneity evolving into heterogeneity. Spencer postulates, though not always consistently, that the universe will eventually equilibrate, eventually dissolving towards homogeneity.

Using some of Spencer’s other terminology, the universe is relentlessly becoming more complex, forever subdividing into multifarious aggregates. As these aggregates become increasingly differentiated, their components become increasingly dissimilar speeding up the entire process and making the universe heterogeneous without end until equilibrium occurs. Or more parsimoniously: “Evolution is definable as a change from an incoherent homogeneity to a coherent heterogeneity, accompanying the dissipation of motion and integration of matter.” (Spencer, 1915: 291). For Spencer, then, all organic as well as inorganic phenomena were evolving, becoming evermore integrated and heterogeneous. As Spencer was to emphasize years later, this holds [true for] human social evolution no less:

Now, we propose in the first place to show, that this law of organic progress is the law of all progress. Whether it be in the development of the Earth, in the development of Life upon its surface, in the development of Society, of Government, of Manufactures, of Commerce, of Language, Literature, Science, Art, this same evolution of the simple into the complex, through successive differentiations, holds throughout. From the earliest traceable cosmical changes down to the latest results of civilization, we shall find that transformation of the homogeneous into the heterogeneous, is that in which progress essentially consists. (Spencer, vol. I, 1901: 10)[2]

In sum, societies were not only becoming increasingly complex, heterogeneous and cohesive. They were becoming additionally interdependent and their components, including their human members, more and more specialized and individuated.

2.The Principles of Sociology

The Principles of Sociology has often been considered seminal in the development of modern sociology both for its method and for much of its content. Replete with endless examples from the distant past, recent past and present, it speculatively describes and explains the entire arch of human social evolution.[3] Part V, “Political Institutions,” is especially relevant for understanding Spencer’s ethics. Together with his Principles of Ethics, “Political Institutions” crowns the synthetic philosophy. They are its whole point.[4]

On Spencer’s account, social evolution unfolds through four universal stages. These are 1) “primitive” societies characterized by casual political cooperation, 2) “militant” societies characterized by rigid, hierarchical political control, 3) “industrial” societies where centralized political hegemony collapses, giving way to minimally regulated markets and 4) spontaneously, self-regulating, market utopias in which government withers away. Overpopulation causing violent conflicts between social groups fuels this cycle of consolidation and reversal to which no society is immune.

More precisely, as embryonic kinship groups grow more numerous, they “come to be everywhere in one another’s way,” (Spencer, vol. II, 1876–93: 37). The more these primal societies crowd each other, the more externally violent and militant they become. Success in war requires greater solidarity and politically consolidated and enforced cohesion. Unremitting warfare fuses and formalizes political control, eradicating societies that fail to consolidate sufficiently. Clans form into nations and tribal chiefs become kings. As militarily successful societies subdue and absorb their rivals, they tend to stabilize and to “compound” and “recompound,” stimulating the division of labor and commerce. The division of labor and spread of contractual exchange transform successful and established “militant” societies into “negatively regulative industrial” societies prizing individual freedom and basic rights where the state recedes to protecting citizens against force and fraud at home and aggression from abroad. Other things being equal, a society in which life, liberty, and property, are secure, and all interests justly regarded, must prosper more than one in which they are not; and, consequently, among competing industrial societies there must be gradual replacing of those in which personal rights are imperfectly maintained, by those in which they are perfectly maintained.” (Spencer, vol. II, 1876–93: 608). And societies where rights are perfectly maintained will in due course confederate together in an ever-expanding pacific equilibrium. As noted previously, equilibrium is always unstable, risking dissolution and regression. Indeed by the end of his life, Spencer was far less sanguine about industrial societies avoiding war.[5]

Notwithstanding his increasing pessimism regarding liberal progress and international concord, the extent to which normative theorizing informs Spencer’s sociological theorizing is palpable. Sociology and ethics intertwine. We shall shortly see just how utilitarian as well as how individualistic both were.

Many recent interpreters of Spencer, especially sociologists, have insisted that his sociological theory and his ethics do not intertwine, that his sociology stands apart and that therefore we can discount his moral theory in our efforts to understand his legacy to social science. For instance, J. D. Y. Peel has argued that Spencer’s sociology is “logically independent of his ethics.” Jonathan H. Turner concurs, claiming that Spencer’s ethics and other ideological shortcomings “get in the way of viewing Spencer as a theorist whose [sociological] ideas have endured (if only by rediscovery).” For Turner, his “sociology is written so that these deficiencies can easily be ignored.” Robert Carneiro and Robert Perrin cite and reiterate Peel’s assessment.[6] And more recently, Mark Francis implies much the same, writing that Spencer’s theory of social change “operated on a different level than his moral theory.”.[7] But just because many years later we can get something out of his sociology while ignoring his ethics and, for that matter, anything else besides sociology that he wrote, we would err in thinking that we have correctly interpreted Spencer let alone thinking that we have correctly interpreted even just his sociology. It is one thing to discover how a past thinker seems to presage our present thinking on this matter or that, and it is another thing entirely to try to interpret a past thinker as best we can.

