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Henry Sidgwick
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/2/20

Henry Sidgwick
Born: 31 May 1838, Skipton, Yorkshire, England
Died: 28 August 1900 (aged 62), Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Alma mater: Trinity College, Cambridge
Era: 19th-century philosophy
Region: Western philosophy
School: Utilitarianism
Institutions: Trinity College, Cambridge
Main interests: Ethics, political philosophy
Notable ideas: Average and total utilitarianism, Ethical hedonism, ethical intuitionism, paradox of hedonism
Influences: Jeremy Bentham, David Hume, John Stuart Mill
Influenced: R. M. Hare, Mordecai Kaplan, Alfred Marshall, G. E. Moore, Derek Parfit, Arthur Cecil Pigou, Hastings Rashdall, John Rawls, Bertrand Russell, Peter Singer, J. J. C. Smart

Henry Sidgwick (/ˈsɪdʒwɪk/; 31 May 1838 – 28 August 1900) was an English utilitarian philosopher and economist.[1] He was the Knightbridge Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Cambridge from 1883 until his death, and is best known in philosophy for his utilitarian treatise The Methods of Ethics.[2] He was one of the founders and first president of the Society for Psychical Research and a member of the Metaphysical Society and promoted the higher education of women. His work in economics has also had a lasting influence.

Sidgwick joined the Cambridge “Ghost Society” as an undergraduate, and he had already devoted many years to informal psychical research before the formation of the Society for Psychical Research, in 1882.

-- Henry Sidgwick, by Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

In 1875 he co-founded Newnham College, a women-only constituent college of the University of Cambridge. It was the second Cambridge college to admit women, after Girton College. Newnham College's co-founder was Millicent Garrett Fawcett.

In 1856 Sidgwick joined the Cambridge Apostles intellectual secret society.


Henry Sidgwick was born at Skipton in Yorkshire, where his father, the Reverend W. Sidgwick (died 1841), was headmaster of the local grammar school, Ermysted's Grammar School. Henry's mother was Mary Sidgwick, née Crofts (1807–79).

Henry Sidgwick was educated at Rugby (where his cousin, subsequently his brother-in-law, Edward White Benson, later Archbishop of Canterbury, was a master), and at Trinity College, Cambridge. While at Trinity, Sidgwick became a member of the Cambridge Apostles. In 1859, he was senior classic, 33rd wrangler, chancellor's medallist and Craven scholar. In the same year, he was elected to a fellowship at Trinity and soon afterwards he became a lecturer in classics there, a post he held for ten years.[3] The Sidgwick Site, home to several of the university's arts and humanities faculties, is named after him.

In 1869, he exchanged his lectureship in classics for one in moral philosophy, a subject to which he had been turning his attention. In the same year, deciding that he could no longer in good conscience declare himself a member of the Church of England, he resigned his fellowship. He retained his lectureship and in 1881 he was elected an honorary fellow. In 1874 he published The Methods of Ethics (6th ed. 1901, containing emendations written just before his death), by common consent a major work, which made his reputation outside the university. John Rawls called it the "first truly academic work in moral theory, modern in both method and spirit".[4]

In 1875, he was appointed praelector on moral and political philosophy at Trinity, and in 1883 he was elected Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy. In 1885, the religious test having been removed, his college once more elected him to a fellowship on the foundation.

Besides his lecturing and literary labours, Sidgwick took an active part in the business of the university and in many forms of social and philanthropic work. He was a member of the General Board of Studies from its foundation in 1882 to 1899; he was also a member of the Council of the Senate of the Indian Civil Service Board and the Local Examinations and Lectures Syndicate and chairman of the Special Board for Moral Science.[5]

He married Eleanor Mildred Balfour, who was a member of the Ladies Dining Society in Cambridge, with 11 other members, and was sister to Arthur Balfour.

A 2004 biography of Sidgwick by Bart Schultz sought to establish that Sidgwick was a lifelong homosexual, but it is unknown whether he ever consummated his inclinations. According to the biographer, Sidgwick struggled internally throughout his life with issues of hypocrisy and openness in connection with his own forbidden desires.[2][6]

He was one of the founders and first president of the Society for Psychical Research, and was a member of the Metaphysical Society.[5]

He also took in promoting the higher education of women. He helped to start the higher local examinations for women, and the lectures held at Cambridge in preparation for these. It was at his suggestion and with his help that Anne Clough opened a house of residence for students, which developed into Newnham College, Cambridge. When, in 1880, the North Hall was added, Sidgwick lived there for two years. His wife became principal of the college after Clough's death in 1892, and they lived there for the rest of his life. During this whole period, Sidgwick took the deepest interest in the welfare of the college. In politics, he was a liberal, and became a Liberal Unionist (a party that later effectively merged with the Conservative party) in 1886.

Early in 1900 he was forced by ill-health to resign his professorship, and died a few months later.[5] Sidgwick, who died an agnostic,[7] is buried in Terling All Saints Churchyard, Terling, Essex, with his wife.


See also: The Methods of Ethics

Sidgwick summarizes his position in ethics as utilitarianism “on an Intuitional basis”.[8] This reflects, and disputes, the rivalry then felt among British philosophers between the philosophies of utilitarianism and ethical intuitionism, which is illustrated, for example, by John Stuart Mill’s criticism of ethical intuitionism in the first chapter of his book Utilitarianism.

Sidgwick developed this position due to his dissatisfaction with an inconsistency in Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill’s utilitarianism, between what he labels “psychological hedonism” and “ethical hedonism”. Psychological hedonism states that everyone always will do what is in their self interest, whereas ethical hedonism states that everyone ought to do what is in the general interest. Sidgwick believed neither Bentham nor Mill had an adequate answer as to how the prescription that someone ought to sacrifice their own interest to the general interest could have any force, given they combined that prescription with the claim that everyone will in fact always pursue their own individual interest. Ethical intuitions, such as those argued for by philosophers such as William Whewell, could, according to Sidgwick, provide the missing force for such normative claims.

As Sidgwick sees it, one of the central issues of ethics is whether self-interest and duty always coincide. To a great extent they do, Sidgwick argues, but it cannot be proved that they never conflict, except by appeal to a divine system of punishments and rewards that Sidgwick believes is out of place in a work of philosophical ethics. The upshot is that there is a "dualism of practical reason."

Sidgwick does not use the terms act utilitarian or rule utilitarian, these being terms that would come into currency only after his death; nevertheless, J.J.C. Smart labels him an act utilitarian.[9]


Sidgwick's meta-ethics involve an explicit defense of an non-naturalist form of moral realism. He is committed to moral cognitivism: that moral language is robustly truth-apt, and that moral properties are not reducible to any natural properties. This non-naturalist realism is combined with an ethical intuitionist epistemology to account for the possibility of knowing moral truths.[10]

Esoteric morality

Sidgwick is closely, and controversially, associated with esoteric morality: the position that a moral system (such as utiltiarianism) may be acceptable, but that it is not acceptable for that moral system to be widely taught or accepted.[11]

Bernard Williams would refer to Sidgwickian esoteric utilitarianism as "Government House Utilitarianism" and claim that it reflects the elite British colonialist setting of Sidgwick's thought.[12]

Philosophical legacy

According to John Rawls, Sidgwick's importance to modern ethics rests with two contributions: providing the most sophisticated defense available of utilitarianism in its classical form, and providing in his comparative methodology an exemplar for how ethics is to be researched as an academic subject.[13] Allen Wood describes Sidgwick-inspired comparative methodology as the "standard model" of research methodology among contemporary ethicists.[14]

Despite his importance to contemporary ethicists, Sidgwick’s reputation as a philosopher fell precipitously in the decades following his death, and he would be regarded as a minor figure in philosophy for a large part of the first half of the 20th century. Bart Schultz argues that this negative assessment is explained by the tastes of groups which would be influential at Cambridge in the years following Sidgwick's death: Wittgensteinian ordinary language philosophers, the remnants of British idealism, and, most importantly, the Bloomsbury Group.[15] John Deigh, however, disputes Schultz's explanation, and instead attributes this fall in interest in Sidgwick to changing philosophical understandings of axioms in mathematics, which would throw into question whether axiomatization provided an appropriate model for a foundationalist epistemology of the sort Sidgwick tried to build for ethics.[16]


Sidgwick worked in economics at a time when the British economics mainstream was undergoing the transition from the classical economics of Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and John Stuart Mill to the neo-classical economics of William Stanley Jevons and Alfred Marshall. Sidgwick responded to these changes by preferring to emphasize the similarities between the old economics and the new, choosing to base his work on J.S. Mill’s Principles of Political Economy, incorporating the insights of Jevons.[17]

Sidgwick would have a major influence on the development of welfare economics, due to his own work on the subject inspiring Arthur Cecil Pigou's work The Economics of Welfare.[18]

Alfred Marshall, founder of the Cambridge School of economics, would describe Sidgwick as his "spiritual mother and father."[19]


Sidgwick had a lifelong interest in the paranormal. This interest, combined with his personal struggles with religious belief, motivated his gathering of young colleagues interested in assessing the empirical evidence for paranormal or miraculous phenomena. This gathering would be known as the "Sidgwick Group", and would be a predecessor of the Society for Psychical Research, which would count Sidgwick as founder and first president.[20]

Sidgwick would connect his concerns with parapsychology to his research in ethics. He believed the dualism of practical reason might be solved outside of philosophical ethics if it were shown, empirically, that the recommendations of rational egoism and utilitarianism coincided due to the reward of moral behaviour after death.

According to Bart Schultz, despite Sidgwick’s prominent role in institutionalizing parapsychology as a discipline, he had upon it an “overwhelmingly negative, destructive effect, akin to that of recent debunkers of parapsychology”; he and his Sidgwick Group associates became notable for exposing fraud mediums.[21] One such incident was the exposure of the fraud of Eusapia Palladino.[22][23]


Brought up in the Church of England, Sidgwick drifted away from orthodox Christianity, and as early as 1862 he described himself as a theist, independent from established religion.[18] For the rest of his life, although he regarded Christianity as "indispensable and irreplaceable – looking at it from a sociological point of view," he found himself unable to return to it as a religion.

Works by Sidgwick

• The Ethics of Conformity and Subscription. 1870.
• The Methods of Ethics. London, 1874, 7th edition 1907.
• The Theory of Evolution in its application to Practice, in Mind, Volume I, Number 1 January 1876, 52–67,
• Principles of Political Economy. London, 1883, 3rd edition 1901.
• The Scope and Method of Economic Science. 1885.
• Outlines of the History of Ethics for English Readers. 1886 5th edition 1902 (enlarged from his article Ethics in the Encyclopædia Britannica).
• The Elements of Politics. London, 1891, 4th edition 1919.
• "The Philosophy of Common Sense", in Mind, New Series, Volume IV, Number 14, April 1895, 145–158.
• Economic science and economics, Palgrave's Dictionary of Political Economy, 1896, v. 1, (reprinted in The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics, 1987, v. 2, 58–59.)
• Practical Ethics. London, 1898, 2nd edition 1909.
• Philosophy; its Scope and Relations. London, 1902.
• Lectures on the Ethics of T. H. Green, Mr Herbert Spencer and J. Martineau. 1902.
• The Development of European Polity. 1903, 3rd edition 1920
• Miscellaneous Essays and Addresses. 1904.
• Lectures on the Philosophy of Kant and other philosophical lectures and essays. 1905.
• Sidgwick's writings available online

See also


• Alfred Marshall
• Derek Parfit
• Peter Singer


• Analytic philosophy
• Palm Sunday Case


• Anonymous (9 November 1895). "Exit Eusapia!". The British Medical Journal. British Medical Association. 2 (1819): 1182.
• Brooke, Christopher Nugent Lawrence; Leader, Damian Riehl (1988). "1: Prologue". A History of the University of Cambridge: 1870–1990. Cambridge University Press. p. 1. ISBN 9780521343503. In 1869 Henry Sidgwick, who had become a devout agnostic, made protest against the survival of religious tests in Cambridge by resigning his Trinity fellowship.
• Bryce, James (1903). "Henry Sidgwick". Studies in Contemporary Biography. New York: Macmillan.
• Collini, Stefan (1992). "The ordinary experience of civilized life: Sidgwick's politics and the method of reflective analysis". In Schultz, Bart (ed.). Essays on Henry Sidgwick. Cambridge University Press. pp. 333–368. ISBN 0-521-39151-2.
• Deane, Phyllis (1987). "Sidgwick, Henry". The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics. 4. pp. 328–329.
• de Lazari-Radek, Katarzyna; Singer, Peter (4 January 2010). "Secrecy in consequentialism: A defence of esoteric morality". Ratio. Wiley. 23 (1): 34–58. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9329.2009.00449.x.
• Deigh, John (12 November 2007). "Sidgwick's Epistemology". Utilitas. Cambridge University Press. 19 (4): 435–446. doi:10.1017/S0953820807002737.
• Medema, Steven G. (1 December 2008). ""Losing My Religion": Sidgwick, Theism, and the Struggle for Utilitarian Ethics in Economic Analysis". History of Political Economy. 40 (5): 189–211. doi:10.1215/00182702-2007-066.
• Nussbaum, Martha (6 June 2005). "The Epistemology of the Closet". The Nation.
• Philips, David (2011). Sidgwickian Ethics. New York: Oxford University Press.
• Rawls, John (September 1980). "Kantian Constructivism in Moral Theory". The Journal of Philosophy. The Journal of Philosophy, Inc. 77 (9): 515–572.
• Rawls, John (1981). "Foreward to The Methods of Ethics". The Methods of Ethics (7th ed.). Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company. p. v-vi. ISBN 978-0915145287.
• Schultz, Bart (2009) [2004]. Henry Sidgwick - Eye of the Universe: An Intellectual Biography. Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511498336. ISBN 9780511498336.
• Schultz, Barton (2019). "Henry Sidgwick". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
• Sidgwick, Henry (16 November 1895). "Exit Eusapia". The British Medical Journal. British Medical Association. 2 (1820): 1263. doi:10.1136/bmj.2.1820.1263-e.
• Sidgwick, Henry (1981) [1907]. The Methods of Ethics (7th ed.). Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0915145287.
• Smart, J.J.C.; Williams, Bernard (1973). Smart, J.J.C. (ed.). Utilitarianism: For and Against. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-09822-9.
• Williams, Bernard (2009) [1982]. "The Point of View of the Universe: Sidgwick and the Ambitions of Ethics". The Sense of the Past: Essays in the History of Philosophy. Princeton University Press. pp. 277–296. doi:10.1515/9781400827107.277. ISBN 978-0-691-13408-6.
• Wood, Allen (2008). Kantian Ethics. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521671149.
1. Bryce 1903, p. 327-342.
2. Schultz 2009.
3. "Sidgwick, Henry (SGWK855H)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
4. Rawls 1980.
5. "Sidgwick, Henry". 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica. Volume 25. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
6. Nussbaum 2005.
7. Brooke & Leader 1988.
8. Sidgwick 1981, p. xxii.
9. Smart & Williams 1973, p. 4.
10. Philips 2011, p. 10-13.
11. de Lazari-Radek & Singer 2010.
12. Williams 2009, p. 291.
13. Rawls 1981.
14. Wood 2008, p. 45.
15. Schultz 2009, p. 4.
16. Deigh 2007, p. 439.
17. Collini 1992, p. 340-341.
18. Medema 2008.
19. Deane 1987.
20. Schultz 2009, p. 275-276.
21. Schultz 2019.
22. Anonymous 1895.
23. Sidgwick 1895.
• This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Sidgwick, Henry". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Further reading

• Blum, Deborah (2006). Ghost hunters : William James and the search for scientific proof of life after death. New York: Penguin Press.
• de Lazari-Radek, Katarzyna; Singer, Peter (2014). The Point of View of the Universe: Sidgwick and Contemporary Ethics. Oxford University Press.
• Geninet, Hortense (2009). Geninet, Hortense (ed.). Politiques comparées, Henry Sidgwick et la politique moderne dans les «Éléments Politiques» (in French). France. ISBN 978-2-7466-1043-9.
• Nakano-Okuno, Mariko (2011). Sidgwick and Contemporary Utilitarianism. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-32178-6.
• Schneewind, Jerome (1977). Sidgwick's Ethics and Victorian Moral Philosophy. Clarendon Press.
• Shaver, Robert (2009) [1990]. Rational Egoism: A Selective and Critical History. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521119962. - Study of rational egoism that focuses on Sidgwick's thought on the subject, alongside that of Thomas Hobbes.

External links

• Works by Henry Sidgwick at Project Gutenberg
• Henry Sidgwick Website
• Official website of the 2nd International congress : Henry Sidgwick Ethics, Psychics, Politics. University of Catania – Italy
• Henry Sidgwick. Comprehensive list of online writings by and about Sidgwick.
• Contains Sidgwick's "Methods of Ethics", modified for easier reading
• Henry Sidgwick, Leslie Stephen, MInd, New Series, Vol. 10, No. 37 (January 1901), pp. 1-17 [At Internet Archive]
• The Ethical System of Henry Sidgwick, James Seth, MInd, New Series, Vol. 10, No. 38 (April 1901), pp.172-187 [At Internet Archive]
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Metaphysical Society
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/2/20

The Metaphysical Society was a British society, founded in 1869 by James Knowles. Many of its members were prominent clergymen.

Sir James Thomas Knowles KCVO (13 October 1831 – 13 February 1908) was an English architect and editor. He was intimate with the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson and the founder of the Metaphysical Society to seek rapprochement between religion and science.

-- James Thomas Knowles, by Wikipedia

Papers were read and discussed at meetings on such subjects as the ultimate grounds of belief in the objective and moral sciences, the immortality of the soul, etc. A description of one of the meetings was given by William Connor Magee (then Bishop of Peterborough) in a letter on 13 February 1873:

Archbishop Manning in the chair was flanked by two Protestant bishops right and left; on my right was Hutton, editor of the Spectator, an Arian; then came Father Dalgairns, a very able Roman Catholic priest; opposite him Lord A. Russell, a Deist; then two Scotch metaphysical writers, Freethinkers; then Knowles, the very broad editor of the Contemporary; then, dressed as a layman and looking like a country squire, was Ward, formerly Rev. Ward, and earliest of the perverts to Rome; then Greg, author of The Creed of Christendom, a Deist; then Froude, the historian, once a deacon in our Church, now a Deist; then Roden Noël, an actual Atheist and red republican, and looking very like one! Lastly Ruskin, who read a paper on miracles, which we discussed for an hour and a half! Nothing could be calmer, fairer, or even, on the whole, more reverent than the discussion. In my opinion, we, the Christians, had much the best of it. Dalgairns, the priest, was very masterly; Manning, clever and precise and weighty; Froude, very acute, and so was Greg. We only wanted a Jew and a Muslim to make our Religious Museum complete (Life, i. 284).

The last meeting of the society was held on 16 May 1880 and it was dissolved later in November of that year.[1] Huxley said that it died "of too much love"; Tennyson, "because after ten years of strenuous effort no one had succeeded in even defining metaphysics." According to Dean Stanley, "We all meant the same thing if we only knew it."


