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Poor Law Amendment Act 1834
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/19/20

Poor Law Amendment Act 1834
Long title: An Act for the Amendment and better Administration of the Laws relating to the Poor in England and Wales.
Citation: 4 & 5 Will. 4 c. 76
Territorial extent: England and Wales
Royal assent: 14 August 1834
Status: Repealed

The Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 (PLAA) known widely as the New Poor Law, was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed by the Whig government of Earl Grey. It completely replaced earlier legislation based on the Poor Law of 1601 and attempted to fundamentally change the poverty relief system in England and Wales (similar changes were made to the poor law for Scotland in 1845). It resulted from the 1832 Royal Commission into the Operation of the Poor Laws, which included Edwin Chadwick, John Bird Sumner and Nassau William Senior. Chadwick was dissatisfied with the law that resulted from his report. The Act was passed two years after the 1832 Reform Act extended the franchise to middle class men. Some historians have argued that this was a major factor in the PLAA being passed.

The Act has been described as "the classic example of the fundamental Whig-Benthamite reforming legislation of the period".[1] Its theoretical basis was Thomas Malthus's principle that population increased faster than resources unless checked, the "iron law of wages" and Jeremy Bentham's doctrine that people did what was pleasant and would tend to claim relief rather than working.[2]

Many viewed Malthus’ ideas as cold-hearted and viewed the Malthusian Population Theory as justification for the exploitation of the working-class people in the Industrial Revolution. For example, in Charles Dickens' famous story ‘A Christmas Carol’ the character of Ebenezer Scrooge expressed Malthus' ideas in an early scene. For instance, when approached by two men collecting donations for the poor, Scrooge responded by suggesting that the poor should die and “decrease the surplus population”. ‘A Christmas Carol’ was first published by Dickens in 1843, and is generally viewed as a critique of the social system present in England at the time. As such, Dickens’ portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge is viewed as a criticism of Malthus’ ideas.

-- Thomas Malthus, by History Crunch

The Act was intended to curb the cost of poor relief and address abuses of the old system, prevalent in southern agricultural counties, by enabling a new system to be brought in under which relief would only be given in workhouses, and conditions in workhouses would be such as to deter any but the truly destitute from applying for relief. The Act was passed by large majorities in Parliament, with only a few Radicals (such as William Cobbett) voting against. The act was implemented, but the full rigours of the intended system were never applied in Northern industrial areas; however, the apprehension that they would be was a contributor to the social unrest of the period.

The importance of the Poor Law declined with the rise of the welfare state in the 20th century. In 1948, the PLAA was repealed by the National Assistance Act 1948, which created the National Assistance Board to act as a residual relief agency.[3]

1832 Royal Commission's findings

Main article: Royal Commission into the Operation of the Poor Laws 1832

Alarmed at the cost of poor relief in the southern agricultural districts of England (where, in many areas, it had become a semi-permanent top-up of labourers' wages – the Allowance System, Roundsman System, or Speenhamland System), Parliament had set up a Royal Commission into the operation of the Poor Laws. The Commission's findings, which had probably been predetermined, were that the old system was badly and expensively run. The Commission's recommendations were based on two principles. The first was less eligibility: conditions within workhouses should be made worse than the worst conditions outside of them so that workhouses served as a deterrent, and only the neediest would consider entering them. The other was the "workhouse test": relief should only be available in the workhouse. Migration of rural poor to the city to find work was a problem for urban ratepayers under this system, since it raised their poor rates. The Commission's report recommended sweeping changes:[4]

Out-door relief: Poor people coming to a workhouse for food, c. 1840

• Out-relief should cease; relief should be given only in workhouses, and upon such terms that only the truly indigent would accept it. "Into such a house none will enter voluntarily; work, confinement, and discipline, will deter the indolent and vicious; and nothing but extreme necessity will induce any to accept the comfort which must be obtained by the surrender of their free agency, and the sacrifice of their accustomed habits and gratifications."[4]

Whilst this recommendation was a solution to existing problems consistent with "political economy", there was little consideration in the report of what new problems it might give rise to. There was little practical experience to support it; only four of the parishes reporting had entirely abolished out-relief, and their problem cases could well have simply been displaced to neighbouring parishes.[5]

• Different classes of paupers should be segregated; to this end, parishes should pool together in unions, with each of their poorhouses dedicated to a single class of paupers and serving the whole of the union. "[T]he separation of man and wife was necessary, in order to ensure the proper regulation of workhouses".[6]
In practice, most existing workhouses were ill-suited to the new system (characterised by opponents as locking up the poor in "Poor Law bastilles"), and many poor law unions soon found that they needed a new purpose-built union workhouse. Their purpose being to securely confine large numbers of the lower classes at low cost, they not unnaturally looked much like prisons.

• The new system would be undermined if different unions treated their paupers differently; there should therefore be a central board with powers to specify standards and to enforce those standards; this could not be done directly by Parliament because of the legislative workload that would ensue.
This arrangement was simultaneously justified as required to give absolute uniformity country-wide and as allowing regulations to be tailored to local circumstances without taking up Parliament's time.
• Mothers of illegitimate children should receive much less support; poor-law authorities should
no longer attempt to identify the fathers of illegitimate children and recover the costs of child support from them.

It was argued that penalising fathers of illegitimate children reinforced pressures for the parents of children conceived out of wedlock to marry, and generous payments for illegitimate children indemnified the mother against failure to marry. "The effect has been to promote bastardy; to make want of chastity on the woman's part the shortest road to obtaining either a husband or a competent maintenance; and to encourage extortion and perjury".[7]



Malthus' An Essay on the Principle of Population set out the influential doctrine that population growth was geometric, and that, unless checked, population increased faster than the ability of a country to feed it. This pressure explained the existence of poverty, which he justified theologically as a force for self-improvement and abstention. He saw any assistance to the poor—such as given by the old poor laws—as self-defeating, temporarily removing the pressure of want from the poor while leaving them free to increase their families, thus leading to greater number of people in want and an apparently greater need for relief. His views were influential and hotly debated without always being understood, and opposition to the old Poor Law which peaked between 1815 and 1820 was described by both sides as "Malthusian".[8]

Of those serving on the Commission, the economist Nassau William Senior identified his ideas with Malthus while adding more variables, and Bishop John Bird Sumner as a leading Evangelical was more persuasive than Malthus himself in incorporating the Malthusian principle of population into the Divine Plan, taking a less pessimistic view and describing it as producing benefits such as the division of property, industry, trade and European civilisation.

Iron law of wages

David Ricardo's "iron law of wages" held that aid given to poor workers under the old Poor Law to supplement their wages had the effect of undermining the wages of other workers, so that the Roundsman System and Speenhamland system led employers to reduce wages, and needed reform to help workers who were not getting such aid and rate-payers whose poor-rates were going to subsidise low-wage employers.[2]


Edwin Chadwick, a major contributor to the Commission's report, developed Jeremy Bentham's theory of utilitarianism, the idea that the success of something could be measured by whether it secured the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. This idea of utilitarianism underpinned the Poor Law Amendment Act. Bentham believed that "the greatest good for the greatest number" could only be achieved when wages found their true levels in a free-market system. Chadwick believed that the poor rate would reach its "correct" level when the workhouse was seen as a deterrent and fewer people claimed relief. A central authority was needed to ensure a uniform poor law regime for all parishes and to ensure that that regime deterred applications for relief; that is, to ensure a free market for labour required greater state intervention in poor relief.

Bentham's argument that people chose pleasant options and would not do what was unpleasant provided a rationale for making relief unpleasant so that people would not claim it, "stigmatising" relief so that it became "an object of wholesome horror".[2]

Terms of the Poor Law Amendment Act

A "Poor Law Bastille": 1835 model design of a workhouse to hold 300 paupers...

... 'classified' (men, women, girls, boys) and segregated accordingly

When the Act was introduced, it did not legislate for a detailed Poor Law regime. Instead, it set up a three-man Poor Law Commission, an "at arms' length" quango to which Parliament delegated the power to make appropriate regulations, without making any provision for effective oversight of the Commission's doings. Local poor-rates payers still elected their local Board of Poor Law Guardians and still paid for local poor law provisions, but those provisions could be specified to the Board of Guardians by the Poor Law Commission; where they were, the views of the local rate-payers were irrelevant. The principles upon which the Commission was to base its regulations were not specified. The workhouse test and the idea of "less eligibility" were therefore never mentioned. "Classification of paupers" was neither specified nor prohibited (during passage of the Act, an amendment by William Cobbett forbidding the separation of man and wife had been defeated), and the recommendation of the Royal Commission that "outdoor relief" (relief given outside of a workhouse) should be abolished was reflected only in a clause that any outdoor relief should only be given under a scheme submitted to and approved by the Commissioners.

The Poor Law Commission was independent of Parliament, but conversely, since none of its members sat in Parliament,[9]:clause 8 it had no easy way of defending itself against criticism in Parliament. It was recognised that individual parishes would not have the means to erect or maintain workhouses suitable for implementing the policies of "no outdoor relief" and segregation and confinement of paupers; consequently, the Commission was given powers to order the formation of Poor Law Unions (confederations of parishes) large enough to support a workhouse.[9]:clause 26 The Commission was empowered to overturn any Unions previously established under Gilbert's Act, but only if at least two-thirds of the Union's Guardians supported this.[9]:clause 32 Each Union was to have a Board of Guardians elected by rate-payers and property owners;[9]:clause 38 those with higher rateable-value property were to have multiple votes, as for the Select Vestries set up under Sturges-Bourne's Acts.[9]:clause 40 The Commission had no powers to insist that Unions built new workhouses (except where a majority of Guardians or rate-payers had given written consent),[9]:clause 23 but they could order improvements to be made to existing ones.[9]:clause 25 The Commission was explicitly given powers to specify the number and salaries of Poor Law Board employees and to order their dismissal.[9]:clause 46 It could order the "classification" of workhouse inmates[9]:clause 26 and specify the extent to which (and conditions under which) out-door relief could be given.[9]:clause 52
Clause 15 of the Act gave the Commission sweeping powers:

That from and after the passing of this Act the Administration of Relief to the Poor throughout England and Wales, according to the existing Laws, or such Laws as shall be in force at the Time being, shall be subject to the Direction and Control of the said Commissioners; and for executing the Powers given to them by this Act the said Commissioners shall and are hereby authorized and required, from Time to Time as they shall see Occasion, to make and Issue all such Rules, Orders, and Regulations for the Management of the Poor, for the Government of Workhouses and the Education of the Children therein, ... and for the apprenticing the Children of poor Persons, and for the Guidance and Control of all Guardians, Vestries, and Parish Officers, so far as relates to the Management or Relief of the Poor, and the keeping, examining, auditing, and allowing of Accounts, and making and entering into Contracts in all Matters relating to such Management or Relief, or to any Expenditure for the Relief of the Poor, and for carrying this Act into execution in all other respects, as they shall think proper; and the said Commissioners may, at their Discretion, from Time to Time suspend, alter, or rescind such Rules, Orders, and Regulations, or any of them: Provided always, that nothing in this Act contained shall be construed as enabling the said Commissioners or any of them to interfere in any individual Case for the Purpose of ordering Relief.[9]:clause 15

General Rules could only be made by the Commissioners themselves[9]:clause 12 and had to be notified to a Secretary of State.[9]:clause 16 Any new General Rules had to be laid before Parliament at the start of the next session.[9]:clause 17 General Rules were those issued to the Guardians of more than one Union. Therefore, there was no provision for Parliamentary scrutiny of policy changes (e.g., on the extent to which out-door relief would be permitted) affecting a number of Poor Law Unions, provided these were implemented by separate directives to each Union involved.[10]

The Act specified penalties which could be imposed upon persons failing to comply with the directives of the Poor Law Commission (£5 on first offence; £20 for second offence, fine and imprisonment on the third offence).[9]:clause 98 However, it did not identify any means of penalising parishes or Unions which had not formed a legally constituted Board of Guardians. Poor Law Unions were to be the necessary administrative unit for the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths introduced in 1837.

The Act did give paupers some rights. Lunatics could not be held in a workhouse for more than a fortnight;[9]:clause 45 workhouse inmates could not be forced to attend religious services of a denomination other than theirs (nor could children be instructed in a religious creed objected to by their parent(s)); they were to be allowed to be visited by a minister of their religion.[9]:clause 19


One of the "Somerset House Despots": Sir Thomas Frankland Lewis, Chairman of Poor Law Commission 1834–39

The central body set up to administer the new system was the Poor Law Commission. The Commission worked in Somerset House (hence epithets such as The Bashaws of Somerset House[11]) and was initially made up of:

• Thomas Frankland Lewis – former Tory MP
• George Nicholls – Overseer of the old system
• John George Shaw Lefevre – A lawyer

Chadwick—an author of the Royal Commission's report—was Secretary.

The Commission's powers allowed it to specify policies for each Poor Law Union, and policy did not have to be uniform. Implementation of the New Poor Law administrative arrangements was phased in, starting with the Southern counties whose problems the Act had been designed to address. There was a gratifying reduction in poor-rates, but also horror tales of paupers ill-treated or relief refused. Some paupers were induced to migrate from the Southern to Northern towns, leading to a suspicion in the North that the New Poor Law was intended to drive wages down. By 1837, when roll-out of the new arrangements reached the textile districts of Lancashire and Yorkshire, trade was in recession. The usual response to this was for hours of work to be reduced, with pay reducing correspondingly and out-door relief being given to those who could not make ends meet on short-time earnings. This was clearly incompatible with a policy of "no out-door relief", and, despite assurances from the Poor Law Commission that there was no intention to apply that policy in the textile districts, they were not believed and a number of textile towns resisted (or rioted in response to) efforts to introduce the new arrangements. This resistance was eventually overcome, but outdoor relief was never abolished in many Northern districts, although the possibility existed. Policy officially changed after the passing of the Outdoor Labour Test Order, which "allowed" outdoor relief.

Problems with the Poor Law Amendment Act

After 1834, Poor Law policy aimed to transfer unemployed rural workers to urban areas where there was work, and protect urban ratepayers from paying too much.

It was impossible to achieve both these aims, as the principle of less eligibility made people search for work in towns and cities. Workhouses were built and paupers transferred to these urban areas. However, the Settlement Laws were used to protect ratepayers from paying too much. Workhouse construction and the amalgamation of unions was slow. Outdoor relief did continue after the PLAA was introduced.

The board issued further edicts on outdoor relief:

• Outdoor Labour Test Order
• Outdoor Relief Prohibitory Order

The implementation of the Act proved impossible, particularly in the industrial north which suffered from cyclical unemployment. The cost of implementing the Settlement Laws in operation since the 17th century was also high and so these were not implemented fully: it often proved too costly to enforce the removal of paupers. The Commission could issue directives, but these were often not implemented fully and in some cases ignored in order to save on expenses (Darwin Leadbitter 1782–1840 was in charge of the commission's finances).

The PLAA was implemented differently and unevenly across England and Wales. One of the criticisms of the 1601 Poor Law was its varied implementation. The law was also interpreted differently in different parishes, as these areas varied widely in their economic prosperity, and the levels of unemployment experienced within them, leading to an uneven system. Local Boards of Guardians also interpreted the law to suit the interests of their own parishes, resulting in an even greater degree of local variation.

The poor working-class including the agricultural laborers and factory workers also opposed the New Poor Law Act because the diet in workhouses was inadequate to sustain workers' health and nutrition. The Times even named this act as "the starvation act." Even more, the act forced workers to relocate to the locations of workhouses which separated families.[12]

Opposition to the Poor Law

Main article: Opposition to the Poor Law

Fierce hostility and organised opposition from workers, politicians and religious leaders eventually led to the Amendment Act being amended, removing the very harsh measures of the workhouses to a certain degree. The Andover workhouse scandal, in which conditions in the Andover Union Workhouse were found to be inhumane and dangerous, prompted investigation by a Commons select committee, whose report commented scathingly on the dysfunctionality of the Poor Law Commission. As a consequence Government legislation replaced the Poor Law Commission with a Poor Law Board under much closer government supervision and parliamentary scrutiny.

Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist harshly criticises the Poor Law. In 1835 sample dietary tables were issued by the Poor law Commissioners for use in union workhouses.[13] Dickens details the meagre diet of Oliver’s workhouse and points it up in the famous scene of the boy asking for more. Dickens also comments sarcastically on the notorious measure which consisted in separating married couples on admission to the workhouse: "instead of compelling a man to support his family [they] took his family from him, and made him a bachelor! " Like the other children, Oliver was "denied the benefit of exercise" and compelled to carry out the meaningless task of untwisting and picking old ropes although he had been assured that he would be "educated and taught a useful trade.[14]"

In the North of England particularly, there was fierce resistance; the local people considered that the existing system there was running smoothly. They argued that the nature of cyclical unemployment meant that any new workhouse built would be empty for most of the year and thus a waste of money. However, the unlikely union between property owners and paupers did not last, and opposition, though fierce, eventually petered out. In some cases, this was further accelerated as the protests very successfully undermined parts of the Amendment Act and became obsolete.[clarification needed]


According to a 2019 study, the 1834 welfare reform had no impact on rural wages, labor mobility or the fertility rate of the poor. The study concludes, "this deliberately induced suffering gained little for the land and property owners who funded poor relief. Nor did it raise wages for the poor, or free up migration to better opportunities in the cities. One of the first great triumphs of the new discipline of Political Economy, the reform of the Poor Laws, consequently had no effects on economic growth and economic performance in Industrial Revolution England."[15]

See also

• English Poor Laws


1. The Poor Law Amendment Act: 14 August 1834
2. Spicker, Paul, British social policy 1601–1948, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen: Centre for Public Policy and Management, archived from the original on 24 July 2007, retrieved 13 December 2008
3. Boyer, George. "English Poor Laws". Economic History Association.
4. Senior, Nassau; Chadwick, Edwin (1834), Poor Law Commissioners' Report of 1834, London: H.M. Stationery Office
5. Speech of Mr Paulett Scrope (c1321)in "Poor-Laws Amendment—Committee". Hansard House of Commons Debates. 23: cc1320-49. 26 May 1834. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
6. Speech of Lord Althorp (c 339) in "Poor Laws' Amendment—Committee". Hansard House of Commons Debates. 24: cc324-40. 9 June 1834. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
7. "Mr Cowell's report" quoted in "The Amendment of the Poor Laws". The Examiner. 20 April 1834. (J W Cowell was one of the Assistant Commissioners of the Royal Commission)
8. Poynter, John (1998), "Malthus and his critics", Malthus Bicentenary Conference, National Library of Australia, Canberra: National Academies Forum, archived from the original on 20 October 2008, retrieved 13 December 2008
9. "4&5 William IV c LXXVI. : An Act for the Amendment and better Administration of the Laws relating to the Poor in England and Wales". The Workhouse. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
10. "Leicester Journal: Friday, August 10, 1838". Leicester Journal. 10 August 1838.
11. "Workhouse – a fact of life in the Industrial Revolution". Cotton Times. Archived from the original on 14 December 2007.
12. Hamlin, Christopher (June 1995). "Could You Starve to Death in England in 1839? The Chadwick-Farr Controversy and the Loss of the "Social" in Public Healh". American Journal of Public Health. 85 (6): 856–866. doi:10.2105/ajph.85.6.856. PMC 1615507. PMID 7762726.
13. "The Workhouse – The Story of an institution". Retrieved 16 April 2019.
14. Dickens, Charles (1966). Oliver Twist. London: Penguin Books. pp. 54 and seq. ISBN 0140430172.
15. Clark, Gregory; Page, Marianne E. (2019). "Welfare reform, 1834: Did the New Poor Law in England produce significant economic gains?". Cliometrica. 13 (2): 221–244. doi:10.1007/s11698-018-0174-4. ISSN 1863-2505.

Further reading

• Blaug, Mark. "The Myth of the Old Poor Law and the Making of the New". Journal of Economic History 23 (1963): 151–84. online
• Boyer, James, et al. "English Poor Laws." EHnet; summary and historiography
• Brundage, Anthony. The making of the new Poor law: the politics of inquiry, enactment, and implementation, 1832–1839 (1978).
• Durbach, Najda. "Roast Beef, the New Poor Law, and the British Nation, 1834–1863". Journal of British Studies 52.4 (2013): 963–89.
• Englander, David. Poverty and Poor Law Reform in Nineteenth-Century Britain, 1834–1914: From Chadwick to Booth (1998) excerpt
• Filtness, David. "Poverty's Policeman" History Today (Feb 2014) 64#2 pp. 32–39.
• Finer, Samuel Edward. The life and times of Sir Edwin Chadwick (1952) excerpt pp. 39–114.
• Lees, Lynn Hollen, The Solidarities of Strangers: The English Poor Laws and the People, 1700–1948 (Cambridge UP, 1998).
• Rose, M.E. ed. The English Poor Law, 1780–1930 (1971)
• Thane, Pat. "Women and the Poor Law in Victorian and Edwardian England," History Workshop Journal 6#1 (1978), pp 29–51,

External links

• Text of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act
• Spartacus article on the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Wed May 20, 2020 3:20 am

Charity Organization Society
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/19/20

The Charity Organization Societies were founded in England in 1869 following the 'Goschen Minute' (Poor Law Board; 22nd Annual Report (1869–70), Appendix A No.4. Relief to the Poor in the Metropolis. PP XXXI, 1871) that sought to severely restrict outdoor relief distributed by the Poor Law Guardians. In the early 1870s a handful of local societies were formed with the intention of restricting the distribution of outdoor relief to the elderly.