Nowhere does Spencer’s ethics and sociology entwine more palpably than in his Lamarckism, though how much Spencer borrowed from Lamarck as opposed to Darwin is contested. However, Peter J. Bowler has lately argued that both Spencer and Darwin believed that the inheritance of acquired characteristics and natural selection together drove evolution. For Bowler, it is no less mistaken to view Spencer as owing everything to Lamarck as it is to see him as owing very little to Lamarck.[8] Bowler’s assessment is supported by Spencer’s claims in two late essays from 1886 and 1893 entitled “The Factors of Organic Evolution” and “The Inadequacy of ‘Natural Selection.’”[9] The earlier essay alleges that evolution by natural selection declines in significance compared to use-inheritance as human mental and moral capacities develop. The latter gradually replaces the former as the mechanism of evolutionary change. “Factors of Organic Evolution” succinctly weaves together use-inheritance, associationist psychology, moral intuitionism and utility. Actions producing pleasure or pain tend to cause mental associations between types of actions and pleasures or pains. Sentiments of approval and disapproval also complement these associations. We tend naturally to approve pleasure-producing actions and disapprove pain-producing ones. Because of use-inheritance, these feelings of approval and disapproval intensify into deep-seated moral instincts of approval and disapproval, which gradually become refined moral intuitions.

To what extent Spencer’s sociology was functionalist has also been disputed. According to James G. Kennedy, Spencer created functionalism.[10] It would seem that regarding Spencer as a functionalist is another way of viewing him as, in contemporary normative terminology, a consequentialist. That is, social evolution favors social institutions and normative practices that promote human solidarity, happiness and flourishing.

Spencer’s reputation in sociology has faded. Social theorists remember him though most probably remember little about him though this may be changing somewhat. Moral philosophers, for their part, have mostly forgotten him even though 19th-century classical utilitarians like Mill and Henry Sidgwick, Idealists like T. H. Green and J. S. Mackenzie, and new liberals like D. G. Ritchie discussed him at considerable length though mostly critically. And 20th-century ideal utilitarians like Moore and Hastings Rashdall and Oxford intuitionists like W. D. Ross also felt compelled to engage him. Spencer was very much part of their intellectual context. He oriented their thinking not insignificantly. We cannot properly interpret them unless we take Spencer more seriously than we do.

3. Spencer’s “Liberal” Utilitarianism

Spencer was a sociologist in part. But he was even more a moral philosopher. He was what we now refer to as a liberal utilitarian first who traded heavily in evolutionary theory in order to explain how our liberal utilitarian sense of justice emerges.

Though a utilitarian, Spencer took distributive justice no less seriously than Mill. For him as for Mill, liberty and justice were equivalent. Whereas Mill equated fundamental justice with his liberty principle, Spencer equated justice with equal liberty, which holds that the “liberty of each, limited by the like liberty of all, is the rule in conformity with which society must be organized” (Spencer, 1970: 79). Moreover, for Spencer as for Mill, liberty was sacrosanct, insuring that his utilitarianism was equally a bona fide form of liberalism. For both, respect for liberty also just happened to work out for the utilitarian best all things considered. Indefeasible liberty, properly formulated, and utility were therefore fully compossible.

Now in Spencer’s case, especially by The Principles of Ethics (1879–93), this compossibility rested on a complex evolutionary moral psychology combining associationism, Lamarckian use-inheritance, intuitionism and utility. Pleasure-producing activity has tended to generate biologically inheritable associations between certain types of actions, pleasurable feelings and feelings of approval. Gradually, utilitarianism becomes intuitive.[11] And wherever utilitarian intuitions thrive, societies tend to be more vibrant as well as stable. Social evolution favors cultures that internalize utilitarian maxims intuitively. Conduct “restrained within the required limits [stipulated by the principle of equal freedom], calling out no antagonistic passions, favors harmonious cooperation, profits the group, and, by implications, profits the average of individuals.” Consequently, “groups formed of members having this adaptation of nature” tend “to survive and spread” (Spencer, vol. II, 1978: 43). Wherever general utility thrives, societies thrive. General utility and cultural stamina go hand-in-hand. And general utility thrives best where individuals exercise and develop their faculties within the parameters stipulated by equal freedom.

In short, like any moral intuition, equal freedom favors societies that internalize it and, ultimately, self-consciously invoke it. And wherever societies celebrate equal freedom as an ultimate principle of justice, well-being flourishes and utilitarian liberalism spreads.

Spencer likewise took moral rights seriously insofar as properly celebrating equal freedom entailed recognizing and celebrating basic moral rights as its “corollaries.” Moral rights specify equal freedom, making its normative requirements substantively clearer. They stipulate our most essential sources of happiness, namely life and liberty. Moral rights to life and liberty are conditions of general happiness. They guarantee each individual the opportunity to exercise his or her faculties according to his or her own lights, which is the source of real happiness. Moral rights can’t make us happy but merely give us the equal chance to make ourselves happy as best we can. They consequently promote general happiness indirectly. And since they are “corollaries” of equal freedom, they are no less indefeasible than the principle of equal freedom itself.

Basic moral rights, then, emerge as intuitions too though they are more specific than our generalized intuitive appreciation of the utilitarian prowess of equal freedom. Consequently, self-consciously internalizing and refining our intuitive sense of equal freedom, transforming it into a principle of practical reasoning, simultaneously transforms our emerging normative intuitions about the sanctity of life and liberty into stringent juridical principles. And this is simply another way of claiming that general utility flourishes best wherever liberal principles are seriously invoked. Moral societies are happier societies and more vibrant and successful to boot.

Though Spencer sometimes labels basic moral rights “natural” rights, we should not be misled, as some scholars have been, by this characterization. Spencer’s most sustained and systematic discussion of moral rights occurs in the concluding chapter, “The Great Political Superstition,” of The Man Versus the State (1884). There, he says that basic rights are natural in the sense that they valorize “customs” and “usages” that naturally arise as a way of ameliorating social friction. Though conventional practices, only very specific rights nevertheless effectively promote human well-being. Only those societies that fortuitously embrace them flourish.