The members from first to last were as follows:[2]

• Dean Stanley, of Westminster Abbey
• John Robert Seeley, English essayist and historian.
• Roden Noël, poet
• James Martineau, English philosopher
• William Benjamin Carpenter, physiologist and naturalist
• James Hinton, surgeon and author
Thomas Henry Huxley, Darwinist biologist
• John Tyndall, physicist
• Charles Pritchard, astronomer
• Richard Holt Hutton, writer and theologian.
• William George Ward, Catholic theologian
• Walter Bagehot, economist and editor
• James Anthony Froude, historian
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Poet Laureate
• Alfred Barry
Lord Arthur Russell, British politician
• William Ewart Gladstone, Liberal Prime Minister
Henry Edward Manning, Archbishop and Cardinal

James Knowles, architect and editor
• John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury
• Henry Alford, churchman, scholar, and poet
• Alexander Grant
• Connop Thirlwall
• Frederic Harrison
• Father Dalgairns
• Sir George Grove
• Shadworth Hodgson
Henry Sidgwick
• Edmund Lushington
• Bishop Charles Ellicott
• Mark Pattison
• George Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll
John Ruskin
• Robert Lowe, 1st Viscount Sherbrooke
Sir Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant-Duff
• William Rathbone Greg
• Alexander Campbell Fraser
• Henry Acland
• John Frederick Denison Maurice
• Archbishop Thomson
• Thomas Mozely
• Richard William Church
• William Connor Magee
• George Croom Robertson
• James Fitzjames Stephen
• James Joseph Sylvester
• John Charles Bucknill
• Andrew Clark
• William Kingdon Clifford
• St. George Jackson Mivart
• Matthew Piers Watt Boulton, classicist and amateur scientist
• William Waldegrave Palmer, 2nd Earl of Selborne
• John Morley
• Leslie Stephen
• Frederick Pollock
• Francis Aidan Gasquet
• C Barnes Upton
• William Withey Gull
• Robert Clarke
Arthur Balfour
• James Sully
• Alfred Barratt

Continuing their discussion of the membership of "The Society of the Elect," Stead asked permission to bring in Milner and Brett. Rhodes agreed, so they telegraphed at once to Brett, who arrived in two hours. They then drew up the following "ideal arrangement' for the society:

1. General of the Society: Rhodes
2. Junta of Three: (1) Stead, (2) Brett, (3) Milner
3. Circle of Initiates: (1) Cardinal Manning, (2) General Booth, (3) Bramwell Booth, (4)"Little" [Harry] Johnston, (5) Albert Grey, (6) Arthur Balfour
4. The Association of Helpers
5. A College, under Professor Seeley, to be established to train people in the English-speaking idea."

Within the next few weeks Stead had another talk with Rhodes and a talk with Milner, who was "filled with admiration" for the scheme, according to Stead's notes as published by Sir Frederick Whyte.

-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley



1. Christopher A. Kent, "Metaphysical Society (act. 1869–1880)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, (, 2004. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
2. "The Metaphysical Society. A Reminiscence" by R. H. Hutton, published in 1885 in The Nineteenth Century magazine.


• Brown, Alan Willard The Metaphysical Society: Victorian Minds in Crisis, 1869-1880. New York: Columbia U.P., 1947.
• The papers of the Metaphysical Society, 1869-1880 : a critical edition, Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2015, 3 volumes.
• Catherine Marshall; Bernard V Lightman; Richard England, The Metaphysical Society (1869-1880) : intellectual life in mid-Victorian England, Oxford ; New York, NY : Oxford University Press, 2019.

Further reading

• Hajdenko-Marshall, Catherine. Believing After Darwin: The Debates of the Metaphysical Society (1869–1880), Cahiers victoriens et édouardien online, Vol. 76, Autumn, 2012, published online 20 April 2013, p. 69–83.
• Hutton, R. H. "The Metaphysical Society: a reminiscence", The Nineteenth Century magazine, 18 August 1885, pp. 177–196.
• Metcalf, P. "James Knowles: Victorian editor and architect", 1980.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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James Thomas Knowles (1831–1908)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/2/20

For the subject's father, see James Thomas Knowles (1806–1884).

Sir James Thomas Knowles KCVO (13 October 1831 – 13 February 1908) was an English architect and editor.[1] He was intimate with the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson and the founder of the Metaphysical Society to seek rapprochement between religion and science.


James Knowles was born in London, the son of the architect James Thomas Knowles (1806–1884), and himself trained in architecture at University College and in Italy. Among the buildings he designed were three churches in Clapham, South London, Mark Masons' Hall, London (later the Thatched House Club), Lord Tennyson's house at Aldworth, the Leicester Square garden (as restored at the expense of Albert Grant), Albert Mansions, Victoria Street in Westminster,[2] and an 1882 enlargement of the Royal Sea Bathing Hospital at Margate in Kent.[3]

However, his preferences led him simultaneously into a literary career. In 1860 he published The Story of King Arthur. In 1866 he was introduced to Alfred Lord Tennyson and later agreed to design his new house on condition there was no fee. This led to a close friendship, Knowles assisting Tennyson in business matters, and among other things helping to design scenery for the play The Cup, when Henry Irving produced it in 1880.

Knowles corresponded with a number of the most interesting men of the day, and in 1869, with Tennyson's cooperation, he founded the Metaphysical Society, the object of which was to attempt some intellectual rapprochement between religion and science by getting the leading representatives of faith and unfaith to meet and exchange views. Members included Tennyson, Gladstone, W. K. Clifford, W. G. Ward, John Morley, Cardinal Manning, Archbishop Thomson, T. H. Huxley, Arthur Balfour, Leslie Stephen, and Sir William Gull.[2] The society formed the nucleus of the distinguished list of contributors who supported Knowles in his capacity as an editor.

In 1870 he succeeded Dean Alford as editor of the Contemporary Review, but left it in 1877 owing to the objection of the proprietors to the insertion of articles (by W. K. Clifford notably) attacking Theism and founded the Nineteenth Century (to the title of which, in 1901, were added the words And After). Both periodicals became very influential under him, and formed the type of the new sort of monthly review which came to occupy the place formerly held by the quarterlies. For example, it was prominent in checking the Channel Tunnel project, by publishing a protest signed by many distinguished men in 1882. In 1904 he received a knighthood. He was a considerable collector of works of art.

Knowles was married twice, first in 1860 to Jane Borradaile, then in 1865 to Isabel Hewlett. He died in Brighton and was buried at the Brighton Extra Mural Cemetery.[2]


1. Lee, Sidney (1912). "Knowles, James Thomas" . Dictionary of National Biography (2nd supplement). London: Smith, Elder & Co.
2. James Dodsley (1909), The Annual Register, digitized by Google
3. Harry Wells, "Mark Masons' Hall, 86 St. James's Street: A brief history of the present building", 28 May 2015 (online), access date 4 July 2015


• This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Knowles, Sir James". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

External links

• Works by James Knowles at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about James Thomas Knowles at Internet Archive
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Cambridge Apostles [The Apostles' Club]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/2/20

The Cambridge Apostles (also known as Conversazione Society) is an intellectual society at the University of Cambridge founded in 1820 by George Tomlinson, a Cambridge student who went on to become the first Bishop of Gibraltar.[1]

The origin of the Apostles' nickname dates from the number, twelve, of their founders. Membership consists largely of undergraduates, though there have been graduate student members, and members who already hold university and college posts. The society traditionally drew most of its members from Christ's, St John's, Jesus, Trinity and King's Colleges.

Activities and membership

King's College, Cambridge

The society is essentially a discussion group. Meetings are held once a week, traditionally on Saturday evenings, during which one member gives a prepared talk on a topic, which is later thrown open for discussion.

The usual procedure was for members to meet at the rooms of those whose turn it was to present the topic. The host would provide refreshments consisting of coffee and sardines on toast, called "whales".[2] Women first gained acceptance into the society in the 1970s.

The Apostles retain a leather diary of their membership ("the book") stretching back to its founder, which includes handwritten notes about the topics on which each member has spoken. It is included in the so-called "Ark", which is a cedar chest containing collection of papers with some handwritten notes from the group's early days, about the topics members have spoken on, and the results of the division in which those present voted on the debate. It was a point of honour that the question voted on should bear only a tangential relationship to the matter debated.[3] The members referred to as the "Apostles" are the active, usually undergraduate members; former members are called "angels". Undergraduates apply to become angels after graduating or being awarded a fellowship. Every few years, amid great secrecy, all the angels are invited to an Apostles' dinner at a Cambridge college. There used to be an annual dinner, usually held in London.

Undergraduates being considered for membership are called "embryos" and are invited to "embryo parties", where members judge whether the student should be invited to join. The "embryos" attend these parties without knowing they are being considered for membership. Becoming an Apostle involves taking an oath of secrecy and listening to the reading of a curse, originally written by Apostle Fenton John Anthony Hort, the theologian, in or around 1851.

Former members have spoken of the lifelong bond they feel toward one another. Henry Sidgwick, the philosopher, wrote of the Apostles in his memoirs that "the tie of attachment to this society is much the strongest corporate bond which I have known in my life."

Eleven former members of the Apostles are buried in the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground in Cambridge: Henry Jackson, classicist (1863); Sir Richard Claverhouse Jebb, classicist (1859); Desmond MacCarthy, newspaper critic (1896); Sir Donald MacAlister, physician (1876); Norman McLean, orientalist (1888), G. E. Moore, philosopher (1894); Frank P. Ramsey, economist and philosopher (1921); Gerald Shove, economist (1909); Vincent Henry Stanton, Professor of Divinity (1872), Arthur Woollgar Verrall, Classicist (1871), and Ludwig Wittgenstein, philosopher (1912). These eleven members were from Christ's, King's, St. Johns College and Trinity. A twelfth member Benjamin Hall Kennedy is buried in the Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge.

Bertrand Russell and G. E. Moore joined as students, as did John Maynard Keynes, who invited Ludwig Wittgenstein to join. However, Wittgenstein did not enjoy it and attended infrequently. Russell had been worried that Wittgenstein would not appreciate the group's unseriousness and style of humour.[4] He was admitted in 1912 but resigned almost immediately because he could not tolerate the level of the discussion on the Hearth Rug; they took him back though in the 1920s when he returned to Cambridge. (He also had trouble tolerating the discussions in the Moral Sciences Club.)[/b]


The Apostles became well known outside Cambridge in the years before the First World War with the rise to eminence of the group of intellectuals known as the Bloomsbury Group. John Maynard Keynes, Leonard Woolf, Lytton Strachey and his brother James, G. E. Moore, E. M. Forster and Rupert Brooke were all Apostles. Keynes, Woolf and Lytton Strachey subsequently gained prominence as members of Bloomsbury.

Cambridge spy ring

Main article: Cambridge Five

The Apostles came to public attention again following the exposure of the Cambridge spy ring in 1951. Three Cambridge graduates with access to the top levels of government in Britain, one of them a former Apostle, were eventually found to have passed information to the KGB. The three known agents were Apostle Guy Burgess, an MI6 officer and secretary to the deputy foreign minister; Donald MacLean, foreign office secretary; and Kim Philby, MI6 officer and journalist.

In 1963, American writer Michael Straight, also an Apostle, and later publisher of The New Republic magazine, admitted to a covert relationship with the Soviets, and he named Anthony Blunt, MI5 officer, director of the Courtauld Institute, and art adviser to the Queen as his recruiter and a Soviet spy. Confronted with Straight's confession, Blunt acknowledged his own treason and revealed that he had also drawn into espionage his fellow Apostle Leonard "Leo" Long. Straight also told investigators that the Apostle John Peter Astbury had been recruited for Soviet intelligence by either Blunt or Burgess. Leo Long confessed to delivering classified information to the Soviets from 1940 until 1952.

Writers have accused several other Apostles of being witting Soviet agents. Roland Perry in his book, The Fifth Man (London: Pan Books, 1994) makes a circumstantial case against Victor Rothschild, 3rd Baron Rothschild, who was a friend to both Burgess and Blunt. The espionage historian John Costello in The Mask of Treachery (London: William Collins & Sons, 1988) points a finger at the mathematician Alister Watson. Kimberley Cornish, in his controversial The Jew of Linz (London: Century, 1998), makes the rather extravagant claim that Ludwig Wittgenstein was the "éminence grise" of the Cambridge spies.

In the 1930s when Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt were elected the membership was mainly Marxist. Documents from the Soviet archives included in the book The Crown Jewels (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), by Nigel West and Oleg Tsarev, indicate that it was Burgess who seduced and led Blunt into the Soviet underground. As the Queen's art adviser, Blunt was knighted in 1956, but was stripped of his knighthood in 1979 after Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher publicly named him as a spy—his confession having been kept secret before then.

Known members

• Partha Dasgupta, emeritus Frank Ramsey Professor of Economics at St John's College, Cambridge
• Geoffrey Lloyd, emeritus professor of classics at Cambridge; member of Darwin College, Cambridge (195?)
• Richard Layard, professor of economics at the London School of Economics
• Garry Runciman, 3rd Viscount Runciman of Doxford
• Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize–winning economist and philosopher and previously master of Trinity College[5]
• Quentin Skinner, historian of political philosophy (196?)
• David Wootton, City of London lawyer and liveryman

Former members

Members of the Apostles include (with the year they joined in brackets, where known);[6]


• Thomas Ainger (1820)[7]
• Noel Annan, intelligence officer, provost of King's College, Cambridge, provost of University College, London, vice-chancellor of the University of London, member of the House of Lords (1948)


• Francis Maitland Balfour (1875)
• Gerald William Balfour (1872)
• Theodore Beck (1881)
• Ferenc Békássy, Hungarian poet (1912)
• Julian Bell, poet (1928) killed in 1937 in the Spanish Civil War
• Francis Birrell, critic and journalist (?) query
• Hugh Blackburn (1844) ODNB
• Joseph Blakesley[8] (1827)
• Anthony Blunt,[3] art adviser to the Queen, MI5 officer, KGB spy (1927)
• R. B. Braithwaite, philosopher (1921)
• Rupert Brooke,[3] poet (1908)
• Oscar Browning, educator (1858)
• Arthur William Buller, judge of the Supreme Court, Calcutta (1828)
• Charles Buller, barrister and MP (1826)
• Guy Burgess,[3] MI6 officer, KGB spy (1932)
• John Butcher, 1st Baron Danesfort (1873)
• Samuel Henry Butcher[9] (1871) ODNB
• Arthur John Butler[3] (1865)
• Henry Montagu Butler (1853)


• John Cairncross,[3] Civil Servant, KGB Spy
• James Carter (judge) (1824)
• D. G. Champernowne (1934)
• William Dougal Christie (1836)
• William K. Clifford[10] (1866)
• Arthur Clough[3] (1883)
• Andrew Cohen (colonial governor), Sir (192?)
• William Johnson Cory


• Erasmus Alvey Darwin, brother of Charles Darwin (1823)
• Hugh Sykes Davies (1932)[11]
• Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson, historian and philosopher (1885)
• James Hamilton Doggart (1919)
• James Duff Duff (1884)


• Sir Howard Elphinstone, 3rd Baronet (1851)


• Julian Fane (diplomat)[12]
• James Farish
• Frederic Farrar[13]
• Charles Fletcher-Cooke
• E. M. Forster,[1] writer (1901)
• Hugh Fortescue, 3rd Earl Fortescue
• John Fortune
• Roger Eliot Fry,[3] art historian (1887)
• John Monteith Furness[14]


• Robin Gandy, mathematician (1947)
• Sydney Gedge
• Leonard Greenwood,[15] classicist (1903)


• Arthur Hallam,[16] poet (1829) ODNB
• Sir William Harcourt, Chancellor of the Exchequer (1847)
• Joseph Hardcastle (politician)
• G. H. Hardy, mathematician (1898)
• Francis Haskell
• Ralph George Hawtrey,[3] Sir (1900)
• Douglas Heath, last of the early members
• Dunbar Isidore Heath
• Arthur Helps
• Arthur Hobhouse, Sir (1905)
• Eric Hobsbawm, historian (193?)
• Alan Lloyd Hodgkin (1935)
• Francis James Holland
• John Hopkinson
• Fenton John Anthony Hort,[1] theologian (1851)
• George Howard, 9th Earl of Carlisle


• Henry Jackson[3][17][18] OM, FBA, Regius Professor of Greek (Cambridge), Classicist, Vice-Master Trinity College, Cambridge 1914–1919, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge (1863) [2D47]
• Lal Jayawardena, economist, diplomat (19??) query
• Sir Richard Jebb[17][19] OM, MP, FBA, Regius Professor of Greek (Cambridge), Classicist, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge (1859) [4I2]
• Harry Gordon Johnson (1951)


• Anthony Kelly (academic)
• John Mitchell Kemble,[1][20] historian (1826)
• Benjamin Hall Kennedy,[21] Latinist (1824)
• John Maynard Keynes,[1][3] economist, member of the House of Lords (1903)


• Walter Leaf
• D. W. Lucas, classicist (1925)
• F. L. Lucas, writer and critic (1914)
• Gordon Luce, scholar (1912)
• Edmund Law Lushington[22]
• Henry Lushington
• Vernon Lushington


• Sir Donald MacAlister,[17][23] Vice-Chancellor Glasgow, Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge (1876)
• Kenneth Macaulay
• Sir Desmond MacCarthy,[3][17][24] Literary and drama critic (1896) [1H2]
• Malcolm Macnaghten[3]
• Henry Maine
• Frederic William Maitland
• John Gorham Maitland
• Edward Howard Marsh[3]
• Frederick Denison Maurice,[1][16][25] theologian, Christian socialist, founder of the Working Men's College, one of the original Cambridge Apostles (1823)
• James Clerk Maxwell,[1] physicist (1852)
• Norman McLean[17][26] FBA, orientalist, Master Christ's College, Cambridge (1888)
• J. M. E. McTaggart, philosopher (1886)
• Charles Merivale[27]
• Sir Jonathan Miller, physician, comic, member of Beyond the Fringe, theatre, opera and film director (1957)
• Karl Miller
• James Mirrlees, Nobel Prize–winning economist
• Richard Monckton Milnes, 1st Baron Houghton[16][28]
• Robert Monteith
• George Edward Moore[3][17][29] OM, FBA, philosopher, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, Professor of Philosophy (1894) [1H1]
• E. J. C. Morton[30]
• John Fletcher Moulton
• Arthur Thomas Myers


• Lionel Penrose (1920)
• Sir Frederick Pollock, 3rd Baronet[3]
• John Henry Pratt
• Derek Prince (1938)
• Philip Dennis Proctor
• Marlborough Pryor[3]


• Walter Alexander Raleigh[3]
• Frank P. Ramsey[17][31] Philosopher and mathematician, Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge (1921)
• Sir Dennis Robertson ODNB, economist (1926)
• Henry John Roby
• Edward Romilly
• Victor Rothschild, financier, member of the House of Lords (1933)
• Bertrand Russell,[3] philosopher, mathematician, social activist and logician, member of the Royal Society, Nobel prize winner, member of the House of Lords (1892)
• Dadie Rylands (1922) ODNB