Also called the Associated Charities was a private charity that existed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a clearing house for information on the poor.[1] The society was mainly concerned with distinction between the deserving poor and undeserving poor.[2] The society believed that giving out charity without investigating the problems behind poverty created a class of citizens that would always be dependent on alms giving.[3]

The society originated in Elberfeld, Germany and spread to Buffalo, New York around 1877.[4] The conviction that relief promoted dependency was the basis for forming the Societies. Instead of offering direct relief, the societies addressed the cycle of poverty. Neighborhood charity visitors taught the values of hard work and thrift to individuals and families. The COS set up centralized records and administrative services and emphasized objective investigations and professional training. There was a strong scientific emphasis as the charity visitors organized their activities and learned principles of practice and techniques of intervention from one another. The result led to the origin of social casework. Gradually, over the ensuing years, volunteer visitors began to be supplanted by paid staff.


Charity Organization Societies were made up of charitable groups that used scientific philanthropy to help poor, distressed or deviant persons. The Societies considered themselves more than just alms givers. Their ultimate goal was to restore as much self-sufficiency and responsibility as an individual could manage. Through their activities, the Societies tended to be aware of the range of social services available in their communities. They thus became the primary source of information and referral for all services. Through these referrals, a Society often became the central agency in the social services of its community. For instance, the Charity Organization Society of Denver, Colorado, the forerunner of the modern United Way of America, coordinated the charitable activities of local Jewish, Congregational and Catholic groups. Its work under the leadership of Frances Wisebart Jacobs ranged from work with tuberculosis patients[5] to the care and education of young children[6] and was funded in part by direct assistance from the city itself.[7]

Settlement House movement

The Charity Organization Society can be compared to the settlement house movement which emphasized social reform rather than personal problems as the proper focus of charity.

Efficacy and criticism

Despite its claims that private charity would be superior to public welfare because it improved the moral character of the recipients, records from the COS' Indianapolis branch show that only a minority of its relief recipients managed to become self-reliant, with the exit rate declining sharply the longer people were on relief. The exit rates are similar to those in late-20th-century public welfare programs, despite the fact that COS only granted relief only to recipients it deemed worthy and improvable. Furthermore, journals kept by the COS case workers and "friendly visitors" indicate that they were not on friendly terms with the relief recipients but described them in disparaging terms and interacted with them in an intrusive and presumptuous way.[8]

The COS was resented by the poor for its harshness, and its acronym was rendered by critics as "Cringe or Starve".[8]

Britain's Charity Organisation Society

In Britain, the Charity Organisation Society led by Helen Bosanquet and Octavia Hill was founded in London in 1869[9] and supported the concept of self-help and limited government intervention to deal with the effects of poverty. Alsager Hay Hill was prominent from its foundation, acting as honorary secretary of the council until July 1870, and as an active member of the council until 1880:[10]

Mr. Alsager Hay Hill joined the Society in its first year. He was one of its first Hon. Secretaries, and the life and soul of Council meetings in the early days of struggle. A man of rare natural wit, something of a poet, and the brightest of companions, he threw himself eagerly into the Society's work, and more particularly devoted his time and energy to an attempt to deal with the problems of unemployment. His 'Labour News' of thirty years ago anticipated the Labour Exchanges of today.[11]

The organisation claimed to use "scientific principles to root out scroungers and target relief where it was most needed".[12] Annie Barnes joined the organisation and used her own background that people objected to accepting "Charity".[13] The Charity Organisation Society was renamed Family Welfare Association in 1946 and still operates today as Family Action, a registered family support charity.

See also

• Scientific Charity Movement


1. (1895). "Charity's Clearing House." The Washington Post. December 15.
2. (1900) "Commissioners of the District of Columbia." Washington Government Printing Office.
3. (1887). "Lots of Chronic Paupers." The Washington Post. October 21.
4. Welfare, National Conference on Social (1 January 2005). Official proceedings of the annual meeting: 1880.
5. (1903) Albert Shaw, The American Review of Reviews. Radcliffe Library, 1903: 701.
6. (1903) Benjamin Lindsey Collection, Box 85, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress; letters from Izetta George dated February 11 and February 14, 1903.
7. (1900) Isabel C. Barrows, ed. The Social Welfare Forum. The Proceedings of the National Conference of Charities and Correction at the Twenty-Sixth Annual Session Held in the City of Cincinnati, Ohio, May 17–23, 1899. Boston: George H. Ellis, 1900, page 376.
8. Ziliak, Stephen (2004), Self-Reliance before the Welfare State: Evidence from the Charity Organization Movement in the United States. Journal of Economic History, Vol. 64, No. 2, pp. 433-461
9. "1800s". Family Action: About Us. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2010.
10. "Hill, Alsager Hay" . Dictionary of National Biography (2nd supplement). London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1912.
11. Bosanquet, Helen (1914), Social work in London, 1869 to 1912: A History of the Charity Organisation Society. New York, E P Button & Co.
12. Rees, Rosemary (2001). Poverty and Public Health 1815-1949. London: Heinemann.
13. Elizabeth Crawford, ‘Barnes , Annie (c.1887–1982)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 28 July 2017
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Wed May 20, 2020 3:30 am

Helen Bosanquet
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/19/20

Helen Bosanquet
Helen Bosanquet, c. 1900
Born: Helen Dendy, 10 February 1860, Manchester, England
Died: 7 April 1925 (aged 65)
Alma mater: Newnham College, Cambridge (1889)
Occupation: Social theorist and reformer
Spouse(s): Bernard Bosanquet (m. 1895; died 1923)
Parent(s): Revd. John Dendy; Sarah Beard
Relatives: Mary Dendy (sister); Arthur Dendy (brother)

Helen Bosanquet (née Dendy; 10 February 1860 – 7 April 1925)[1] was an English social theorist and social reformer. Helen was the wife of English philosopher Bernard Bosanquet.


Early Life

Helen Dendy was born in Manchester in 1860 to the Reverend John Dendy and his wife, Sarah Beard (1831–1922), eldest daughter of John Relly Beard. She was one of nine children. Mary Dendy was an elder sister and her brother was biologist Arthur Dendy (1865–1925).


Helen and her sisters were educated at home by a governess. In 1886, at the age of twenty-six, she went to Newnham College, Cambridge, to study moral sciences. She obtained a first-class degree in 1889 and appears to have had academic ambitions. However, she failed to get any academic position.[2]


Having moved to London, she joined the Charity Organisation Society (COS), a body committed to rationalizing London's huge collection of private charities. She became organizer and district secretary of the society's Shoreditch branch. She was also active in the London Ethical Society, where she met the philosopher Bernard Bosanquet (1848–1923), whom she married on 13 December 1895.[3] In addition to an active public career as a theorist and publicist for the COS, she worked as a translator of German philosophy and sociology, and as a collaborator with her husband.


In 1902 Bosanquet had a much publicised exchange of views with Seebohm Rowntree, in which she questioned his findings about the extent and the causes of poverty in York. One of these works included the article "A Study in Women’s Wages" which was published as part of "The Economic Journal". This article lobbied for an in increase in the training of women for skilled jobs which would thus result in better working conditions and wages for them.[4] In her article "The Lines of Industrial Profit", Bosanquet offers the idea that business-men of the same trade must agree on fixed prices to reap larger profits and provide their workers with better wages.[5]In her piece, "The Divorce Laws of England and Wales", she offers the idea that young people should not be forced to take a permanent vow as the longevity of a marriage depends on several conditions.[6]She was appointed a member of the Royal Commission on the Poor Laws in 1905, where she defended the role of private charities over public welfare programs. She was a major influence on the Majority report (Poor Law), which was published in 1909, which arose out of the Commission.[7] Another member of the Commission was social reformer, Beatrice Webb and the two were often in disagreement. Webb wanted to abolish the Poor Laws and have state-run social services, while Bosanquest wanted to keep some aspects of the Poor Laws.[8]


Bosanquet also played a key role in the development of social work in Britain, through her suggestion that social workers needed formal education as well as professional skills. She influenced the syllabus of the COS School of Sociology (founded 1903), which in 1912 became the Social Science Department of the London School of Economics.

Her influential English translation of Christoph von Sigwart's Logic appeared in 1895.

Following the death of Bernard Bosanquet in 1923, Helen arranged for the manuscript of Three Chapters on the Nature of Mind to be published. Her biography of her husband was published in 1924. She died in Golders Green, London in 1925, having suffered from ill health for some years.


“I have always held that poverty and pain, disease and health are evils of greatly less importance than they appear except in so far as they lead to weakness of life and character; and that true philanthropy aims at increasing strength more than at the correct and immediate relief of poverty…”[9]

"The working-women of England are indeed in a very sorry plight, and that if knights-errant were still to the fore they would find work enough for lance and sword in freeing their sisters from the tyranny by which they are oppressed"[10]


• Helen Bosanquet, "The Name and the House,” The Family. London: MacMillan, 1906.
• Aspects of the Social Problem (1895)
• Rich and Poor (1896)
• The Standard of Life and Other Studies (1898)
• The Strength of the People (1902)
• The Poor Law Report of 1909 : A Summary Explaining the Defects of the Present System and the Principal Recommendations of the Commission, so far as Relates to England and Wales (1909)
• Bernard Bosanquet : A Short Account of His Life (1924)


1. Women of History
2. Harris, Jose. "Bosanquet , Helen (1860–1925)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
3. Archives Hub: Bosanquet Papers Archived 22 July 2012 at
4. Bosanquet, Helen (1902). A Study in Women’s Wages. The Economic Journal. pp. 42–49.
5. Bosanquet, Helen (1897). The Lines of Industrial Profit. The Economic Journal. pp. 503–510.
6. Bosanquet, Helen (1914). The Divorce Laws of England and Wales. The University of Chicago Press. p. 451.
7. Scott, John, ed. (2007). Fifty Key Sociologists: The Formative Theorists. Routledge. p. 20. ISBN 9781134262199.
8. Lewis, Jane (1991). Women and Social Action in Victorian and Edwardian England. Stanford University Press. pp. 146–192.
9. Charity begins at home: Helen Bosanquet, the pioneer behind the Charity Organisation Society
10. Charity begins at home: Helen Bosanquet, the pioneer behind the Charity Organisation Society

External links

• Works by or about Helen Bosanquet at Internet Archive
• Charity Begins at Home:Helen Bosanquet, The Pioneer Behind the Charity Organisation Society
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Wed May 20, 2020 3:48 am

London Ethical Society [Ethical Society]
by UCL Bloomsbury Project
Accessed: 5/19/20


It was founded by James Bonar and J. H. Muirhead as a Society of like-minded rational thinkers at a meeting on 20 November 1886 at University Hall in Gordon Square

Bonar and Muirhead had been prompted to found the Society by a meeting at Toynbee Hall with Stanton Coit, an American enthusiast of the ideals of Felix Adler, who became the founder of many ethical societies in England (Susannah Wright, ‘“There Is Something Universal in Our Movement Which Appeals Not Only to One Country, But to All”: International Communication and Moral Education 1892–1914,’ History of Education, vol. 37, no. 6, 2008)

Some of its members had previously belonged to the Fellowship of the New Life

The Society later held lectures at Toynbee Hall, and concentrated on “systematic ethical instruction in connexion with working mens colleges, clubs, and co-operative societies. It was also concerned with university extension and the education of the young” (Peter Gordon and John White, Philosophers as Educational Reformers: The Influence of Idealism on British Educational Thought and Practice, 1979)

Its members were also responsible for the formation of the independent London School of Ethics and Social Philosophy in 1897

It apparently no longer exists, having become increasingly fragmented in the late 19th century (Peter Gordon and John White, Philosophers as Educational Reformers: The Influence of Idealism on British Educational Thought and Practice, 1979)

However, it was one of the many ethical societies which prompted the foundation of the Union of Ethical Societies in 1896; this subsequently became the British Humanist Association in 1967

It also led more directly to the formation of the independent London School of Ethics and Social Philosophy in 1897, which was based at the Passmore Edwards Settlement in Tavistock Place until it was absorbed into the London School of Economics in the twentieth century

What was reforming about it?

Its aim was to take a rational approach to morality and social progress

It was apparently the first English ethical society (M. McCallum, ‘Ethical and Kindred Societies in Great Britain,’ International Journal of Ethics, vol. 1, no. 2, January 1891)

Where in Bloomsbury

Its first meeting was at University Hall in Gordon Square in 1886, although it was subsequently based outside Bloomsbury (Peter Gordon and John White, Philosophers as Educational Reformers: The Influence of Idealism on British Educational Thought and Practice, 1979)

Its successor institution, the London School of Ethics and Social Philosophy, was based at the Passmore Edwards Settlement in Tavistock Place until it was absorbed into the London School of Economics in the twentieth century

Website of current institution

It no longer exists

Books about it

M. McCallum, ‘Ethical and Kindred Societies in Great Britain,’ International Journal of Ethics, vol. 1, no. 2 (January 1891)

There is also a brief account in Peter Gordon and John White, Philosophers as Educational Reformers: The Influence of Idealism on British Educational Thought and Practice (1979)


None found, although there may be relevant material in the records of the British Humanist Association at Bishopsgate Institute, ref. GB 0372 BHA; details of this collection are available online via (opens in new window)
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Wed May 20, 2020 3:52 am

London School of Ethics and Social Responsibility
by UCL Bloomsbury Project
Accessed: 5/19/20


It was founded in 1897 by members of the London Ethical Society to provide university-level education in philosophy to those unable to attend a university (Peter Gordon and John White, Philosophers as Educational Reformers: The Influence of Idealism on British Educational Thought and Practice, 1979)

It was supported by some of the distinguished philosophers of the day (Bertrand Russell, ‘Was the World Good before the Sixth Day?’ (lecture, 11 February 1899, in Kenneth Blackwell ed, Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, vol. 1: Cambridge Essays 1888–1899, 1983)

However, although well-meaning it was short-lived, mainly because it was not succeeding in attracting the working classes to its lectures, as it had hoped; it finally failed in its last-ditch bid to become a Public Educational Institution and was forced to close in 1900 (G. E. Moore, The Elements of Ethics, ed Tom Regan, 1991)

Many of its members later became part of the new London School of Economics when the University of London was restructured at the beginning of the twentieth century

What was reforming about it?

It provided university-level philosophical instruction to local people

Where in Bloomsbury

It was based at the Passmore Edwards Settlement in Tavistock Place from its foundation in 1897 until its closure in 1900

Website of current institution

It no longer exists

The successor institution, the London School of Economics, is at (opens in new window)

Books about it

There is a brief but authoritative account in Tom Regan’s Introduction to his edition of G. E. Moore’s The Elements of Ethics (1991)


None found
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Wed May 20, 2020 3:54 am

‘A Christmas Carol’: Sending the Poor to Prison
by Matthew Caruchet
Economic Opportunity Institute {EOI]
December 22, 2017

Illustration of the Ghost of Christmas Present by John Leech from the 1800s.

When he was 12 years old in 1824, Charles Dickens worked 10-hour days in a rat-infested shoe-polish factory for six shillings a week. That’s the equivalent of £30.68 or $41.06 in 2017 currency.

It was all the money he had to get by. His father, mother, and five siblings aged 2-11 were in prison because the family was in debt. This is what Western society did with the poor in the mid-1800s. If you fell behind on your bills or couldn’t pay legal fines, you and your family went to flea-ridden government workhouses where you would labor to earn your keep.

Your work did not, however, pay off your debts – you could spend the rest of your life there. If you died in a debtor’s prison, your body was given to anatomists to dissect in the name of science.

Needless to say, Charles Dickens grew to hate the system and rail against it in his works. In his seminal novella “A Christmas Carol,” Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by two portly men raising money for the poor.

“At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge,” said the [one of the gentlemen], taking up a pen, “it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.”

“Are there no prisons?” asked Scrooge.

“Plenty of prisons,” said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.

“And the Union workhouses?” demanded Scrooge. “Are they still in operation?”

“They are. Still,” returned the gentleman, “I wish I could say they were not.”

“The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?” said Scrooge.

“Both very busy, sir.”

“Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,” said Scrooge. “I’m very glad to hear it.”

“Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude,” returned the gentleman, “a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?”

“Nothing!” Scrooge replied.

“You wish to be anonymous?”

“I wish to be left alone,” said Scrooge. “Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don’t make merry myself at Christmas and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned: they cost enough: and those who are badly off must go there.”

“Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.”

“If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

Interpretations of “A Christmas Carol” have often tried to turn it into an assault on the wealthy, critiquing capitalism’s effect on society. It is not. There is nothing wrong with being very wealthy in Dickens’ book. The two good men raising money for the poor are capitalists and entrepreneurs. They are “portly” in a time when food was scarce and people starved on the streets.

The evil in society comes from indifference towards fellow people and a reliance on a governmental system that does more harm than good.

Take for instance the “Treadmill” and “Poor Law” mentioned above.

A treadmill at Brixton Prison in London in the 1800s.

The treadmill was a feature in prisons where inmates would walk endlessly, pushing a huge wheel while holding bars at chest height. With every step, the wheel would turn, grinding corn. Prisoners were allowed 12 minutes of break every hour. It was meant to be a form of “preventive punishment” so difficult that that nobody exposed to it would ever risk reoffending.

The Poor Law is a reference to the popular economic theories of Thomas Malthus. Malthus argued that ruinous poverty and starvation were necessary ills, as society could not possibly provide for everyone and death would remove the undesirables from the population. He supported the Poor Law to create workhouses for the poor, as people who were unable to sustain themselves did not have the right to live.

In the fevered haunting of the second night, Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present visit the holiday celebration of Bob Cratchit, with its tiny pudding to serve a family of seven. Bob works 60 hours a week and earns 15 shillings – £89.78 or $120.19 in 2017 dollars.

His son, Tiny Tim, would have died under the Poor Law system. That’s why, of all the Christmas spirits, the Ghost of Christmas Present has the most disdain for Scrooge, mockingly spitting his words back at him.

“God bless us every one!” said Tiny Tim, the last of all.

He sat very close to his father’s side upon his little stool. Bob held his withered little hand in his, as if he loved the child, and wished to keep him by his side, and dreaded that he might be taken from him.

“Spirit,” said Scrooge, with an interest he had never felt before, “tell me if Tiny Tim will live.”

“I see a vacant seat,” replied the Ghost, “in the poor chimney-corner, and a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, the child will die.”

“No, no,” said Scrooge. “Oh, no, kind Spirit! say he will be spared.”

“If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, none other of my race,” returned the Ghost, “will find him here. What then? If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

Scrooge hung his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spirit, and was overcome with penitence and grief.

It’s easy for Scrooge to feel sorry for Tiny Tim. It’s someone he knows – a single instance with a face and a personality. But it’s harder to feel compassion for large swathes of people, faceless segments of the population hidden away in debtor’s prisons and workhouses. That’s why the Ghost of Christmas Present has more words to throw back as he dies.

“Forgive me if I am not justified in what I ask,” said Scrooge, looking intently at the Spirit’s robe, “but I see something strange, and not belonging to yourself, protruding from your skirts. Is it a foot or a claw!”

“It might be a claw, for the flesh there is upon it,” was the Spirit’s sorrowful reply. “Look here.”

From the foldings of its robe, it brought two children; wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable. They knelt down at its feet, and clung upon the outside of its garment.

“Oh, Man! look here. Look, look, down here!” exclaimed the Ghost.

They were a boy and girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out, and touched them with its freshest tints, a stale and shrivelled hand, like that of age, had pinched, and twisted them, and pulled them into shreds. Where angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing. No change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any grade, through all the mysteries of wonderful creation, has monsters half so horrible and dread.

Scrooge started back, appalled. Having them shown to him in this way, he tried to say they were fine children, but the words choked themselves, rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude.

“Spirit! are they yours?” Scrooge could say no more.

“They are Man’s,” said the Spirit, looking down upon them. “And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased. Deny it!” cried the Spirit, stretching out its hand towards the city. “Slander those who tell it ye! Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse! And bide the end!”

“Have they no refuge or resource?” cried Scrooge.

“Are there no prisons?” said the Spirit, turning on him for the last time with his own words. “Are there no workhouses?”

Note that Ignorance is worse than Want. Want is an immediate need – food to eat, a bed to sleep in. But Ignorance keeps you from ever improving your situation. Without education, children are condemned to a lifetime of poverty, creating a permanent underclass that dooms society as a whole.

As we all know, Scrooge awakes from his last ghostly visit a new man. He buys Bob Cratchit a turkey and pays the two portly men hefty sums to help the poor. Then he goes to celebrate Christmas at a sumptuous party thrown by his wealthy nephew Fred.

Again, “A Christmas Carol” is not an attack on wealth. Scrooge remains wealthy in the end, and the ideal Christmas is a celebration filled with excesses of food, drink and gifts. But it condemns the violence of looking away, ignoring the evils foisted on people who cannot afford to survive in society, and the political structure that keeps mortifying poverty in place.

It’s easy to believe we don’t live in a society with the sheer injustice of Victorian England. But there are many similarities.

A debtor’s prison in London.

Two hundred years ago, the United States banned debtors’ prisons, but they still exist today. State and local courts raise money by charging fees to people convicted of crimes. In Washington State, people who are unable to pay parking tickets and fines for low-level offenses are jailed, without options for alternatives or community service.

In prison, people often have to pay for their own incarceration, a debt that follows them when they are freed. Prisons have also become workhouses, paying inmates paltry wages for work while incarcerated. In Washington, inmates earn $0.36 an hour working for private industry, and up to $2.70 an hour working for state-owned industries.

We have a tax system in Washington reliant on property and sales taxes, which affect the poor more than the rich. While the poorest in our state pay 16.8 percent of their income in state and local taxes, the rich pay only 2.4 percent.