Recent scholars have misinterpreted Spencer’s theory rights because, among other reasons, they have no doubt misunderstood Spencer’s motives for writing The Man Versus the State. The essay is a highly polemical protest, in the name of strong rights as the best antidote, against the dangers of incremental legislative reforms introducing socialism surreptitiously into Britain. Its vitriolic, anti-socialist language surely accounts for much of its sometimes nasty social Darwinist rhetoric, which is unmatched in Spencer’s other writings notwithstanding scattered passages in The Principles of Ethics and in The Principles of Sociology (1876–96).[12]

Spencer’s “liberal” utilitarian credentials are therefore compelling as his 1863 exchange of letters with Mill further testifies. Between the 1861 serial publication of Utilitarianism in Fraser’s Magazine and its 1863 publication as a book, Spencer wrote Mill, protesting that Mill erroneously implied that he was anti-utilitarian in a footnote near the end of the last chapter, “Of the Connection Between Justice and Utility.” Agreeing with Benthamism that happiness is the “ultimate” end, Spencer firmly disagrees that it should be our “proximate” end. He next adds:

But the view for which I contend is, that Morality properly so-called – the science of right conduct – has for its object to determine how and why certain modes of conduct are detrimental, and certain other modes beneficial. These good and bad results cannot be accidental, but must be necessary consequences of the constitution of things; and I conceive it to be the business of moral science to deduce, from the laws of life and the conditions of existence, what kinds of action necessarily tend to produce happiness, and what kinds to produce unhappiness. Having done this, its deductions are to be recognized as laws of conduct; and are to be conformed to irrespective of a direct estimation of happiness or misery (Spencer, vol. II, 1904: 88–9).[13]

Specific types of actions, in short, necessarily always promote general utility best over the long term though not always in the interim. While they may not always promote it proximately, they invariably promote it ultimately or, in other words, indirectly. These action types constitute uncompromising, normative “laws of conduct.” As such, they specify the parameters of equal freedom. That is, they constitute our fundamental moral rights. We have moral rights to these action types if we have moral rights to anything at all.

Spencer as much as Mill, then, advocates indirect utilitarianism by featuring robust moral rights. For both theorists, rights-oriented utilitarianism best fosters general happiness because individuals succeed in making themselves happiest when they develop their mental and physical faculties by exercising them as they deem most appropriate, which, in turn, requires extensive freedom. But since we live socially, what we practically require is equal freedom suitably fleshed out in terms of its moral right corollaries. Moral rights to life and liberty secure our most vital opportunities for making ourselves as happy as we possibly can. So if Mill remains potently germane because his legacy to contemporary liberal utilitarian still inspires, then we should take better account of Spencer than, unfortunately, we currently do.

Spencer’s “liberal” utilitarianism, however, differs from Mill’s in several respects, including principally the greater stringency that Spencer ascribed to moral rights. Indeed, Mill regarded this difference as the fundamental one between them. Mill responded to Spencer’s letter professing allegiance to utilitarianism, observing that he concurs fully with Spencer that utilitarianism must incorporate the “widest and most general principles” that it possibly can. However, in contrast to Spencer, Mill protests that he “cannot admit that any of these principles are necessary, or that the practical conclusions which can be drawn from them are even (absolutely) universal” (Duncan, ed., 1908: 108).[14]

4. Rational Versus Empirical Utilitarianism

Spencer referred to his own brand of utilitarianism as “rational” utilitarianism, which he claimed improved upon Bentham’s inferior “empirical” utilitarianism. And though he never labeled Mill a “rational” utilitarian, presumably he regarded him as one.

One should not underestimate what “rational” utilitarianism implied for Spencer metaethically. In identifying himself as a “rational” utilitarian, Spencer distanced himself decidedly from social Darwinism, showing why Moore’s infamous judgment was misplaced. Responding to T. H. Huxley’s accusation that he conflated good with “survival of the fittest,” Spencer insisted that “fittest” and “best” were not equivalent. He agreed with Huxley that though ethics can be evolutionarily explained, ethics nevertheless preempts normal struggle for existence with the arrival of humans. Humans invest evolution with an “ethical check,” making human evolution qualitatively different from non-human evolution. “Rational” utilitarianism constitutes the most advanced form of “ethical check[ing]” insofar as it specifies the “equitable limits to his [the individual’s] activities, and of the restraints which must be imposed upon him” in his interactions with others (Spencer, vol. I, 1901: 125–28).[15] In short, once we begin systematizing our inchoate utilitarian intuitions with the principle of equal freedom and its derivative moral rights, we begin “check[ing]” evolutionary struggle for survival with unprecedented skill and subtlety. We self-consciously invest our utilitarianism with stringent liberal principles in order to advance our well-being as never before.

Now Henry Sidgwick seems to have understood what Spencer meant by “rational” utilitarianism better than most, although Sidgwick didn’t get Spencer entirely right either. Sidgwick engaged Spencer critically on numerous occasions. The concluding of Book II of The Methods of Ethics (1907), entitled “Deductive Hedonism,” is a sustained though veiled criticism of Spencer.[16]

For Sidgwick, Spencer’s utilitarianism was merely seemingly deductive even though it purported to be more scientific and rigorously rational than “empirical” utilitarianism. However, deductive hedonism fails because, contrary to what deductive hedonists like Spencer think, no general science of the causes of pleasure and pain exists, insuring that we will never succeed in formulating universal, indefeasible moral rules for promoting happiness. Moreover, Spencer only makes matters worse for himself in claiming that we can nevertheless formulate indefeasible moral rules for hypothetically perfectly moral human beings. First of all, in Sidgwick’s view, since we can’t possibly imagine what perfectly moral humans would look like, we could never possibly deduce an ideal moral code of “absolute” ethics for them. Secondly, even if we could somehow conceptualize such a code, it would nevertheless provide inadequate normative guidance to humans as we find them with all their actual desires, emotions and irrational proclivities.[17] For Sidgwick, all we have is utilitarian common-sense, which we can, and should, try to refine and systematize according the demands of our changing circumstances.[18]

Sidgwick, then, faulted Spencer for deceiving himself in thinking that he had successfully made “empirical” utilitarianism more rigorous by making it deductive and therefore “rational.” Rather, Spencer was simply offering just another variety of “empirical” utilitarianism instead. Nevertheless, Spencer’s version of “empirical” utilitarianism was much closer to Sidgwick’s than Sidgwick recognized. Spencer not only shadowed Mill substantively but Sidgwick methodologically.