• J. T. Sheppard,[3] classicist, provost of King's College (1902)
• Peter Shore, Labour politician (1947)
• Gerald Shove, economist (1909)[32]
• Henry Sidgwick,[1][33] philosopher (1857)
• Arthur H. Smith[3]
• Henry Babington Smith,[34] Sir (1885)
• James Parker Smith
• James Spedding[35]
• Stephen Spring Rice, civil servant
• W. J. H. Sprott
• Edward Stanley, 15th Earl of Derby[36]
• John Stanning
• Vincent Henry Stanton,[3] Rev., Regius Professor of Divinity, (1872), (2D50)
• James Fitzjames Stephen,[37] Sir (1847)
James Kenneth Stephen,[38] poet, tutor to Prince Albert Victor (Eddy) and suspect for Jack the Ripper (1879)
• Thoby Stephen[39]
• John Sterling,[1][16][40] ODNB, writer and poet, one of the original Cambridge Apostles (1825)
• James Strachey,[3] translator of Freud[41]
• Lytton Strachey,[1][3] writer and critic (1902)
• Michael Whitney Straight, American magazine publisher, member of the Whitney family, Presidential speechwriter (1936)[42]
• Saxon Sydney-Turner,[3] civil servant (1902)


• Charles Henry Tawney
• Alfred Tennyson,[16] English poet, member of the House of Lords (1829).
• Henry Yates Thompson (1860)
• Nicholas Tomalin
• George Tomlinson,[1] Bishop of Gibraltar, founder of the Cambridge Apostles (1820)
• Stephen Edelston Toulmin
• Richard Chenevix Trench,[1][16][43] Christian writer, Archbishop of Dublin, one of the original Cambridge Apostles (1827)
• G. M. Trevelyan, historian (1895)
• Sir George Trevelyan, 2nd Baronet (1859)
• Robert Trevelyan,[3] poet and translator (1893)


• George Stovin Venables
• Arthur Woollgar Verrall,[17][44] Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, classicist, (1871), King Edward VII professorship of literature, literary scholar [2B33]


• Spencer Horatio Walpole,[45] one of the original Cambridge Apostles
• William Grey Walter (1933), ODNB
• James Ward, psychologist
• Alister Watson
• Henry William Watson (1848)
• Sir Ralph Wedgwood, 1st Baronet
• Brooke Foss Westcott
• A. N. Whitehead, OM, mathematician, logician and philosopher (1884)
• Ludwig Wittgenstein,[17][46] philosopher, Professor of Philosophy, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge (1912)
• Leonard Woolf[3] writer and publisher (1902)

Appearances in literature

• A Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen
• Avenging Angel, a murder mystery by the philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah
• The Children's Book by A. S. Byatt
• The Indian Clerk by David Leavitt
• The Longest Journey by E. M. Forster
• The Philosopher's Ring by Randall Collins
• The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst
• The White Garden by Stephanie Barron


1. W. C. Lubenow, The Cambridge Apsotles 1820-1914, Cambridge University Press, 1999.
2. Brookfield, Frances Mary. The Cambridge "Apostles", C. Scribner's Sons, 1907
3. "A Cambridge secret revealed: the Apostles", King's College, Cambridge, January 2011
4. McGuinness, Brian. Wittgenstein: A Life: Young Ludwig 1889-1921. University of California Press, 1988, p. 118.
5. "Interview of Professor Quentin Skinner - part 2". YouTube. 2 June 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
6. Lubenow, W.C. (1998). The Cambridge Apostles, 1820-1914: Liberalism, Imagination, and Friendship in British Intellectual and Professional Life. Cambridge University Press. p. 127.
7. Levy, Paul (1979). Moore: G. E. Moore and the Cambridge Apostles. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. pp. 300-311
8. Blakesley, Joseph Williams. "A Cambridge Alumni Database". Archived from the original on 2 March 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
9. Butcher, Samuel Henry. "A Cambridge Alumni Database". Archived from the original on 2 March 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
10. Clifford, William Kingdon. "A Cambridge Alumni Database". Archived from the original on 2 March 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
11. The Times obituary, 8 June 1984.
12. Fane, Julian Henry Charles. "A Cambridge Alumni Database". Archived from the original on 2 March 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
13. Farrar, Frederic William. "A Cambridge Alumni Database". Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
14. The Cambridge Apostles, A History of Cambridge University's elite intellectual secret society, by Richard Deacon. Published in Great Britain by Robert Royce Limited, 1985. ISBN 0-9477-28-13-9
15. Hale, Keith, ed. (1998). Friends and Apostles: The Correspondence of Rupert Brooke and James Strachey. Yale University Press. p. 107.
16. "Tennyson at Cambridge: The Apostles", Faculty of English, Cambridge, July 2014
17. "A Cambridge Necropolis" by Dr. Mark Goldie, March 2000, for the Friends of The Parish of The Ascension Burial Ground
18. Henry Jackson at Find a Grave
19. Sir Richard Jebb at Find a Grave
20. Kemble, John Mitchell. "A Cambridge Alumni Database". Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
21. Kennedy, Benjamin Hall. "A Cambridge Alumni Database". Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
22. Lushington, Edmund Law. "A Cambridge Alumni Database". Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
23. Sir Donald Macalister at Find a Grave
24. Sir Desmond MacCarthy at Find a Grave
25. Maurice, John Frederick Denison. "A Cambridge Alumni Database". Retrieved 30 July2014.[permanent dead link]
26. Norman McLean at Find a Grave
27. Merivale, Charles. "A Cambridge Alumni Database". Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
28. Milnes, Richard Monckton. "A Cambridge Alumni Database". Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
29. George Edward Moore at Find a Grave
30. Morton, Edward John Chalmers. "A Cambridge Alumni Database". Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
31. Frank P. Ramsey at Find a Grave
32. The Times obituary, 18 August 1947.
33. Sidgwick, Henry. "A Cambridge Alumni Database". Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
34. Smith, Henry Babington. "A Cambridge Alumni Database". Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
35. Spedding, James. "A Cambridge Alumni Database". Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
36. Stanley, Edward Henry. "A Cambridge Alumni Database". Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
37. Stephen, James Fitzjames. "A Cambridge Alumni Database". Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
38. Stephen, James Kenneth. "A Cambridge Alumni Database". Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
39. Lubenow 1998, p. 240.
40. Sterling, John. "A Cambridge Alumni Database". Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
41. The Times obituary, 11 May 1967.
42. Norton-Taylor, Richard (9 January 2004). "Obituary: Michael Straight". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 3 October 2008.
43. Trench, Richard Chenevix. "A Cambridge Alumni Database". Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
44. Arthur Woollgar Verrall at Find a Grave
45. Walpole, Spencer Horatio. "A Cambridge Alumni Database". Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
46. Brian McGuinness, Young Ludwig, Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 146.


• Allen, Peter (1978). The Cambridge Apostles: The Early Years. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-21803-0.
• Deacon, Richard (1986). The Cambridge Apostles: A History of Cambridge University's Elite Intellectual Secret Society. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 978-0-374-11820-4.
• Levy, Paul (1980). Moore: G. E. Moore and the Cambridge Apostles. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. ISBN 978-0-03-053616-8.
• Lubenow, W. C. (1998). The Cambridge Apostles, 1820-1914: Liberalism, Imagination, and Friendship in British Intellectual and Professional Life. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-57213-2.

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Henry Edward Manning
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/2/20

Continuing their discussion of the membership of "The Society of the Elect," Stead asked permission to bring in Milner and Brett. Rhodes agreed, so they telegraphed at once to Brett, who arrived in two hours. They then drew up the following "ideal arrangement' for the society:

1. General of the Society: Rhodes
2. Junta of Three: (1) Stead, (2) Brett, (3) Milner
3. Circle of Initiates: (1) Cardinal Manning, (2) General Booth, (3) Bramwell Booth, (4) "Little" [Harry] Johnston, (5) Albert Grey, (6) Arthur Balfour
4. The Association of Helpers
5. A College, under Professor Seeley, to be established to train people in the English-speaking idea."

Within the next few weeks Stead had another talk with Rhodes and a talk with Milner, who was "filled with admiration" for the scheme, according to Stead's notes as published by Sir Frederick Whyte.

-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley

His Eminence Henry Edward Cardinal Manning, Archbishop of Westminster
Cardinal Manning, c. 1880s
Province: Westminster
Diocese: Westminster
Appointed: 16 May 1865
Term ended: 14 January 1892
Predecessor: Nicholas Wiseman
Successor: Herbert Vaughan
Other posts: Cardinal-Priest of Santi Andrea e Gregorio al Monte Celio
Ordination: 23 December 1833 (Anglican priest)
14 June 1851 (Catholic priest), by Nicholas Wiseman
Consecration: 8 June 1865, by William Bernard Ullathorne
Created cardinal: 15 March 1875
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Born: 15 July 1808, Totteridge, Hertfordshire, England
Died: 14 January 1892 (aged 83), London, England
Buried: Westminster Cathedral
Nationality: British
Denomination: Roman Catholic (formerly Anglican)
Parents: William and Mary (née Hunter) Manning
Spouse: Caroline Sargent
Previous post: Archdeacon of Chichester 1840–1851 (Anglican)[1]

Henry Edward Cardinal Manning (15 July 1808 – 14 January 1892) was an English prelate of the Roman Catholic church, and the second Archbishop of Westminster from 1865 until his death in 1892.[2]

Early life

Copped Hall, Hertfordshire

Manning was born on 15 July 1808 at his grandfather's home, Copped Hall, Totteridge, Hertfordshire. He was the third and youngest son of William Manning, a West India merchant, who served as a director and (1812–1813) as a governor of the Bank of England[3] and also sat in Parliament for 30 years, representing in the Tory interest Plympton Earle, Lymington, Evesham and Penryn consecutively. Manning's mother, Mary (died 1847), daughter of Henry Leroy Hunter, of Beech Hill, and sister of Sir Claudius Stephen Hunter, 1st Baronet, came of a family said to be of French extraction.

Manning spent his boyhood mainly at Coombe Bank, Sundridge, Kent, where he had for companions Charles Wordsworth and Christopher Wordsworth, later bishops of St Andrews and Lincoln respectively. He attended Harrow School (1822–1827) during the headmastership of George Butler, but obtained no distinction beyond playing for two years in the cricket eleven.[4] However, this proved to be no impediment to his academic career.

Manning matriculated at Balliol College, Oxford, in 1827, studying Classics, and soon made his mark as a debater at the Oxford Union, where William Ewart Gladstone succeeded him as president in 1830. At this date he had ambitions of a political career, but his father had sustained severe losses in business and, in these circumstances, having graduated with first-class honours in 1830, he obtained the year following, through Frederick John Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich, a post as a supernumerary clerk in the Colonial Office.[3] Manning resigned from this position in 1832, his thoughts having turned towards a clerical career under Evangelical influences, including his friendship with Favell Lee Mortimer, which affected him deeply throughout life.

Anglican cleric

Returning to Oxford in 1832, he gained election as a fellow of Merton College and received ordination as a deacon in the Church of England. In January 1833 he became curate to John Sargent, Rector of Lavington-with-Graffham, West Sussex. In May 1833, following Sargent's death, he succeeded him as rector[5] due to the patronage of Sargent's mother.

Manning married Caroline, John Sargent's daughter,[5] on 7 November 1833, in a ceremony performed by the bride's brother-in-law, the Revd Samuel Wilberforce, later Bishop of Oxford and Winchester. Manning's marriage did not last long: his young and beautiful wife came of a consumptive family and died childless on 24 July 1837. When Manning died many years later, for decades a celibate Roman Catholic cleric, a locket containing his wife's picture was found on a chain around his neck.

Though he never became an acknowledged disciple of John Henry Newman (later Cardinal Newman), the latter's influence meant that from this date Manning's theology assumed an increasingly High Church character and his printed sermon on the "Rule of Faith" publicly signalled his alliance with the Tractarians.

In 1838 he took a leading part in the church education movement, by which diocesan boards were established throughout the country; and he wrote an open letter to his bishop in criticism of the recent appointment of the ecclesiastical commission. In December of that year he paid his first visit to Rome and called on Nicholas Wiseman in company with Gladstone.[6]

In January 1841 Philip Shuttleworth, Bishop of Chichester, appointed Manning as the Archdeacon of Chichester,[7] whereupon he began a personal visitation of each parish within his district, completing the task in 1843. In 1842 he published a treatise on The Unity of the Church and his reputation as an eloquent and earnest preacher being by this time considerable, he was in the same year appointed select preacher by his university, thus being called upon to fill from time to time the pulpit which Newman, as vicar of St Mary's, was just ceasing to occupy.

Four volumes of Manning's sermons appeared between the years 1842 and 1850 and these had reached the 7th, 4th, 3rd and 2nd editions respectively in 1850, but were not afterwards reprinted. In 1844 his portrait was painted by George Richmond, and the same year he published a volume of university sermons, omitting the one on the Gunpowder Plot. This sermon had annoyed Newman and his more advanced disciples, but it was a proof that at that date Manning was loyal to the Church of England.[6]

Newman's secession in 1845 placed Manning in a position of greater responsibility, as one of the High Church leaders, along with Edward Bouverie Pusey, John Keble and Marriott; but it was with Gladstone and James Robert Hope-Scott that he was at this time most closely associated.[6]

Conversion to Catholicism

Manning by Alphonse Legros

1882 caricature from Punch

Manning's belief in Anglicanism was shattered in 1850 when, in the so-called Gorham judgement, the Privy Council ordered the Church of England to institute an evangelical cleric who denied that the sacrament of baptism had an objective effect of baptismal regeneration. The denial of the objective effect of the sacraments was to Manning and many others a grave heresy, contradicting the clear tradition of the Christian Church from the Fathers of the Church on. That a civil and secular court had the power to force the Church of England to accept someone with such an unorthodox opinion proved to him that, far from being a divinely created institution, that church was merely a man-made creation of the English Parliament.[8]

The following year, on 6 April 1851, Manning was received into the Catholic Church and then studied at the academia in Rome where he took his Doctorate, and on 14 June 1851, was ordained a Catholic priest at the Church of the Imaculate Conception, Farm Street. Given his great abilities and prior fame, he quickly rose to a position of influence. He served as Provost of the Cathedral Chapter under Cardinal Wiseman.

In 1857, he established at Wiseman's direction, the mission of St Mary of the Angels, Bayswater, to serve labourers building Paddington Station. There, he founded, at Wiseman's request, the Congregation of the Oblates of St. Charles.[9] This new community of secular priests was the joint work of Cardinal Wiseman and Manning, for both had independently conceived the idea of a community of this kind, and Manning had studied the life and work of Charles Borromeo in his Anglican days at Lavington and had, moreover, visited the Oblates at Milan, in 1856, to satisfy himself that their rule could be adapted to the needs of Westminster. Manning became superior of the congregation.[3]


In 1865 he was appointed Archbishop of Westminster.[10]

Among his accomplishments as head of the Catholic Church in England were the acquisition of the site for Westminster Cathedral, but his focus was on a greatly expanded system of Roman Catholic education,[10] including the establishment of the short lived Catholic University College in Kensington.

In 1875 Manning was created Cardinal-Priest of Ss Andrea e Gregorio al Monte Celio. Manning participated in the conclave that elected Pope Leo XIII in 1878.

Manning approved the founding of the Catholic Association Pilgrimage.

Influence on social justice teaching

Manning in his 83rd year

Manning was very influential in setting the direction of the modern Catholic Church. His warm relations with Pope Pius IX and his ultramontane views gained him the trust of the Vatican, though "it was ordained that he should pass the evening of his days in England, and that he should outlive his intimacy at the Vatican and his influence on the general policy of the Church of Rome."[11]

Manning used this goodwill to promote a modern Roman Catholic view of social justice. These views are reflected in the papal encyclical Rerum novarum issued by Leo XIII which marks the beginning of modern Roman Catholic social justice teaching.

For a portion of 1870, he was in Rome attending the First Vatican Council.[10] Manning was among the strongest supporters of the doctrine of papal infallibility, unlike Cardinal Newman who believed the doctrine but thought it might not be prudent to define it formally at the time. (For a comparison of Manning and Newman, see the section entitled "Relationships with other converts" in the article on Cardinal Newman.)

Manning was instrumental in settling the London dock strike of 1889[3] at the behest of Margaret Harkness.[12] He had a significant role in the conversion of notable figures including Elizabeth Belloc, the mother of the famous British author Hilaire Belloc, upon whose thinking Manning had a profound influence. Manning did not however support the move towards enfranchising women, in 1871 at St. Mary Moorfield he said he hoped English womanhood would ‘resist by a stern moral refusal, the immodesty which would thrust women from their private life of dignity and supremacy into the public conflicts of men.'[13]

View of the priesthood

In 1883, Manning published The Eternal Priesthood, his most influential work.[14] In the book, Manning defended an elevated idea of the priesthood as, "in and of itself, an outstanding way to perfection, and even a 'state of perfection'".[15] In comparison to his polemical writings, The Eternal Priesthood is "austere" and "glacial",[14] arguing for a rigorous conception of the moral duties of the office. Manning additionally stressed the social function of the priest, who must be more to his community than a dispenser of the sacraments.[16]

Death and burial

Manning died on 4 January 1892, at which time his estate was probated at £3,527. He received a formal burial at St Mary's Roman Catholic Cemetery in Kensal Green. Some years later, in 1907, his remains were transferred to the newly completed Westminster Cathedral.


• Rule of Faith (1839)
• Unity of the Church (1842)
• A charge delivered at the ordinary visitation of the archdeaconry of Chichester in July (1843)
• Sermons 4 vols. (1842–1850)
• The Present Crisis of the Holy See (1861)
• Rome and the Revolution (1867)
• Christ and Antichrist (1867)
• Petri Privilegium (1871)
• The Glories of the Sacred Heart (1876)[17]
• The True Story of the Vatican Council (1877)
• The Eternal Priesthood (1883)

See also

• Catholic Church in England and Wales
• Oblates of St. Charles


1. "Archdeacons of Chichester". British History Online. Retrieved 15 April 2009.
2. Miranda, Salvador. "Henry Edward Manning". The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. Retrieved 9 April 2009.
3. Kent, William. "Henry Edward Manning." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 29 December 2015 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
4. Russell, G.W., Collections & Recollections (Revised edition, Smith Elder & Co, London, 1899), at page 42
5. Cross, F. L., ed. (1957) The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. London: Oxford University Press; p. 849-50
6. "BiographicalSketch", Pitts Theology Library
7. "Classical Victorians: Scholars, Scoundrels and Generals in Pursuit of Antiquity" Richardson, E p196: Cambridge, CUP, 2013 ISBN 978-1-107-02677-3
8. Strachey, Lytton (1918). Eminent Victorians. New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co. pp. 54–57.
9. O'Donnell, Sean. "Exhibition on life and legacy of Cardinal Manning", Catholic Ireland, 10 February 2018
10. Taylor, I.A., The Cardinal Democrat: Henry Edward Manning, London. Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co., Ltd., 1908 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
11. G.W.Russell, Collections & Recollections (Revised edition, Smith, Elder & Co, London, 1899), at page 47.
12. John Lucas, ‘Harkness, Margaret Elise (1854–1923)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2005 accessed 29 Dec 2015
13. "Votes for Women! The Catholic Contribution - Diocese of Westminster". Retrieved 1 March 2020.
14. Adshead, S. A. M. (2000). The Philosophy of Religion in Nineteenth-century England and Beyond. London: Macmillan Press. p. 55.
15. Nichols, Aidan, O.P. (2011). Holy Order: Apostolic Priesthood from the New Testament to the Second Vatican Council. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock Publishers. p. 120.
16. Aubert, Roger; et al. History of the Church: IX. The Church in the Industrial age. Translated by Margit Resch. London: Burns & Oates. p. 136.
17. Manning, Henry Edward. The Glories of the Sacred Heart, London: Burns & Oates, 1876


• This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Manning, Henry Edward". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
• This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Henry Edward Manning". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.