Our education system is chronically underfunded, with one of the highest student-teacher ratios in the country. Increasing amounts of money are being funneled out of public schools and into charter schools – cementing Ignorance in the children of families who can’t afford a private education.

In Seattle, we have the third-highest homeless population in the country, even though Seattle is the nation’s 18th-largest city. Black people are being priced out of the city. Seattle is now at a level of income inequality rivaling San Francisco.

Dickens wasn’t against wealth; he was against greed. He was against income inequality so stark that the people at the bottom could barely survive, and that people who could not work were better off dead.

Dickens also believed it’s never too late for redemption. “A Christmas Carol” teaches that people who turn a blind eye to suffering are still inherently good in their deepest heart. They are just unable to put themselves in the shoes of the less fortunate. Or, as I would like to believe happens to many of us, they are so overcome with the enormity of society’s problems that they are stricken with paralysis.

To that, the story provides an elegant solution – enjoy your life, help those around you that you can have an immediate effect on, and work to change a system that propagates destitution.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Wed May 20, 2020 4:16 am

Part 1 of 2

Jeremy Bentham
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/19/20

Jeremy Bentham
Portrait by Henry William Pickersgill
Born: 15 February 1748, London, England, Kingdom of Great Britain
Died: 6 June 1832 (aged 84), London, England, United Kingdom
Education: The Queen's College, Oxford (BA 1763; MA 1766)
Era: 18th-century philosophy; 19th-century philosophy
School: Utilitarianism; Legal positivism; Liberalism; Epicureanism
Main interests: Political philosophy, philosophy of law, ethics, economics
Notable ideas: Greatest happiness principle, Radical Consequentialism[1]
Influences: Protagoras Epicurus John Locke David Hume Montesquieu Helvétius Hobbes Beccaria Adam Smith
Influenced: John Stuart Mill Thomas Hodgskin William Thompson Henry Sidgwick Michel Foucault Peter Singer John Austin Robert Owen H. L. A. Hart Francis Y. Edgeworth A. V. Dicey[2] Étienne Dumont

Jeremy Bentham (/ˈbɛnθəm/; 15 February 1748 [O.S. 4 February 1747][3] – 6 June 1832) was an English philosopher, jurist, and social reformer regarded as the founder of modern utilitarianism.[4][5]

Bentham defined as the "fundamental axiom" of his philosophy the principle that "it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong."[6][7] He became a leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law, and a political radical whose ideas influenced the development of welfarism. He advocated individual and economic freedoms, the separation of church and state, freedom of expression, equal rights for women, the right to divorce, and (in an unpublished essay) the decriminalising of homosexual acts.[8][9] He called for the abolition of slavery, capital punishment and physical punishment, including that of children.[10] He has also become known as an early advocate of animal rights.[11][12][13][14] Though strongly in favour of the extension of individual legal rights, he opposed the idea of natural law and natural rights (both of which are considered "divine" or "God-given" in origin), calling them "nonsense upon stilts".[4][15] Bentham was also a sharp critic of legal fictions.

Bentham's students included his secretary and collaborator James Mill, the latter's son, John Stuart Mill, the legal philosopher John Austin, as well as Robert Owen, one of the founders of utopian socialism. He "had considerable influence on the reform of prisons, schools, poor laws, law courts, and Parliament itself."[16]

On his death in 1832, Bentham left instructions for his body to be first dissected, and then to be permanently preserved as an "auto-icon" (or self-image), which would be his memorial. This was done, and the auto-icon is now on public display in the entrance of the Student Centre at University College London (UCL). Because of his arguments in favour of the general availability of education, he has been described as the "spiritual founder" of UCL. However, he played only a limited direct part in its foundation.[17]


Early life

Portrait of Bentham by the studio of Thomas Frye, 1760–1762

Bentham was born on 15 February 1748 in Houndsditch, London,[18] to a wealthy family that supported the Tory party. He was reportedly a child prodigy: he was found as a toddler sitting at his father's desk reading a multi-volume history of England, and he began to study Latin at the age of three.[19] He learnt to play the violin, and at the age of seven Bentham would perform sonatas by Handel during dinner parties.[20] He had one surviving sibling, Samuel Bentham (1757–1831), with whom he was close.

He attended Westminster School; in 1760, at age 12, his father sent him to The Queen's College, Oxford, where he completed his bachelor's degree in 1763 and his master's degree in 1766. He trained as a lawyer and, though he never practised, was called to the bar in 1769. He became deeply frustrated with the complexity of English law, which he termed the "Demon of Chicane".[21] When the American colonies published their Declaration of Independence in July 1776, the British government did not issue any official response but instead secretly commissioned London lawyer and pamphleteer John Lind to publish a rebuttal.[22] His 130-page tract was distributed in the colonies and contained an essay titled "Short Review of the Declaration" written by Bentham, a friend of Lind, which attacked and mocked the Americans' political philosophy.[23][24]

In examining this singular Declaration, I have hitherto confined myself to what are given as facts, and alleged against his Majesty and his Parliament, in support of the charge of tyranny and usurpation. Of the preamble I have taken little or no notice. The truth is, little or none does it deserve. The opinions of the modern Americans on Government, like those of their good ancestors on witchcraft, would be too ridiculous to deserve any notice, if like them too, contemptible and extravagant as they be, they had not led to the most serious evils.

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

-- Preamble, The Declaration of Independence: The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America, In Congress

In this preamble however it is, that they attempt to establish a theory of Government; a theory, as absurd and visionary, as the system of conduct in defence of which it is established is nefarious. Here it is, that maxims are advanced in justification of their enterprises against the British Government. To these maxims, adduced for this purpose, it would be sufficient to say, that they are repugnant to the British Constitution.

To possess ourselves of a clear idea of what government is, or ought to be, we must trace it to its origin. In doing this we shall easily discover that governments must have arisen either out of the people or over the people. Mr. Burke has made no distinction. He investigates nothing to its source, and therefore he confounds everything; but he has signified his intention of undertaking, at some future opportunity, a comparison between the constitution of England and France. As he thus renders it a subject of controversy by throwing the gauntlet, I take him upon his own ground. It is in high challenges that high truths have the right of appearing; and I accept it with the more readiness because it affords me, at the same time, an opportunity of pursuing the subject with respect to governments arising out of society.

But it will be first necessary to define what is meant by a Constitution. It is not sufficient that we adopt the word; we must fix also a standard signification to it.

A constitution is not a thing in name only, but in fact. It has not an ideal, but a real existence; and wherever it cannot be produced in a visible form, there is none. A constitution is a thing antecedent to a government, and a government is only the creature of a constitution. The constitution of a country is not the act of its government, but of the people constituting its government. It is the body of elements, to which you can refer, and quote article by article; and which contains the principles on which the government shall be established, the manner in which it shall be organised, the powers it shall have, the mode of elections, the duration of Parliaments, or by what other name such bodies may be called; the powers which the executive part of the government shall have; and in fine, everything that relates to the complete organisation of a civil government, and the principles on which it shall act, and by which it shall be bound. A constitution, therefore, is to a government what the laws made afterwards by that government are to a court of judicature. The court of judicature does not make the laws, neither can it alter them; it only acts in conformity to the laws made: and the government is in like manner governed by the constitution.

Can, then, Mr. Burke produce the English Constitution? If he cannot, we may fairly conclude that though it has been so much talked about, no such thing as a constitution exists, or ever did exist, and consequently that the people have yet a constitution to form.

Mr. Burke will not, I presume, deny the position I have already advanced- namely, that governments arise either out of the people or over the people. The English Government is one of those which arose out of a conquest, and not out of society, and consequently it arose over the people; and though it has been much modified from the opportunity of circumstances since the time of William the Conqueror, the country has never yet regenerated itself, and is therefore without a constitution.

I readily perceive the reason why Mr. Burke declined going into the comparison between the English and French constitutions, because he could not but perceive, when he sat down to the task, that no such a thing as a constitution existed on his side the question. His book is certainly bulky enough to have contained all he could say on this subject, and it would have been the best manner in which people could have judged of their separate merits. Why then has he declined the only thing that was worth while to write upon? It was the strongest ground he could take, if the advantages were on his side, but the weakest if they were not; and his declining to take it is either a sign that he could not possess it or could not maintain it.

-- Rights of Man, by Thomas Paine

But beyond this they are subversive of every actual or imaginable kind of Government.

They are about “to assume,” as they tell us, “among the powers of the earth, that equal and separate station to which” — they have lately discovered — “the laws of Nature, and of Nature’s God entitle them.” What difference these acute legislators suppose between the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God, is more than I can take upon me to determine, or even to guess. If to what they now demand they were entitled by any law of God, they had only to produce that law, and all controversy was at an end. Instead of this, what do they produce? What they call sell-evident truths. “All men,” they tell us, “are created equal.” This rarity is a new discovery; now, for the first time, we learn, that a child, at the moment of his birth, has the same quantity of natural power as the parent, the same quantity of political power as the magistrate.

The rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” — by which, if they mean any thing, they must mean the right to enjoy life, to enjoy liberty, and to pursue happiness — they "hold to be unalienable.” This they “hold to be among truths self-evident.” At the same time, to secure these rights, they are content that Governments should be instituted. They perceive not, or will not seem to perceive, that nothing which can be called Government ever was, or ever could be, in any instance, exercised, but at the expence of one or other of those rights. — That, consequently, in as many instances as Government is ever exercised, some one or other of these rights, pretended to be unalienable, is actually alienated.

That men who are engaged in the design of subverting a lawful Government, should endeavour by a cloud of words, to throw a veil over their design; that they should endeavour to beat down the criteria between tyranny and lawful government, is not at all surprising. But rather surprising it must certainly appear, that they should advance maxims so incompatible with their own present conduct. If the right of enjoying life be unalienable, whence came their invasion of his Majesty’s province of Canada? Whence the unprovoked destruction of so many lives of the inhabitants of that province? If the right of enjoying liberty be unalienable, whence came so many of his Majesty’s peaceable subjects among them, without any offence, without so much as a pretended offence, merely for being suspected not to wish well to their enormities, to be held by them in durance? If the right of pursuing happiness be unalienable, how is it that so many others of their fellow-citizens are by the same injustice and violence made miserable, their fortunes ruined, their persons banished and driven from their friends and families? Or would they have it believed, that there is in their selves some superior sanctity, some peculiar privilege, by which those things are lawful to them, which are unlawful to all the world besides? Or is it, that among acts of coercion, acts by which life or liberty are taken away, and the pursuit of happiness restrained, those only are unlawful, which their delinquency has brought upon them, and which are exercised by regular, long established, accustomed governments?

In these tenets they have outdone the utmost extravagance of all former fanatics.The German Anabaptists indeed went so far as to speak of the right of enjoying life as a right unalienable. To take away life, even in the Magistrate, they held to be unlawful. But they went no farther, it was reserved for an American Congress, to add to the number of unalienable rights, that of enjoying liberty, and pursuing happiness; — that is,— if they mean any thing, —pursuing it wherever a man thinks he can see it, and by whatever means he thinks he can attain it: — That is, that all penal laws — those made by their selves among others—which affect life or liberty, are contrary to the law of God, and the unalienable rights of mankind: — That is, that thieves are not to be restrained from theft, murderers from murder, rebels from rebellion.

Here then they have put the axe to the root of all Government; and yet, in the same breath, they talk of “Governments,” of Governments “long established.”
To these last, they attribute same kind of respect; they vouchsafe even to go so far as to admit, that “Governments, long established, should not be “changed for light or transient reasons.”

Yet they are about to change a Government, a Government whose establishment is coeval with their own existence as a Community. What causes do they assign? Circumstances which have always subsisted, which must continue to subsist, wherever Government has subsisted, or can subsist.

For what, according to their own shewing, what was their original their only original grievance? That they were actually taxed more than they could bear? No; but that they were liable to be so taxed. What is the amount of all the subsequent grievances they alledge? That they were actually oppressed by Government? That Government has actually misused its power? No; but that it was possible that they might be oppressed; possible that Government might misuse its powers. Is there any where, can there be imagined any where, that Government, where subjects are not liable to taxed more than they can bear? where it is not possible that subjects may be oppressed, not possible that Government may misuse its powers?

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

-- Preamble, The Declaration of Independence: The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America, In Congress

This I say, is the amount, the whole sum and substance of all their grievances. For in taking a general review of the charges brought against his Majesty, and his Parliament, we may observe that there is a studied confusion in the arrangement of them. It may therefore be worth while to reduce them to the several distinct heads, under which I should have classed them at the first, had not the order of the Answer been necessarily prescribed by the order — or rather the disorder, of the Declaration.

The first head consists of Acts of Government, charged as so many acts of incroachment, so many usurpations upon the present King and his Parliaments exclusively, which had been constantly exercised by his Predecessors and their Parliaments.1

In all the articles comprised in this head, is there a single power alleged to have been exercised during the present reign, which had not been constantly exercised by preceding Kings, and preceding Parliaments? Read only the commission and instruction for the Council of Trade, drawn up in the 9th of King William III addressed to Mr. Locke, and others.2 See there what powers were exercised by the King and Parliament over the Colonies. Certainly the Commissioners were directed to inquire into, and make their reports concerning those matters only, in which the King and Parliament had a power of controlling the Colonies. Now the Commissioners are instructed to inquire — into the condition of the Plantations, “as well with regard to the administration of Government and Justice, as in relation to the commerce thereof;”–into the means of making “them most beneficial and useful to England; — “into the staples and manufactures, which may be encouraged there;” — “into the trades that are taken up and exercised there, which may prove prejudicial to England;” — “into the means of diverting them from such trades.” Farther, they are instructed “to examine into, and weigh the Acts of the Assemblies of the Plantations;” — “to set down the usefulness or mischief to the Crown, to the Kingdom, or to the Plantations their selves.” — And farther still, they are instructed “to require an account of all the monies given for public uses by the assemblies of the Plantations, and how the same are, or have been expended, or laid out.” Is there now a single Act of the present reign which does not fall under one or other of these instructions?

The powers then, of which the several articles now before us complain, are supported by usage; were conceived to be so supported then, just after the Revolution, at the time these instructions were given; and were they to be supported only upon this foot of usage, still that usage being coeval with the Colonies, their tacit consent and approbation, through all the successive periods in which that usage has prevailed, would be implied; — even then the legality of those powers would stand upon the same foot as most of the prerogatives of the Crown, most of the rights of the people, — even then the exercise of those powers could in no wise be deemed usurpations or encroachments.

But the truth is, to the exercise of these powers, on many occasions the Colonies have not tacitly, but expressly, consented; as expressly as any subject of Great Britain ever consented to Acts of the British Parliament. Consult the Journals of either House of Parliament; consult the proceedings of their own Assemblies; and innumerable will be the occasions, on which the legality of these powers will be found to be expressly recognised by Acts of the Colonial Assemblies. For in preceding reigns, the petitions from these Assemblies were couched in a language, very different from that which they have assumed under the present reign. In praying for the non-exercise of these powers, in particular instances, they acknowledged their legality; the right in general was recognised; the exercise of it, in particular instances, was prayed to be suspended on the sole ground of inexpedience.

The less reason can the Americans have to complain against the exercise of these powers, as it was under the constant exercise of the self-same powers, that they have grown up with a vigour and rapidity unexampled: That within a period, in which other communities have scarcely had time to take root, they have shot forth exuberant branches. So flourishing is their agriculture, that — we are told — “besides feeding plentifully their own growing multitudes, their annual exports have exceeded a million;” So flourishing is their trade, that — we are told — “it has increased far beyond the speculations of the most sanguine imagination.”3 So powerful are they in arms, that we see them defy the united force of that nation, which, but a little century ago, called them into being; which, but a few years ago, in their defence, encountered and subdued almost the united force of Europe.

If the exercise of powers, thus established by usage, thus recognised by express declarations, thus sanctified by their beneficial effects, can justify rebellion, there is not that subject in the world, but who has, ever has had, and ever must have, reason sufficient to rebel: There never was, never can be, established, any government upon earth.

The second head consists of Acts, whose professed object was either the maintenance, or the amendment of their Constitution. These Acts were passed with the view either of freeing from impediments the course of their commercial transactions,4 or of facilitating the administration of justice,5 or of poising more equally the different powers in their Constitution;6 or of preventing the establishing of Courts, inconsistent with the spirit of the Constitution.7

To state the object of these Acts, is to justify them. Acts of tyranny they cannot be: Acts of usurpation they are not; because no new power is assumed. By former Parliaments, in former reigns, officers of customs had been sent to America: Courts of Admiralty had been established there. The increase of trade and population induced the Parliaments, under the present reign, for the convenience of the Colonists, and to obviate their own objections of delays arising from appeals to England, to establish a Board of Customs, and an Admiralty Court of Appeal. Strange indeed is it to hear the establishment of this Board, and these Courts, alleged as proofs of usurpation; and in the same paper, in the same breath, to hear it urged as a head of complaint, that his Majesty refused his assent to a much greater exertion of power: —to an exertion of power, which might be dangerous; the establishment of new Courts of Judicature. What in one instance he might have done, to have done in another, cannot be unconstitutional. In former reigns, charters had been altered; in the present reign, the constitution of one charter, having been found inconsistent with the ends of good order and government, was amended.

The third head consists of temporary Acts, passed pro re notá, the object of each of which was to remedy some temporary evil, and the duration of which was restrained to the duration of the evil itself.8

Neither in these Acts was any new power affirmed; in some instances only, the objects upon which that power was exercised, were new. Nothing was done but what former Kings and former Parliaments have shewn their selves ready to do, had the same circumstances subsisted. The same circumstances never did subsist before, because, till the present reign, the Colonies never dared to call in question the supreme authority of Parliament.

No charge, classed under this head, can be called a grievance. Then only is the subject aggrieved, when, paying due obedience to the established Laws of his country, he is not protected in his established rights. From the moment he withholds obedience, he forfeits his right to protection. Nor can the means, employed to bring him back to obedience, however severe, be called grievances; especially if those means be to cease the very moment that the end is obtained.

The last head consists of Acts of self-defence, exercised in consequence of resistance already shewn but represented in the Declaration as Acts of oppression, tending to provoke resistance.9 Has his Majesty cut off their trade with all parts of the world? They first attempted to cut off the trade of Great Britain. Has his Majesty ordered their vessels to be seized? They first burnt the vessels of the King. Has his Majesty sent troops to chastise them? They first took up arms against the authority of the King. Has his Majesty engaged the Indians against them? They first engaged Indians against the troops of the King. Has his Majesty commanded their captives to serve on board his fleet? He has only saved them from the gallows.

By some, these acts have been improperly called “Acts of punishment.” And we are then asked, with an air of insult, “What! will you punish without a trial, without a hearing?” And no doubt punishment, whether ordinary or extraordinary; whether by indictment, impeachment, or bill of attainder, should be preceded by judicial examination. But, the acts comprised under this head are not acts of punishment; they are, as we have called them, this of self-defence. And these are not, cannot be, preceded by any judicial examination. An example or two will serve to place the difference between acts of punishment and acts of self-defence in a stronger light, than any definition we can give. It has happened, that bodies of manufacturers have risen, and armed, in order to compel their masters to increase their wages: It has happened, that bodies of peasants have risen, and armed, in order to compel the farmer to sell at a lower price. It has happened, that the civil magistrate, unable to reduce the insurgents to their duty, has called the military to his aid. But did ever any man imagine, that the military were sent to punish the insurgents? It has happened, that the insurgents have resisted the military, as they had resisted the civil magistrate: It has happened, that, in consequence of this resistance, some of the insurgents have been killed: — But did ever any man imagine that those who were thus killed, were therefore punished? No more can they be said to be punished, than could the incendiary, who should be buried beneath the ruins of the house, which he had feloniously set on fire. Take an example yet nearer to the present case. When the Duke of Cumberland led the armies of the king, foreign and domestic, against the Rebels in Scotland, did any man conceive that he was sent to punish the Rebels? — Clearly not. — He was sent to protect dutiful and loyal subjects, who remained in the peace of the King, against the outrages of Rebels, who had broken the peace of the King. — Does any man speak of those who fell at the battle of Culloden, as of men that were punished? Would that man have been thought in his senses, who should have urged, that the armies of the King should not have been sent against these Rebels in Scotland, till those very Rebels had been judicially heard, and judicially convicted? Does not every man feel that the fact, the only fact, necessary to be known, in order to justify these acts of self-defence, is simply this: — Are men in arms against the authority of the King? — Who does not feel, that to authenticate this fact, demands no judicial inquiry? If when his Royal Highness had led the army under his command into Scotland, there had been no body of men in arms; if, terrified at his approach, they had either laid down their arms and submitted, or had dispersed and retired quietly, each to his own home, what would have been the consequence? The civil magistrate would have searched for and seized upon those who had been in arms would have brought them to a court of justice. That court would have proceeded to examine, and to condemn or to acquit, as evidence was, or was not, given of the guilt of the respective culprits. The Rebels did not submit, they did not lay down their arms, they did not disperse; they resisted the Duke: a battle ensued: some of the Rebels fled, others were slain, others taken. It is upon those only of the last class, who were brought before and condemned by Courts of justice, that punishment was inflicted. By what kind of logic then are these acts ranked in the class of grievances?

These are the Acts — these are the exertions of constitutional, and hitherto, undisputed powers, for which, in the audacious paper, a patriot King is traduced — as “a Prince, whose character is marked by every Act “which may define a tyrant;” as “unfit to be the ruler of a free people.” These are the Acts, these exertions of constitutional, and, hitherto, undisputed powers, by which the Members of the Congress declare their selves and their constituents to be “absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown” pronounce “all political connection between Great Britain and America to be totally dissolved.” With that hypocrisy which pervades the whole of the Declaration, they pretend indeed, that this event is not of their seeking; that it is forced upon them; that they only “acquiesce in the necessity which denounces their separation from us:” which compels them hereafter to hold us, as they hold the rest of mankind; enemies in war; in peace, friends.”