In the preface to the sixth edition of The Methods of Ethics (1901), Sidgwick writes that as he became increasingly aware of the shortcomings of utilitarian calculation, he became ever more sensitive to the utilitarian efficacy of common sense “on the ground of the general presumption which evolution afforded that moral sentiments and opinions would point to conduct conducive to general happiness…” (Sidgwick, 1907: xxiii). In other words, common sense morality is a generally reliable, right-making decision procedure because social evolution has privileged the emergence of general happiness-generating moral sentiments. And whenever common sense fails us with conflicting or foggy guidance, we have little choice but to engage in order-restoring, utilitarian calculation. The latter works hand-in-glove with the former, forever refining and systematizing it.

Now Spencer’s “empirical” utilitarianism works much the same way even though Spencer obfuscated these similarities by spuriously distinguishing between “empirical” and supposedly superior, “rational” utilitarianism. Much like Sidgwick, Spencer holds that our common sense moral judgments derive their intuitive force from their proven utility-promoting power inherited from one generation to the next. Contrary to what “empirical” utilitarians like Bentham have mistakenly maintained, we never make utilitarian calculations in an intuition-free vacuum. Promoting utility is never simply a matter of choosing options, especially when much is at stake, by calculating and critically comparing utilities. Rather, the emergence of utilitarian practical reasoning begins wherever our moral intuitions breakdown. Moral science tests and refines our moral intuitions, which often prove “necessarily vague” and contradictory. In order to “make guidance by them adequate to all requirements, their dictates have to be interpreted and made definite by science; to which end there must be analysis of those conditions to complete living which they respond to, and from converse with which they have arisen.” Such analysis invariably entails recognizing the happiness of “each and all, as the end to be achieved by fulfillment of these conditions” (Spencer, vol. I, 1978: 204).

“Empirical” utilitarianism is “unconsciously made” out of the “accumulated results of past human experience,” eventually giving way to “rational” utilitarianism which is “determined by the intellect” (Spencer, 1969: 279 ff.). The latter, moreover, “implies guidance by the general conclusions which analysis of experience yields,” calculating the “distant effects” on lives “at large” (Spencer, 1981: 162–5).

In sum, “rational” utilitarianism is critical and empirical rather than deductive. It resolutely though judiciously embraces indefeasible moral rights as necessary conditions of general happiness, making utilitarianism rigorously and uncompromisingly liberal. And it was also evolutionary, much like Sidgwick’s. For both Spencer and Sidgwick, utilitarian practical reasoning exposes, refines and systematizes our underlying moral intuitions, which have thus far evolved in spite of their under-appreciated utility. Whereas Spencer labeled this progress towards “rational” utilitarianism, Sidgwick more appropriately called this “progress in the direction of a closer approximation to a perfectly enlightened [empirical] Utilitarianism” (Sidgwick, 1907: 455).

Notwithstanding the undervalued similarities between their respective versions of evolutionary utilitarianism, Spencer and Sidgwick nevertheless parted company in two fundamental respects. First, whereas for Spencer, “rational” utilitarianism refines “empirical” utilitarianism by converging on indefeasible moral rights, for Sidgwick, systematization never ceases. Rather, systematizing common sense continues indefinitely in order to keep pace with the vicissitudes of our social circumstances. The best utilitarian strategy requires flexibility and not the cramping rigidity of unyielding rights. In effect, Spencer’s utilitarianism was too dogmatically liberal for Sidgwick’s more tempered political tastes.

Second, Spencer was a Lamarckian while Sidgwick was not. For Spencer, moral faculty exercise hones each individual’s moral intuitions. Being biologically (and not just culturally) inheritable, these intuitions become increasingly authoritative in succeeding generations, favoring those cultures wherever moral common sense becomes more uncompromising all things being equal. Eventually, members of favored societies begin consciously recognizing, and further deliberately refining, the utility-generating potency of their inherited moral intuitions. “Rational,” scientific utilitarianism slowly replaces common sense, “empirical” utilitarianism as we learn the incomparable value of equal freedom and its derivative moral rights as everyday utilitarian decision procedures.[19]

Their differences aside, Spencer was nonetheless as much a utilitarian as Sidgwick, which the latter fully recognized though we should hesitate labeling Spencer a classical utilitarian as we now label Sidgwick. Moreover, Sidgwick was hardly alone at the turn of the twentieth-century in depicting Spencer as fundamentally utilitarian. J. H. Muirhead viewed him as a utilitarian as did W. D. Ross as late as 1939. (Muirhead, 1897: 136; Ross, 1939: 59). Even scholars in Germany at that time read Spencer as a utilitarian. For instance, A. G. Sinclair viewed him as a utilitarian worth comparing with Sidgwick. In his 1907 Der Utilitarismus bei Sidgwick und Spencer, Sinclair concludes “Daher ist er [Spencer], wie wir schon gesagt haben, ein evolutionistischer Hedonist und nicht ein ethischer Evolutionist,” which we can translate as “Therefore he (Spencer) is, as we have already seen, an evolutionary hedonist and not an ethical evolutionist” (Sinclair, 1907: 49). So however much we have fallen into the erroneous habit of regarding Spencer as little invested with 19th-century utilitarianism, he was not received that way at all by his immediate contemporaries both in England and in continental Europe.