Further reading

• McClelland, Vincent Alan. Cardinal Manning: the Public Life and Influences, 1865–1892. London: Oxford University Press, 1962. xii, 256 p.
• Player, Robert. Lets Talk of Graves, of Worms, of Epitaphs, a fictionalised version of Manning's life, largely based on the polemic of Lytton Strachey in his Eminent Victorians.

External links

• Henry Edward Cardinal Manning
• Works by or about Henry Edward Manning at Internet Archive
• Works by Henry Edward Manning at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• "Manning, Henry Edward" . The Nuttall Encyclopædia. 1907.
• Henry Edward Manning collection, 1826-1901(letters, sermons, and transcriptions) at Pitts Theological Library, Candler School of Theology
Individual works
• The rule of faith: a sermon, preached in the cathedral church of Chichester, June 13, 1838; at the primary visitation of the right Reverend William, Lord Bishop of Chichester (1839)
• Sermons on ecclesiastical subjects: with an introduction on the relations of England to Christianity (1869)
• The fourfold sovereignty of God (1872)
• Lytton Strachey's essay on Manning from Eminent Victorians is available at
• "Cardinal Manning" poem by Dunstan Thompson
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Arthur Balfour
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/2/20

The members [of the Metaphysical Society] from first to last were as follows:...

Arthur Balfour

-- The Metaphysical Society, by Wikipedia

Continuing their discussion of the membership of "The Society of the Elect," Stead asked permission to bring in Milner and Brett. Rhodes agreed, so they telegraphed at once to Brett, who arrived in two hours. They then drew up the following "ideal arrangement' for the society:

1. General of the Society: Rhodes
2. Junta of Three: (1) Stead, (2) Brett, (3) Milner
3. Circle of Initiates: (1) Cardinal Manning, (2) General Booth, (3) Bramwell Booth, (4) "Little" [Harry] Johnston, (5) Albert Grey, (6) Arthur Balfour
4. The Association of Helpers
5. A College, under Professor Seeley, to be established to train people in the English-speaking idea."

Within the next few weeks Stead had another talk with Rhodes and a talk with Milner, who was "filled with admiration" for the scheme, according to Stead's notes as published by Sir Frederick Whyte.

-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley

The Right Honourable The Earl of Balfour KG OM PC FRS FBA DL
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
In office: 12 July 1902 – 4 December 1905
Monarch: Edward VII
Preceded by: The 3rd Marquess of Salisbury
Succeeded by: Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
Lord President of the Council
In office: 27 April 1925 – 4 June 1929
Prime Minister: Stanley Baldwin
Preceded by: The Marquess Curzon of Kedleston
Succeeded by: The Lord Parmoor
In office: 23 October 1919 – 19 October 1922
Prime Minister: David Lloyd George
Preceded by: The Earl Curzon of Kedleston
Succeeded by: The 4th Marquess of Salisbury
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
In office: 10 December 1916 – 23 October 1919
Prime Minister: David Lloyd George
Preceded by: The Viscount Grey of Fallodon
Succeeded by: The Earl Curzon of Kedleston
First Lord of the Admiralty
In office: 25 May 1915 – 10 December 1916
Prime Minister: H. H. Asquith; David Lloyd George
Preceded by: Winston Churchill
Succeeded by: Sir Edward Carson
Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal
In office: 11 July 1902 – 17 October 1903
Preceded by: The 3rd Marquess of Salisbury
Succeeded by: The 4th Marquess of Salisbury
Chief Secretary for Ireland
In office: 7 March 1887 – 9 November 1891
Prime Minister: The 3rd Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded by: Sir Michael Hicks Beach
Succeeded by: William Jackson
Secretary for Scotland
In office: 5 August 1886 – 11 March 1887
Prime Minister: The 3rd Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded by: The Earl of Dalhousie
Succeeded by: The Marquess of Lothian
Leadership positions: Parliamentary offices
Personal details
Born: Arthur James Balfour, 25 July 1848, Whittingehame House, East Lothian, Scotland
Died: 19 March 1930 (aged 81), Woking, Surrey, England
Resting place: Whittingehame Church, Whittingehame
Nationality: British
Political party: Conservative
Parents: James Maitland Balfour (father)
Alma mater: Trinity College, Cambridge
Occupation: Politician

Arthur James Balfour, 1st Earl of Balfour, KG, OM, PC, FRS, FBA, DL (/ˈbælfər, -fɔːr/,[1] traditionally Scottish /bəlˈfʊər/;[2][3] 25 July 1848 – 19 March 1930) was a British Conservative statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1902 to 1905. As Foreign Secretary in the Lloyd George ministry, he issued the Balfour Declaration in 1917 on behalf of the cabinet.

Entering Parliament in 1874, Balfour achieved prominence as Chief Secretary for Ireland, in which position he suppressed agrarian unrest whilst taking measures against absentee landlords. He opposed Irish Home Rule, saying there could be no half-way house between Ireland remaining within the United Kingdom or becoming independent. From 1891 he led the Conservative Party in the House of Commons, serving under his uncle, Lord Salisbury, whose government won large majorities in 1895 and 1900. An esteemed debater, he was bored by the mundane tasks of party management.

In July 1902 he succeeded his uncle as Prime Minister. In domestic policy he passed the Irish Land Act 1903, which bought out most of the Anglo-Irish land owners. The Education Act 1902 had a major long-term impact in modernising the school system in England and Wales and provided financial support for schools operated by the Church of England and by the Catholic Church. Nonconformists were outraged and mobilized their voters, but were unable to reverse it. In foreign and defence policy, he oversaw reform of British defence policy and supported Jackie Fisher's naval innovations. He secured the Entente Cordiale with France, an alliance that isolated Germany. He cautiously embraced imperial preference as championed by Joseph Chamberlain, but resignations from the Cabinet over the abandonment of free trade left his party divided. He also suffered from public anger at the later stages of the Boer war (counter-insurgency warfare characterized as "methods of barbarism") and the importation of Chinese labour to South Africa ("Chinese slavery"). He resigned as Prime Minister in December 1905 and the following month the Conservatives suffered a landslide defeat at the 1906 election, in which he lost his own seat. He soon re-entered Parliament and continued to serve as Leader of the Opposition throughout the crisis over Lloyd George's 1909 budget, the narrow loss of two further General Elections in 1910, and the passage of the Parliament Act 1911. He resigned as party leader in 1911.

Balfour returned as First Lord of the Admiralty in Asquith's Coalition Government (1915–16). In December 1916 he became Foreign Secretary in David Lloyd George's coalition. He was frequently left out of the inner workings of foreign policy, although the Balfour Declaration on a Jewish homeland bore his name. He continued to serve in senior positions throughout the 1920s, and died on 19 March 1930 aged 81, having spent a vast inherited fortune. He never married. Balfour trained as a philosopher – he originated an argument against believing that human reason could determine truth – and was seen as having a detached attitude to life, epitomised by a remark attributed to him: "Nothing matters very much and few things matter at all".

Background and early life

Whittingehame House

Arthur Balfour was born at Whittingehame House, East Lothian, Scotland, the eldest son of James Maitland Balfour (1820–1856) and Lady Blanche Gascoyne-Cecil (1825–1872). His father was a Scottish MP, as was his grandfather James; his mother, a member of the Cecil family descended from Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, was the daughter of the 2nd Marquess of Salisbury and a sister to the 3rd Marquess, the future Prime Minister.[4] His godfather was the Duke of Wellington, after whom he was named.[5] He was the eldest son, third of eight children, and had four brothers and three sisters. Arthur Balfour was educated at Grange Preparatory School at Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire (1859–1861), and Eton College (1861–1866), where he studied with the influential master, William Johnson Cory. He then went up to the University of Cambridge, where he read moral sciences at Trinity College (1866–1869),[6] graduating with a second-class honours degree. His younger brother was the Cambridge embryologist Francis Maitland Balfour (1851–1882).[7]

Personal life

Balfour met his cousin May Lyttelton in 1870 when she was 19. After her two previous serious suitors had died, Balfour is said to have declared his love for her in December 1874. She died of typhus on Palm Sunday, March 1875; Balfour arranged for an emerald ring to be buried in her coffin. Lavinia Talbot, May's older sister, believed that an engagement had been imminent, but her recollections of Balfour's distress (he was "staggered") were not written down until thirty years later. The historian R. J. Q. Adams points out that May's letters discuss her love life in detail, but contain no evidence that she was in love with Balfour, nor that he had spoken to her of marriage. He visited her only once during her serious three-month illness, and was soon accepting social invitations again within a month of her death. Adams suggests that, although he may simply have been too shy to express his feelings fully, Balfour may also have encouraged tales of his youthful tragedy as a convenient cover for his disinclination to marry; the matter cannot be conclusively proven.[8]:29–33 In later years mediums claimed to pass on messages from her – see the "Palm Sunday Case".[9][10]

Balfour remained a lifelong bachelor. Margot Tennant (later Margot Asquith) wished to marry him, but Balfour said: "No, that is not so. I rather think of having a career of my own."[5] His household was maintained by his unmarried sister, Alice. In middle age, Balfour had a 40-year friendship with Mary Charteris (née Wyndham), Lady Elcho, later Countess of Wemyss and March.[11] Although one biographer writes that "it is difficult to say how far the relationship went", her letters suggest they may have become lovers in 1887 and may have engaged in sado-masochism,[8]:47 a claim echoed by A. N. Wilson.[10] Another biographer believes they had "no direct physical relationship", although he dismisses as unlikely suggestions that Balfour was homosexual, or, in view of a time during the Boer War when he was seen as he replied to a message while drying himself after his bath, Lord Beaverbrook's claim that he was "a hermaphrodite" whom no-one saw naked.[12]

Early career

Balfour early in his career

In 1874 Balfour was elected Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Hertford until 1885. In spring 1878, he became Private Secretary to his uncle, Lord Salisbury. He accompanied Salisbury (then Foreign Secretary) to the Congress of Berlin and gained his first experience in international politics in connection with the settlement of the Russo-Turkish conflict. At the same time he became known in the world of letters; the academic subtlety and literary achievement of his Defence of Philosophic Doubt (1879) suggested he might make a reputation as a philosopher.[13]

Balfour divided his time between politics and academic pursuits. Biographer Sydney Zebel suggested that Belfour continued to appear an amateur or dabbler in public affairs, devoid of ambition and indifferent to policy issues. However, in fact he actually made a dramatic transition to a deeply involved politician. His assets, according to Zebel, included a strong ambition that he kept hidden, shrewd political judgment, a knack for negotiation, a taste for intrigue, and care to avoid factionalism. Most importantly, he deepened his close ties with his uncle Lord Salisbury. He also maintained cordial relationships with Disraeli, Gladstone and other national leaders.[14]:27

Released from his duties as private secretary by the 1880 general election, he began to take more part in parliamentary affairs. He was for a time politically associated with Lord Randolph Churchill, Sir Henry Drummond Wolff and John Gorst. This quartet became known as the "Fourth Party" and gained notoriety for leader Lord Randolph Churchill's free criticism of Sir Stafford Northcote, Lord Cross and other prominent members of the Conservative "old gang".[14]:28–44[15]

Service in Lord Salisbury's governments

Balfour c. 1890

In 1885, Lord Salisbury appointed Balfour President of the Local Government Board; the following year he became Secretary for Scotland with a seat in the cabinet. These offices, while offering few opportunities for distinction, were an apprenticeship. In early 1887, Sir Michael Hicks Beach, the Chief Secretary for Ireland, resigned because of illness and Salisbury appointed his nephew in his place.[16] That surprised the political world and possibly led to the British phrase "Bob's your uncle!"[17] The selection took the political world by surprise, and was much criticized. It was received with contemptuous ridicule by the Irish Nationalists, for none suspected Balfour's immense strength of will, his debating power, his ability in attack and his still greater capacity to disregard criticism.[16] Balfour surprised critics by ruthless enforcement of the Crimes Act, earning the nickname "Bloody Balfour". His steady administration did much to dispel his reputation as a political lightweight.[18]

In Parliament he resisted overtures to the Irish Parliamentary Party on Home Rule, and, allied with Joseph Chamberlain's Liberal Unionists, encouraged Unionist activism in Ireland. Balfour also helped the poor by creating the Congested Districts Board for Ireland in 1890. In 1886–1892 he became one of the most effective public speakers of the age. Impressive in matter rather than delivery, his speeches were logical and convincing, and delighted an ever-wider audience.[16]

On the death of W. H. Smith in 1891, Balfour became First Lord of the Treasury – the last in British history not to have been concurrently Prime Minister as well – and Leader of the House of Commons. After the fall of the government in 1892 he spent three years in opposition. When the Conservatives returned to power, in coalition with the Liberal Unionists, in 1895, Balfour again became Leader of the House and First Lord of the Treasury. His management of the abortive education proposals of 1896 showed a disinclination for the drudgery of parliamentary management, yet he saw the passage of a bill providing Ireland with improved local government under the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898 and joined in debates on foreign and domestic questions between 1895 and 1900.[16]

During the illness of Lord Salisbury in 1898, and again in Salisbury's absence abroad, Balfour was in charge of the Foreign Office, and he conducted negotiations with Russia on the question of railways in North China. As a member of the cabinet responsible for the Transvaal negotiations in 1899, he bore his share of controversy and, when the war began disastrously, he was first to realise the need to use the country's full military strength. His leadership of the House was marked by firmness in the suppression of obstruction, yet there was a slight revival of the criticisms of 1896.[16]

Prime Minister

Further information: Balfour ministry

Portrait by George Charles Beresford, 1902

With Lord Salisbury's resignation on 11 July 1902, Balfour succeeded him as Prime Minister, with the approval of all the Unionist party. The new Prime Minister came into power practically at the same moment as the coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra and the end of the South African War. The Liberal party was still disorganised over the Boers.[19]

In foreign affairs, Balfour and his Foreign Secretary, Lord Lansdowne, improved relations with France, culminating in the Entente Cordiale of 1904. The period also saw the Russo-Japanese War, when Britain, an ally of the Japanese, came close to war with Russia after the Dogger Bank incident. On the whole, Balfour left the conduct of foreign policy to Lansdowne, being busy himself with domestic problems.[14]

Balfour, who had known Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann since 1906, opposed Russian mistreatment of Jews and increasingly supported Zionism as a programme for European Jews to settle in Palestine.[20] However, in 1905 he supported the Aliens Act 1905, one of whose main objectives was to control and restrict Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe.[21][22]

The budget was certain to show a surplus and taxation could be remitted. Yet as events proved, it was the budget that would sow dissension, override other legislative concerns and signal a new political movement. Charles Thomson Ritchie's remission of the shilling import-duty on corn led to Joseph Chamberlain's crusade in favour of tariff reform. These were taxes on imported goods with trade preference given to the Empire, to protect British industry from competition, strengthen the Empire in the face of growing German and American economic power, and provide revenue, other than raising taxes, for the social welfare legislation. As the session proceeded, the rift grew in the Unionist ranks.[19] Tariff reform was popular with Unionist supporters, but the threat of higher prices for food imports made the policy an electoral albatross. Hoping to split the difference between the free traders and tariff reformers in his cabinet and party, Balfour favoured retaliatory tariffs to punish others who had tariffs against the British, in the hope of encouraging global free trade. This was not sufficient for either the free traders or the extreme tariff reformers in government. With Balfour's agreement, Chamberlain resigned from the Cabinet in late 1903 to campaign for tariff reform. At the same time, Balfour tried to balance the two factions by accepting the resignation of three free-trading ministers, including Chancellor Ritchie, but the almost simultaneous resignation of the free-trader Duke of Devonshire (who as Lord Hartington had been the Liberal Unionist leader of the 1880s) left Balfour's Cabinet weak. By 1905 few Unionist MPs were still free traders (Winston Churchill crossed to the Liberals in 1904 when threatened with deselection at Oldham), but Balfour's act had drained his authority within the government.[14]

Balfour resigned as Prime Minister in December 1905, hoping the Liberal leader Campbell-Bannerman would be unable to form a strong government. This was dashed when Campbell-Bannerman faced down an attempt ("The Relugas Compact") to "kick him upstairs" to the House of Lords. The Conservatives were defeated by the Liberals at the general election the following January (in terms of MPs, a Liberal landslide), with Balfour losing his seat at Manchester East to Thomas Gardner Horridge, a solicitor and king's counsel. Only 157 Conservatives were returned to the Commons, at least two-thirds followers of Chamberlain, who chaired the Conservative MPs until Balfour won a safe seat in the City of London.[23]

Achievements and mistakes

According to historian Robert Ensor, writing in 1936, Balfour can be credited with achievement in five major areas:[24]:355

1. The Education Act 1902 (and a similar measure for London in 1903);[25]
2. The Irish Land Purchase Act, 1903 which bought out the Anglo-English land owners;[26][27]
3. The Licensing Act 1904;[28]
4. In military policy, the creation of the Committee of Imperial Defence (1904) and support for Sir John Fisher's naval reforms.
5. In foreign policy, the Anglo-French Convention (1904), which formed the basis of the Entente with France.