How this Declaration may strike others, I know not. To me, I own, it appears that it cannot fail — to use the words of a great Orator— “of doing us Knight’s service.”10 The mouth of faction, we may reasonably presume, will be closed; the eyes of those who saw not, or would not see, that the Americans were long since aspiring at independence, will be opened; the nation will unite as one man, and teach this rebellious people, that it is one thing for them to say, the connection, which bound them to us, is dissolved, another to dissolve it; that to accomplish their independence is not quite so easy as to declare it: that there is no peace with them, but the peace of the King: no war with them, but that war, which offended justice wages against criminals. — We too, I hope, shall acquiesce in the necessity of submitting to whatever burdens, of making whatever efforts may be necessary, to bring this ungrateful and rebellious people back to that allegiance they have long had it in contemplation to renounce, and have now at last so daringly renounced.

1. Under this head are comprised articles I. II. so far as they are true, III. VII. IX. so far as the last relates to the tenure of the Judges’ offices. XI. XII. XIII. XIV. XVII. XVIII. so far as the last relates to the Declaration of the power of Parliament to make laws for the Colonies binding in all cases whatsoever.
2. See Com. Journ. vol. xii. , p. 70, 71, 72.
3. See Mr. Burke’s speeches.
4. Article X.
5. Article XVIII, so far as it relates to the multiplication of the Courts of Admiralty.
6. Article XXI
7. Article VIII.
8. Under this head may be classed Articles IV., V. VI. IX. so far as the last relates to the payment of the Judges by the Crown. XV. XXII so far as the latter relates to the suspension of their legislatures.
9. Under this head may be classed Articles XVI.,XXIII, XXIV, XXV, XXVI, XXVII. Two other Acts there are, not comprised with any of the four heads, the XX and XXVIII. The former of there relates to the government of Quebec., with which the revolted Colonies have no more to do, than with the government of Russia: The latter relates to the humble petitions they pretend to have presented “in every stage,” as they style it, “of the oppressions,” under which they pretend to labour. This we have seen to be false. Not one one humble petition; no one decent representation, have they offered,
10. Mr. Burke’s speech.

-- A Short Review of the Declaration, by Jeremy Bentham, 1776

Abortive prison project

In 1786 and 1787, Bentham travelled to Krichev in White Russia (modern Belarus) to visit his brother, Samuel, who was engaged in managing various industrial and other projects for Prince Potemkin.

His rule in the south is associated with the "Potemkin village", a ruse involving the construction of painted façades to mimic real villages, full of happy, well-fed people, for visiting officials to see.

-- Grigory Potemkin, by Wikipedia

It was Samuel (as Jeremy later repeatedly acknowledged) who conceived the basic idea of a circular building at the hub of a larger compound as a means of allowing a small number of managers to oversee the activities of a large and unskilled workforce.[25][26]

Bentham began to develop this model, particularly as applicable to prisons, and outlined his ideas in a series of letters sent home to his father in England.[27] He supplemented the supervisory principle with the idea of contract management; that is, an administration by contract as opposed to trust, where the director would have a pecuniary interest in lowering the average rate of mortality.[28] The Panopticon was intended to be cheaper than the prisons of his time, as it required fewer staff; "Allow me to construct a prison on this model," Bentham requested to a Committee for the Reform of Criminal Law, "I will be the gaoler. You will see ... that the gaoler will have no salary—will cost nothing to the nation." As the watchmen cannot be seen, they need not be on duty at all times, effectively leaving the watching to the watched. According to Bentham's design, the prisoners would also be used as menial labour, walking on wheels to spin looms or run a water wheel. This would decrease the cost of the prison and give a possible source of income.[29]

The ultimately abortive proposal for a panopticon prison to be built in England was one among his many proposals for legal and social reform.[30] But Bentham spent some sixteen years of his life developing and refining his ideas for the building and hoped that the government would adopt the plan for a National Penitentiary appointing him as contractor-governor. Although the prison was never built, the concept had an important influence on later generations of thinkers. Twentieth-century French philosopher Michel Foucault argued that the panopticon was paradigmatic of several 19th-century "disciplinary" institutions.[31] Bentham remained bitter throughout his later life about the rejection of the panopticon scheme, convinced that it had been thwarted by the King and an aristocratic elite. It was largely because of his sense of injustice and frustration that he developed his ideas of "sinister interest"—that is, of the vested interests of the powerful conspiring against a wider public interest—which underpinned many of his broader arguments for reform.[32]

Elevation, section and plan of Bentham's panopticon prison, drawn by Willey Reveley in 1791.

On his return to England from Russia, Bentham had commissioned drawings from an architect, Willey Reveley.[33] In 1791, he published the material he had written as a book, although he continued to refine his proposals for many years to come. He had by now decided that he wanted to see the prison built: when finished, it would be managed by himself as contractor-governor, with the assistance of Samuel. After unsuccessful attempts to interest the authorities in Ireland and revolutionary France,[34] he started trying to persuade the prime minister, William Pitt, to revive an earlier abandoned scheme for a National Penitentiary in England, this time to be built as a panopticon. He was eventually successful in winning over Pitt and his advisors, and in 1794 was paid £2,000 for preliminary work on the project.[35]

The intended site was one that had been authorised (under an act of 1779) for the earlier Penitentiary, at Battersea Rise; but the new proposals ran into technical legal problems and objections from the local landowner, Earl Spencer.[36] Other sites were considered, including one at Hanging Wood, near Woolwich, but all proved unsatisfactory.[37] Eventually Bentham turned to a site at Tothill Fields, near Westminster. Although this was common land, with no landowner, there were a number of parties with interests in it, including Earl Grosvenor, who owned a house on an adjacent site and objected to the idea of a prison overlooking it. Again, therefore, the scheme ground to a halt.[38] At this point, however, it became clear that a nearby site at Millbank, adjoining the Thames, was available for sale, and this time things ran more smoothly. Using government money, Bentham bought the land on behalf of the Crown for £12,000 in November 1799.[39]

From his point of view, the site was far from ideal, being marshy, unhealthy, and too small. When he asked the government for more land and more money, however, the response was that he should build only a small-scale experimental prison—which he interpreted as meaning that there was little real commitment to the concept of the panopticon as a cornerstone of penal reform.[40] Negotiations continued, but in 1801 Pitt resigned from office, and in 1803 the new Addington administration decided not to proceed with the project.[41] Bentham was devastated: "They have murdered my best days."[42]

Nevertheless, a few years later the government revived the idea of a National Penitentiary, and in 1811 and 1812 returned specifically to the idea of a panopticon.[43] Bentham, now aged 63, was still willing to be governor. However, as it became clear that there was still no real commitment to the proposal, he abandoned hope, and instead turned his attentions to extracting financial compensation for his years of fruitless effort. His initial claim was for the enormous sum of nearly £700,000, but he eventually settled for the more modest (but still considerable) sum of £23,000.[44] An Act of Parliament in 1812 transferred his title in the site to the Crown.[45]

More successful was his cooperation with Patrick Colquhoun in tackling the corruption in the Pool of London. This resulted in the Thames Police Bill of 1798, which was passed in 1800.[a] The bill created the Thames River Police, which was the first preventive police force in the country and was a precedent for Robert Peel's reforms 30 years later.[47]

Correspondence and contemporary influences

Bentham was in correspondence with many influential people. In the 1780s, for example, Bentham maintained a correspondence with the aging Adam Smith, in an unsuccessful attempt to convince Smith that interest rates should be allowed to freely float.[48] As a result of his correspondence with Mirabeau and other leaders of the French Revolution, Bentham was declared an honorary citizen of France.[49] He was an outspoken critic of the revolutionary discourse of natural rights and of the violence that arose after the Jacobins took power (1792). Between 1808 and 1810, he held a personal friendship with Latin American revolutionary Francisco de Miranda and paid visits to Miranda's Grafton Way house in London. He also developed links with José Cecilio del Valle.[50][51]

South Australian colony proposal

Bentham contributed to a plan to found a new colony in South Australia: in 1831 a "Proposal to His Majesty's Government for founding a colony on the Southern Coast of Australia" was prepared under the auspices of Robert Gouger, Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, Anthony Bacon and Bentham, but its ideas were considered too radical, and it was unable to attract the required investment.[52]

Westminster Review

In 1823, he co-founded The Westminster Review with James Mill as a journal for the "Philosophical Radicals"—a group of younger disciples through whom Bentham exerted considerable influence in British public life.[53][54] One was John Bowring, to whom Bentham became devoted, describing their relationship as "son and father": he appointed Bowring political editor of The Westminster Review and eventually his literary executor.[55] Another was Edwin Chadwick, who wrote on hygiene, sanitation and policing and was a major contributor to the Poor Law Amendment Act: Bentham employed Chadwick as a secretary and bequeathed him a large legacy.[56]

Chadwick is remembered at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine where his name appears among the names of 23 pioneers of public health and tropical medicine chosen to be honoured when the School was built in 1929.[34]

-- Edwin Chadwick, by Wikipedia

An increasing number of academic and research institutions, in the UK and globally, are responding to calls to decolonise the university. Starting at the University of Cape Town in 2015, the Rhodes must fall movement made its way to the University of Oxford. More recently, in the summer of 2019, the University of Glasgow signed a historic agreement with the University of the West Indies acknowledging the former’s historic links with slavery and setting out to raise and spend £20 million over the next 20 years on research and events highlighting the history of enslavement (University of Glasgow, 2019). In London, University College London (UCL) is currently in the midst of a one-year process to investigate UCL’s links to the British eugenics movement. These processes, crucially, place an emphasis on ‘decolonisation, not diversification’ (RMFO, 2015), that is to say they demand an in-depth engagement with the colonial and racist history that has and continues to shape knowledge production and institutional development at these universities, rather than the mere ‘tokenistic’ hiring of BME staff.

At LSHTM, the Decolonising Global Health group formed in March 2019 with the aim of creating a space to (self-) reflect and discuss how colonial legacies still shape global health internationally and at the school. A particular focus was hereby placed on colonial legacies in research, career progression and learning and teaching. These questions have particular salience in light of LSHTM’s 120th anniversary, which celebrated the school’s founding by Sir Patrick Manson in 1899. Manson, then Chief Medical Officer to the Colonial Office, is one of the most obvious links between the School and Britain’s colonial Empire. The Decolonising Global Health group was consulted in the writing of this protocol....

Individuals, Publications, Race-related issues

This theme builds on recent internal concerns with past expressions of racist or white supremacist attitudes by staff/school representatives, for example in discussion of Cicely Williams’ early writing. Several sources have made reference to a Chair of Racial Hygiene, which used to exist at the School and some research will be directed to investigate this as well as racist writings contained in the LSHTM archives. L.W.G. Malcolm, an Australian anthropologist worked as Lecturer on Racial Hygiene at the School in the early 1930s. Major Greenwood, director of the department of Epidemiology and Vital Statistics studied under Karl Pearson, a known eugenicist at UCL, and seems to have been a member of the Eugenics Education Society (EES), although this still needs to be verified in the EES archives, which are held by the Wellcome Archives. Other alumni or past staff members whose writing may yield valuable case studies include Cecil Cook and Kenneth Mellanby.

-- The LSHTM [London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine] and colonialism: history and legacy – Draft protocol

Meanwhile in Western Europe, especially Britain and Germany, the adaptation of Darwin's ideas by his colleague and half-cousin Francis Galton -- as 'social Darwinism' -- led to the eugenics movement. Eugenics established itself as a powerful dogma at the prestigious London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and equally prominent University College London in Gower Street. In the second of two papers on 'Hereditary Talent and Character', which is commonly held to mark the start of modern British psychology (Billig 1982, p. 72), Galton (1865), a renowned anthropologist and psychologist, claimed that European 'civilised races' alone possessed the 'instinct of continuous steady labour' while non-European 'savages' showed an innate 'wild untameable restlessness' and being 'incapable of progress ... remain children in mind with passions of grown men' (pp. 325-326). Galton's views were regarded with much respect by the British establishment at the time and were certainly not regarded as eccentric or offensive. He received many awards during his career. He was made a fellow of the Royal Society in 1860, and was knighted shortly before he died (Brignell 2010). The main thrust of eugenics (accepted at the time as a scientific endeavour) was to identify 'inferior' races. Protege of Galton and first holder of the Galton Chair of Eugenics at University College, Karl Pearson (1901) saw the extermination of such races as an inevitable part of the evolutionary process. Yet the racist eugenic movement (like most academic discourses) formed links across the Atlantic into the wider English-speaking world. Work carried out on Ellis Island (where immigrants to the USA were held when they first arrived) by H.H. Goddard -- America's leading eugenicist psychologist [at the time] according to Richards (2012, p. 78) -- led to a scale for the estimation of 'mental defect' [sic] (Knox 1914).

-- Institutional Racism in Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology: Race Matters in Mental Health, by Suman Fernando
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Old age

An insight into his character is given in Michael St. John Packe's The Life of John Stuart Mill:

During his youthful visits to Bowood House, the country seat of his patron Lord Lansdowne, he had passed his time at falling unsuccessfully in love with all the ladies of the house, whom he courted with a clumsy jocularity, while playing chess with them or giving them lessons on the harpsichord. Hopeful to the last, at the age of eighty he wrote again to one of them, recalling to her memory the far-off days when she had "presented him, in ceremony, with the flower in the green lane". To the end of his life he could not hear of Bowood without tears swimming in his eyes, and he was forced to exclaim, "Take me forward, I entreat you, to the future—do not let me go back to the past."[57]

A psychobiographical study by Philip Lucas and Anne Sheeran argues that he may have had Asperger's syndrome.[58] Bentham was an atheist.[59]



Bentham's ambition in life was to create a "Pannomion", a complete utilitarian code of law. He not only proposed many legal and social reforms, but also expounded an underlying moral principle on which they should be based. This philosophy of utilitarianism took for its "fundamental axiom", it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong".[60] Bentham claimed to have borrowed this concept from the writings of Joseph Priestley,[61] although the closest that Priestley in fact came to expressing it was in the form "the good and happiness of the members, that is the majority of the members of any state, is the great standard by which every thing relating to that state must finally be determined".[62]

The "greatest happiness principle", or the principle of utility, forms the cornerstone of all Bentham's thought. By "happiness", he understood a predominance of "pleasure" over "pain". He wrote in The Principles of Morals and Legislation:

Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think ...[63]

Edwin Chadwick, a major contributor to the Commission's report, developed Jeremy Bentham's theory of utilitarianism, the idea that the success of something could be measured by whether it secured the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. This idea of utilitarianism underpinned the Poor Law Amendment Act. Bentham believed that "the greatest good for the greatest number" could only be achieved when wages found their true levels in a free-market system. Chadwick believed that the poor rate would reach its "correct" level when the workhouse was seen as a deterrent and fewer people claimed relief. A central authority was needed to ensure a uniform poor law regime for all parishes and to ensure that that regime deterred applications for relief; that is, to ensure a free market for labour required greater state intervention in poor relief.

Bentham's argument that people chose pleasant options and would not do what was unpleasant provided a rationale for making relief unpleasant so that people would not claim it, "stigmatising" relief so that it became "an object of wholesome horror".

-- Poor Law Amendment Act 1834, by Wikipedia

Bentham was a rare major figure in the history of philosophy to endorse psychological egoism.[64]

Bentham was a determined opponent of religion. Crimmins observes: "Between 1809 and 1823 Jeremy Bentham carried out an exhaustive examination of religion with the declared aim of extirpating religious beliefs, even the idea of religion itself, from the minds of men."[59]

Bentham suggested a procedure for estimating the moral status of any action, which he called the hedonistic or felicific calculus. Utilitarianism was revised and expanded by Bentham's student John Stuart Mill. Mill sharply criticized Bentham's view of human nature, which failed to recognize conscience as a human motive. Mill considered Bentham's view "to have done and to be doing very serious evil."[65] In Mill's hands, "Benthamism" became a major element in the liberal conception of state policy objectives.

Bentham's critics have claimed that he undermined the foundation of a free society by rejecting natural rights.[66] Historian Gertrude Himmelfarb wrote "The principle of the greatest happiness of the greatest number was as inimical to the idea of liberty as to the idea of rights."[67]

In his exposition of the felicific calculus, Bentham proposed a classification of 12 pains and 14 pleasures, by which we might test the "happiness factor" of any action.[68] Nonetheless, it should not be overlooked that Bentham's "hedonistic" theory (a term from J. J. C. Smart), unlike Mill's, is often criticised for lacking a principle of fairness embodied in a conception of justice. In Bentham and the Common Law Tradition, Gerald J. Postema states: "No moral concept suffers more at Bentham's hand than the concept of justice. There is no sustained, mature analysis of the notion..."[69] Thus, some critics[who?] object, it would be acceptable to torture one person if this would produce an amount of happiness in other people outweighing the unhappiness of the tortured individual. However, as P. J. Kelly argued in Utilitarianism and Distributive Justice: Jeremy Bentham and the Civil Law, Bentham had a theory of justice that prevented such consequences. According to Kelly, for Bentham the law "provides the basic framework of social interaction by delimiting spheres of personal inviolability within which individuals can form and pursue their own conceptions of well-being".[70] It provides security, a precondition for the formation of expectations. As the hedonic calculus shows "expectation utilities" to be much higher than natural ones, it follows that Bentham does not favour the sacrifice of a few to the benefit of the many. Law professor Alan Dershowitz has quoted Bentham to argue that torture should sometimes be permitted.[71]

Bentham's An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation[72] focuses on the principle of utility and how this view of morality ties into legislative practices. His principle of utility regards "good" as that which produces the greatest amount of pleasure and the minimum amount of pain and "evil" as that which produces the most pain without the pleasure. This concept of pleasure and pain is defined by Bentham as physical as well as spiritual. Bentham writes about this principle as it manifests itself within the legislation of a society. He lays down a set of criteria for measuring the extent of pain or pleasure that a certain decision will create.

The criteria are divided into the categories of intensity, duration, certainty, proximity, productiveness, purity, and extent. Using these measurements, he reviews the concept of punishment and when it should be used as far as whether a punishment will create more pleasure or more pain for a society. He calls for legislators to determine whether punishment creates an even more evil offence. Instead of suppressing the evil acts, Bentham argues that certain unnecessary laws and punishments could ultimately lead to new and more dangerous vices than those being punished to begin with, and calls upon legislators to measure the pleasures and pains associated with any legislation and to form laws in order to create the greatest good for the greatest number. He argues that the concept of the individual pursuing his or her own happiness cannot be necessarily declared "right", because often these individual pursuits can lead to greater pain and less pleasure for a society as a whole. Therefore, the legislation of a society is vital to maintain the maximum pleasure and the minimum degree of pain for the greatest number of people.


Defence of Usury, 1788

Bentham's opinions about monetary economics were completely different from those of David Ricardo; however, they had some similarities to those of Henry Thornton. He focused on monetary expansion as a means of helping to create full employment. He was also aware of the relevance of forced saving, propensity to consume, the saving-investment relationship, and other matters that form the content of modern income and employment analysis. His monetary view was close to the fundamental concepts employed in his model of utilitarian decision making. His work is considered to be an early precursor of modern welfare economics.

Bentham stated that pleasures and pains can be ranked according to their value or "dimension" such as intensity, duration, certainty of a pleasure or a pain. He was concerned with maxima and minima of pleasures and pains; and they set a precedent for the future employment of the maximisation principle in the economics of the consumer, the firm and the search for an optimum in welfare economics.[73]

Bentham advocated "Pauper Management" which involved the creation of a chain of large workhouses.[74][75]

Law reform

Bentham was the first person to be an aggressive advocate for the codification of all of the common law into a coherent set of statutes; he was actually the person who coined the verb "to codify" to refer to the process of drafting a legal code.[76] He lobbied hard for the formation of codification commissions in both England and the United States, and went so far as to write to President James Madison in 1811 to volunteer to write a complete legal code for the young country. After he learned more about American law and realised that most of it was state-based, he promptly wrote to the governors of every single state with the same offer.