5. Political Rights

Not only was Spencer less than a “social Darwinist” as we have come to understand social Darwinism, but he was also less unambiguously libertarian as some, such as Eric Mack and Tibor Machan, have made him out to be. Not only his underlying utilitarianism but also the distinction, which he never forswears, between “rights properly so-called” and “political” rights, makes it problematic to read him as what we would call a ‘libertarian’.

Whereas “rights properly so-called” are authentic specifications of equal freedom, “political rights” are not. They are interim devices conditional on our moral imperfection. Insofar as we remain morally imperfect requiring government enforcement of moral rights proper, political rights insure that government nevertheless remains mostly benign, never unduly violating moral rights proper themselves. The “right to ignore the state” and the right of universal suffrage are two essential political rights for Spencer. In Social Statics, Spencer says “we cannot choose but admit the right of the citizen to adopt a condition of voluntary outlawry.” Every citizen is “free to drop connection with the state – to relinquish its protection and to refuse paying for its support” (Spencer, 1970: 185). For Spencer, this right helps restrict government to protecting proper moral rights because it allows citizens to take their business elsewhere when it doesn’t.

However, Spencer eventually repudiated this mere political right. For instance, in his 1894 An Autobiography, he insists that since citizens “cannot avoid benefiting by the social order which government maintains,” they have no right to opt out from its protection (Spencer, 1904, vol. 1: 362). They may not legitimately take their business elsewhere whenever they feel that their fundamental moral rights are being ill-protected. Because he eventually repudiated the “right to ignore the state,” we should not interpret Spencer as he comes across in Nozick 1974 (p. 289–290, footnote 10, the text of which is on p. 350), where he is referenced in support of such a right.

Spencer’s commitment to the right of universal suffrage likewise wanes in his later writings. Whereas in Social Statics, he regards universal suffrage as a dependable means of preventing government from overreaching its duty of sticking to protecting moral rights proper, by the later Principles of Ethics he concludes that universal suffrage fails to do this effectively and so he abandons his support of it. He later concluded that universal suffrage threatened respect for moral rights more than it protected them. Universal suffrage, especially when extended to women, encouraged “over-legislation,” allowing government to take up responsibilities which were none of its business.

Spencer, then, was more than willing to modify political rights in keeping with his changing assessment of how well they secured basic moral rights on whose sanctity promoting happiness depended. The more he became convinced that certain political rights were accordingly counterproductive, the more readily he forsook them and the less democratic, if not patently libertarian, he became.

Likewise, Spencer’s declining enthusiasm for land nationalization (which Hillel Steiner has recently found so inspiring), coupled with growing doubts that it followed as a corollary from the principle of equal freedom, testify to his waning radicalism.[20] According to Spencer in Social Statics, denying every citizen the right to use of the earth equally was a “crime inferior only in wickedness to the crime of taking away their lives or personal liberties” (Spencer: 1970, 182.) Private land ownership was incompatible with equal freedom because it denied most citizens equal access to the earth’s surface on which faculty exercise and happiness ultimately depended. However, by The Principles of Ethics, Spencer abandoned advocating comprehensive land nationalization, much to Henry George’s ire. George, an American, had previously regarded Spencer as a formidable ally in his crusade to abolish private land tenure.

Now Spencer’s repudiation of the moral right to use the earth and the political right to ignore the state, as well as the political right of universal suffrage, undermines his distinction between rational and empirical utilitarianism. In forswearing the right to use the earth — because he subsequently became convinced that land nationalization undermined, rather than promoted general utility — Spencer betrays just how much of a traditional empirical utilitarian he was. He abandoned land nationalization not because he concluded that the right to use the earth did not follow deductively from the principle of equal freedom. Rather, he abandoned land reform simply because he became convinced that it was an empirically counterproductive strategy for promoting utility.

Even more obviously, by repudiating political rights like the “right to ignore the state” and universal suffrage rights, he similarly divulged just how much empirical utilitarian considerations trumped all else in his practical reasoning. Not only was Spencer not a committed or consistent libertarian, but he was not much of rational utilitarian either. In the end, Spencer was mostly, to repeat, what we would now call a liberal utilitarian who, much like Mill, tried to combine strong rights with utility though, in Spencer’s case, he regarded moral rights as indefeasible.

6. Conclusion

Allan Gibbard has suggested that, for Sidgwick, in refining and systematizing common sense, we transform “unconscious utilitarianism” into “conscious utilitarianism.” We “apply scientific techniques of felicific assessment to further the achievement of the old, unconscious goal” (Gibbard in Miller and Williams, eds., 1982: 72). Spencer’s “liberal” utilitarianism was comparable moral science. Sidgwick, however, aimed simply at “progress in the direction of a closer approximation to a perfectly enlightened Utilitarianism” (Sidgwick, 1907: 455). Spencer, by contrast, had more grandiose aspirations for repairing utilitarianism. Merely moving towards “perfectly enlightened Utilitarianism” was scientifically under ambitious. Fully “enlightened” utilitarianism was conceptually accessible and perhaps even politically practicable. And Spencer had discovered its secret, namely indefeasible moral rights.

Spencer, then, merits greater esteem if for no other reason than that Sidgwick, besides Mill, took him so seriously as a fellow utilitarian worthy of his critical attention. Unfortunately, contemporary intellectual history has been less kind, preferring a more convenient and simplistic narrative of the liberal canon that excludes him.