The Education Act lasted four decades and eventually was highly praised. Eugene Rasor states, "Balfour was credited and much praised from many perspectives with the success [of the 1902 education act]. His commitment to education was fundamental and strong."[29]:20 At the time it hurt Balfour because the Liberal party used it to rally their Noncomformist supporters. Ensor said the Act ranked:

among the two or three greatest constructive measures of the twentieth century....[He did not write it] but no statesman less dominated than Balfour was by the concept of national efficiency would have taken it up and carried it through, since its cost on the side of votes was obvious and deterrent....Public money was thus made available for the first time to ensure properly paid teachers and a standardized level of efficiency for all children alike [including the Anglican and Catholic schools].[24]:355–56

For most of the 19th century, the very powerful political and economic position of the Church of Ireland (Anglican) landowners blocked the political aspirations of Irish nationalists, who by 1900 included both Catholic and Presbyterian elements. Balfour's solution was to buy them out, not by compulsion, but by offering the owners a full immediate payment and a 12% bonus on the sales price. The British government purchased 13 million acres (53,000 km2) by 1920, and sold farms to the tenants at low payments spread over seven decades. It would cost money, but all sides proved amenable.[24]:358–60 Starting in 1923 the Irish government bought out most of the remaining landowners, and in 1933 diverted payments being made to the British treasury and used them for local improvements.[30]

Balfour's introduction of Chinese coolie labour in South Africa enabled the Liberals to counterattack, charging that his measures amounted to "Chinese slavery".[24]:355, 376–78[31] Likerwise Liberals energized the Nonconformists when they attacked Balfour's Licensing Act 1904 which paid pub owners to close down. In the long-run it did reduce the great oversupply of pubs, while in the short run Balfour's party was hurt.[24]:360–61

Balfour failed to solve his greatest political challenge - the debate over tariffs that ripped his party apart. Chamberlain proposed to turn the Empire into a closed trade bloc protected by high tariffs against imports from Germany and the United States. He argued that tariff reform would revive a flagging British economy, strengthen imperial ties with the dominions and the colonies, and produce a positive programme that would facilitate reelection. He was vehemently opposed by Conservative free traders who denounced the proposal as economically fallacious, and open to the charge of raising food prices in Britain. Balfour tried to forestall disruption by removing key ministers on each side, and offering a much narrower tariff programme. It was ingenious, but both sides rejected any compromise, and his party's chances for reelection were ruined.[32][33]:4–6

Balfour may have been personally sympathetic to extending suffrage, with his brother Gerald, Conservative MP for Leeds Central married to women's suffrage activist Constance Lytton's sister Betty.[34] But he accepted the strength of the political opposition to women's suffrage, as shown in correspondence with Christabel Pankhurst, a leader of the WSPU. Balfour argued that he was 'not convinced the majority of women actually wanted the vote', in 1907. A rebuttal which meant extending the activist campaign for women's rights.[34] He was reminded by Lytton of a speech he made in 1892, namely that this question 'will arise again, menacing and ripe for resolution', she asked him to meet WSPU leader, Christabel Pankhurst, after a series of hunger strikes and suffering by imprisoned suffragettes in 1907. Balfour refused on the grounds of her militancy.[34] Christabel pleaded direct to meet Balfour as Conservative party leader, on their policy manifesto for the General Election of 1909, but he refused again as women's suffrage was 'not a party question and his colleagues were divided on the matter'.[34] She tried and failed again to get his open support in parliament for women's cause in the 1910 private member's Conciliation Bill.[34] He voted for the bill in the end but not for its progress to the Grand Committee, preventing it becoming law, and extending the activist campaigns as a result again.[34] The following year Lytton and Annie Kenney in person after another reading of the Bill, but again it was not prioritised as government business.[34] His sister-in-law Lady Betty Balfour spoke to Churchill that her brother was to speak for this policy, and also met the Prime Minister in a 2011 delegation of the women's movements respresenting the Conservative and Unionist Women's Franchise Association.[34] But it was not until 1918 that (some) women were given the right to vote in elections in the United Kingdom, despite a forty year campaign.[34]

Historians generally praised Balfour's achievements in military and foreign policy. Cannon & Crowcroft 2015 stress the importance of the Anglo‐French Entente of 1904, and the establishment of the Committee of Imperial Defence.[35] Rasor points to twelve historians who have examined his key role in naval and military reforms.[29]:39–40[24]:361–71 However there was little political payback at the time. The local Conservative campaigns in 1906 focused mostly on a few domestic issues.[36] Balfour gave strong support for Jackie Fisher's naval reforms.[37]

Balfour created and chaired the Committee of Imperial Defence, which provided better long-term coordinated planning between the Army and Navy.[38] Austen Chamberlain said Britain would have been unprepared for the World War without his Committee of Imperial Defence. He wrote, "It is impossible to overrate the services thus rendered by Balfour to the Country and Empire....[Without the CID] victory would have been impossible."[39] Historians also praised the Anglo-French Convention (1904), which formed the basis of the Entente Cordiale with France that proved decisive in 1914.[40]

Cabinet of Arthur Balfour

This section is transcluded from Unionist government, 1895–1905. (edit | history)

Balfour was appointed Prime Minister on 12 July 1902 while the King was recovering from his recent appendicitis operation. Changes to the Cabinet were thus not announced until 9 August, when the King was back in London.[41] The new ministers were received in audience and took their oaths on 11 August.

Portfolio / Minister / Took office / Left office / Party

First Lord of the Treasury; Lord Privy Seal; Leader of the House of Commons / Arthur Balfour* / 12 July 1902 / 4 December 1905 / Conservative

Lord Chancellor / The Earl of Halsbury / 29 June 1895 4/ December 1905 / Conservative

Lord President of the Council; Leader of the House of Lords / The Duke of Devonshire / 29 June 1895 / 19 October 1903 / Liberal Unionist

Lord President of the Council / The Marquess of Londonderry / 19 October 1903 / 11 December 1905 / Conservative

Leader of the House of Lords / The Marquess of Lansdowne / 13 October 1903 / 4 December 1905 / Liberal Unionist

Secretary of State for the Home Department / Aretas Akers-Douglas / 12 July 1902 / 5 December 1905 / Conservative

Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs / The Marquess of Lansdowne / 12 November 1900 / 4 December 1905 / Liberal Unionist

Secretary of State for the Colonies / Joseph Chamberlain / 29 June 1895 / 16 September 1903 / Liberal Unionist

Secretary of State for the Colonies / Alfred Lyttelton / 11 October 1903 / 4 December 1905 / Liberal Unionist

Secretary of State for War / St John Brodrick / 12 November 1900 / 6 October 1903 / Conservative

Secretary of State for War / H. O. Arnold-Forster / 6 October 1903 / 4 December 1905 / Liberal Unionist

Secretary of State for India / Lord George Hamilton / 4 July 1895 / 9 October 1903 / Conservative

Secretary of State for India / St John Brodrick / 9 October 1903 / 4 December 1905 / Conservative

First Lord of the Admiralty / The Earl of Selborne / 1900 / 1905 / Liberal Unionist

Chancellor of the Exchequer / Charles Ritchie / 11 August 1902 / 9 October 1903 / Conservative

Chancellor of the Exchequer / Austen Chamberlain / 9 October 1903 / 4 December 1905 / Liberal Unionist

President of the Board of Trade / Gerald Balfour / 12 November 1900 / 12 March 1905 / Conservative

President of the Board of Trade / The 4th Marquess of Salisbury / 12 March 1905 / 4 December 1905 / Conservative

Secretary for Scotland / The Lord Balfour of Burleigh / 29 June 1895 / 9 October 1903 / Conservative

Secretary for Scotland / Andrew Murray / 9 October 1903 / 2 February 1905 / Conservative

Secretary for Scotland / The Marquess of Linlithgow / 2 February 1905 / 4 December 1905 / Conservative

Chief Secretary for Ireland / George Wyndham / 9 November 1900 / 12 March 1905 / Conservative

Chief Secretary for Ireland / Walter Long / 12 March 1905 / 4 December 1905 / Conservative

President of the Local Government Board / Walter Long / 1900 / 1905 / Conservative

President of the Local Government Board / Gerald Balfour / 1905 / 11 December 1905 / Conservative

President of the Board of Agriculture / Robert William Hanbury / 16 November 1900 / 28 April 1903 / Conservative

President of the Board of Education / The Marquess of Londonderry / 11 August 1902 / 4 December 1905 / Conservative

Lord Chancellor of Ireland / The Lord Ashbourne / 29 June 1895 / 1905 / Conservative

First Commissioner of Works / The Lord Windsor /11 August 1902 / 4 December 1905 / Conservative

Postmaster General / Austen Chamberlain / 11 August 1902 / 9 October 1903 / Liberal Unionist

Later career

Painting by John Singer Sargent, 1908

Balfour caricatured by Vanity Fair, 1910

After the general election of 1906 Balfour remained party leader, his position strengthened by Joseph Chamberlain's absence from the House of Commons after his stroke in July 1906, but he was unable to make much headway against the huge Liberal majority in the Commons. An early attempt to score a debating triumph over the government, made in Balfour's usual abstruse, theoretical style, saw Campbell-Bannerman respond with: "Enough of this foolery," to the delight of his supporters. Balfour made the controversial decision, with Lord Lansdowne, to use the heavily Unionist House of Lords as a check on the political programme and legislation of the Liberal party in the Commons. Legislation was vetoed or altered by amendments between 1906 and 1909, leading David Lloyd George to remark that the Lords was "the right hon. Gentleman's poodle. It fetches and carries for him. It barks for him. It bites anybody that he sets it on to. And we are told that this is a great revising Chamber, the safeguard of liberty in the country."[42] The issue was forced by the Liberals with Lloyd George's People's Budget, provoking the constitutional crisis that led to the Parliament Act 1911, which limited the Lords to delaying bills for up to two years. After the Unionists lost the general elections of 1910 (despite softening the tariff reform policy with Balfour's promise of a referendum on food taxes), the Unionist peers split to allow the Parliament Act to pass the House of Lords, to prevent mass creation of Liberal peers by the new King, George V. The exhausted Balfour resigned as party leader after the crisis, and was succeeded in late 1911 by Bonar Law.[14]

Balfour remained important in the party, however, and when the Unionists joined Asquith's coalition government in May 1915, Balfour succeeded Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty. When Asquith's government collapsed in December 1916, Balfour, who seemed a potential successor to the premiership, became Foreign Secretary in Lloyd George's new administration, but not in the small War Cabinet, and was frequently left out of inner workings of government. Balfour's service as Foreign Secretary was notable for the Balfour Mission, a crucial alliance-building visit to the US in April 1917, and the Balfour Declaration of 1917, a letter to Lord Rothschild affirming the government's support for the establishment of a "national home for the Jewish people" in Palestine, then part of the Ottoman Empire.[43]

Portrait by Walter Stoneman, 1921

Balfour resigned as Foreign Secretary following the Versailles Conference in 1919, but continued in the government (and the Cabinet after normal peacetime political arrangements resumed) as Lord President of the Council. In 1921–22 he represented the British Empire at the Washington Naval Conference and during summer 1922 stood in for the Foreign Secretary, Lord Curzon, who was ill. He put forward a proposal for the international settlement of war debts and reparations (the Balfour Note), but it was not accepted.[14]

On 5 May 1922, Balfour was created Earl of Balfour and Viscount Traprain, of Whittingehame, in the county of Haddington.[44] In October 1922 he, with most of the Conservative leadership, resigned with Lloyd George's government following the Carlton Club meeting, a Conservative back-bench revolt against continuance of the coalition. Bonar Law became Prime Minister. Like many Coalition leaders, he did not hold office in the Conservative governments of 1922–1924, but as an elder statesman, he was consulted by the King in the choice of Stanley Baldwin as Bonar Law's successor as Conservative leader in May 1923. When asked whether "dear George" (the much more experienced Lord Curzon) would be chosen, he replied, referring to Curzon's wealthy wife Grace, "No, dear, George will not but while he may have lost the hope of glory he still possesses the means of Grace."

Balfour was not initially included in Baldwin's second government in 1924, but in 1925, he returned to the Cabinet, in place of the late Lord Curzon as Lord President of the Council, until the government ended in 1929. With 28 years of government service, Balfour had one of the longest ministerial careers in modern British politics, second only to Winston Churchill .[45]

Last years

Balfour had generally good health until 1928 and remained until then a regular tennis player. Four years previously he had been the first president of the International Lawn Tennis Club of Great Britain. At the end of 1928, most of his teeth were removed and he suffered the unremitting circulatory trouble which ended his life. Before that, he had suffered occasional phlebitis and, by late 1929, he was immobilised by it. Balfour died at his brother Gerald's home, Fishers Hill House in Hook Heath, Woking, on 19 March 1930. At his request a public funeral was declined, and he was buried on 22 March beside members of his family at Whittingehame in a Church of Scotland service although he also belonged to the Church of England. By special remainder, his title passed to his brother Gerald.

His obituaries in The Times, The Guardian and the Daily Herald did not mention the declaration for which he is most famous outside Britain.[46]


Portrait by Philip de László, c. 1931

Early in Balfour's career he was thought to be merely amusing himself with politics, and it was regarded as doubtful whether his health could withstand the severity of English winters. He was considered a dilettante by his colleagues; regardless, Lord Salisbury gave increasingly powerful posts in his government to his nephew.[16]

Beatrice Webb wrote in her diary:

A man of extraordinary grace of mind and body, delighting in all that is beautiful and distinguished––music, literature, philosophy, religious feeling and moral disinterestedness, aloof from all the greed and crying of common human nature. But a strange paradox as Prime Minister of a great empire! I doubt whether even foreign affairs interest him. For all economic and social questions I gather he has an utter loathing, while the machinery of government and administration would seem to him a disagreeable irrelevance.[47]

Balfour developed a manner known to friends as the Balfourian manner. Edward Harold Begbie, a journalist, attacked him for his self-obsession:

This Balfourian attitude of mind—an attitude of convinced superiority which insists in the first place on complete detachment from the enthusiasms of the human race, and in the second place on keeping the vulgar world at arm's length....To Mr. Arthur Balfour this studied attitude of aloofness has been fatal, both to his character and to his career. He has said nothing, written nothing, done nothing, which lives in the heart of his countrymen....the charming, gracious, and cultured Mr. Balfour is the most egotistical of men, and a man who would make almost any sacrifice to remain in office.[48]

However, Graham Goodlad argued to the contrary:

Balfour's air of detachment was a pose. He was sincere in his conservatism, mistrusting radical political and social change and believing deeply in the Union with Ireland, the Empire and the superiority of the British race....Those who dismissed him as a languid dilettante were wide of the mark. As Chief Secretary for Ireland from 1887 to 1891 he manifested an unflinching commitment to the maintenance of British authority in the face of popular protest. He combined a strong emphasis on law and order with measures aimed at reforming the landowning system and developing Ireland's backward rural economy.[32]

Churchill compared Balfour to H. H. Asquith: "The difference between Balfour and Asquith is that Arthur is wicked and moral, while Asquith is good and immoral." Balfour said of himself, "I am more or less happy when being praised, not very comfortable when being abused, but I have moments of uneasiness when being explained."[49]

Balfour was interested in the study of dialects and donated money to Joseph Wright's work on the English Dialect Dictionary. Wright wrote in the preface to the first volume that the project would have been "in vain" had he not received the donation from Balfour.[50]

Arthur Balfour was a fan of football and supported Manchester City F.C.[51]

Writings and academic achievements

As a philosopher, Balfour formulated the basis for the evolutionary argument against naturalism. Balfour argued the Darwinian premise of selection for reproductive fitness cast doubt on scientific naturalism, because human cognitive facilities that would accurately perceive truth could be less advantageous than adaptation for evolutionarily useful illusions.[52]

As he says:

[There is] no distinction to be drawn between the development of reason and that of any other faculty, physiological or psychical, by which the interests of the individual or the race are promoted. From the humblest form of nervous irritation at the one end of the scale, to the reasoning capacity of the most advanced races at the other, everything without exception (sensation, instinct, desire, volition) has been produced directly or indirectly, by natural causes acting for the most part on strictly utilitarian principles. Convenience, not knowledge, therefore, has been the main end to which this process has tended.

— Arthur Balfour[53]

He was a member of the Society for Psychical Research, a society studying psychic and paranormal phenomena, and was its president from 1892 to 1894.[54] In 1914, he delivered the Gifford Lectures at the University of Glasgow,[55] which formed the basis for his book Theism and Humanism (1915).[56]


After the First World War, when there was controversy over the style of headstone proposed for use on British war graves being taken on by the Imperial War Graves Commission, Balfour submitted a design for a cruciform headstone.[57] At an exhibition in August 1919, it drew many criticisms; the Commission's principal architect, Sir John Burnet, said Balfour's cross would create a criss-cross effect destroying any sense of "restful diginity", Edwin Lutyens called it "extraordinarily ugly", and its shape was variously described as resembling a shooting target or bottle.[57] His design was not accepted but the Commission offered him a second chance to submit another design which he did not take up, having been refused once.[57]:49 After a further exhibition in the House of Commons, the "Balfour cross" was ultimately rejected in favour of the standard headstone the Commission permanently adopted because the latter offered more space for inscriptions and service emblems.[57]:50

Popular culture

Balfour occasionally appears in popular culture.[29]

• Balfour was the subject of two parody novels based on Alice in Wonderland, Clara in Blunderland (1902) and Lost in Blunderland (1903), which appeared under the pseudonym Caroline Lewis; one of the co-authors was Harold Begbie.[58][59]
• The character Arthur Balfour plays a supporting, off-screen role in Upstairs, Downstairs, promoting the family patriarch, Richard Bellamy, to the position of Civil Lord of the Admiralty.
• Balfour was portrayed by Adrian Ropes in the 1974 Thames TV production Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill.
• Balfour was portrayed by Lyndon Brook in the 1975 ATV production Edward the Seventh.
• A fictionalised version of Arthur Balfour (identified as "Mr. Balfour") appears as British Prime Minister in the science fiction romance The Angel of the Revolution by George Griffith, published in 1893 (when Balfour was still in opposition) but set in an imagined near future of 1903–1905.
• The indecisive Balfour (identified as "Halfan Halfour") appears in "Ministers of Grace", a satirical short story by Saki in which he, and other leading politicians including Quinston, are changed into animals appropriate to their characters.


1967 Israel stamp commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration

A portrait of Balfour by Philip de Laszlo is in the collection of Trinity College, Cambridge.[60]

Balfouria, a moshav in Israel and many streets in Israel are named after him. The town of Balfour, Mpumalanga in South Africa was named after him.[61]

The Lord Balfour Hotel, an Art Deco hotel on Ocean Drive in the South Beach neighborhood of Miami Beach, Florida, is named after him.

Honours and decorations

Coat of arms of the Lord Balfour KG, as displayed on his Garter stall plate at St. George's Chapel, Windsor, viz.' Argent on a chevron engrailed between three mullets sable, three otters' heads erased of the field.

• He was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of Ross-shire on 10 September 1880, giving him the post-nominal letters "DL".[62]
• He was sworn of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom in 1885, giving him the style "The Right Honourable" and after ennoblement the post-nominal letters "PC" for life.[63]
• On 3 June 1916 he was appointed to the Order of Merit, giving him the post-nominal letters "OM" for life.[63]
• In 1919, he was elected Chancellor of his old university, Cambridge, in succession to his brother-in-law, Lord Rayleigh.
• He was made a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter on 24 February 1922, becoming Sir Arthur Balfour and giving him the post-nominal letters "KG" for life.[63]
• On 5 May 1922, Balfour was raised to the peerage as Earl of Balfour and Viscount Thaprain, of Whittingehame, in the county of Haddington. This allowed him to sit in the House of Lords.[63]
• He was awarded the Estonian Cross of Liberty (conferred between 1919–25), third grade, first class, for Civilian Service.