During his lifetime, Bentham's codification efforts were completely unsuccessful. Even today, they have been completely rejected by almost every common law jurisdiction, including England. However, his writings on the subject laid the foundation for the moderately successful codification work of David Dudley Field II in the United States a generation later.[76]

Animal rights

Bentham is widely regarded as one of the earliest proponents of animal rights.[14] He argued and believed that the ability to suffer, not the ability to reason, should be the benchmark, or what he called the "insuperable line". If reason alone were the criterion by which we judge who ought to have rights, human infants and adults with certain forms of disability might fall short, too.[77] In 1789, alluding to the limited degree of legal protection afforded to slaves in the French West Indies by the Code Noir, he wrote:

The day has been, I am sad to say in many places it is not yet past, in which the greater part of the species, under the denomination of slaves, have been treated by the law exactly upon the same footing, as, in England for example, the inferior races of animals are still. The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been witholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may one day come to be recognised that the number of the legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog, is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month, old. But suppose the case were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?[78]

Earlier in that paragraph, Bentham makes clear that he accepted that animals could be killed for food, or in defence of human life, provided that the animal was not made to suffer unnecessarily. Bentham did not object to medical experiments on animals, providing that the experiments had in mind a particular goal of benefit to humanity, and had a reasonable chance of achieving that goal. He wrote that otherwise he had a "decided and insuperable objection" to causing pain to animals, in part because of the harmful effects such practices might have on human beings. In a letter to the editor of the Morning Chronicle in March 1825, he wrote:

I never have seen, nor ever can see, any objection to the putting of dogs and other inferior animals to pain, in the way of medical experiment, when that experiment has a determinate object, beneficial to mankind, accompanied with a fair prospect of the accomplishment of it. But I have a decided and insuperable objection to the putting of them to pain without any such view. To my apprehension, every act by which, without prospect of preponderant good, pain is knowingly and willingly produced in any being whatsoever, is an act of cruelty; and, like other bad habits, the more the correspondent habit is indulged in, the stronger it grows, and the more frequently productive of its bad fruit. I am unable to comprehend how it should be, that to him to whom it is a matter of amusement to see a dog or a horse suffer, it should not be matter of like amusement to see a man suffer; seeing, as I do, how much more morality as well as intelligence, an adult quadruped of those and many other species has in him, than any biped has for some months after he has been brought into existence; nor does it appear to me how it should be, that a person to whom the production of pain, either in the one or in the other instance, is a source of amusement, would scruple to give himself that amusement when he could do so under an assurance of impunity.[79]

Gender and sexuality

Bentham said that it was the placing of women in a legally inferior position that made him choose in 1759, at the age of eleven, the career of a reformist.[80] Bentham spoke for a complete equality between the sexes, arguing in favour of women's suffrage, a woman's right to obtain a divorce, and a woman's right to hold political office. Bentham nevertheless thought women inferior to men regarding such qualities as "strength of intellectual powers" and "firmness of mind".[81]

The essay Paederasty (Offences Against One's Self)[8] (c. 1785) argued for the liberalisation of laws prohibiting homosexual sex.[82] The essay remained unpublished during his lifetime for fear of offending public morality. Some of Bentham's writings on 'sexual non-conformity' were published for the first time in 1931,[9] but Paederasty was not published until 1978.[83] Bentham does not believe homosexual acts to be unnatural, describing them merely as "irregularities of the venereal appetite". The essay chastises the society of the time for making a disproportionate response to what Bentham appears to consider a largely private offence—public displays or forced acts being dealt with rightly by other laws. When the essay was published in the Journal of Homosexuality in 1978, the "Abstract" stated that Bentham's essay was the "first known argument for homosexual law reform in England".[8]

This is the first publication of Jeremy Bentham's essay on "Paederasty," written about 1785. The essay which runs to over 60 manuscript pages, is the first known argument for homosexual law reform in England. Bentham advocates the decriminalization of' sodomy, which in his day was punished by hanging. He argues that homosexual acts do not "weaken" men, or threaten population or marriage, and documents their prevalence in ancient Greece and Rome. Bentham opposes punishment on utilitarian grounds and attacks ascetic sexual morality. In the preceding article (Journal of Homosexuality, 3(4), 1978, p. 383-387) the editor's introduction discussed the essay in the light of 18th-century legal opinion and quoted Bentham's manuscript notes that reveal his anxieties about expressing his views.

-- Offences Against One's Self: Paederasty, by Jeremy Bentham


For Bentham, transparency had moral value. For example, Journalism puts power-holders under moral scrutiny. However, Bentham wanted such transparency to apply to everyone. This he describes by picturing the world as a gymnasium in which each "gesture, every turn of limb or feature, in those whose motions have a visible impact on the general happiness, will be noticed and marked down".[84] He considered both surveillance and transparency to be useful ways of generating understanding and improvements for people's lives.[85]

Fictional entities

Bentham distinguished among fictional entities what he called "fabulous entities" like Prince Hamlet or a centaur, from what he termed "fictitious entities", or necessary objects of discourse, similar to Kant's categories,[86] such as nature, custom, or the social contract.[87]

Bentham and University College London

Bentham is widely associated with the foundation in 1826 of London University (the institution that, in 1836, became University College London), though he was 78 years old when the University opened and played only an indirect role in its establishment. His direct involvement was limited to his buying a single £100 share in the new University, making him just one of over a thousand shareholders.[88]

Henry Tonks' imaginary scene of Bentham approving the building plans of London University

Bentham and his ideas can nonetheless be seen as having inspired several of the actual founders of the University. He strongly believed that education should be more widely available, particularly to those who were not wealthy or who did not belong to the established church; in Bentham's time, membership of the Church of England and the capacity to bear considerable expenses were required of students entering the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. As the University of London was the first in England to admit all, regardless of race, creed or political belief, it was largely consistent with Bentham's vision. There is some evidence that, from the sidelines, he played a "more than passive part" in the planning discussions for the new institution, although it is also apparent that "his interest was greater than his influence".[88] He failed in his efforts to see his disciple John Bowring appointed professor of English or History, but he did oversee the appointment of another pupil, John Austin, as the first professor of Jurisprudence in 1829.

The more direct associations between Bentham and UCL—the College's custody of his Auto-icon (see above) and of the majority of his surviving papers—postdate his death by some years: the papers were donated in 1849, and the Auto-icon in 1850. A large painting by Henry Tonks hanging in UCL's Flaxman Gallery depicts Bentham approving the plans of the new university, but it was executed in 1922 and the scene is entirely imaginary. Since 1959 (when the Bentham Committee was first established) UCL has hosted the Bentham Project, which is progressively publishing a definitive edition of Bentham's writings.

UCL now endeavours to acknowledge Bentham's influence on its foundation, while avoiding any suggestion of direct involvement, by describing him as its "spiritual founder".[17]


The back of No. 19, York Street (1848). In 1651 John Milton moved into a "pretty garden-house" in Petty France. He lived there until the Restoration. Later it became No. 19 York Street, belonged to Jeremy Bentham (who for a time lived next door), was occupied successively by James Mill and William Hazlitt, and finally demolished in 1877.[89][90]

Jeremy Bentham House in Bethnal Green, East London; a modernist apartment block named after the philosopher

Bentham was an obsessive writer and reviser, but was constitutionally incapable, except on rare occasions, of bringing his work to completion and publication.[58] Most of what appeared in print in his lifetime (see list of published works online)[91] was prepared for publication by others. Several of his works first appeared in French translation, prepared for the press by Étienne Dumont, for example, Theory of Legislation, Volume 2 (Principles of the Penal Code) 1840, Weeks, Jordan, & Company. Boston. Some made their first appearance in English in the 1820s as a result of back-translation from Dumont's 1802 collection (and redaction) of Bentham's writing on civil and penal legislation.


• Bentham, Jeremy (1787). Panopticon or the Inspection-House – via Wikisource.
• On the Liberty of the Press, and Public Discussion. Hone. 1821.
• Schofield, Philip; Pease-Watkin, Catherine; Blamires, Cyprian, eds. (2002). Rights, Representation, and Reform: Nonsense upon Stilts and Other Writings on the French Revolution. Oxford: University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-924863-6.
• Bowring, John, ed. (1834). Deontology or, The science of morality. Vol. 1. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green and Longman. p. 101.
• "Gulphs in Mankind's Career of Prosperity: A Critique of Adam Smith on Interest Rate Restrictions". Econ Journal Watch. Fairfax. 5 (1): 66. January 2008.
• An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation . 1780 – via Wikisource.
• A fragment on government . 1776 – via Wikisource. This was an unsparing criticism of some introductory passages relating to political theory in William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England. The book, published anonymously, was well received and credited to some of the greatest minds of the time. Bentham disagreed with Blackstone's defence of judge-made law, his defence of legal fictions, his theological formulation of the doctrine of mixed government, his appeal to a social contract and his use of the vocabulary of natural law. Bentham's "Fragment" was only a small part of a Commentary on the Commentaries, which remained unpublished until the twentieth century.
• Crompton, Louis, ed. (2008) [1785]. "Offences Against One's Self". Journal of Homosexuality. 3 (4): 389–406. doi:10.1300/J082v03n04_07. ISSN 0091-8369. PMID 353189.
• Short Review of the Declaration . 1776 – via Wikisource. An attack on the United States Declaration of Independence.
• Bentham, Jeremy (1816). Defence of Usury; shewing the impolicy of the present legal restraints on the terms of pecuniary bargains in a letters to a friend to which is added a letter to Adam Smith, Esq. LL.D. on the discouragement opposed by the above restraints to the progress of inventive industry (3rd ed.). London: Payne & Foss. Bentham wrote a series of thirteen "Letters" addressed to Adam Smith, published in 1787 as Defence of Usury. Bentham's main argument against the restriction is that "projectors" generate positive externalities. G.K. Chesterton identified Bentham's essay on usury as the very beginning of the "modern world". Bentham's arguments were very influential. "Writers of eminence" moved to abolish the restriction, and repeal was achieved in stages and fully achieved in England in 1854. There is little evidence as to Smith's reaction. He did not revise the offending passages in The Wealth of Nations, but Smith made little or no substantial revisions after the third edition of 1784.
• Essay on Political Tactics containing six of the Principal Rules proper to be observed by a Political Assembly In the process of a Forming a Decision: with the Reasons on Which They Are Grounded; and a comparative application of them to British and French Practice: Being a Fragment of a larger Work, a sketch of which is subjoined (First ed.). London: T. Payne. 1791.
• Emancipate Your Colonies! Addressed to the National Convention of France A° 1793, shewing the uselessness and mischievousness of distant dependencies to an European state . London: Robert Heward. 1830 – via Wikisource.
• Anarchical Fallacies; Being an examination of the Declaration of Rights issued during the French Revolution (London ed.). 1796. Retrieved 8 January 2016. An attack on the Declaration of the Rights of Man decreed by the French Revolution, and critique of the natural rights philosophy underlying it.
• Traités de législation civile et pénale (1802, edited by Étienne Dumont. 3 vols)
• Punishments and Rewards (1811)
• Panopticon versus New South Wales: or, the Panopticon Penitentiary System, Compared. Containing, 1. Two Letters to Lord Pelham, Secretary of State, Comparing the two Systems on the Ground of Expediency. 2. Plea for the Constitution: Representing the Illegalities involved in the Penal Colonization System. Anno 1803, printed: now first published (1812)
• A Table of the Springs of Action . London: sold by R. Hunter. 1817.
• "Swear Not At All" (1817)
• Plan of Parliamentary Reform, in the form of Catechism with Reasons for Each Article, with An Introduction shewing the Necessity and the Inadequacy of Moderate Reform. London: R. Hunter, successor to Mr. Johnson. 1817.
• Church-of-Englandism and its Catechism Examined: Preceded by the Structures on the Exclusionary System, as pursued in the National Society of Schools: Interspersed with Parallel Views of the English and Scottish Established and Non-Established Churches: And Concluding with Remedies Proposed for Abuses Indicated: and An Examination of the Parliamentary System of Church Reform Lately Pursued, and Still Pursuing: Including the Proposed New Churches. London: Effingham Wilson. 1818.
• The Elements of the Art of Packing, as applied to special juries particularly in cases of libel law. London: Effingham Wilson. 1821.
• The Influence of Natural Religion upon the Temporal Happiness of Mankind (1822, written with George Grote and published under the pseudonym Philip Beauchamp)
• Not Paul But Jesus (1823, published under the pseudonym Gamaliel Smith)
• The Book of Fallacies from Unfinished Papers of Jeremy Bentham (First ed.). London: John and H.L. Hunt. 1824.
• Dumont, M., ed. (1825). A Treatise on Judicial Evidence Extracted from the Manuscripts of Jeremy Bentham, Esq (1st ed.). London: Baldwin, Cradock, & Joy.
• Rationale of Judicial Evidence, specially applied to English Practice, Extracted from the Manuscripts of Jeremy Bentham, Esq. I (First ed.). London: Hunt & Clarke. 1827.

Posthumous publications

On his death, Bentham left manuscripts amounting to an estimated 30 million words, which are now largely held by UCL's Special Collections (c. 60,000 manuscript folios) and the British Library (c.15,000 folios).

Bowring (1838–1843)

John Bowring, the young radical writer who had been Bentham's intimate friend and disciple, was appointed his literary executor and charged with the task of preparing a collected edition of his works. This appeared in 11 volumes in 1838–1843. Bowring based much of his edition on previously published texts (including those of Dumont) rather than Bentham's own manuscripts, and elected not to publish Bentham's works on religion at all. The edition was described by the Edinburgh Review on first publication as "incomplete, incorrect and ill-arranged", and has since been repeatedly criticised both for its omissions and for errors of detail; while Bowring's memoir of Bentham's life included in volumes 10 and 11 was described by Sir Leslie Stephen as "one of the worst biographies in the language".[92] Nevertheless, Bowring's remained the standard edition of most of Bentham's writings for over a century, and is still only partially superseded: it includes such interesting writings on international[ b] relations as Bentham's A Plan for an Universal and Perpetual Peace written 1786–89, which forms part IV of the Principles of International Law.

Stark (1952–1954)

In 1952–1954, Werner Stark published a three-volume set, Jeremy Bentham's Economic Writings, in which he attempted to bring together all of Bentham's writings on economic matters, including both published and unpublished material. Although a significant achievement, the work is considered by scholars to be flawed in many points of detail,[93] and a new edition of the economic writings is currently in preparation by the Bentham Project.

Bentham Project (1968–present)

Further information: Transcribe Bentham

In 1959, the Bentham Committee was established under the auspices of University College London with the aim of producing a definitive edition of Bentham's writings. It set up the Bentham Project[94] to undertake the task, and the first volume in The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham was published in 1968. The Collected Works are providing many unpublished works, as well as much-improved texts of works already published. To date, 31 volumes have appeared; the complete edition is projected to run to around seventy. The volume Of Laws in General (1970) was found to contain many errors and has been replaced by Of the Limits of the Penal Branch of Jurisprudence (2010)[95] In June 2017, Volumes 1–5 were re-published in open access by UCL Press.[citation needed]

To assist in this task, the Bentham papers at UCL are being digitised by crowdsourcing their transcription. Transcribe Bentham is an award-winning crowdsourced manuscript transcription project, run by University College London's Bentham Project,[96] in partnership with UCL's UCL Centre for Digital Humanities, UCL Library Services, UCL Learning and Media Services, the University of London Computer Centre, and the online community. The project was launched in September 2010 and is making freely available, via a specially designed transcription interface, digital images of UCL's vast Bentham Papers collection—which runs to some 60,000 manuscript folios—to engage the public and recruit volunteers to help transcribe the material. Volunteer-produced transcripts will contribute to the Bentham Project's production of the new edition of The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham, and will be uploaded to UCL's digital Bentham Papers repository,[97] widening access to the collection for all and ensuring its long-term preservation. Manuscripts can be viewed and transcribed by signing-up for a transcriber account at the Transcription Desk,[98] via the Transcribe Bentham website.[99]

Free, flexible textual search of the full collection of Bentham Papers is now possible through an experimental handwritten text image indexing and search system,[100] developed by the PRHLT research center in the framework of the READ project.

Death and the auto-icon

Bentham's Public dissection

Bentham's auto-icon in a new display case at the Student Centre in 2020.

Bentham's auto-icon in 2003

Jeremy Bentham's severed head, on temporary display at UCL

Bentham died on 6 June 1832 aged 84 at his residence in Queen Square Place in Westminster, London, England. He had continued to write up to a month before his death, and had made careful preparations for the dissection of his body after death and its preservation as an auto-icon. As early as 1769, when Bentham was 21 years old, he made a will leaving his body for dissection to a family friend, the physician and chemist George Fordyce, whose daughter, Maria Sophia (1765–1858), married Jeremy's brother Samuel Bentham.[18] A paper written in 1830, instructing Thomas Southwood Smith to create the auto-icon, was attached to his last will, dated 30 May 1832.[18]

On 8 June 1832, two days after his death, invitations were distributed to a select group of friends, and on the following day at 3 p.m., Southwood Smith delivered a lengthy oration over Bentham's remains in the Webb Street School of Anatomy & Medicine in Southwark, London. The printed oration contains a frontispiece with an engraving of Bentham's body partly covered by a sheet.[18]

Afterward, the skeleton and head were preserved and stored in a wooden cabinet called the "Auto-icon", with the skeleton padded out with hay and dressed in Bentham's clothes. Originally kept by Bentham's disciple, Thomas Southwood Smith,[101] it was acquired by University College London in 1850. It is kept on public display at the main entrance of the UCL Student Centre. It was previously displayed at the end of the South Cloisters in the main building of the college until it was moved in 2020. Upon the retirement of Sir Malcolm Grant as provost of the College in 2013, however, the body was present at Grant's final council meeting. As of 2013, this was the only time that the body of Bentham has been taken to a UCL council meeting.[102][103] (There is a persistent myth that the body of Bentham is present at all council meetings.)[102][104]

Bentham had intended the auto-icon to incorporate his actual head, mummified to resemble its appearance in life. Southwood Smith's experimental efforts at mummification, based on practices of the indigenous people of New Zealand and involving placing the head under an air pump over sulfuric acid and drawing off the fluids, although technically successful, left the head looking distastefully macabre, with dried and darkened skin stretched tautly over the skull.[18] The auto-icon was therefore given a wax head, fitted with some of Bentham's own hair. The real head was displayed in the same case as the auto-icon for many years, but became the target of repeated student pranks. It was later locked away.[104] In 2017, plans were announced to re-exhibit the head and at the same time obtain a DNA sample for sequencing with the goal of identifying genetic evidence of autism.[105]

In 2020 the auto-icon was put into a new glass display case and moved to the entrance of UCL's new Student Centre on Gordon Square.[106]


The Faculty of Laws at University College London occupies Bentham House, next to the main UCL campus.[107]

Bentham's name was adopted by the Australian litigation funder IMF Limited to become Bentham IMF Limited on 28 November 2013, in recognition of Bentham being "among the first to support the utility of litigation funding".[108]

See also

• List of civil rights leaders – Wikipedia list article
• List of liberal theorists – Wikipedia list article
• Philosophy of happiness
• Rule according to higher law – Principle that no law may be enforced by the government unless it conforms with certain universal principles of fairness, morality, and justice.
• Rule of law – Political situation where every citizen is subject to the law