Spencer’s “liberal” utilitarianism was bolder and arguably more unstable than either Mill or Sidgwick’s. He followed Mill investing utilitarianism with robust moral rights hoping to keep it ethically appealing without forgoing its systemic coherence. While the principle of utility retreats to the background as a standard of overall normative assessment, moral rights serve as everyday sources of direct moral obligation, making Spencer no less an indirect utilitarian than Mill. But Spencer’s indirect utilitarianism is more volatile, more logically precarious, because Spencer burdened rights with indefeasibility while Mill made them stringent but nevertheless overridable depending on the magnitude of the utility at stake. For Spencer, we never compromise basic rights let the heavens fall. But for Mill, the prospect of collapsing heavens would easily justify appealing directly to the principle of utility at the expense of respect for moral rights.

Now, critics of utilitarianism from William Whewell (1794–1866) to David Lyons more recently have taken Mill and subsequent liberal utilitarians to task for trying to have their utilitarian cake and eat their liberalism too. As Lyons argues with great effect, by imposing liberal juridical constraints on the pursuit of general utility, Mill introduces as a second normative criterion with independent “moral force” compromising his utilitarianism. He risks embracing value pluralism if not abandoning utilitarianism altogether. And if Mill’s liberal version of utilitarianism is just value pluralism in disguise, then he still faces the further dilemma of how to arbitrate conflicts between utility and rights. If utility trumps rights only when enough of it is at stake, we must still ask how much enough is enough? And any systematic answer we might give simply injects another normative criterion into the problematic logic of our liberal utilitarian stew since we have now introduced a third higher criterion that legislates conflicts between the moral force of the principle of utility and the moral force of rights.[21]

If these dilemmas hold for Mill’s utilitarianism, then the implications are both better and worse for Spencer. Though for Mill, utility always trumps rights when enough of the former is in jeopardy, with Spencer, fundamental rights always trump utility no matter how much of the latter is imperiled. Hence, Spencer does not need to introduce surreptitiously supplemental criteria for adjudicating conflicts between utility and rights because rights are indefeasible, never giving way to the demands of utility or disutility no matter how immediate and no matter how promising or how catastrophic. In short, for Spencer, basic moral rights always carry the greater, practical (if not formal) moral force. Liberalism always supersedes utilitarianism in practice no matter how insistently Spencer feigns loyalty to the latter.

Naturally, one can salvage this kind of utilitarianism’s authenticity by implausibly contending that indefeasible moral rights always (meaning literally without exception) work out for the utilitarian best over both the short and long-terms. As Wayne Sumner correctly suggests, “absolute rights are not an impossible output for a consequentialist methodology” (Sumner, 1987: 211). While this maneuver would certainly rescue the logical integrity of Spencer’s liberal version of utilitarianism, it does so at the cost of considerable common sense credibility. And even if it were miraculously true that respecting rights without exception just happened to maximize long-term utility, empirically demonstrating this truth would certainly prove challenging at best. Moreover, notwithstanding this maneuver’s practical plausibility, it would nevertheless seem to cause utilitarianism to retire a “residual position” that is indeed hardly “worth calling utilitarianism” (Williams in Smart and Williams, 1973: 135).

Whether Spencer actually envisioned his utilitarianism this way is unclear. In any case, insofar as he also held that social evolution was tending towards human moral perfectibility, he could afford to worry less and less about whether rights-based utilitarianism was a plausible philosophical enterprise. Increasing moral perfectibility makes secondary decision procedures like basic moral rights unnecessary as a utility-promoting strategy. Why bother with promoting general utility indirectly once we have learned to promote it directly with certainty of success? Why bother with substitute sources of stand-in obligation when, thanks to having become moral saints, act utilitarianism will fortunately always do? But moral perfectibility’s unlikelihood is no less plausible than the likelihood of fanatical respect for basic moral rights always working out for the utilitarian best.[22] In any case, just as the latter strategy causes utilitarianism to retire completely for practical purposes, so the former strategy amounts to liberalism entirely retiring in turn. Hence, Mill’s version of “liberal” utilitarianism must be deemed more compelling and promising for those of us who remain stubbornly drawn to this problematical philosophical enterprise.

Spencer’s rights-based utilitarianism nonetheless has much to recommend for it despite its unconventional features and implausible implications. Even more than Mill, he suggests how liberal utilitarians could attempt to moderate utilitarianism in other ways, enabling it to retain a certain measure of considerable ethical appeal. Spencer’s utilitarianism wears its liberalism not only by constraining the pursuit of utility externally by deploying robust moral rights with palpable independent moral force. It also, and more successfully, shows how utilitarians can liberalize their utilitarianism by building internal constraints into their maximizing aims. If, following Spencer, we make our maximizing goal distribution-sensitive by including everyone’s happiness within it so that each individual obtains his or her fair share, then we have salvaged some kind of consequentialist authenticity while simultaneously securing individual integrity too. We have salvaged utilitarianism as a happiness-promoting, if not a happiness-maximizing, consequentialism. Because everyone is “to count for one, nobody for more than one” not just as a resource for generating utility but also as deserving to experience a share of it, no one may be sacrificed callously without limit for the good of the rest.[23] No one may be treated as a means only but must be treated as an end as well.

Spencer’s utilitarianism also has much to recommend for it simply for its much undervalued importance in the development of modern liberalism. If Mill and Sidgwick are critical to making sense of our liberal canon, then Spencer is no less critical. If both are crucial for coming to terms with Rawls particularly, and consequently with post-Rawlsianism generally, as I strongly believe both are, then Spencer surely deserves better from recent intellectual history. Intellectual history is one of the many important narratives we tell and retell ourselves. What a shame when we succumb to scholarly laziness in constructing these narratives just because such laziness both facilitates meeting the pedagogical challenges of teaching the liberal tradition and answering our need for a coherent philosophical identity.