He was given the Freedom of the City/Freedom of the Borough of

• 28 September 1899: Dundee
• 20 September 1902: Haddington, East Lothian[64]
• 19 October 1905: Edinburgh

Honorary degrees

Country / Date / School / Degree

England / 1909 / University of Liverpool / Doctor of Laws (LL.D)[65]
England / 1912 / University of Sheffield / Doctor of Laws (LL.D)[66]
Ontario / 1917 / University of Toronto / Doctor of Laws (LL.D)[67]
Wales / 1921 / University of Wales / Doctor of Letters (D. Litt)
England / 1924 / University of Leeds / Doctor of Laws (LL.D)[68]

This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

See also

• Biography portal
• Balfour Declaration
• Balfour Declaration of 1926
• Palm Sunday Case


1. Oxford Dictionaries Oxford Dictionaries Online
2. Taylor, Simon; Márkus, Gilbert (2008). The Place-Names of Fife. Volume Two: Central Fife between the Rivers Leven and Eden. Donington. p. 408.
3. "Balfour". Fife Place-name Data. Glasgow University. n.d. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
4. Chisholm 1911, p. 250.
5. Tuchman, Barbara (1966). The Proud Tower. Macmillan. p. 46.
6. "Balfour, Arthur (BLFR866AJ)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
8. Adams, Ralph James Q. (2007). Balfour: The Last Grandee. John Murray. ISBN 978-0-7195-5424-7.
9. Oppenheim, Janet (1988). The Other World: Spiritualism and Psychical Research in England, 1850–1914. Cambridge University Press. pp. 132–133. ISBN 978-0-521-34767-9.
10. Wilson, A. N. (2011). The Victorians. Random House. p. 530. ISBN 978-1-4464-9320-5.
11. Sargent, John Singer (February 2010) [1899]. "The Wyndham Sisters: Lady Elcho, Mrs. Adeane, and Mrs. Tennant". The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
12. Mackay, Ruddock F. (1985). Balfour, Intellectual Statesman. Oxford University Press. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-19-212245-2.
13. Chisholm 1911, pp. 250–251.
14. Zebel, Sydney Henry (1973). Balfour: A Political Biography. Cambridge: University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-08536-6.
15. Green, Ewen (2006). Balfour. Haus Publishing. pp. 22–. ISBN 978-1-912208-37-1.
16. Chisholm 1911, p. 251.
17. Langguth, A. J. (1981). Saki, a life of Hector Hugh Munro : with six short stories never before collected. Saki, 1870–1916. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 65. ISBN 9780671247157. OCLC 7554446.
18. Massie, Robert (1991). Dreadnought. New York: Random House. pp. 318–319..
19. Chisholm 1911, p. 252.
20. Viorst, Milton (2016). Zionism: The Birth and Transformation of an Ideal. p. 80. ISBN 9781466890329.
21. Sand, Shlomo (2012). The Invention of the Land of Israel: From Holy Land to Homeland. London: Verso. pp. 14–15.
22. Sabbagh, Karl (2006). Palestine : a personal history. London: Atlantic. p. 103. ISBN 978-1-84354-344-2. Balfour warned the House of Commons in his speech of 'the undoubted evils that had fallen upon the country from an immigration which was largely Jewish'
23. Chisholm 1911, p. 254.
24. Ensor, R. C. K. (1936). England, 1870–1914. Oxford: Clarendon.
25. Robinson, Wendy (2002). "Historiographical reflections on the 1902 Education Act". Oxford Review of Education. 28 (2–3): 159–172. doi:10.1080/03054980220143342. JSTOR 1050905.
26. Bull, Philip (2016). "The significance of the nationalist response to the Irish land act of 1903". Irish Historical Studies. 28 (111): 283–305. doi:10.1017/S0021121400011056. ISSN 0021-1214.
27. Bastable, Charles F. (1903). "The Irish Land Purchase Act of 1903". Quarterly Journal of Economics. 18 (1): 1–21. doi:10.2307/1882773. JSTOR 1882773.
28. Jennings, Paul (2009). "Liquor licensing and the local historian: the 1904 Licensing Act and its administration" (PDF). The Local Historian. 9 (1): 24–37.
29. Rasor, Eugene L. (1998). Arthur James Balfour, 1848-1930: Historiography and Annotated Bibliography. Greenwood. ISBN 9780313288777.
30. Lee, J. J. (1989). Ireland 1912-1985: politics and society. p. 71.
31. Spencer, Scott C. (2014). "'British Liberty Stained:' Chinese Slavery, Imperial Rhetoric, and the 1906 British General Election". Madison Historical Review. 7 (1): 3–.
32. Goodlad, Graham (2010). "Balfour: Graham Goodlad Reviews the Career of AJ Balfour, an Unsuccessful Prime Minister and Party Leader but an Important and Long-Serving Figure on the British Political Scene". History Review. 68: 22–24.
33. Pearce, Robert; Goodlad, Graham (2013). British Prime Ministers From Balfour to Brown.
34. Atkinson, Diane (2018). Rise up, women! : the remarkable lives of the suffragettes. London: Bloomsbury. pp. 8, 76–77, 137, 169, 184, 201, 209, 253, 267. ISBN 9781408844045. OCLC 1016848621.
35. Adams 2002, p. 199.
36. Russell, A.K. (1973). Liberal landslide: the general election of 1906. p. 92.
37. French, David (1994). "Defending the Empire: The Conservative Party and British Defense Policy, 1899-1915". English Historical Review. 109 (434): 1324–1326.
38. Mackintosh, John P. (1962). "The role of the Committee of Imperial Defence before 1914". English Historical Review. 77 (304): 490–503. JSTOR 561324.
39. Young, Kenneth (1975). "Arthur James Balfour". In Van Thal, Herbert (ed.). The Prime Ministers: From Sir Robert Walpole to Edward Heath. 2. Stein and Day. p. 173. ISBN 978-0-04-942131-8.
40. MacMillan, Margaret (2013). The War that Ended Peace: How Europe abandoned peace for the First World War. Profile. pp. 169–171. ISBN 978-1-84765-416-8.
41. "Mr Balfour´s Ministry – full list of appointments". The Times (36842). London. 9 August 1902. p. 5.
42. "HC Deb 26 June 1907 vol 176 cc1408-523". Hansard. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
43. Schneer, Jonathan (2010). The Balfour Declaration: the origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Bond Street Books.
44. "No. 32691". The London Gazette. 5 May 1922. p. 3512.
45. Parkinson, Justin (13 June 2013). "Chasing Churchill: Ken Clarke climbs ministerial long-service chart". BBC News.
46. Teveth, Shabtai (1985). Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs. From Peace to War. p. 106.
47. MacKenzie, Jeanne, ed. (1983). The Diary of Beatrice Webb. Virago. p. 288. ISBN 9780860682103.
48. Begbie, Harold (1920). Mirrors of Downing Street. pp. 76–79.
49. Anon (n.d.). "History of Arthur James Balfour". Retrieved 4 July 2019.
50. Wright, Joseph (1898). The English Dialect Dictionary, Volume 1 A-C. London: Henry Frowde. p. viii.
51. Sanders, Richard (2010). Beastly Fury: The Strange Birth of British Football. Bantam Books. ISBN 978-0-55381-935-9. p219
52. Gray, John (2011). The Immortalization Commission.
53. Balfour 1915, p. 68.
54. Lycett, Andrew (2008). The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 427. ISBN 9780743275255.
55. Theism and Humanism: Being the Gifford Lectures Delivered at the University of Glasgow, 1914. Hodder and Stoughton, George H. Doran Company. 1915.
56. Madigan, Tim (2010). "The Paradoxes of Arthur Balfour". Philosophy Now.
57. Longworth, Philip (1985). The unending vigil: a history of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, 1917-1984. Leo Cooper in association with Secker & Warburg.
58. Sigler, Carolyn, ed. (1997). Alternative Alices: Visions and Revisions of Lewis Carroll's "Alice" Books. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky. pp. 340–347.
59. Dickinson, Evelyn (20 June 1902). "Literary Note and Books of the Month". United Australia. II (12).
60. "Trinity College, University of Cambridge". BBC Your Paintings. Archived from the original on 11 May 2014.
61. Raper, P. E. (1989). Dictionary of Southern African Place Names. Jonathan Ball Publishers. p. 68. ISBN 978-0-947464-04-2 – via Internet Archive.
62. "The London Gazette". Retrieved 24 July 2016.
63. "Page 1643". The Peerage. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
64. "Mr. Balfour at Haddington". The Times (36879). London. 22 September 1902. p. 5.
65. "Honorary Graduates of the University" (PDF). University of Liverpool. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
66. "Honorary Graduates" (PDF). University of Sheffield. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
67. "University of Toronto Honorary Degree Recipients 1850 - 2016" (PDF). University of Toronto. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
68. "Honour for Earl of Balfour". The Scotsman (25, 446). 17 December 1924. p. 8 – via British Newspaper Archive.
69. Davies, Edward J. (2013). "The Balfours of Balbirnie and Whittingehame". The Scottish Genealogist(60): 84–90.


• Adams, R.J.Q. (2002). Ramsden, John (ed.). The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century British Politics.
• Cannon, John; Crowcroft, Robert, eds. (2015). A Dictionary of British History (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press.
• Torrance, David, The Scottish Secretaries (Birlinn Limited 2006)
• Chisholm, Hugh (1911). "Balfour, Arthur James" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 250–254. This article was written by Chisholm himself soon after Balfour's premiership, while he was still leader of the Opposition. It includes a significant amount of contemporaneous analysis, some of which is summarised here.

Further reading


• Adams, R. J. Q.: Balfour: The Last Grandee, John Murray, 2007
• Brendon, Piers: Eminent Edwardians (1980) ch 1
• Buckle, George Earle (1922). "Balfour, Arthur James" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 30 (12th ed.). London & New York. pp. 366–368.
• Dugdale, Blanche: Arthur James Balfour, First Earl of Balfour KG, OM, FRS- Volume 1, (1936); Arthur James Balfour, First Earl of Balfour KG, OM, FRS- Volume 2- 1906–1930, (1936), official life by his niece; vol 1 and 2 online free
• Egremont, Max: A life of Arthur James Balfour, William Collins and Company Ltd, 1980
• Green, E. H. H. Balfour (20 British Prime Ministers of the 20th Century); Haus, 2006. ISBN 1-904950-55-8
• Mackay, Ruddock F.: "Balfour, Intellectual Statesman", Oxford 1985 ISBN 0-19-212245-2
• Mackay, Ruddock F., and H. C. G. Matthew. "Balfour, Arthur James, first earl of Balfour (1848–1930)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2011 accessed 19 Nov 2016 18,000 word scholarly biography
• Pearce, Robert and Graham Goodlad. British Prime Ministers From Balfour to Brown (2013) pp 1–11.
• Raymond, E. T. (1920). A Life of Arthur James Balfour. Little, Brown. p. 1.
• Young, Kenneth: Arthur James Balfour: The happy life of the Politician, Prime Minister, Statesman and Philosopher- 1848–1930, G. Bell and Sons, 1963
• Zebel, Sydney Henry. Balfour: a political biography (ICON Group International, 1973

Specialty studies

• Ellenberger, Nancy W. Balfour's World: Aristocracy and Political Culture at the Fin de Siècle (2015). excerpt
• Gollin, Alfred M. Balfour's burden: Arthur Balfour and imperial preference(1965).
• Halévy, Élie (1926) Imperialism And The Rise Of Labour (1926) online
• Halévy, Élie (1956) A History Of The English People: Epilogue vol 1: 1895-1905 ' (1929) online as prime minister pp 131ff,.
• Jacyna, Leon Stephen. "Science and social order in the thought of A.J. Balfour." Isis (1980): 11–34. in JSTOR
• Judd, Denis. Balfour and the British Empire: a study in Imperial evolution 1874–1932 (1968).
• Marriott, J. A. R. Modern England, 1885–1945 (1948), pp. 180–99, on Balfour as Prime Minister. online
• Massie, Robert K. Dreadnought: Britain, Germany, and the Coming of the Great War (1992) pp 310–519, a popular account of Balfour's foreign and naval policies as prime minister.
• Mathew, William M. "The Balfour Declaration and the Palestine Mandate, 1917–1923: British Imperialist Imperatives." British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 40.3 (2013): 231–250.
• O'Callaghan, Margaret. British high politics and a nationalist Ireland: criminality, land and the law under Forster and Balfour (Cork Univ Pr, 1994).
• Ramsden, John. A History of the Conservative Party: The age of Balfour and Baldwin, 1902–1940 (1978); vol 3 of a scholarly history of the Conservative Party.
• Rempel, Richard A. Unionists Divided; Arthur Balfour, Joseph Chamberlain and the Unionist Free Traders (1972).
• Rofe, J. Simon, and Alan Tomlinson. "Strenuous competition on the field of play, diplomacy off it: the 1908 London Olympics, Theodore Roosevelt and Arthur Balfour, and transatlantic relations." Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 15.1 (2016): 60-79. online
• Shannon, Catherine B. "The Legacy of Arthur Balfour to Twentieth-Century Ireland." in Peter Collins, ed. Nationalism and Unionism (1994): 17–34.
• Shannon, Catherine B. Arthur J. Balfour and Ireland, 1874–1922 (Catholic Univ of America Press, 1988).
• Sugawara, Takeshi. "Arthur Balfour and the Japanese Military Assistance during the Great War." International Relations 2012.168 (2012): pp 44–57. online
• Taylor, Tony. "Arthur Balfour and educational change: The myth revisited." British Journal of Educational Studies 42#2 (1994): 133–149.
• Tomes, Jason. Balfour and foreign policy: the international thought of a conservative statesman (Cambridge University Press, 2002).
• Tuchman, Barbara W.: The Proud Tower – A Portrait of the World Before the War (1966)


• Loades David, ed. Reader's Guide to British History (2003) 1:122–24; cover major politicians and issues
• Rasor Eugene L. Arthur James Balfour, 1848–1930: Historiography and Annotated Bibliography (1998)

Primary sources

• Balfour, Arthur James. Criticism and Beauty: A Lecture Rewritten, Being the Romanes Lecture for 1909 (Oxford, 1910) online
• Cecil, Robert, and Arthur J. Balfour. Salisbury-Balfour Correspondence: Letters Exchanged Between the 3. Marquess of Salisbury and His Nephew Arthur James Balfour; 1869-1892 (Hertfordshire Record Society, 1988).
• Ridley, Jane, and Clayre Percy, erds. The Letters of Arthur Balfour and Lady Elcho 1885–1917. (Hamish Hamilton, 1992).
• Short, Wilfrid M., ed. Arthur James Balfour as Philosopher and Thinker: A Collection of the More Important and Interesting Passages in His Non-political Writings, Speeches, and Addresses, 1879-1912 (1912). online
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Bramwell Booth
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/3/20

Continuing their discussion of the membership of "The Society of the Elect," Stead asked permission to bring in Milner and Brett. Rhodes agreed, so they telegraphed at once to Brett, who arrived in two hours. They then drew up the following "ideal arrangement' for the society:

1. General of the Society: Rhodes
2. Junta of Three: (1) Stead, (2) Brett, (3) Milner
3. Circle of Initiates: (1) Cardinal Manning, (2) General Booth, (3) Bramwell Booth, (4) "Little" [Harry] Johnston, (5) Albert Grey, (6) Arthur Balfour
4. The Association of Helpers
5. A College, under Professor Seeley, to be established to train people in the English-speaking idea."

Within the next few weeks Stead had another talk with Rhodes and a talk with Milner, who was "filled with admiration" for the scheme, according to Stead's notes as published by Sir Frederick Whyte.

-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley

Bramwell Booth CH
2nd General of The Salvation Army
In office: 20 August 1912 – 14 February 1929
Preceded by: William Booth
Succeeded by: Edward Higgins
1st Chief of the Staff of The Salvation Army
In office: 1881–1912
Preceded by: Office Established
Succeeded by: T. Henry Howard
Personal details
Born: 8 March 1856, Halifax, West Riding of Yorkshire
Died: 16 June 1929 (aged 73), Hertfordshire
Resting place: Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington, London
Spouse(s): Florence Eleanor Soper (m. 1882⁠–⁠1929)
Parents: William Booth, Catherine Mumford

William Bramwell Booth, CH (8 March 1856 – 16 June 1929) was the first Chief of Staff (1881–1912) and the second General of The Salvation Army (1912–1929), succeeding his father, William Booth.

The Salvation Army (TSA) is a Protestant Christian church and an international charitable organisation. The organisation reports a worldwide membership of over 1.7 million,[3] consisting of soldiers, officers and adherents collectively known as Salvationists. Its founders sought to bring salvation to the poor, destitute, and hungry by meeting both their "physical and spiritual needs". It is present in 131 countries,[4] running charity shops, operating shelters for the homeless and disaster relief and humanitarian aid to developing countries.

The theology of the Salvation Army is derived from that of Methodism, although it is distinctive in institution and practice. A peculiarity of the Army is that it gives its clergy titles of military ranks, such as "lieutenant" or "major". It does not celebrate the rites of Baptism and Holy Communion. However, the Army's doctrine is otherwise typical of holiness churches in the Wesleyan-Arminian tradition. The Army's purposes are "the advancement of the Christian religion ... of education, the relief of poverty, and other charitable objects beneficial to society or the community of mankind as a whole".[5]

The Army was founded in 1865 in London by one-time Methodist circuit-preacher William Booth and his wife Catherine as the East London Christian Mission, and can trace its origins to the Blind Beggar tavern. In 1878 Booth reorganised the mission, becoming its first General and introducing the military structure which has been retained as a matter of tradition.[6] Its highest priority is its Christian principles.

-- The Salvation Army, by Wikipedia


Born in Halifax, Yorkshire, England, the oldest child born to William Booth and Catherine Mumford, he had two brothers and five sisters, including Evangeline Booth, Catherine Booth-Clibborn, Emma Booth and Ballington Booth. The Booth family regularly moved from place to place as William Booth's ministry necessitated until the family finally settled in London in 1865. Bramwell Booth was involved in The Salvation Army right from its origins as the obscure Christian Mission, established in Whitechapel in 1865, into an international organisation with numerous and varied social activities. He was educated at home, briefly at a preparatory school and at the City of London School, where he was bullied.[1]

Known to his family as 'Willie', as a youth he suffered poor health and had a slight hearing loss. In 1870, aged just 14, Bramwell Booth started to help in the management of his father's Christian Mission and in the cheap food kitchens set up in its early days. He had intended to study medicine and had a fear of public speaking, but despite these obstacles he became William Booth's amanuensis, adviser and administrator. He became an active full-time collaborator with his father in 1874, and an officer when the Christian Mission became The Salvation Army in 1878.[1]

The name The Salvation Army developed from an incident in May 1878. William Booth was dictating a letter to his secretary George Scott Railton and said, "We are a volunteer army." Bramwell Booth heard his father and said, "Volunteer? I'm no volunteer, I'm a regular!" Railton was instructed to cross out the word "volunteer" and substitute the word "salvation".[2]

Chief of the staff

Bramwell Booth as Chief of the Staff

In 1881, General William Booth appointed Bramwell as his Chief of the Staff of The Salvation Army. Bramwell would hold this title until his father's death, when he himself was named General in his father's will.[3] In 1885 Bramwell was involved with William Thomas Stead in an attempt to publicise the prostitution of young girls. The lurid revelations of how thirteen-year-old Eliza Armstrong was sold for £5 resulted in the 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act, which raised the age of consent to sixteen years. After the revelations, Booth, Stead, and Rebecca Jarrett, a converted brothel-keeper who assisted them, were arrested on several charges. Booth was acquitted but the others served short prison terms.[1]

On 12 October 1882 Bramwell married Captain Florence Eleanor Soper, the eldest daughter of Dr Soper, a medical practitioner of Blaina, Monmouthshire. The congregation at Clapton Congress Hall were charged one shilling each for admission to the ceremony. She had joined The Salvation Army in 1880 and worked in France with Bramwell's sister Catherine Booth. After her marriage she took charge of the women's social work. All of their seven children (five daughters and two sons) became active workers in the army. Their eldest child was Commissioner Catherine Bramwell-Booth.[1]

General of The Salvation Army

Upon his death in 1912, William Booth appointed Bramwell his successor as General, by way of a sealed envelope. This process was the legal way in which a successor to the General was chosen, as outlined by the Christian Mission's founding deed of 1878.[3] Like his father, Bramwell Booth ruled autocratically, and expected complete obedience. However, what officers had tolerated from William Booth, by then known as 'The Founder', they would not tolerate from Bramwell.