1. An Act for the More Effectual Prevention of Depredations on the River Thames (39 & 40 Geo 3 c 87)[46]
2. a word Bentham himself coined
1. An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation: Chapter I: OF THE PRINCIPLE OF UTILITY
2. Follett 2000, p. 7.
3. Johnson, Will (2012). "Ancestry of Jeremy Bentham". countyhistorian. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
4. Sweet, William (n.d.). "Bentham, Jeremy". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
5. "Jeremy Bentham". n.d. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
6. Bentham 1977, p. 393.
7. Burns 2005, pp. 46–61.
8. Bentham 2008, pp. 389–406.
9. Campos Boralevi 2012, p. 37.
10. Bedau 1983, pp. 1033–1065.
11. Sunstein 2004, pp. 3–4.
12. Francione 2004, p. 139: footnote 78
13. Gruen 2003.
14. Benthall 2007, p. 1.
15. Harrison 1995, pp. 85–88.
16. Roberts, Roberts & Bisson 2016, p. 307.
17. "UCL Academic Figures". Archived from the original on 18 December 2010.
18. Rosen, F. (2014) [2004]. "Bentham, Jeremy". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/2153. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
19. "Jeremy Bentham". University College London. Archived from the original on 1 January 2007. Retrieved 4 January 2007.
20. Warren 1969.
21. Stephen 2011, pp. 174–5.
22. Dupont & Onuf 2008, pp. 32–33.
23. Armitage 2007.
24. Anonymous 1776, p. 3.
25. Semple 1993, pp. 99–100.
26. Roth, Mitchel P (2006), Prisons and prison systems: a global encyclopedia, Greenwood, p. 33, ISBN 9780313328565
27. Semple 1993, pp. 99–101.
28. Semple 1993, pp. 134–40.
29. Bentham 1995, pp. 29–95.
30. Bentham 1787.
31. Foucault 1977, pp. 200, 249–256.
32. Schofield, Philip (2009). Bentham: a guide for the perplexed. London: Continuum. pp. 90–93. ISBN 978-0-8264-9589-1.
33. Semple 1993, p. 118.
34. Semple 1993, pp. 102–4, 107–8.
35. Semple 1993, pp. 108–10, 262.
36. Semple 1993, pp. 169–89.
37. Semple 1993, pp. 194–7.
38. Semple 1993, pp. 197–217.
39. Semple 1993, pp. 217–22.
40. Semple 1993, pp. 226–31.
41. Semple 1993, pp. 236–9.
42. Semple 1993, p. 244.
43. Semple 1993, pp. 265–79.
44. Semple 1993, pp. 279–81.
45. Penitentiary House, etc. Act: 52 Geo. III, c. 44 (1812).
46. French, Stanley (n.d.). "The Early History of Thames Magistrates' Court". Thames Police Museum. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
47. Everett 1966, pp. 67–69.
48. Persky 2007, p. 228.
49. Bentham 2002, p. 291.
50. Darío, Rubén (1887). "La Literatura en Centro-América". Revista de artes y letras (in Spanish). Biblioteca Nacional de Chile. XI: 591. MC0060418. Retrieved 25 March 2019. In Guatemala there was Valle, a man of vast intellect, friend of Jeremías Bentham, with whom he corresponded frequently. Bentham sent him shortly before dying a lock of his hair and a golden ring, shiny as José Cecilio's style.
51. Laura Geggel (11 September 2018). "Oddball Philosopher Had His Mummified Body Put on Display … and Now His Rings Are Missing". Live Science. Retrieved 26 March 2019. We can safely assume that [Guatemalan philosopher and politician] José del Valle received one, as he is featured wearing it in a portrait," Causer said. "Interestingly, on the bookshelf of that portrait is one of Bentham’s works, as well as a Spanish translation of Say’s 'Traité d’économie politique.' It’s a neat, tangible link between Bentham, Say and del Valle.
52. "Foundation of the Province". SA Memory. State Library of South Australia. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
53. Hamburger 1965.
54. Thomas 1979.
55. Bartle 1963.
56. Everett 1968, p. 94.
57. Packe 1954, p. 16.
58. Lucas & Sheeran 2006, pp. 26–27.
59. Crimmins 1986, p. 95.
60. Bentham 1776, Preface (2nd para.).
61. Bentham 1821, p. 24.
62. Priestley 1771, p. 17.
63. Bentham 1789, p. 1, Ch. I.
64. May, Joshua (n.d.). "Psychological Egoism". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
65. Mill, John Stuart Early Essays of John Stuart Mill (London, 1897) pp. 401–404
66. Smith, George H. (26 June 2012). "Jeremy Bentham's Attack on Natural Rights". Retrieved 11 June2018.
67. Himmelfarb 1968, p. 77.
68. Bentham 1789, Ch, IV.
69. Postema 1986, p. 148.
70. Kelly 1990, p. 81.
71. Dershowitz, Alan M. (18 September 2014). "A choice of evils: Should democracies use torture to protect against terrorism?". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
72. Bentham, Jeremy, 1748-1832. (2005). An introduction to the principles of morals and legislation. [Chestnut Hill, Mass.?]: Elibron Classics. ISBN 1-4212-9048-0. OCLC 64578728.
73. Spiegel 1991, pp. 341–343.
74. Bentham, Jeremy (1843). "Tracts on Poor Laws and Pauper Management" (PDF). Retrieved 27 March2019.
75. Himmelfarb 1968, pp. 74–75.
76. Morriss 1999.
77. Bentham 1879.
78. Bentham 1879, Ch. 17.
79. Bentham, Jeremy (9 March 1825). "To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle". Morning Chronicle. London. p. 2.(subscription required)
80. Williford 1975, p. 167.
81. Bentham 1879, p. 48.
82. Campos Boralevi 2012, p. 40.
83. Journal of Homosexuality, v.3:4(1978), p.389-405; continued in v.4:1(1978)
84. Bentham 1834, p. 101.
85. McStay, Andrew (8 November 2013). "Why too much privacy is bad for the economy". The Conversation. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
86. Cutrofello 2014, p. 115.
87. Murphy 2014, p. 61–62.
88. Harte 1998, pp. 5–8.
89. Stephen 1894, p. 32.
90. Grayling 2013, "19 York Street".
91. Anon (n.d.). "Published Works of Jeremy Bentham". Retrieved 12 June 2018.
92. Bartle 1963, p. 27.
93. Schofield 2009a, pp. 475–494.
94. "Bentham Project". Archived from the original on 24 May 2017. Retrieved 8 June 2002.
95. Schofield 2013, p. 51–70.
96. "The Bentham Project". Archived from the original on 10 June 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
97. "UCL digital Bentham collection". 20 August 1996. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
98. "Transcribe Bentham: Transcription Desk". Retrieved 26 April 2012.
99. "Transcribe Bentham". Retrieved 26 April 2012.
100. "PRHLT text indexing and search interface for Bentham Papers".
101. Marmoy, C.F.A. (1958). "The 'Auto-Icon' of Jeremy Bentham at University College, London". Medical History. University College London. 2 (2): 77–86. doi:10.1017/s0025727300023486. PMC 1034365. PMID 13526538. Archived from the original on 10 February 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2007. It seems that the case with Bentham's body now rested in New Broad Street; Southwood Smith did not remove to 38 Finsbury Square until several years later. Bentham must have been seen by many visitors, including Charles Dickens.
102. Smallman, Etan (12 July 2013). "Bentham's corpse attends UCL board meeting". Metro. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
103. Das, Subhadra (curator) (19 November 2018). The Boring Talks [#25 Jeremy Bentham's 'Auto-Icon'] (podcast). BBC.
104. "UCL Bentham Project". University College London. Archived from the original on 12 November 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
105. Sarah Knapton (2 October 2017). "Severed head of eccentric Jeremy Bentham to go on display as scientists test DNA to see if he was autistic". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
106. "Jeremy Bentham's Body Gets A Contentious New Box At UCL". Londonist. 24 February 2020. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
107. "About UCL Laws". University College London. 2009. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
108. "About us". Bentham IMF Limited. 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2014.


• Armitage, David (2007). The Declaration of Independence: A Global History. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-02282-9.
• Bartle, G. F. (1963). "Jeremy Bentham and John Bowring: a study of the relationship between Bentham and the editor of his Collected Works". Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research. 36 (93): 27–35. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2281.1963.tb00620.x.
• Bedau, Hugo Adam (1983). "Bentham's Utilitarian Critique of the Death Penalty". The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. 74 (3): 1033–65. doi:10.2307/1143143. JSTOR 1143143.
• Benthall, Jonathan (2007). "Animal liberation and rights". Anthropology Today. 23 (2): 1–3. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8322.2007.00494.x. ISSN 0268-540X.
• Burns, J. H. (2005). "Happiness and Utility: Jeremy Bentham's Equation". Utilitas. 17 (1): 46–61. doi:10.1017/S0953820804001396. ISSN 0953-8208.
• Burns, J. H. (1989). "Bentham and Blackstone: A Lifetime's Dialectic". Utilitas. 1: 22. doi:10.1017/S0953820800000042.
• Campos Boralevi, Lea (2012). Bentham and the Oppressed. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-086983-5.
• Crimmins, James E. (1986). "Bentham on Religion: Atheism and the Secular Society". Journal of the History of Ideas. University of Pennsylvania Press. 47 (1): 95–110. doi:10.2307/2709597. JSTOR 2709597.
• Crimmins, James E. (1990). Secular Utilitarianism: Social Science and the Critique of Religion in the Thought of Jeremy Bentham. Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0-19-827741-5.
• Cutrofello, Andrew (2014). All for Nothing: Hamlet's Negativity. MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-52634-0.
• Dinwiddy, John (2004). Bentham: selected writings of John Dinwiddy. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-4520-8.
• Dupont, Christian Y.; Onuf, Peter S., eds. (2008). Declaring Independence: The Origin and Influence of America's Founding Document : Featuring the Albert H. Small Declaration of Independence Collection. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Library. ISBN 978-0-9799997-0-3.
• Everett, Charles Warren (1969). Jeremy Bentham. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 0297179845. OCLC 157781.
• Follett, R. (2000). Evangelicalism, Penal Theory and the Politics of Criminal Law: Reform in England, 1808-30. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-4039-3276-1.
• Foucault, Michel (1977). Discipline and Punish: the Birth of the Prison. Translated by Alan Sheridan. Harmondsworth: Penguin. ISBN 9780140137224.
• Francione, Gary (2004). "Animals: Property or Persons". In Sunstein, Cass R.; Nussbaum, Martha C. (eds.). Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 978-0-19-515217-3.
• González, Ana Marta (2012). Contemporary Perspectives on Natural Law: Natural Law as a Limiting Concept. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4094-8566-7.
• Grayling, A. C. (2013). "19 York Street". The Quarrel of the Age: The Life and Times Of William Hazlitt. ISBN 9781780226798.
• Gruen, Lori (1 July 2003). "The Moral Status of Animals". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
• Gunn, J. A. W. (1989). "Jeremy Bentham and the Public Interest". In Lively, J.; Reeve, A. (eds.). Modern Political Theory from Hobbes to Marx: Key Debates. London. pp. 199–219.
• Hamburger, Joseph (1965). Intellectuals in Politics: John Stuart Mill and the Philosophic Radicals. Yale University Press.
• Harris, Jonathan (1998). "Bernardino Rivadavia and Benthamite 'discipleship'". Latin American Research Review. 33: 129–49.
• Harrison, Ross (1983). Bentham. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. ISBN 0-7100-9526-0.
• Harrison, Ross (1995). "Jeremy Bentham". In Honderich, Ted (ed.). The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 85–88.
• Hart, Jenifer (July 1965). "Nineteenth-Century Social Reform: A Tory Interpretation of History". Past & Present. 31 (31): 39–61. doi:10.1093/past/31.1.39. JSTOR 650101.
• Harte, Negley (1998). "The owner of share no. 633: Jeremy Bentham and University College London". In Fuller, Catherine (ed.). The Old Radical: representations of Jeremy Bentham. London: University College London.
• Himmelfarb, Gertrude (1968). Victorian Minds. New York: Knopf.
• Kelly, Paul J. (1990). Utilitarianism and distributive justice: Jeremy Bentham and the civil law. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-825418-8.
• Anonymous (1776). An Answer to the Declaration of the American Congress. London: T. Cadell.
• Lucas, Philip; Sheeran, Anne (2006). "Asperger's Syndrome and the Eccentricity and Genius of Jeremy Bentham" (PDF). Journal of Bentham Studies. 8.
• Morriss, Andrew P. (1999). "Codification and Right Answers". Chic.-Kent L. Rev. 74: 355.
• McStay, Andrew (2014). Privacy and Philosophy: New Media and Affective Protocol. Peter Lang. ISBN 978-1-4331-1898-2.
• Murphy, James Bernard (2014). The Philosophy of Customary Law. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-937062-7.
• Packe, Michael St. John (1954). The Life of John Stuart Mill. London: Secker and Warburg.
• Persky, Joseph (1 January 2007). "Retrospectives: From Usury to Interest". The Journal of Economic Perspectives. 21 (1): 228. doi:10.1257/jep.21.1.227. JSTOR 30033709.
• Postema, Gerald J. (1986). Bentham and the Common Law Tradition. Oxford U. P. ISBN 978-0-19-825505-5.
• Priestley, Joseph (1771). An Essay on the First Principles of Government: And on the Nature of Political, Civil, and Religious Liberty. London: J. Johnson.
• Roberts, Clayton; Roberts, David F.; Bisson, Douglas (2016). A History of England. Volume II: 1688 to the Present (6th ed.). London and New York: Routledge. p. 307. ISBN 978-1-315-50960-0.
• Robinson, Dave; Groves, Judy (2003). Introducing Political Philosophy. Cambridge: Icon Books. ISBN 1-84046-450-X.
• Rosen, F. (1983). Jeremy Bentham and Representative Democracy: A Study of the "Constitutional Code". Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-822656-X.
• Rosen, Frederick (1990). "The Origins of Liberal Utilitarianism: Jeremy Bentham and Liberty". In Bellamy, R. (ed.). Victorian Liberalism: Nineteenth-century Political Thought and Practice. London. p. 5870.
• Rosen, Frederick (1992). Bentham, Byron, and Greece: constitutionalism, nationalism, and early liberal political thought. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-820078-1.
• Rosen, Frederick, ed. (2007). Jeremy Bentham. Aldershot: Ashgate. ISBN 978-0-7546-2566-7.
• Schofield, Philip (2006). Utility and Democracy: The Political Thought of Jeremy Bentham. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-820856-3.
• Schofield, Philip (2009). Bentham: a guide for the perplexed. London: Continuum. ISBN 978-0-8264-9589-1.
• Schofield, Philip (2009). "Werner Stark and Jeremy Bentham's Economic Writings". History of European Ideas. 35 (4): 475–94. doi:10.1016/j.histeuroideas.2009.05.003.
• Schofield, Philip (2013). "The Legal and Political Legacy of Jeremy Bentham". Annual Review of Law and Social Science. 9(1): 51–70. doi:10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-102612-134101.
• Semple, Janet (1993). Bentham's Prison: a Study of the Panopticon Penitentiary. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-827387-8.
• Spiegel, Henry William (1991). The Growth of Economic Thought (3rd ed.). Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-0973-4.
• Stephen, Leslie (1894). "Milton, John (1608–1674)" . In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 38. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 32.
• Stephen, Leslie (2011). The English Utilitarians. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781108041003.
• Sunstein, Cass R. (2004). "Animal Rights". In Sunstein, Cass R.; Nussbaum, Martha C. (eds.). Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 978-0-19-515217-3.
• Thomas, William (1979). The Philosophic Radicals: Nine Studies in Theory and Practice, 1817-1841. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0-19-822490-7.
• Twining, William (1985). Theories of Evidence: Bentham and Wigmore. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-1285-9.
• Vergara, Francisco (1998). "A Critique of Elie Halévy; refutation of an important distortion of British moral philosophy"(PDF). Philosophy. London: Royal Institute of Philosophy. 73 (1): 97–111. doi:10.1017/s0031819197000144.
• Vergara, Francisco (2011). "Bentham and Mill on the "Quality" of Pleasures". Revue d'études benthamiennes. Paris (9). doi:10.4000/etudes-benthamiennes.422. ISSN 1760-7507.
• Williford, Miriam (1975). "Bentham on the Rights of Women". Journal of the History of Ideas. 36 (1): 167–176. doi:10.2307/2709019. ISSN 0022-5037. JSTOR 2709019.

Further reading

• Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Benthamism". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
• Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bentham, Jeremy" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
• Macdonell, John (1885). "Bentham, Jeremy" . In Stephen, Leslie (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 4. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
• Jeremy Bentham, "Critique of the Doctrine of Inalienable, Natural Rights", in Anarchical Fallacies, vol. 2 of Bowring (ed.), Works, 1843.
• Jeremy Bentham, "Offences Against One's Self: Paederasty", c. 1785, free audiobook from LibriVox.

External links

• Portraits of Jeremy Bentham at the National Portrait Gallery, London
• Works by Jeremy Bentham at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Jeremy Bentham at Internet Archive
• Works by Jeremy Bentham at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• Transcribe Bentham, initiative run by the Bentham Project that has its own website with useful links.
• The curious case of Jeremy Bentham at
• Jeremy Bentham, categorised links
• The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy has an extensive biographical reference of Bentham.
• "Jeremy Bentham at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2007" A play-reading of the life and legacy of Jeremy Bentham.
• Jeremy Bentham at Find a Grave
• Jeremy Bentham, biographical profile, including quotes and further resources, at
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Eugenics: The Academy’s Complicity
by Dr. Nathaniel Adam Tobias Coleman
University College London [UCL]

“The British invented racism,” said the UK’s first “black female” MP. “Britain…almost invented racism,” said the US’ first “black male” ambassador to the UN. If by “racism” we mean “the science of improving stock”, by “giv[ing] to the more suitable races or strains of blood a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable”, then Diane Abbott in April 1988 and Andrew Young in April 1977 were right: the British invented eugenics. More precisely, the University of London invented national eugenics, in the service of the British Empire.

By the end of the 19th century it was clear, at least to the British, which nation had won the 400-year-long European competition to colonise our planet. Indeed, this self-confidence was very soon vindicated, when, following that colonial competition’s catastrophic climax (which we currently celebrate under the euphemism of “Great War”), the British Empire became the most extensive, populous and influential empire the world had ever known.

Yet uneasy lay the head that wore the crown. Birth rates in free-fall; women and workers wanting rights; a majority of men unfit to fight against Africans – it seemed that Britain, as David Lloyd George put it, was an “A1 Empire with a C3 Population”. Wealthy “white” men of Britain were plagued with anxiety that their kind were degenerating to such an extent that they would soon be toppled from their proper place at the top of the pile.

Enter eugenics. Whereas Charles Darwin’s natural selection described what he saw in nature, his half-cousin Francis Galton’s national selection prescribed what action we should take in society. Crucially, this was a prescription for British society, since, said Galton, “to no nation is a high human breed more necessary than to our own, for we plant our stock all over the world”. Yet, despite Galton’s assertion in 1883 – when he coined the word from the Greek eugenes, meaning “good in stock” – “improving stock” was not yet taken seriously as a “science”.

For this reason, on 10 October 1904 Galton wrote to the principal of the University of London, offering £500 a year over three years towards a new “Research Fellow” in “National Eugenics”, or “Francis Galton Scholar”. Galton “presumed that the University will provide accommodation for the person appointed” and “that the stamped official writing paper of the University may be used”. Only four days later, a committee, including the principal and the chairman of convocation, met to write the job description. Seven days later, the senate signed it off; 16 days later, an advertisement appeared in The Times.

Crucially, Galton’s disciple and protégé, biometrician Karl Pearson, said his “recollection of the meeting is that most of the time was spent in drafting a definition”, which Galton “finally approved”: “The term National Eugenics is here defined as the study of the agencies under social control that may improve or impair the racial qualities of future generations either physically or mentally.”

This institutional act of definition was, in fact, an act of legitimation. Such is the power of the university that not only could it at the stroke of a pen turn the Anthropometric Laboratory (founded in 1884) into the Eugenics Record Office, with rooms provided at 50 Gower Street (now part of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), it could also turn what had for the previous 20 years been nothing more than a gentleman’s obsessive hobby into the academy’s official discipline.

Eugenics is a two-edged sword: as much a concern of the pre-First World War British Fabian Left as of the pre-Second World War German Nazi Right, it intellectually underpinned policies not only of segregation, sterilisation and Shoah, but also of birth control, public hospitals and the welfare state. Furthermore, it is now entrenched in our universities as a foundation of legitimate disciplines such as economics, statistics and genetics. How, then, d’you solve a problem like eugenics?

A frequent response is to rename. Yet putting right this wrong is not as simple as renaming a lecture theatre, an academic building or a prestigious professorship. In the 1960s, the Francis Galton Laboratory for the Study of National Eugenics (founded in 1907) became the Galton Laboratory of the Department of Human Genetics and Biometry, and the Galton Professor of Eugenics (founded in 1911, with Pearson the first to hold the chair) became the Galton Professor of Human Genetics. That did not stop University College London, in 1980, from renaming the Bartlett Building the Pearson Building. Ignorance did not lead to justice. Justice demands a public discussion about why we have (and about why, for so long, we have kept) those names.

At an event this week, 110 years to the day that the university legitimised Galton’s research on eugenics, UCL will face up to its complicity in constructing unjust racial hierarchy. This is virtually without precedent. Only Brown University in the US has been as bold: following an inquiry into its historical relationship with European enslavement of African peoples, Brown established the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice and the Ruth J. Simmons Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Slavery and Justice, named in honour of the president who had the courage to launch the inquiry. No British university has ever been so candid. Will any British university show such courage?


History of eugenics at UCL [University College London]: The long-discredited science written into university buildings
by Seren John-Wood

A great deal of scientific progress is represented in the names now immortalised on UCL’s buildings. So are a great deal of racist, classist and ableist ideologies.


1. Galton Lecture Theatre

Widely considered the father of the movement, Francis Galton coined ‘eugenics’ as the science of ‘improving stock’. In 1904, Galton set up the Eugenics Records Office, legitimising the science and establishing UCL as its centre. Eugenics, with the lofty goal of ‘bettering the human race’, sought to ‘weed’ society by imposing racist and classist ideas about superiority. Galton, who advocated for the segregation of ‘elite’ humans from those considered unintelligent or deviant, thought eugenics not just a science but a philosophy.

2. Pearson Building

If Galton was the father of eugenics, Karl Pearson was the dedicated disciple, providing statistical data to corroborate its claims. A mathematician and biostatistician, Pearson was also directed the research of Galton Laboratory and set up a Chair of National Eugenics. Pearson was even more radical than Galton, stating ‘superior and inferior races cannot co-exist; if the former are to make effective use of global resources; the latter must be extirpated.’

3. Darwin Building

The former site of Galton Laboratory of National Eugenics was replaced in 1984 with the Darwin Building, home of biological sciences, due in part to the decline in popularity of eugenics. However, eugenics history still persists in its title. Whilst difficult to dispute Darwin’s commemoration, it is noteworthy that Darwin was not necessarily opposed to the eugenics movement -– Darwin praised Galton’s work, stating ‘I have never read anything so interesting and original.’

4. Petrie Museum

Housing the collection of Egyptologist William Petrie, this building is already problematic for its contribution to Britain’s legacy of appropriating other cultures’ artefacts. However, of present concern is its namesake’s obsession with a superior ‘Dynastic Race.’ Petrie was convinced that the sophisticated culture behind his uncovered artefacts could not have been African in origin. Petrie theorised that a ‘Caucasoid race’ from northern Europe conquered Ancient Egypt and introduced a superior culture, drawing on racist experiments on skull measurements.

5. Medawar Building

If Peter Medawar, while esteemed for his contribution to the development of organ transplants, also advocated that eugenics could eradicate ‘bad genes’. Medawar’s beliefs, then-popular among scientists, were conceptually separate from the goal of a ‘superior’ human, which has been described as ‘positive eugenics.’ Medawar’s interests lie in the field of ‘negative eugenics’ – eliminating traits perceived to be the cause of suffering. He discouraged procreation among those with ‘genetic abnormalities,’ suggesting they shouldn’t be allowed to marry.

6. J.B.S. Haldane Room

Called ‘the cleverest man I ever knew’ by Medawar, Haldane was a geneticist, socialist, and renowned eccentric, whose views also mirrored the contemporary left-wing support of state intervention on family planning. Whilst ostensibly re-moved from the racist and classist features of eugenics, Haldane’s views still attempt to limit the rights of certain groups to pro-create. Haldane believed in the potential to eliminate disease and suffering and held the popular assumption that the upper classes had a ‘superior’ genetic make-up.

7. Francis Crick Institute

The Francis Crick Institute, a biomedical research centre founded in 2015, is named for the famous contributor to the discovery of DNA. Crick also supported eugenics, radically proposing the potential of artificial insemination to ‘licenses’ for procreation in order to discourage the poor from having children, and that only babies with certain genetic criteria should be allowed to live.

8. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Initial location of the Eugenics Records Office, set up in 1905 at UCL by Galton and Pearson. In an article for the Times, the establishment of the Eugenics Records Office was described as an act which turned ‘what had for the previous 20 years been nothing more than a gentleman’s obsessive hobby into the academy’s official discipline’.