Primary Sources: Works by Spencer

1851, Social Statics, Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, 1970.
1855, The Principles of Psychology, London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans.
1862, First Principles, Williams and Norgate, 1915.
1864–1867, The Principles of Biology, 2 volumes, London: Williams and Norgate.
1868–74, Essays: Moral, Political and Speculative, 3 vols., London: Williams and Norgate, 1901.
1873, The Study of Sociology, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1969.
1879–93, The Principles of Ethics, 2 volumes, Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, 1978.
1884, The Man Versus the State, Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, 1981.
1893, “The Inadequacy of ‘Natural Selection’,” The Contemporary Review, 63: 153–166, 439–456.
1897, “M. De Laveleye’s Error” in Various Fragments, New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1898.
1897, The Principles of Sociology, 3 volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1876–96.
1904, An Autobiography, 2 volumes, London: Williams and Norgate.
Secondary Sources
Den Otter, Sandra M., 1996, British Idealism and Social Explanation, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Duncan, David, 1908, The Life and Letters of Herbert Spencer, London: Methuen and Co.
Francis, Mark, 2007, Herbert Spencer and the Invention of Modern Life, Stocksfield: Acumen.
Francis, M. & M. Taylor (eds.), 2015, Herbert Spencer: Legacies, London: Routledge.
Gibbard, Allan, 1982, “Inchoately Utilitarian Common Sense: The Bearing of a Thesis of Sidgwick’s on Moral Theory,” in Harlan B. Miller and William H. Williams, (eds.), The Limits of Utilitarianism, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Gray, John, 1983, Mill on Liberty: A Defence, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
–––, 1989, “Mill’s and Other Liberalisms,” in John Gray, Liberalisms: Essays in Political Philosophy, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Hoftstadter, Richard, 1955, Social Darwinism in American Thought, Boston: Beacon Press.
Huxley, T. H., 1893, “Evolutionary Ethics” in T. H. Huxley, Evolution and Ethics and Other Essays, New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1929.
Mill, J. S., 1861, Utilitarianism in John M. Robson (ed.), The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, 33 vols., Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1969, vol. x.
Moore, G. E., 1903, Principia Ethica, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984.
Muirhead, J. H., 1897, The Elements of Ethics, London: John Murray.
Nozick, Robert, 1974, Anarchy, State, and Utopia, New York: Basic Books.
Offer, John, 1994, “Introduction,” in John Offer (ed.), Herbert Spencer: Political Writings, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
–––, 2014, ‘Herbert Spencer,”, in W.J.Mander (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of British Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 257–284.
–––, 2010, Herbert Spencer and Social Theory, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
Paxton, Nancy, 1991, George Eliot and Herbert Spencer, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Riley, Jonathan, 1988, Liberal Utilitarianism: Social Choice Theory and J. S. Mill’s Philosophy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ritchie, D. G., 1891, The Principles of State Interference in Peter P. Nicholson (ed.), Collected Works of D. G. Ritchie, 6 vols., Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 1998.
Ross, W. D., 1939, Foundations of Ethics, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Schneewind, Jerome, 1977, Sidgwick’s Ethics and Victorian Moral Philosophy, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Sidgwick, Henry, 1902, Lectures on the Ethics of T. H. Green, Mr. Herbert Spencer and J. Martineau, London: Macmillan.
–––, 1907, The Methods of Ethics, 7th edition, Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co., 1981.
–––, 1880, “Mr. Spencer’s Ethical System,” Mind, 5(18): 216–226.
Sinclair, A. G., 1907, Der Utilitarismus bei Sidgwick und Spencer, Heidelberg: Carl Winter’s Universitätsbuchhandlung.
Skinner, Quentin, 2002, “A Third Concept of Liberty,” London Review of Books, 24(7): 16–18.
Sumner, W. L., 1987, The Moral Foundations of Rights, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Taylor, Michael W., 2007, The Philosophy of Herbert Spencer, London: Continuum.
Weinstein, D., 1998, Equal Freedom and Utility: Herbert Spencer’s Liberal Utilitarianism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
–––, 2000, “Deductive Hedonism and the Anxiety of Influence,” Utilitas, 12(3): 329–346.
Williams, Bernard, 1973, “A Critique of Utilitarianism,” in J. C. C. Smart and Bernard Williams (eds.), Utilitarianism: For and Against, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Young, R. M., 1970, Mind, Brain and Adaptation in the Nineteenth Century, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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Walter Hines Page
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Accessed: 2/27/20

Walter Hines Page
United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom
In office: May 30, 1913 – October 3, 1918
President: Woodrow Wilson
Preceded by: Whitelaw Reid
Succeeded by: John W. Davis
Personal details
Born: August 15, 1855, Cary, North Carolina, USA
Died: December 21, 1918 (aged 63), Pinehurst, North Carolina
Spouse(s): Willa Alice Wilson
Profession: Politician, Editor

Walter Hines Page (August 15, 1855 – December 21, 1918) was an American journalist, publisher, and diplomat. He was the United States ambassador to the United Kingdom during World War I.

He founded the State Chronicle newspaper in Raleigh, North Carolina, and worked with other leaders to gain legislative approval for what is now known as North Carolina State University, established as a land-grant college in 1885. He worked on several newspapers, including the New York World and Evening Post. He was the editor of The Atlantic Monthly for several years and also literary adviser to Houghton Mifflin. For more than a decade beginning in 1900, he was a partner of Doubleday, Page & Company, a major book publisher in New York City.