The early years of Bramwell Booth's Generalship were complicated by World War I, which threatened the international nature of The Salvation Army, with Salvationists in both Germany and Great Britain. However, he was able to steer a course that offended neither the Germans nor outraged British public opinion, saying in his Christmas message of 1915, "Every land is my fatherland, for all lands are my Father's.".[4]

Like his father before him, Bramwell would not tolerate any perceived insubordination and he summarily retired Salvation Army officers with little reason or sent officers too young to be retired to distant appointments; such officers were said to be in 'the freezer'.[3] Bramwell faced allegations of nepotism, in that he appointed his own children to posts for which others were better qualified. This system could be seen as being inherited from his father, who similarly appointed his own children to high ranking positions. This led to accusations that The Salvation Army was a Booth family-business;[5] however, William Booth had once said to his children that "The Salvation Army does not belong to you, or to me, it belongs to the world" and was very wary of the leadership of the Army becoming a dynasty.[3]

Discontent simmered among Salvation Army senior officers, including the chief-of-the-staff Edward Higgins and George Carpenter, who incidentally had been sent to 'the freezer' by his appointment to Sydney in a role he previously held 22 years earlier. These two officers later became Generals of The Salvation Army. Another notable Army leader that disagreed with Bramwell's leadership was Commissioner Charles Jeffries who would later be British Commissioner.[3] In his final years as General he increasingly gave control of The Salvation Army to his wife, Florence Booth, who was given power of attorney when he was away travelling. She had been the Army's 'First Lady' since the death of his mother Catherine Booth in 1890, and had started several Army organisations including the Home League, Girl Guards, and League of Mercy.[1]

As the years passed the Army's senior officers, including Bramwell's sister Evangeline Booth and his former brother-in-law Frederick Booth-Tucker, began to question his leadership. In May 1928 Bramwell's health began to deteriorate, and by September he was suffering from insomnia and depression. His poor health offered those in the Army who were dissatisfied with his leadership an opportunity to act, and on 8 January 1929 the first High Council of The Salvation Army convened, and firstly asked the General to resign due to his ill health, which, they said, was hampering him in the performance of his duties and decisions. He refused to resign, believing that his health would soon be fully recovered, so on 13 February 1929 the High Council voted by 52 votes to 5 that Bramwell's term of office as General should now end, based on Bramwell being 'unfit' to hold the position.[3] Booth was succeeded in the election of Edward Higgins, his Chief of the Staff.[6]

General Bramwell Booth then took the High Council to court, which lost him a lot of respect; he also lost the court case. His sister, Evangeline Booth later succeeded General Higgins to serve as the fourth General of The Salvation Army.[1] Henceforth the General of The Salvation Army would be elected by the High Council.[4]

On 29 April 1929 the now former General Bramwell Booth received a letter from Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin stating that King George V had appointed him a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour.[4]


Grave of Bramwell Booth at Abney Park Cemetery

On 16 June 1929 his family was summoned to his bedside, and on that Sunday evening General Bramwell Booth died at his home, The Homestead, Hadley Wood, near Barnet, Hertfordshire. For the Friday and Saturday following his death Bramwell Booth's body lay in state at The Salvation Army's Congress Hall. On the Saturday evening 10,000 Salvationists and friends filled the Royal Albert Hall to bid farewell to their beloved former General.[4]

General Bramwell Booth was buried opposite his parents at Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington, London. The grave lies near the southern entrance. Huge crowds attended his funeral. He was commemorated by the Bramwell Booth Memorial Hall, Queen Victoria Street, London.


1. "Booth, (William) Bramwell (1856–1929)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
2. "William Bramwell Booth 1829–1912 His Life and Ministry – A Very Short Biography". Retrieved 30 May 2010.
3. Larrson, John (2009). "1929: A Crisis that Shaped The Salvation Army's Future". London, United Kingdom: Salvation Books. p. 376. ISBN 978-0-85412-794-8. Archived from the original on 12 January 2011.
4. "General Bramwell Booth". Archived from the original on 27 November 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2010. Born in 1856, the eldest son of the Founder, William Bramwell Booth was appointed Chief of the Staff by his father in 1880. ... On October 12th 1882 Bramwell married Captain Florence Soper at Clapton Congress Hall. ...
5. Hodges, Samuel Horatio General Booth: “the Family,” and the Salvation Army: Showing its Rise, Progress, and ... Decline (1890)
6. "Bramwell Booth". Salvation Army. Retrieved 24 August 2010. He married (12 Oct 1882) Florence Soper [b: 12 Sept 1861 d: 10 Jun 1957], a dedicated officer who had worked with his sister Kate in Paris, in 1882. Their seven children were raised in much the same fashion as he had been reared: educated at home and with the Army constantly kept in mind.[citation needed] His two sons, (Bramwell) Bernard and (William) Wycliffe, and five daughters: Catherine Bramwell-Booth, (Florence) Miriam, Mary B, Dora, and Olive E, remained active in the Army.[dead link]

External links

• Works by Bramwell Booth at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Bramwell Booth at Internet Archive
• Bramwell Booth at Find a Grave
• Lying in State of General Booth British Pathé news 1929
• Booth's funeral procession British Pathé news 1929
• Newspaper clippings about Bramwell Booth in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
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General William Booth
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/3/20

Continuing their discussion of the membership of "The Society of the Elect," Stead asked permission to bring in Milner and Brett. Rhodes agreed, so they telegraphed at once to Brett, who arrived in two hours. They then drew up the following "ideal arrangement' for the society:

1. General of the Society: Rhodes
2. Junta of Three: (1) Stead, (2) Brett, (3) Milner
3. Circle of Initiates: (1) Cardinal Manning, (2) General Booth, (3) Bramwell Booth, (4) "Little" [Harry] Johnston, (5) Albert Grey, (6) Arthur Balfour
4. The Association of Helpers
5. A College, under Professor Seeley, to be established to train people in the English-speaking idea."

Within the next few weeks Stead had another talk with Rhodes and a talk with Milner, who was "filled with admiration" for the scheme, according to Stead's notes as published by Sir Frederick Whyte.

-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley

General William Booth
Booth circa 1900
1st General of The Salvation Army
In office: 2 July 1865 – 20 August 1912
Preceded by: Position Established
Succeeded by: Bramwell Booth
Personal details
Born: 10 April 1829, Sneinton, Nottingham, England
Died: 20 August 1912 (aged 83), Hadley Wood, London, England
Spouse(s): Catherine Mumford
Children: Bramwell; Ballington; Kate; Emma; Herbert; Marie; Evangeline; Lucy

Photograph of Booth, c.1870

William Booth (10 April 1829 – 20 August 1912) was an English Methodist preacher who, along with his wife, Catherine, founded The Salvation Army and became its first General (1878–1912). The Christian movement with a quasi-military structure and government founded in 1865 has spread from London, England, to many parts of the world and is known for being one of the largest distributors of humanitarian aid. In 2002, Booth was named among the 100 Greatest Britons in a BBC poll.

Conversion and early ministry

William Booth was born in Sneinton, Nottingham, the second son of five children born to Samuel Booth and his second wife, Mary Moss.[1] Booth's father was relatively wealthy by the standards of the time, but during William's childhood, the family descended into poverty. In 1842, Samuel Booth, who could no longer afford his son's school fees, apprenticed the 13-year-old William Booth to a pawnbroker. Samuel Booth died on 23 September 1842.[2]

Two years into his apprenticeship Booth was converted to Methodism.[3] He then read extensively and trained himself in writing and in speech, becoming a Methodist local preacher. Booth was encouraged to be an evangelist primarily through his best friend, Will Sansom. Sansom and Booth both began in the 1840s to preach to the poor and the sinners of Nottingham, and Booth would probably have remained as Sansom's partner in his new Mission ministry, as Sansom titled it, if Sansom had not died of tuberculosis, in 1849.[4]

When his apprenticeship ended in 1848, Booth was unemployed and spent a year looking in vain for work.[5] In 1849, Booth reluctantly left his family and moved to London, where he again found work with a pawnbroker. Booth tried to continue lay preaching in London, but the small amount of preaching work that came his way frustrated him, and so he resigned as a lay preacher and took to open-air evangelising in the streets and on Kennington Common.

William Booth in about 1862

In 1851, Booth joined the Reformers (Methodist Reform Church), and on 10 April 1852, his 23rd birthday, he left pawnbroking and became a full-time preacher at their headquarters at Binfield Chapel in Clapham. William styled his preaching after the revivalist American James Caughey, who had made frequent visits to England and preached at the church in Nottingham where Booth was a member, Broad Street Chapel. Just over a month after he started full-time preaching, on 15 May 1852, William Booth became formally engaged to Catherine Mumford.

Interested in the Congregationalist approach, Booth consulted David Thomas at Stockwell about the ministry. Through Thomas, he met John Campbell and then James William Massie. The recommendation was training under Rev. John Frost; but Booth disliked Frost's school, and left shortly.[6] In November 1853, he was invited to become the Reformers' minister at Spalding, in Lincolnshire. He married Catherine Mumford on 16 July 1855 at Stockwell Green Congregational Church in London.

Though Booth became a prominent Methodist evangelist, he was unhappy that the annual conference of the denomination kept assigning him to a pastorate, the duties of which he had to neglect to respond to the frequent requests that he do evangelistic campaigns. At the Liverpool conference in 1861, after having spent three years at Gateshead, his request to be freed for evangelism full-time was refused yet again, and Booth resigned from the ministry of the Methodist New Connexion.[7]

Soon he was barred from campaigning in Methodist congregations, so he became an independent evangelist. His doctrine remained much the same, though; he preached that eternal punishment was the fate of those who do not believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the necessity of repentance from sin, and the promise of holiness. He taught that this belief would manifest itself in a life of love for God and mankind.
The Ethical characteristic of William Booth's business ventures was evident in the manufacture of boxes of Salvation Army matches[8] which bore the slogan "Lights in darkest England, Security from fire, Fair wages for fair work". His match factory on Old Ford paid 4 pence a gross, while the larger firms only paid 2 1/2 pence.

The Christian Mission

Manifesto of The Christian Mission as a "Volunteer Army" (1878)

The Christian Mission Under the Superintendence of the Rev. William Booth Is a Volunteer Army
Recruited from amongst the multitudes who are without God and without hope in the world, devoting their leisure time to all sorts of laborious efforts for the salvation of others from unbelief, drunkenness, vice, and crime.
"I believe that is the only way we shall be able, in the enormous population of this ever-growing country, to maintain the cause of our Lord and Master -- to welcome every volunteer who is willing to assist the regular forces; and to arm, so far as we can, the whole population in the cause of Jesus Christ." -- Archbishop of Canterbury [Archbishop Campbell Tait].

"The working classes will never be reached but by an agency provided from among themselves." -- The Earl of Saftesbury

The tent was set up on an old Quaker burial ground on Mile End Waste in Whitechapel, with an initial goal to deliver the good news to all. [9]

By 1865, Booth and his wife Catherine had opened 'The Christian Revival Society' in the East End of London, which held regular evening meetings to share the repentance that Booth believed Christian salvation could bring both the poor and marginalised. The Christian Revival Society was later renamed The Christian Mission, subsequently to become the East London Christian Mission.[10] The Christian Mission's slow growth was hard work for Booth; His wife writes that he would "stumble home night after night haggard with fatigue, often his clothes were torn and bloody bandages swathed his head where a stone had struck[.]"

Evening meetings were held in an old warehouse where urchins threw stones and fireworks through the window. Outposts were established throughout the city, attracting converts, but the Christian Mission remained just one of the five hundred charitable groups working in London's East End.[9]

Booth practiced various types of social work himself, such as opening "Food for the Million" (soup kitchens).

The Salvation Army

The Christian Mission becomes The Salvation Army (May 1878)

Salvation Army Social Campaign, 1890, by William Booth.

Having been founded as the East London Christian Mission in 1865, the name The Salvation Army developed from an incident in May 1878. William Booth was dictating a letter to his secretary George Scott Railton and said, "We are a volunteer army." Bramwell Booth heard his father and said, "Volunteer, I'm no volunteer, I'm a regular!" Railton was instructed to cross out the word "volunteer" and substitute the word "salvation".[11](The printer's proof copy of the Missions' report for 1878 declared "The Christian Mission Is A Volunteer Army", but the corrected proof read "The Christian Mission Is ... A Salvation Army"[12]) The Salvation Army was modelled after the military, with its own flag (or colours) and its own music, often with Christian words to popular and folkloric tunes sung in the pubs. Booth and the other soldiers in "God's Army" would wear the army's own uniform, 'putting on the armour,' for meetings and ministry work. He became the "General" and his other ministers were given appropriate ranks as "officers". Other members became "soldiers".

Though the early years were lean ones, with the need of money to help the needy an ever growing issue, Booth and The Salvation Army persevered. In the early 1880s, operations were extended to other countries, notably the United States, France, Switzerland, Sweden and others, including to most of the countries of the British Empire: Australia, Canada, India, Cape Colony, New Zealand, Jamaica, etc.

Often the beginnings in other countries occurred through "salvationist" activities by non-officers who had emigrated. With some initial success they would contact London to 'send officers.'

In other cases, like in Argentina, a non-salvationist told Booth that there were thousands of British people there who needed salvation. The four officers sent in 1890 found that those British were scattered all over the pampas. But the missionaries started ministry in the Spanish language and the work spread throughout the country – initially following the rail-road development, since the British in charge of building the rail-roads were usually sympathetic to the movement.

During his lifetime, William Booth established Army work in 58 countries and colonies, travelling extensively and holding, "salvation meetings."

Booth regularly published a magazine and was the author of a number of books; he also composed several songs. His book In Darkest England and the Way Out not only became a best-seller after its 1890 release, it set the foundation for the army's modern social welfare approach. It compared what was considered "civilised" England with "Darkest Africa" – a land then considered poor and backward. What Booth suggested was that much of London and greater England after the Industrial Revolution was not better off in the quality of life than those in the underdeveloped world.

He proposed a strategy to apply the Christian Gospel and work ethic to the problems. The book speaks of abolishing vice and poverty by establishing homes for the homeless, farm communities such as Hadleigh Farm where the urban poor can be trained in agriculture, training centres for prospective emigrants, homes for fallen women and released prisoners, aid for the poor, and help for drunkards. He also lays down schemes for poor men's lawyers, banks, clinics, industrial schools and even a seaside resort. He says that if the state fails to meet its social obligations it will be the task of each Christian to step into the breach.] However, Booth was not departing from his spiritual convictions to set up a socialist or communist society or sub-class, supported by people forced to finance his plans; Booth's ultimate aim was to get people "saved."

Booth asserts in his introduction,

I have no intention to depart in the smallest degree from the main principles on which I have acted in the past. My only hope for the permanent deliverance of mankind from misery, either in this world or the next, is the regeneration or remaking of the individual by the power of the Holy Ghost through Jesus Christ. But in providing for the relief of temporal misery I reckon that I am only making it easy where it is now difficult, and possible where it is now all but impossible, for men and women to find their way to the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It was asserted in some circles that In Darkest England was actually written by the crusading journalist, W. T. Stead, who, in his own words, acted as a "literary hack" for the General when Mrs. Booth lay dying. However, this assumption was swiftly dismissed by Stead some years later, declaring that, "The idea of Darkest England ... was the General's own. My part, of which I had no wish to speak ... was strictly subordinate throughout."[13]

In Darkest England and the Way Out was reprinted several times and lately in 2006.

There are also other works that have focused on the impact and significance of In Darkest England. For example, marking the 125th anniversary of the publication of In Darkest England, the book Darkness and Deliverance: 125 Years of the Darkest England Scheme contains fifteen chapters from leading and emerging authors that explore various historical aspects and future implications of the Darkest England scheme.[14]


The Entr'acte cartoon of 1882 captioned, "Now, Mr Booth, let us know what you are going to do with all this money!"

During its early years The Salvation Army faced a great deal of opposition, especially from those in the alcohol-selling industry who were concerned that the activities of Booth and his followers would persuade the poorer classes to stop drinking. One group opposed to Booth and The Salvation Army was the Skeleton Army, a diffuse group, particularly in Southern England, that opposed and disrupted The Salvation Army's marches against alcohol from the early 1880s until about 1892. Clashes between the two groups lead to the deaths of several Salvationists and injuries to many others. During 1882 alone 662 Salvation Army soldiers were assaulted: 251 of them were women and 23 of them were under fifteen years of age.[15]

Other accusations centred around the fact that Booth appointed his own children to posts for which others were better qualified, leading to claims that The Salvation Army was a Booth family-business. For example, he appointed his daughter Emma Booth as the Principal of the Officers' Training Home, The Salvation Army's first training school for women when she was just 19. Others believed that Booth was creating a dynasty, as was suggested by the fact that he insisted that his sons-in-law added 'Booth' to their own names (see Frederick Booth-Tucker and Arthur Booth-Clibborn).[16] This was further borne out when Booth appointed his son, Bramwell Booth, as his successor as General in his will. However, William Booth had once said to his children that "The Salvation Army does not belong to you, or to me, it belongs to the world" and was very wary of the leadership of the army becoming a dynasty.[17]

The press was often hostile to Booth and The Salvation Army as well because their methods and message were widely misinterpreted. The army's motto "Blood & Fire", which had deep theological meaning representing the saving "blood of Jesus" and the sanctifying "fire of the Holy Spirit", was erroneously thought to mean the blood of sinners and the fire of hell. There was also suspicion about the army's motives, with Booth often portrayed as a charlatan only out to make money.[18]

The Church of England was at first also extremely hostile to the activities of Booth and The Salvation Army. The philanthropist, politician, and evangelist Lord Shaftesbury even went so far as to describe Booth as the "Anti-Christ". One of the main complaints against Booth was his "elevation of women to man's status". Many found him dictatorial and hard to work with. Some of his own children denounced him as their leader and turned their backs on The Salvation Army, including his daughter Kate Booth and his sons Herbert and Ballington Booth, the latter founding a separate organisation, the Volunteers of America with himself as "General". The evangelist Rodney "Gipsy" Smith left him because of his rigidity and D. L. Moody would not support him because he felt there was a threat to the local church. But no one could deny his compassion for the sufferings of his fellow man.[19]

Later years

Booth and his granddaughter Catherine Bramwell-Booth during the 1904 motorcade

Opinion of The Salvation Army and William Booth eventually changed to that of favour. In his later years, he was received in audience by kings, emperors and presidents, who were among his ardent admirers. Even the mass media began to use his title of 'General' with reverence.

In 1899, Booth suffered from blindness in both eyes, but with a short rest, was able to recover his sight. In 1904 he took part in a "motorcade" when he was driven around Great Britain, stopping off in cities, towns and villages to preach to the assembled crowds from his open-top car. In 1906 Booth was made a Freeman of the City of London, and was granted an honorary degree from the University of Oxford. In 1902 he was invited to attend the coronation of King Edward VII.