9. Marie Stopes House

Whilst not UCL-affiliated, Stopes House is named after an alum. [Marie] Stopes, a scientist and women’s advocate, studied and lectured at UCL before resigning in 1920 to set up the ‘Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress,’ and campaign for a birth control clinic. However, racist and ableist beliefs motivated her campaign—she wrote that babies had the right to ‘be given a body untainted by any heritable disease, uncontaminated by any of the racial poisons,’ something achieved with birth control.

10. R.A. Fisher Centre for Computational Biology

R.A. Fisher, an important statistician and geneticist, was also the second Chair of Eugenics and founding member of the Cambridge Eugenics Society. Given his conception of the notion of heritability, Fisher’s role as ‘an ardent eugenicist’ is unsurprising. Fisher believed that human divisions differed in their innate ‘quality,’ writing that civilisations fail because people of ‘low genetic value’ procreate more than people with ‘high genetic value’.
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Marie Stopes
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Accessed: 5/20/20

Marie Stopes
Marie Stopes at the time of the marriage with Mr. H.V. Roe.
Stopes in 1918
Born: Marie Charlotte Carmichael Stopes, 15 October 1880, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Died: 2 October 1958 (aged 77), Dorking, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
Nationality: British
Education: University of London (BSc, DSc); University of Munich (PhD)
Known for: Family planning, Eugenics
Spouse(s): Reginald Ruggles Gates (m. 1911; annulled 1914); Humphrey Verdon Roe (m. 1918; ? 1935)
Children: Harry Stopes-Roe
Scientific career
Fields: Palaeobotany
Institutions: University of Manchester

Marie Charlotte Carmichael Stopes (15 October 1880 – 2 October 1958) was a British author, palaeobotanist and campaigner for eugenics and women's rights. She made significant contributions to plant palaeontology and coal classification, and was the first female academic on the faculty of the University of Manchester. With her second husband, Humphrey Verdon Roe, Stopes founded the first birth control clinic in Britain. Stopes edited the newsletter Birth Control News, which gave explicit practical advice. Her sex manual Married Love (1918) was controversial and influential, and brought the subject of birth control into wide public discourse. Stopes publicly opposed abortion, arguing that the prevention of conception was all that was needed,[1] though her actions in private were at odds with her public pronouncements.[2]

Early life and education

Stopes was born in Edinburgh. Her father, Henry Stopes, was a brewer, engineer, architect and palaeontologist from Colchester. Her mother was Charlotte Carmichael Stopes, a Shakespearean scholar and women's rights campaigner from Edinburgh. At six weeks old, her parents took Stopes from Scotland;[3] the family stayed briefly in Colchester then moved to London, where in 1880 her father bought 28 Cintra Park in Upper Norwood.[4] Both of her parents were members of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, where they had met.[5] Marie was taken to meetings where she met the famous scholars of the day. At first, she was home-schooled, but from 1892 to 1894 she attended St George's School for Girls in Edinburgh.[6] Stopes was later sent to the North London Collegiate School, where she was a close friend of Olga Fröbe-Kapteyn.[1]

Stopes attended the University of London, at University College London as a scholarship student, where she studied botany and geology; she graduated with a first class B.Sc. in 1902 after only two years by attending both day and night schools at Birkbeck, University of London.[7] Following this, Stopes earned a D.Sc. degree from University College London, becoming the youngest person in Britain to have done so. In 1903 she published a study of the botany of the recently dried-up Ebbsfleet River. After carrying out research on Carboniferous plants at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and at University College, London, she studied the reproduction of living cycads at the University of Munich, receiving a Ph.D. in botany in 1904. Also in 1904, she was one of the first women to be elected a fellow of the Linnean Society of London.[8] She was also Fellow and sometime Lecturer in Palaeobotany at University College, London until 1920. She held the post of Lecturer in Palaeobotany at the University of Manchester from 1904 to 1910; in this capacity she became the first female academic of that university.[9]

Scientific research

Stopes in her laboratory, 1904

During Stopes's time at Manchester, she studied coal and coal balls and researched the collection of Glossopteris (Permian seed ferns). This was an attempt to prove the theory of Eduard Suess concerning the existence of Gondwana or Pangaea. A chance meeting with Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott during one of his fund-raising lectures in 1904 brought a possibility of proving Suess's theory. Stopes's passion to prove Suess's theory led her to discuss the possibility of joining Scott's next expedition to Antarctica. She did not join the expedition, but Scott promised to bring back samples of fossils to provide evidence for the theory.[10] Scott died during the 1912 Terra Nova Expedition, but fossils of plants from the Queen Maud Mountains found near Scott's and his companions' bodies provided this evidence.[11]

In 1907, Stopes went to Japan on a scientific mission. She spent eighteen months at the Imperial University, Tokyo and explored coal mines on Hokkaido for fossilised plants. She published her Japanese experiences as a diary, called "Journal from Japan: a daily record of life as seen by a scientist", in 1910.[9]

In 1910, the Geological Survey of Canada commissioned Stopes to determine the age of the Fern Ledges, a geological structure at Saint John, New Brunswick. It is part of the Early Pennsylvanian epoch Lancaster Formation. Canadian scholars were divided between dating it to the Devonian period or to the Pennsylvanian. Stopes arrived in North America before Christmas to start her research. On 29 December, she met the Canadian researcher Reginald Ruggles Gates in St. Louis, Missouri; they became engaged two days later. Starting her work on the Fern Ledges in earnest in February 1911, she did geological field work and researched at geological collections in museums, and shipped specimens to England for further investigation. The couple married in March and returned to England on 1 April that year. Stopes continued her research. In mid-1912 she delivered her results, finding for the Pennsylvanian period of the Carboniferous.[12] The Government of Canada published her results in 1914.[13] Later that year, her marriage to Gates was annulled.[2]

During the First World War, Stopes was engaged in studies of coal for the British government, which culminated in the writing of "Monograph on the constitution of coal" with R.V. Wheeler in 1918. The success of Stopes' work on marriage issues and birth control led her to reduce her scholarly work; her last scientific publications were in 1935. According to W. G. Chaloner (2005), "between 1903 and 1935 she published a series of palaeobotanical papers that placed her among the leading half-dozen British palaeobotanists of her time".[14] Stopes made major contributions to knowledge of the earliest angiosperms, the formation of coal balls and the nature of coal macerals. The classification scheme and terminology she devised for coal are still being used. Stopes also wrote a popular book on palaeobotany, "Ancient Plants" (1910; Blackie, London), in what was called a successful pioneering effort to introduce the subject to non-scientists.[14]

Married Love

Main article: Married Love

Cover of Marie Stopes's bestseller, Married Love.

Around the start of her divorce proceedings in 1913, Stopes began to write a book about the way she thought marriage should work. In July 1913, she met Margaret Sanger, who had just given a talk on birth control at a Fabian Society meeting. Stopes showed Sanger her writings and sought her advice about a chapter on contraception.[15] Stopes' book was finished by the end of 1913. She offered it to Blackie and Son, who declined. Several publishers refused the book because they thought it too controversial. When Binnie Dunlop, secretary of the Malthusian League, introduced her to Humphrey Verdon Roe—Stopes' future second husband—in 1917, she received the boost that helped her publish her book. Roe was a philanthropist interested in birth control; he paid Fifield & Co. to publish the work.[16] The book was an instant success, requiring five editions in the first year,[17] and elevated Stopes to national prominence.

Married Love was published on 26 March 1918; that day, Stopes was visiting Humphrey Roe, who had just returned with a broken ankle from service during the First World War after his aeroplane crashed.[18] Less than two months later they were married and Stopes had her first opportunity to practise what she preached in her book. The success of Married Love encouraged Stopes to provide a follow-up; the already written Wise Parenthood: a Book for Married People, a manual on birth control that was published later that year.[19] Many readers wrote to Stopes for personal advice, which she energetically endeavoured to give.

The following year, Stopes published A Letter to Working Mothers on how to have healthy children and avoid weakening pregnancies, a condensed version of Wise Parenthood aimed at the poor. It was a 16-page pamphlet and was to be distributed free of charge.[20] Stopes's intended audience had—until this work—been the middle classes. She had shown little interest in, or respect for, the working classes;[21] the Letter was aimed at redressing her bias.

On 16 July 1919, Stopes—pregnant and a month overdue—entered a nursing home. Stopes and the doctors clashed over the method of birth—she was not allowed to give birth on her knees. The child was stillborn; the doctors suggested the incident was due to syphilis, but an examination excluded the possibility. Stopes was furious and said her baby had been murdered. She was 38 years old.[22]

New Gospel

When Stopes had sufficiently recovered she returned to work in 1920; she engaged in public speaking and responding to letters seeking advice on marriage, sex and birth control.[23] She sent Mrs. E. B. Mayne to disseminate the Letter to Working Mothers to the slums of East London. Mayne approached twenty families a day, but after several months she concluded the working class was mistrustful of well-intentioned meddlers.[24]

This lack of success made Stopes contemplate a different approach to taking her message to the poor. A conference of Anglican bishops was due to be held in June; not long before the conference, Stopes had a vision. She called in her secretary and dictated a message addressed to the bishops which began: "My Lords, I speak to you in the name of God. You are his priests. I am his prophet. I speak to you of the mysteries of man and woman."[25] In 1922, Stopes wrote A New Gospel to All Peoples.[26] The bishops were not receptive; among the resolutions carried during the conference was one aimed against "the deliberate cultivation of sexual union" and another against "indecent literature, suggestive plays and films [and] the open or secret sale of contraceptives".[27] The Catholic Church's reaction was more strident,[28] marking the start of a conflict that lasted the rest of Stopes' life.[citation needed]

Family planning

Marie Stopes House in Whitfield Street near Tottenham Court Road was Britain's first family planning clinic after moving from its initial location in Holloway in 1925.

In 1917, before meeting Marie Stopes, Humphrey Roe offered to endow a birth control clinic attached to St Mary's Hospital in Manchester. He proposed all patients would be married and that no abortions would be done, but his offer was declined.[29][30] This was a serious issue for Roe; after their marriage, he and Stopes planned to open a clinic for poor mothers in London.[31]

Margaret Sanger, another birth-control pioneer, had opened a birth control clinic in New York but the police closed it. In 1920, Sanger proposed opening a clinic in London; this encouraged Stopes to act more constructively, but her plan never materialised.[32] Stopes resigned her lectureship at University College London at the end of 1920 to concentrate on the clinic; she founded the Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress, a support organisation for the clinic.[33] Stopes explained that the object of the Society was:

" counteract the steady evil which has been growing for a good many years of the reduction of the birth rate just on the part of the thrifty, wise, well-contented, and the generally sound members of our community, and the reckless breeding from the C.3 end, and the semi-feebleminded, the careless, who are proportionately increasing in our community because of the slowing of the birth rate at the other end of the social scale. Statistics show that every year the birth rate from the worst end of our community is increasing in proportion to the birth rate at the better end, and it was in order to try to right that grave social danger that I embarked upon this work."[34]

On the printed notepaper is a list of prominent supporters which include the militant suffragette Lady Constance Lytton, feminist novelist Vera Brittain, Emily Pethick-Lawrence (former Treasurer of the Women's Social and Political Union), Rev Maude Royden (Women’s Suffrage Societies).[citation needed] Later supporters included eminent economist John Maynard Keynes.[citation needed] Three months later she and Roe opened the Mothers' Clinic at 61 Marlborough Road, Holloway, North London, on 17 March 1921.[35] The clinic was run by midwives and supported by visiting doctors.[36] It offered mothers birth control advice, taught them birth control methods and dispensed Stopes own "Pro-Race"[37] (and later the "Racial")[38] cervical caps.

The free clinic was open to all married women for knowledge about reproductive health. Stopes opposed abortion; she tried to discover alternatives for families and increase knowledge about birth control and the reproductive system. Options included the cervical cap—which was the most popular—coitus interruptus, and spermicides based on soap and oil.[39] Stopes rediscovered the use of olive oil-soaked sponges as an alternative birth control. Olive oil's use as a spermicide dates to Greek and Roman times. Her recipe proved very effective.[40] She tested many of her contraceptives on patients at her clinics.[citation needed]

Stopes became enthusiastic about a contraceptive device called the "gold pin", which was reportedly successful in America. A few months later, she asked Norman Haire, an Australian doctor, whether he would be interested in running a clinical trial of the device, as she had two correspondents who wanted to use it. Haire had already investigated the device and found it to be dangerous.[41] Haire became involved in another birth control clinic that opened in Walworth in November 1921; later a rivalry between Stopes and Haire erupted in The Lancet. Haire brought up the gold-pin episode,[42] even though Stopes' clinic had never used it. The issue of the gold pin device resurfaced in the Stopes-Sutherland libel case a few years later.[43]

In 1925, the Mothers' Clinic moved to Central London, where it remains as of 2015. Stopes gradually built up a small network of clinics across Britain, working to fund them. She opened clinics in Leeds in April 1934; Aberdeen in October 1934; Belfast in October 1936; Cardiff in October 1937; and Swansea in January 1943.[44]

The Marie Stopes International organisation

Main article: Marie Stopes International

The clinics continued to operate after Stopes' death, but by the early 1970s they were in financial difficulties and in 1975 they went into voluntary receivership. Marie Stopes International was established a year later as an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) working on sexual and reproductive health. The global partnership took over responsibility for the main clinic, and in 1978 it began its work overseas in New Delhi, India. Since then the organisation has grown steadily; today it works in over 40 countries, has 452 clinics and has offices in London, Brussels, Melbourne and in the US.[45][citation needed]

Opposition and libel case

In 1922, Dr Halliday Sutherland wrote a book called Birth Control: A Statement of Christian Doctrine Against the Neo Malthusians.[46] In the inter-war years, the terms "birth control" and "eugenics" were closely related; according to Jane Carey they were "so intertwined as to be synonymous".[47]

Following attacks on "the essential fallacies of Malthusian teaching", Sutherland's book attacked Stopes. Under the headings "Specially Hurtful to the Poor" and "Exposing the Poor to Experiment", it read:

In the midst of a London slum a woman, who is a doctor of German philosophy (Munich), has opened a Birth Control Clinic, where working women are instructed in a method of contraception described by Professor McIlroy as ‘The most harmful method of which I have had experience’. When we remember that millions are being spent by the Ministry of Health and by Local Authorities – on pure milk for necessitous expectant and nursing mothers, on Maternity Clinics to guard the health of mothers before and after childbirth, for the provision of skilled midwives, and on Infant Welfare Centres – it is truly amazing that this monstrous campaign of birth control should be tolerated by the Home Secretary. Charles Bradlaugh was condemned to jail for a less serious crime.[46]

Stopes was incensed. The reference to "doctor of German philosophy" sought to undermine Stopes because she was not a medical doctor and, being so soon after the First World War, sought to harness anti-German sentiment. Stopes' work had been associated with Charles Bradlaugh, who had been convicted of obscenity 45 years earlier when he had republished an American Malthusian text in Britain, which "advocated and gave explicit information about contraceptive methods".[47] Stopes challenged Sutherland to a public debate. When Sutherland did not respond, she brought a writ for libel against him.[48] The court case began on 21 February 1923; it was acrimonious. Four questions were put to the jury, which they answered as follows:

1. Were the words complained of defamatory of the plaintiff? Yes.
2. Were they true in substance and in fact? Yes.
3. Were they fair comment? No.
4. Damages, if any? £100.

Based on the jury’s verdict, barristers for both sides asked for judgement in their favour, so it came down to legal argument. Sutherland’s barrister successfully argued that as soon as the jury decided that the statements were true in substance and in fact, that was the end of the matter.[49] It was a moral victory for Stopes as the press saw it, and she appealed.[50] On 20 July, the Court of Appeal reversed the previous decision (2–1), awarding the £100 to Stopes. The Catholic community mobilised to support Sutherland (himself a Catholic) and Stopes publicly campaigned to raise £10,000.[51] Sutherland made a final appeal to the House of Lords on 21 November 1924.[52] The trial had made birth control a public topic and the number of clients visiting the clinic doubled. The Law Lords found in Sutherland's favour, 4–1, and their decision was irrevocable. The cost for Stopes was vast;[53] costs were partially compensated by publicity and book sales.[54]

Stopes was even remembered in a playground rhyme:

Jeanie, Jeanie, full of hopes,
Read a book by Marie Stopes,
But, to judge from her condition,
She must have read the wrong edition.[55]

Literary life

Coward's poem to Marie Stopes

If through a mist of awful fears,
Your mind in anguish gropes,
Dry up your panic-stricken tears
And fly to Marie Stopes.

If you have missed life's shining goal
And mixed with sex perverts and Dopes,
For normal soap to cleanse your soul
Apply to Marie Stopes.

And if perhaps you fail all round
And lie among your shattered hopes,
Just raise your body from the ground,
And crawl to Marie Stopes.[56]

Stopes was acquainted with many literary figures of the day. She had longstanding correspondences with George Bernard Shaw and Aylmer Maude, and argued with H. G. Wells. Noël Coward wrote a poem about her, and she edited Lord Alfred Douglas' letters. She unsuccessfully petitioned Neville Chamberlain to arrange for Douglas to receive a civil list pension; the petition was signed by Arthur Quiller-Couch, John Gielgud, Evelyn Waugh and Virginia Woolf, among others.[57] The general secretary of the Poetry Society, Muriel Spark, had an altercation with Stopes; according to Mark Bostridge, Spark "found herself lamenting that Stopes's mother had not been better informed on [birth control]".[58]

Stopes wrote poems, plays, and novels; during the First World War she wrote increasingly didactic plays. Her first major success was Our Ostriches, a play that dealt with society's approach to working class women being forced to produce babies throughout their lives.[59] The play ran for three months at the Royal Court Theatre. It was hurriedly produced in place of Vectia, another of Stopes' plays.[60] Vectia is an autobiographical attempt to analyse the failure of Stopes' first marriage. Because of its themes of sex and impotence, it was denied a licence to be performed, despite Stopes's frequent efforts.[61] In 1926, Stopes had Vectia printed under the title A Banned Play and a Preface on Censorship. In addition to a revival of Our Ostriches in 1930,[62] Stopes produced two other plays for the London stage, "Don't Tell Timothy," a musical farce produced in 1925-26,[63] and "Buckie's Bears," a children's Christmas pageant, allegedly dictated by her son, Henry Roe-Stopes, produced annually between 1931 and 1936.[64][65]

Stopes published several volumes of poetry, including Man and Other Poems (1913), Love Songs for Young Lovers (1939), Oriri (1940), and Joy and Verity (1952).

Stopes also published a novel, Love's Creation (1928), under the name semi-pseudonym of "Marie Carmichael."