Born in Cary, North Carolina to father Allison Francis "Frank" Page and his wife, Catherine Frances Raboteau. His father built the Page-Walker Hotel about 1868.[1] Walter was educated at Trinity College (Duke University), then at Randolph-Macon College and Johns Hopkins University. His studies complete, he taught for a time in Louisville, Kentucky.[2]

On November 15, 1880, Page married Willa Alice Wilson. They had a daughter and three sons including Arthur W. Page.

Page began his journalism career as a writer and then editor at the St. Joseph Gazette in Missouri. (The St. Joseph Gazette published in that town from 1845 until June 30, 1888, when its morning position was taken over by its sister paper, the St. Joseph News-Press.) After a short time at the Gazette, in 1881 Page resigned to travel through the South, having arranged to contribute letters on southern sociological conditions to the New York World, the Springfield Republican of Massachusetts, and the Boston Post. He intended these letters to educate both the North and the South in a fuller understanding of their mutual dependence. In 1882, he joined the editorial staff of the New York World; among his major work was a series of articles on Mormonism, the result of personal investigation in Utah.[2]

Later in 1882, Page went to Raleigh, North Carolina, where he founded the State Chronicle.[2] Two years later, he was a founding member of the Watauga Club, along with Arthur Winslow and William Joseph Peele. Together, they petitioned the North Carolina General Assembly early in 1885 to create an institution for industrial education for "wood-work, mining, metallurgy, practical agriculture" and similar fields; establishing what is now North Carolina State University, a land-grant college, which could receive federal funds.

Page returned to New York in 1883 and for four years was on the staff of the Evening Post. From 1887 to 1895, he was manager and, after 1890, editor of The Forum, a monthly magazine. From 1895 to 1900, he was literary adviser to Houghton, Mifflin and Company, and for most of the same period editor of The Atlantic Monthly (1896–99).[2]

From 1900 to 1913, Page was partner and vice president of Doubleday, Page & Co.; when he joined Frank Nelson Doubleday as a partner, the company's name was changed to include his. He also was editor of World's Work magazine. Doubleday, Page & Co. became one of the great book publishing companies of the 20th century. The company sometimes publishes under the name "Country Life Press" in Garden City, New York, where Page resided in the years prior to World War I. Among the great writers it published in its early years was Rudyard Kipling.[3] In 1986, it was acquired by Bertelsmann AG.

Page believed that a free and open education was fundamental to democracy. In 1902, he published The Rebuilding of Old Commonwealths, which emphasized that. He felt that nothing (class, economic means, race, or religion) should be a barrier to education.


Page's UK Ambassador nomination

In March 1913, Page was appointed U.S. ambassador to Britain by President Woodrow Wilson,[2] whom Page had befriended in 1882 when Wilson was a young lawyer starting out in Atlanta.[4] Page was one of the key figures involved in bringing the United States into World War I on the Allied side. A proud Southerner, he admired his British roots and believed that the United Kingdom was fighting a war for democracy. As ambassador to Britain, he defended British policies to Wilson and helped to shape a pro-Allied slant in the President and in the United States as a whole. One month after Page sent a message to Wilson, the U.S. Congress declared war on Germany.

Page was criticized for his unabashedly pro-British stance by those who thought his priority should be defending the US's interests in the face of British criticism. He and his staff had to deal with the British claim of the right to stop and search American ships, including examination of mail pouches; the commercial blockade (1915); and the "blacklist,"[5] the names of American firms with whom the British forbade all financial and commercial dealings by their citizens (1916).[2]

In 1918, Page became ill and resigned his post as Ambassador to the Court of St. James's. He returned to his home in Pinehurst, North Carolina, where he died.[6] He is buried in Old Bethesda Cemetery in Aberdeen, North Carolina.

Legacy and honors

• A memorial plaque in his honor was installed in Westminster Abbey in Westminster, London, UK.[7]
• The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page (1923), by Burton J. Hendrick, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Biography, and Hendrick's The Training of an American: The Earlier Life and Letters of Walter H. Page was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 1929.
• Walter Hines Page Senior High School in Greensboro, North Carolina, the Walter Hines Page Research Professor of Literature chair (currently Ariel Dorfman) at Duke University, the Walter Hines Page Library at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., and the London chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution were named for him.
• Today, scholarships are awarded by the English-Speaking Union (ESU) in Walter Hines Page's name to teachers from the United Kingdom to study in the United States and Canada.[8]
• Page Hall at North Carolina State University was named in his honor.[9]


A Publisher's Confession (1905)


1. Janet B. Silber (n.d.). "Page-Walker Hotel" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 2015-05-01.
2. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "Page, Walter Hines" . Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York.
3. "Rudyard Kipling". Poetry Foundation. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
4. Berg, A. Scott (2013). Wilson. New York, NY: G.P. Putnam's Sons. pp. 85–86. ISBN 978-0-399-15921-3.
5. Bailey, Thomas A. (1934). "The United States and the Blacklist during the Great War". The Journal of Modern History. 6 (1): 14–35. doi:10.1086/236094. JSTOR 1872175.
6. "WALTER HINES PAGE DIES AT PINEHURST; Sacrificed His Health as Americt's Ambassador to Britain During War. SERVED NATION IN CRISIS As "President's Ear" Abroad He Also Conciliated Opinion ThereWhen Allies Sought Our Aid. Studies Sociological Problems. His Difficult Diplomatic Tasks" (PDF). The New York Times. 23 December 1918. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
7. "To Walter Hines Page". Time. 1923-03-24.
8. "Walter Hines Page Scholarship",
9. "Page Hall". Retrieved 2019-12-17.

External links

• Newspaper clippings about Walter Hines Page in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
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