Views on abortion

Publicly, Stopes professed to oppose abortion and, during her lifetime, her clinics did not offer that service. She single-mindedly pursued abortionists and used the police and the courts to prosecute them.[66] Stopes thought that the use of contraceptives was the preferred means by which families should voluntarily limit their number of offspring. Nurses at Stopes' clinic had to sign a declaration not to "impart any information or lend any assistance whatsoever to any person calculated to lead to the destruction in utero of the products of conception".[67] When Stopes learned that one of Avro Manhattan's friends had had an abortion, she accused him of murdering the unborn child.[68]

However, her private actions were at odds with her public pronouncements. In a 1919 letter she had outlined a method of abortion to an unidentified correspondent[69] and she "was even prepared in some cases to advocate abortion, or, as she preferred to put it, the evacuation of the uterus".[70] Further, in Wise Parenthood she had promoted the "Gold Pin" or "Spring" which was a "method [that] could be described as an abortifacient".[71]


In her biography of Stopes, June Rose claimed "Marie was an elitist, an idealist, interested in creating a society in which only the best and beautiful should survive,"[72] a view echoed by Richard A. Soloway in the 1996 Galton Lecture: "If Stopes' general interest in birth control was a logical consequence of her romantic preoccupation with compatible sexuality within blissful marriage, her particular efforts to provide birth control for the poor had far more to do with her eugenic concerns about the impending 'racial darkness' that the adoption of contraception promised to illuminate." [73]

Stopes’ enthusiasm for eugenics and race improvement was in line with many intellectuals and public figures of the time: for example Havelock Ellis, Cyril Burt and George Bernard Shaw. Eugenic sympathies were drawn from the left and the right of politics and included feminists and Labour politicians, such as Ellen Wilkinson.[citation needed] As a child Marie had met Francis Galton, one of the founders of modern Eugenics, through her father. She joined the Eugenics Education Society in 1912[74] and became a life fellow in 1921.[47] Clare Debenham[75] in her 2018 biography of Stopes argues in Chapter Nine that she was a maverick Eugenicist, who was shunned by the inner circle of the Eugenic Society. In 1934, she reflected: "I am a Life Fellow and would have much more interest in the Eugenics Society if I had not been cold shouldered".[76]

The objects of the Society For Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress revealed its eugenic aims,[77] summarised in point 16: "In short, we are profoundly and fundamentally a pro-baby organisation, in favour of producing the largest possible of healthy, happy children without detriment to the mother, and with the minimum wastage of infants by premature deaths. In this connection our motto has been 'Babies in the right place,' and it is just as much the aim of Constructive Birth Control to secure conception to those married people who are healthy, childless, and desire children, as it is to furnish security from conception to those who are racially diseased, already overburdened with children, or in any specific way unfitted for parenthood."[78] Stopes advocated the compulsory sterilisation of those she considered unfit for parenthood in 1918.[79] and in 1920.[80]

In Chapter XX of her 1920 book Radiant Motherhood Stopes discussed race and said that the "one central reform" was: "The power of the mother, consciously exerted in the voluntary procreation and joyous bearing of her children, is the greatest power in the world".[81] She added that two "main dangers" stood in the way. The first of these was ignorance and the second was the "inborn incapacity which lies in the vast and ever increasing stock of degenerate, feeble-minded and unbalanced who are now in our midst and who devastate social customs. These populate most rapidly and tend proportionately to increase and these are like the parasite upon the healthy tree sapping its vitality."[82] Stopes then stated that "a few quite simple acts of Parliament" could deal with "this prolific depravity" through sterilisation by x-rays and assured the reader that "when Bills are passed to ensure the sterility of the hopelessly rotten and racially diseased, and to provide for the education of the child-bearing woman so that she spaces her children healthily, our race will rapidly quell the stream of the depraved, hopeless and wretched lives which are at present increasing in proportion in our midst".[83]

Stopes promoted her eugenic ideas to politicians. In 1920 she sent a copy of her book, Radiant Motherhood—arguably the most explicitly eugenic of her books—to the Prime Minister's secretary, Frances Stevenson, and urged her to get David Lloyd George to read them.[84] In November 1922, just before the General Election, she sent a questionnaire to parliamentary candidates asking that they sign a declaration that: "I agree that the present position of breeding chiefly from the C3 population and burdening and discouraging the A1 is nationally deplorable, and if I am elected to Parliament I will press the Ministry of Health to give such scientific information through the Ante-natal Clinics, Welfare Centres and other institutions in its control as will curtail the C3 and increase the A1". She received 150 replies.[85]

In July 1931 the Women’s Co-operative Guild at their conference passed a resolution advocating compulsory sterilisation for the mentally or physically unfit.[citation needed]

A 1933 letter from Stopes to a friend revealed disillusion with Eugenics: "I do not think I want to write a book about Eugenics. The word has been so tarnished by some people that they are not going to get my name tacked onto it".[86] Despite this, she attended the International Congress for Population Science in Berlin in 1935[87] and, on her death in 1958, she bequeathed her clinics to the Eugenics Society.[88]

In 1934, an interview published in the Australian Women's Weekly disclosed Marie's views on mixed-race marriages: she advised correspondents against them and believed that all half-castes should be sterilised at birth... "thus painlessly and in no way interfering with the individual's life, the unhappy fate of he who is neither black nor white is prevented from being passed on to yet unborn babes."[89]

In August 1939 she sent a copy of her 'Love Song for Young Lovers' to Adolf Hitler because "Love is the greatest thing in the world". She wanted her poems to be distributed through the German birth control clinics. However, according to Rose any sympathy she may have had with Hitler would have been dissipated when he closed those clinics.[85] On 12 July 1940 she wrote to Winston Churchill to offer a slogan, "Fight the Battle of Britain in Berlin’s Air".[85]

Personal life

Stopes had a relationship, mainly through correspondence, with Japanese botanist Kenjiro Fujii, whom she met at the University of Munich in 1904 while researching her Ph.D. In 1907, during her 1904–1910 tenure at Manchester University, she arranged to research in Japan, allowing her to be with Fujii. The relationship ended.[citation needed]

In 1911, Stopes married Canadian geneticist Reginald Ruggles Gates. She had maintained her name out of principle; her work was blooming while his was struggling. He was disturbed by what he considered her suffragette support. He failed to assert his position as head of the household and was frustrated.[90] The marriage fell apart amid squabbling over the house and rent. After another year, she sought legal advice about ending the marriage. Not receiving useful help, she read the legal code seeking a way to get a divorce.[91] On 11 May 1913, Stopes filed for divorce on the grounds that the marriage had never been consummated. Gates left England the following year and did not contest the divorce.

In 1918 she married Humphrey Verdon Roe, the financial backer of her most famous work, Married Love: A New Contribution to the Solution of the Sex Difficulties. Their son, Harry Stopes-Roe, was born in 1924.[92] Stopes disliked Harry's companion, Mary Eyre Wallis, who was the daughter of the noted engineer Barnes Wallis. When Harry announced their engagement in October 1947, his mother set about "to try to sabotage the union".[93] She found fault with Mary and wrote to Mary's father to complain.[94] She tried to get Humphrey's support against the marriage, arguing that any grandchildren might inherit Mary's myopia. He was not persuaded.[93] Later, believing "he had betrayed her by this marriage", Stopes cut him out of any substantial inheritance.[95][96][97]

In 1923, Marie Stopes bought the Old Higher Lighthouse on the Isle of Portland, Dorset, as an escape from the difficult climate of London during her court case against Halliday Sutherland. The island's Jurassic fossil forests provided her with endless interest.[98] She founded and curated the Portland Museum, which opened in 1930.[99] The cottage housing the museum was an inspiration behind The Well-Beloved, a novel by Thomas Hardy, who was a friend of Marie Stopes.[100]

Stopes died on 2 October 1958, aged 77, from breast cancer at her home in Dorking, Surrey. Her will left her clinic to the Eugenics Society; most of her estate went to the Royal Society of Literature. Her son Harry received her copy of the Greater Oxford Dictionary and other small items.[101][102] An English Heritage blue plaque commemorates Stopes at 28 Cintra Park, Upper Norwood, where she lived from 1880 to 1892.[103]

Selected works

• Marie C. Stopes (1910). A Journal From Japan. London: Blackie & Son, Limited. OL 9026688W.
• Marie C. Stopes (1912). Botany; or, The modern study of plants. London and Edinburgh: T. C. & E. C. Jack. OL 9026684W.
• Marie C. Stopes (1913). Catalogue of the Mesozoic Plants in the British Museum (Natural History): The Cretaceous Flora: Part I - II. London: British Museum.
• Marie C. Stopes; Jōji Sakurai (1913). Plays of Old Japan. London: William Heinemann.[104]
• Marie C. Stopes; Jōji Sakurai (1927). Plays of Old Japan: The 'Nō'. Eclipse Press. OL 9026704W.
• Marie C. Stopes (1914). The 'Fern ledges' Carboniferous flora of St. John, New Brunswick. Ottawa: Government of Canada, Government Printing Bureau.
• Marie C. Stopes (1914). Man, other poems, and a preface. London: William Heinemann. OL 9026691W.
• Marie C. Stopes (1917). Conquest; or, A piece of jade; a new play. London: French.
• Marie C. Stopes (1918). Married Love. London: Fifield and Co. ISBN 0-19-280432-4. OL 9026716W.
• Marie C. Stopes (1918). Wise Parenthood: A Treatise on Birth Control or Contraception. London: Rendell & Co. ISBN 0-659-90552-3. OL 9026714W.
• Marie C. Stopes (1918). On the Four Visible Ingredients in Banded Bituminous Coal: Studies in the Composition of Coal, No. 1. Ottawa: Government of Canada, Government Printing Bureau.
• Marie C. Stopes (1920). Radiant Motherhood. London: Putnam. OL 9026706W.
• Marie C. Stopes (1921). The Truth about Venereal Disease. London: Putnam.
• Marie C. Stopes (1923). Contraception (birth control) its theory, history and practice. London: J. Bale, Sons & Danielsson. OL 9026713W.
• Marie C. Stopes (1923). Our Ostriches. London: Putnam. OL 9026703W.
• Marie C. Stopes (1926). Sex and the Young. New York and London: Putnam. OL 53799W.
• Marie C. Stopes (1926). The Human Body. New York and London: Putnam. OL 9026707W.
• Marie C. Stopes (1926). A Banned Play and a Preface on the Censorship. London: J. Bale, Sons & Danielsson. OL 9026682W.
• Marie C. Stopes (1928). Enduring Passion. New York: Putnam.
• Marie C. Stopes (1935). Marriage in My Time. Rich & Cowan Ltd.
• Marie C. Stopes (1936). Change of Life in Men and Women. New York: Putnam. OL 9026710W.
• Marie C. Stopes (1939). Your Baby's First Year. London: Putnam.
• Marie C. Stopes (1940). Oriri. London: William Heinemann.
• Marie C. Stopes (1946). The Bathe, an Ecstasy. London: A. Moring. OL 412916W.
The standard author abbreviation Stopes is used to indicate this person as the author when citing a botanical name.[105]

See also

• Birth control movement in the United States
• Social hygiene movement


1. Maude, Aylmer (1933). Marie Stopes: Her Work and Play. John Bale & Sons and Danielsson. p. 42.
2. Brand, Pauline. Birth Control Nursing in the Marie Stopes Mothers' Clinics 1921–1931. De Montfort University Leicester. p. 243. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
3. Briant, Keith (1962). Passionate Paradox: The Life of Marie Stopes. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. p. 14.
4. Stephanie Green (2013). The Public Lives of Charlotte and Marie Stopes. London: Pickering & Chatto. p. 48. ISBN 9781848932388.
5. Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 16.
6. Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 28.
7. Fraser, H. E. & C. J. Cleal, "The contribution of British women to Carboniferous palaeobotany during the first half of the 20th century", in Burek, C. V. & Higgs, B., eds. (2007). The Role of Women in the History of Geology. Geological Society, London.p.56.
8. The Linnean (2005) Vol. 21(2), p. 25
9. Marie Stopes. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/36323.
10. The interior of Antarctica, being perpetually below 0 °C, is not suitable for life, so the presence of fossils provides evidence of major changes in biological conditions there during geologic time.
11. Morgan, Nina (6 June 2008). "Cold Comfort". Geological Society. Archived from the original on 23 November 2008. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
12. Falcon-Lang, H.J.; Miller, R.F. (1 January 2007). "Marie Stopes and the Fern Ledges of Saint John, New Brunswick". Geological Society, London, Special Publications. 281 (1): 227–245. Bibcode:2007GSLSP.281..227F. doi:10.1144/SP281.13.. (also printed in The Role of Women in the History of Geology edited by C. V. Burek & B. Higgs published by the Geological Society, London (2007) pp. 232,236).
13. Stopes, Marie C. (1914). Fern Ledges Carboniferous Flora of St. John, New Brunswick. Department of Mines, Geological Survey; Geological Series 38, Memoir 41. Ottawa: Government Printing Bureau.
14. Chalone, W.G. (2005). "The palaeobotanical work of Marie Stopes". Geological Society of London, Special Publications. 241 (1): 127–135. Bibcode:2005GSLSP.241..127C. doi:10.1144/GSL.SP.2003.207.01.10.
15. Greer, Germaine (1984). Sex and Destiny. Secker and Warburg. p. 306.
16. Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. pp. 102–103.
17. Burke, Lucy, "In Pursuit of an Erogamic Life" in Ardis, Ann L., and Leslie W. Lewis, eds. (2003). Women's Experience of Modernity, 1875–1945. The Johns Hopkins University Press. p.254.
18. Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. pp. 140–141.
19. Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 148.
20. Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. pp. 125–126.
21. Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 173.
22. Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. pp. 127–129.
23. Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. p. 132.
24. Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 174.
25. Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 160.
26. Stopes, Marie Carmichael (1922). A New Gospel to All Peoples. Arthur L. Humphreys.
27. Garrett, William (2007). Marie Stopes: Feminist, Eroticist, Eugenicist. San Francisco: Kenon. p. xvii–xix.
28. Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. pp. 162–164.
29. Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 140.
30. Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. p. 143.
31. Rose, J. (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. London: Faber and Faber Limited. Page 135. "In the two eventful years since they had met and married, Marie and Humphrey had discussed birth control, and looked for a way to work in that field. Tired of delays and timidity of other birth controllers, the couple decided to open their own clinic, and by 1920 they had begun to look for suitable premises, both passionately involved."
32. Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. pp. 185–186.
33. Rose, J. (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. London: Faber and Faber Limited. Page 153.
34. Box, M. (Ed.). (1967). The Trial of Marie Stopes. London: Femina Books Ltd. Page 76.
35. Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 186.
36. Marie Stopes (1925). The First Five Thousand. London: John Bale, Sons & Danielsson. p. 9.
37. Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. p. 145.
38. ... ugenicist/ viewed 3 November 2018.
39. Stopes, Maire (2013). Wise Parenthood a Sequel to Married Love a Book for Married People. London: Forgotten Books.
40. James, Peter (1994). Ancient Inventions. New York: Ballantine Books.
41. Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. pp. 168–169.
42. Wyndham, Diana (2012). Norman Haire and the Study of Sex. Sydney: Sydney University Press. pp. 99–100.
43. Box, M. (Ed.). (1967). The Trial of Marie Stopes. London: Femina Books Ltd. Page 94.
44. Cohen, Deborah A. (1993). "Private Lives in Public Spaces: Marie Stopes, the Mothers' Clinics and the Practice of Contraception". History Workshop. 35: 95–116. doi:10.1093/hwj/35.1.95.
45. "Where we work". Marie Stopes International. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
46. Halliday Sutherland, Birth Control: A Statement of Christian Doctrine against the Neo-Malthusians New York, PJ Kennedy and Sons, 1922.
47. Carey, Jane (2012). "The Racial Imperatives of Sex: Birth Control and Eugenics in Britain, the United States and Australia in the Interwar Years". Women's History Review. Monash University. 21 (5): 733–752. doi:10.1080/09612025.2012.658180.
48. Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. p. 158.
49. Box, Muriel, ed. (1968). The Trial of Marie Stopes. Femina Books. pp. 379–386.
50. Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. pp. 172–173.
51. Westminster Gazette, July 28th 1923, "Work of the Mothers' Clinic: Appeal for a £10,000 Fund."
52. Box, Muriel, ed. (1968). The Trial of Marie Stopes. Femina Books. pp. 387–389.
53. Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. pp. 174–175.
54. Kalsem, Kristin Brandser (2004). "Law, Literature and Libel: Victorian Censorship of "Dirty Filthy" Books on Birth Control'"(PDF). William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law. 10: 566.
55. Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 5.
56. Sullivan, Esther Beth, "Vectia, Man-Made Censorship, and the Drama of Marie Stopes" in Theatre Survey, 46:1 (May 2005), p.93.
57. Briant, Keith (1962). Passionate Paradox: The Life of Marie Stopes. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. p. 210.
58. Mark Bostridge (2 August 2009). "Muriel Spark: The Biography by Martin Stannard". The Guardian.
59. Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. pp. 180–181.
60. Stopes, Marie (1926). A Banned Play and a Preface on Censorship. London: J. Bale, Sons & Danielsson. p. 6.
61. Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. p. 76.
62. Stopes, Marie (1939). Our Ostriches, 3rd ed. London: Putnam.
63. J.P. Weaving (1984). The London Stage, A Calendar of Plays, vol II: 1925-29. New Jersy and London: Metuchen. pp. 679–80.
64. Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. pp. [1].
65. Stopes, Marie Carmichael. British Library, Ad.MS 58505.
66. Brand, Pauline. "Birth Control Nursing in the Marie Stopes Mothers' Clinics 1921–1931". De Montfort University Leicester. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
67. Marie Stopes (1925). The First Five Thousand. London: John Bale, Sons & Danielsson. pp. 16–17.
68. Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. p. 239.
69. Brand, Pauline. "Birth Control Nursing in the Marie Stopes Mothers' Clinics 1921–1931". De Montfort University Leicester. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
70. Hall, Leslie A. (1997). Peel, Robert A. (ed.). Marie Stopes Eugenics and The English Birth Control Movement. The Galton Institute. p. 41. ISBN 0950406627.
71. Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader: The Life of Marie Stopes. New York and London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. p. 232 (footnote). ISBN 0-15-171288-3.
72. Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. p. 134.
73. Soloway, Richard (1997). Marie Stopes Eugenics and the English Birth Control Movement. London: The Galton Institute. p. 54. ISBN 0950406627.
74. Searle, G.R. (1976). Eugenics and Politics in Britain 1900–1914. The Netherlands: Leyden Noordhoff International Publishing. p. 102. ISBN 9028602364.
75. Debenham, Clare (2018). Marie Stopes' Sexual Revolution and the Birth Control Movement. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 121–132.
76. Archive letter to Cora Hudson 24 March 1934 (British Library, London, Marie C. Stopes’ Papers’)
77. ... the-c-b-c/
78. Maude, Aylmer (1924). The Authorized Life of Marie C Stopes. London: Williams & Norgate Ltd. pp. 222–226.
79. Problems of Population and Parenthood: The Second Report of the National Birth Rate Commission 1918-20. Chapman and Hall. 1920. p. 133.
80. Stopes, Marie C. (1921). Radiant Motherhood: A Book for Those Who are Creating the Future. G.P. Putnam's Sons. pp. 230 & 233.
81. Stopes, Marie (1920). Radiant Motherhood. G.P. Putnam's Sons Ltd. p. 226.
82. Stopes, Marie C. (1921). Radiant Motherhood: A Book for Those Who are Creating the Future. G.P. Putnam's Sons. pp. 228–229.
83. Stopes, Marie C. (1921). Radiant Motherhood: A Book for Those Who are Creating the Future. G.P. Putnam's Sons. p. 233.
84. Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. p. 138.
85. Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. p. 161.
86. British Library, London. Marie C. Stopes' Papers.
87. Paul, Diane (1995). Controlling Human Heredity. Humanity Books. pp. 84–91.
88. Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. p. 244.
89. Hall, Ruth (1995). Passionate Crusader: The Life of Marie Stopes. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. pp. 182. ISBN 0-15-171288-3.
90. Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. pp. 93–94.
91. Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 101.
92. Morpurgo, JE (1972). Barnes Wallis, a Biography. London: Longman Group Ltd. (Page number?)
93. Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. p. 234.
94. Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. pp. 234–235.
95. In Rose's words, Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. p. 236.
96. Peter Pugh (2005) Barnes Wallis Dambuster. Thriplow: Icon ISBN 1-84046-685-5; p. 178
97. Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 303.
98. Falcon-Lang, H.J. (July–August 2008). "Marie Stopes: passionate about palaeobotany". Geology Today. 24 (4): 136. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2451.2008.00675.x.
99. "Marie Stopes Pictures, Portland, Dorset". Steps in Time—Images Project (SITIP) archive. Archived from the original on 8 February 2007.
100. "Portland Museum". About Britain.
101. Rose, June (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. Faber and Faber. p. 244.
102. Hall, Ruth (1977). Passionate Crusader. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. p. 325.
103. "STOPES, Marie (1880–1958)". English Heritage. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
104. "Review of Plays of Old Japan: the Nō by Marie C. Stopes, together with translations of the dramas by M. C. Stopes and Prof. Jōji Sakurai, with a preface by Baron Kato". The Athenaeum (4479): 197–198. 30 August 1913.
105. IPNI. Stopes.


• "Dr. Marie Stopes". The Medico-legal Journal. 26 (2): 70–71. 1958. doi:10.1177/002581725802600205. PMID 13622045.
• Taylor, L. (October 1971). "The unfinished sexual revolution (Marie Stopes)". Journal of Biosocial Science. 3 (4): 473–492. doi:10.1017/S0021932000008233. PMID 4942965.
• Simms, M. (October 1975). "Marie Stopes Memorial Lecture 1975. The compulsory pregnancy lobby—then and now". The Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners. 25 (159): 709–719. PMC 2157852. PMID 1104826.
• Hall, L. A. (June 1983). "The Stopes collection in the Contemporary Medical Archives Centre at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine". The Society for the Social History of Medicine Bulletin. 32: 50–51. PMID 11611236.
• Hall, L. A. (1985). ""Somehow very distasteful": doctors, men and sexual problems between the wars". Journal of Contemporary History. 20 (4): 553–574. doi:10.1177/002200948502000404. PMID 11617291.
• Bacchi, C. (1988). "Feminism and the "eroticization" of the middle-class woman: the intersection of class and gender attitudes". Women's Studies International Forum. 11 (1): 43–53. doi:10.1016/0277-5395(88)90006-4. PMID 11618316.
• Davey, C. (1988). "Birth control in Britain during the interwar years: evidence from the Stopes correspondence". Journal of Family History. 13 (3): 329–345. doi:10.1177/036319908801300120. PMID 11621671.
• Fairley, A. (May 1990). "The birth of birth control". Canadian Medical Association Journal. 142 (9): 993–995. PMC 1451747. PMID 2183921.
• Jones, G. (August 1992). "Marie Stopes in Ireland—the Mother's Clinic in Belfast, 1936–47". Social History of Medicine. 5 (2): 255–277. doi:10.1093/shm/5.2.255. PMID 11623088.
• Geppert, A. C. T. (January 1998). "Divine sex, happy marriage, regenerated nation: Marie Stopes's marital manual Married Loveand the making of a best-seller, 1918–1955". Journal of the History of Sexuality. 8 (3): 389–433. PMID 11620019.
• Fisher, Kate (2002). "Contrasting cultures of contraception: birth control clinics and the working-classes in Britain between the wars". Clio Medica. 66: 141–157. PMID 12028675.
• Sakula, Alex (August 2003). "Plaques on London houses of medico-historical interest; Marie Stopes (1880–1958)". Journal of Medical Biography. 11 (3): 141. doi:10.1177/096777200301100306. PMID 12870036.
• Aylmer Maude (1924). The Authorized Life of Marie C. Stopes. London: Williams & Norgate.
Aylmer Maude (1933). Marie Stopes: Her Work and Play. London: John Bale & Sons and Danielsson.
• Keith Briant (1962). Passionate Paradox: The Life of Marie Stopes. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
• Ruth Hall (1978). Marie Stopes: a biography. London: Virago, Ltd. ISBN 0-86068-092-4.
• June Rose (1992). Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 0-571-16970-8.

External links

• Works by Marie Stopes at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Marie Stopes at Internet Archive
• Works by Marie Stopes at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• "Archival material relating to Marie Stopes". UK National Archives.
• "Situating Stopes", by Lesley A. Hall, Wellcome Library, London
• Pictures of Marie Stopes and Thomas Hardy at her Portland home
• Marie Stopes International
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