His last visit to North America was made in 1907, and in 1909 he embarked on a six-month motor tour of the United Kingdom. During this tour he discovered he was blind in his right eye and the sight in his left eye was dimmed by cataracts. The rest of the tour had to be cancelled. On 21 August 1909 a surgeon at Guy's Hospital removed his right eye. Despite this setback, in 1910 Booth campaigned in the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. On his return to England he embarked on his seventh and last motor tour.

William Booth was 83 years old when he died (or, in Salvationist parlance, was Promoted to Glory) at his home in Hadley Wood, London. At the three-day lying in state at Clapton Congress Hall 150,000 people filed past his casket. On 27 August 1912 Booth's funeral service was held at London's Olympia where 40,000 people attended, including Queen Mary, who sat almost unrecognised far to the rear of the great hall.

The following day Booth's funeral procession set out from International Headquarters. As it moved off 10,000 uniformed Salvationists fell in behind. Forty Salvation Army bands played the "Dead March" from Handel's Saul as the vast procession set off. He was buried with his wife Catherine Booth in the main London burial ground for 19th century non-conformist ministers and tutors, the non-denominational Abney Park Cemetery in Stoke Newington.[20]


Statue of William Booth outside his birthplace in Sneinton

In Booth's honour, Vachel Lindsay wrote the poem, "General William Booth Enters Into Heaven".[21] Charles Ives, who had been Evangeline Booth's neighbour, set the poem to music. In 1990 a diesel locomotive in the British Rail fleet was named 'The William Booth'.

The William Booth rose, developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, was named in his honour. The William Booth Memorial Training College in Denmark Hill, London, the College for Officer Training of The Salvation Army in the United Kingdom, is named after him,[22] as is the William Booth Primary School in his native Nottingham and William Booth Lane in central Birmingham. Many Salvation Army training colleges, schools, orphanages hospitals and other institutions around the world bear his name.

Statues of each of the Booths by George Edward Wade were erected on Champion Hill in London, next to the Salvation Army's training college in London in 1929.[23] Replicas of these statues stand in the Mile End Road, close to the site of the first Salvation Army meeting: that of William was unveiled in 1979, and that of Catherine in 2015.

In his honour One Mile End, a brewery from East London created a craft beer called Salvation! Pale Ale. The beer is sold in a couple of pubs including the White Hart Brewpub, only a few meters away from the statue of William Booth on Mile End Road.

Children of William and Catherine Booth

William Booth and Catherine Mumford were married on 17 June 1855[24] at Stockwell New Chapel, at that time part of Surrey.[25] They had eight children:[26][27]

• Bramwell Booth (8 March 1856 – 16 June 1929)
• Ballington Booth (28 July 1857 – 5 October 1940)
• Kate Booth (18 September 1858 – 9 May 1955)
• Emma Booth (8 January 1860 – 28 October 1903)
• Herbert Booth (26 August 1862 – 25 September 1926)
• Marie Booth (4 May 1864 – 5 January 1937)
• Evangeline Booth (25 December 1865 – 17 July 1950)
• Lucy Booth (28 April 1868 – 18 July 1953)

Grandchildren of William and Catherine Booth (37)

Children of Bramwell

• Catherine Bramwell-Booth 20 July 1883 – 4 October 1987
• Bernard Booth
• Mary Booth
• Florence Miriam Booth
• Olive Booth
• Dora Booth
• Wycliffe Booth

Children of Ballington

• Charles Brandon Booth
• Theodora Myrtle Booth

Children of Kate

• Catherine Evangeline Booth-Clibborn
• Victoria Margaret Booth-Clibborn
• Herbert Samuel Booth-Clibborn
• Arthur Augustin Booth-Clibborn
• William Emmanuel Booth Clibborn
• John Eric Booth-Clibborn
• Freda Lucy Booth-Clibborn
• Evelyn Beatrice Booth-Clibborn
• Theodore Percy Booth-Clibborn
• Josephine Christina Booth-Clibborn

Children of Emma

• Evangeline Booth-Tucker
• Frederick Kristodas Booth-Tucker
• Herbert Booth-Tucker
• John Booth-Tucker
• Lucy Mina Booth-Tucker
• Catherine Motee Booth-Tucker (Mrs Commissioner Hugh Sladen)
• Muriel Booth-Tucker
• Tancred Bramwell Booth-Tucker
• William Booth-Tucker

Children of Herbert

• Ferdinand Booth
• Henry Booth
• Victor Booth

Children of Lucy

• Emma Booth-Hellberg
• Eva Booth-Hellberg
• Lucy Booth-Hellberg
• Daniel Booth Hellberg
• Ebba Mary Booth-Hellberg


• In Darkest England and The Way Out Diggory Press, ISBN 978-1-84685-377-7
• Purity of Heart Diggory Press, ISBN 978-1-84685-376-0
• Boundless Salvation: The Shorter Writings of William Booth, Edited by Andrew M. Eason and Roger J. Green. New York: Peter Lang, 2012. ISBN 978-1-4539-0201-1
• Sergeant-Major Do-Your-Best of Darkington No. I: Sketches of the Inner Life of a Salvation Army Corps 1906
• "Founder Speaks Again" Salvation Army, Dec 1, 1960. ISBN 978-0854120826



1. Hattersley 1999, p. 13
2. Hattersley 1999, p. 17
3. Hattersley 1999, p. 19
4. Hattersley 1999, pp. 23–25
5. Hattersley 1999, p. 30
6. Herbert Hewitt Stroup (1986). Social Welfare Pioneers. Taylor Trade Publications. pp. 98–99. ISBN 978-0-88229-212-0.
7. Johnson, George D. (2011). What Will A Man Give In Exchange For His Soul. Xlibris. p. 88. ISBN 1465380973.
8. Coutts, John (1977). The Salvationists. Oxford: A R Mowbray & Co Ltd. p. 85. ISBN 0-264-66071-4.
9. William Booth – Founder Of The Salvation Army, 'The Salvation Army Australia, Southern Territory - History and Heritage' section website
10. Coutts, John (1977). The Salvationists. Oxford, Great Britain: A R Mowbray & Co Ltd. p. 21. ISBN 0-264-66071-4.
11. William Bramwell Booth 1829–1912 His Life and Ministry – A Very Short Biography
12. Coutts, John (1977). The Salvationists. Oxford, United Kingdom: A R Mowbray & Co Ltd. p. 23. ISBN 0-264-66071-4.
13. Quoted in Robert Sandall, The History of the Salvation Army, vol. 3, 1883–1953, Social Reform and Welfare Work (1955), Appendix B, pp. 324–32
14. Seaman (ed.), Matthew (2016). "Darkness and Deliverance: 125 years of the Darkest England scheme". Salvo Publishing / Chaordic Creative.
15. Officership in the Salvation Army: A Case Study in Clericalisation Doctoral thesis by Harold Ivor Winston Hill – Victoria University of Wellington (2004)
16. Hodges, Samuel Horatio General Booth: "the Family", and the Salvation Army: Showing its Rise, Progress, and ... Decline (1890)
17. Larrson, John (2009). 1929: A Crisis that Shaped The Salvation Army's Future. London: Salvation Books. ISBN 978-0-85412-794-8.
18. The Booths: The Salvation Army (1878–1890)
19. William Booth: His Life and Ministry, the Gospel Truth website
20. William Booth's funeral on YouTube
21. "General William Booth Enters into Heaven by Vachel Lindsay. Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. 1922. The Second Book of Modern Verse".
22. William Booth College, Denmark Hill, Geograph
23. Darke, Jo, The Monument Guide to England and Wales: A National Portrait in Bronze and Stone, photographs by Jorge Lewinski and Mayotte Magnus, a MacDonald Illustrated Book, London, 1991 pp. 72-73
24. Sandall 1947, p. 7
25. Hattersley 1999, p. 73
26. L. E. Lauer, 'Clibborn, Catherine Booth- (1858–1955)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, September 2004; online edn, October 2006 accessed 26 May 2010
27. D. C. Lamb, 'Booth, (William) Bramwell (1856–1929)', rev. L. E. Lauer, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 21 June 2010


• Hattersley, Roy (1999), Blood and Fire: William and Catherine Booth and the Salvation Army, Little Brown, ISBN 0-316-85161-2
• Railton, George Scott (1912), The Authoritative Life Of General William Booth, George H. Doran
• Sandall, Robert (1947), The History of the Salvation Army Vol.1 1865–78, Thomas Nelson
• Eason, Andrew M., Roger J. Green (eds.) (2012), Boundless Salvation: The Shorter Writings of William Booth, Peter Lang

Further reading

• "General Booth", a biographical portrait by John McLure Hamilton from Men I Have Painted (1921).
• Yaxley, Trevor. 2003. William and Catherine: The Life and Legacy of the Booths: Founders of the Salvation Army. Bethany House.
• Le Feuvre, Cathy. 2013. William and Catherine: A Love Story Told Through Their Letters. Monarch Books.
• Seaman, Matthew (ed). 2016. Darkness and Deliverance: 125 Years of the Darkest England Scheme. Salvo Publishing / Chaordic Creative

External links

• Biographical Data on General William Booth
• Works by William Booth at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about William Booth at Internet Archive
• Works by William Booth at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• Books by William Booth
• The Authoritative Life of General William Booth at Project Gutenberg
• Recording of William Booth reading Please Sir, Save Me (1906) – a British Library sound recording (EU users only)
• Christian Today Profile
• Newspaper clippings about William Booth in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
Site Admin
Posts: 30830
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:17 am

Harry Johnston
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/3/20

Continuing their discussion of the membership of "The Society of the Elect," Stead asked permission to bring in Milner and Brett. Rhodes agreed, so they telegraphed at once to Brett, who arrived in two hours. They then drew up the following "ideal arrangement' for the society:

1. General of the Society: Rhodes
2. Junta of Three: (1) Stead, (2) Brett, (3) Milner
3. Circle of Initiates: (1) Cardinal Manning, (2) General Booth, (3) Bramwell Booth, (4) "Little" [Harry] Johnston, (5) Albert Grey, (6) Arthur Balfour
4. The Association of Helpers
5. A College, under Professor Seeley, to be established to train people in the English-speaking idea."

Within the next few weeks Stead had another talk with Rhodes and a talk with Milner, who was "filled with admiration" for the scheme, according to Stead's notes as published by Sir Frederick Whyte.

-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley

Harry Johnston, by Elliott & Fry.

Sir Henry Hamilton Johnston GCMG KCB (12 June 1858 – 31 July 1927), frequently known as Harry Johnston, was a British explorer, botanist, artist, colonial administrator and linguist who traveled widely in Africa and spoke many African languages. He published 40 books on African subjects and was one of the key players in the Scramble for Africa that occurred at the end of the 19th century.

Early years

Born at Kennington Park, south London, the son of John Brookes Johnstone and Esther Laetitia Hamilton. He attended Stockwell grammar school and then King's College London, followed by four years studying painting at the Royal Academy. In connection with his study he travelled to Europe and North Africa, visiting the little-known (by Europeans) interior of Tunisia.[1]

Exploration in Africa

In 1882 he visited southern Angola with the Earl of Mayo, and in the following year met Henry Morton Stanley in the Congo, becoming one of the first Europeans after Stanley to see the river above the Stanley Pool. His developing reputation led the Royal Geographical Society and the British Association to appoint him leader of an 1884 scientific expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro. On this expedition he concluded treaties with local chiefs (which were then transferred to the British East Africa Company), in competition with German efforts to do likewise.[2]

British colonial service and the Cape to Cairo vision

In October 1886 the British government appointed him vice-consul in Cameroon and the Niger River delta area, where a protectorate had been declared in 1885, and he became acting consul in 1887,[3] deposing and banishing the local chief Jaja.

While in West Africa in 1886, Johnston sketched what has been termed a "fantasy map" of his ideas of how the African continent could be divided among the colonial powers. This envisaged two blocks of British colonies, one of continuous territory in West Africa, the Nile valley and much of East Africa as far south as Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa, the other in southern Africa south of the Zambezi. This left a continuous band in Portuguese occupation from Angola to Mozambique and Germany in possession of much of the East African coast.[4]

The original proposal for a Cape to Cairo railway was made in 1874 by Edwin Arnold, the then editor of the Daily Telegraph, which was joint sponsor of the expedition by H.M. Stanley to Africa to discover the course of the Congo River.[5] The proposed route involved a mixture of railway and river transport between Elizabethville, now Lubumbashi in the Belgian Congo and Sennar in the Sudan rather than a completely rail one.[6] Johnston later acknowledged his debt to Stanley and Arnold and when on leave in England in 1888, he revived the Cape-to-Cairo concept of acquiring a continuous band of British territory down Africa in discussion with Lord Salisbury. Johnston then published an supporting the idea article in Times anonymously, as "by an African Explorer" and later in 1888 and 1889 published a number of articles in other newspapers and journals with Salisbury's tacit approval.[7]

Scramble for Katanga

The Berlin Conference had allocated Katanga to the sphere of influence of King Leopold of Belgium's Congo Free State, but under the Berlin Conference's Principle of Effectivity this was only provisional. In July 1890, Leopold protested to Lord Salisbury that Johnston, as agent for Cecil Rhodes, was circulating maps showing that the Congo Free State did not include Katanga, and in response to Salisbury's enquiries, in August 1890 Johnston presented Rhodes' claim, which included the false information that Msiri, King of Garanganze in Katanga had asked for British protection.[8]

In November 1890, to justify his claim, Johnston sent Alfred Sharpe (who would become his successor in Nyasaland) to act for Rhodes and the British South Africa Company (BSAC), to obtain a treaty with Msiri, a move which had the potential to precipitate an Anglo-Belgian crisis. Sharpe failed with Msiri, though he obtained treaties with Mwata Kazembe covering the eastern side of the Luapula River and Lake Mweru, and with other chiefs covering the southern end of Lake Tanganyika. When Leopold again protested to Salisbury in May 1891, the latter had to admit Msiri had not signed a treaty asking for British protection and left Katanga open to Belgian colonisation. In 1891 Leopold sent the Stairs Expedition to Katanga. Johnston dissuaded it from accessing Katanga through Nyasaland, but it went through German East Africa instead, and took Katanga after killing Msiri. The southern border of the Congo Free State was settled by an Anglo-Congo agreement of 1894.[9]

Nyasaland (British Central Africa Protectorate)

Portrait of Johnston by Theodore Blake Wirgman (1894)

In 1879 the Portuguese government formally claimed the area south and east of the Ruo River (currently the southeastern border of Malawi) and then, in 1882, occupied the lower Shire River valley as far north as the Ruo. It attempted to gain British acceptance of this claim without success, and also failed in a claim that the Shire Highlands was part of Portuguese East Africa, as it was not under effective occupation[10] As late as 1888, the British Foreign Office would not accept responsibility for British missionaries and settlers in the Shire Highlands after the African Lakes Corporation had tried but failed to become a Chartered company with interests there and around the western shore of Lake Malawi.[11]

However, in 1885–86 Alexandre de Serpa Pinto had undertaken an expedition which reached Shire Highlands, which had failed make any treaties of protection with the Yao chiefs west of Lake Malawi.[12] To prevent possible Portuguese occupation, in November 1888, Johnston was appointed as Commissioner and Consul-general for the Mozambique and the Nyasa districts, and arrived in Blantyre in March 1889.[13] On his way to take up his appointment, Johnston spent six weeks in Lisbon attempting to negotiate an acceptable agreement on Portuguese and British spheres of influence in southeastern Africa. However, as the draft agreement did not expressly exclude the Shire Highlands from the Portuguese sphere, it was rejected by the Foreign Office.[14]

Among several pressing problems was the Karonga War, a dispute between and Swahili traders in slaves and ivory and their Henga allies on one side and the African Lakes Trading Company and elements of the Ngonde people on the other which had broken out in 1887[15]. As Johnston had no significant forces at that time, he agreed a truce with the Swahili leaders in October 1889[16]but the Swahili traders did not adhere to its terms.[17]

In late 1888 and early 1889, the Portuguese government sent two expeditions to make treaties of protection with local chiefs, one under Antonio Cardoso set off toward Lake Malawi, the other under Alexandre de Serpa Pinto moved up the Shire valley. Between them, they made over twenty treaties with chiefs in what is now Malawi[18] Johnston met Serpa Pinto in August 1889 east of the Ruo and advised him not to cross the river, but Serpa Pinto disregarded this and crossed the river to Chiromo, now in Malawi.[19] In September, following minor clashes between Serpa Pinto's force and local Africans, Johnston's deputy declared a Shire Highlands Protectorate, despite the contrary instructions.[20] Johnston's proclamation of a further protectorate, the Nyasaland Districts Protectorate, west of Lake Malawi was endorsed by the Foreign Office in May 1891.[21]

Johnston arrived in Chiromo, in the south of Nyasaland, on 16 July 1891.[22] By that time he had already selected a team of men who were to assist in forming the administration of the new protectorate. They included Alfred Sharpe (Johnston's Deputy Commissioner), Bertram L. Sclater (Surveyor, Roadmaker, and Commandant of the Constabulary), Alexander Whyte (a zoologist who was to discover several new species in Nyasaland), Cecil Montgomery Maguire (Military Commandant), Hugh Charlie Marshall (Customs Officer, Collector of Revenues and Postmaster for the Chiromo district), John Buchanan (an agriculturalist who had been in Nyasaland since 1876, and was appointed Vice Consul by Johnston), and others.

In 1891, Johnston only controlled a fraction of the Shire Highlands, itself a small part of the whole protectorate. He was provided with a small force of Indian troops in 1891, and began to train African soldiers and police. At first, Johnston used his small force in the south of the protectorate to suppress slave trading by Yao chiefs, who had established links with Swahili traders in ivory and slaves from the early 19th century. As the Yao people had no central authority, Johnston was able to defeat one group at a time, although this took until 1894, as he left the most powerful chief, Makanjira, until almost last, starting an amphibious operation against him in late 1893.[23]

Before the British Central Africa Protectorate was proclaimed in May 1891, a number of European companies and settlers had made, or claimed to have made, treaties with local chiefs under which the land owned by the African communities that occupied it was transferred to the Europeans in exchange for protection and some trade goods.[24] The African Lakes Company claimed over 2.75 million acres in the north of the protectorate, some under treaties that claimed to transfer sovereignty to the company[25], and three others individuals claimed to have purchased large areas of land in the south. Eugene Sharrer claimed 363,034 acres, Alexander Low Bruce claimed 176,000 acres, and John Buchanan and his brothers claimed a further 167,823 acres. These lands were purchased for trivial quantities of goods under agreements signed by chiefs with no understanding of English concepts of land tenure.[26][27]

Johnston had the task of reviewing these land claims, and began to do so in late 1892, as the proclamation of the protectorate had been followed by a wholesale land grab, with huge areas of land bought for trivial sums and some claims overlapping. He rejected any suggestion that treaties made before the protectorate was established could transfer sovereignty to individuals or companies, but accept that they could be evidence of land sales. Although Johnston accepted that the land belonged to its African communities, so their chiefs had no right to alienate it, he suggested that each community had given their chief this right. Despite having no legal training, he claimed that, as Commissioner, he was entitled to investigate these land sales and to issue Certificates of Claim registering freehold title to the European claimants. He rejected very few claims, despite the questionable evidence for several major ones. The existing African villages and farms were exempted from these sales, and the villagers were told that their homes and fields were not being alienated. Despite this, the concentration of much of the most fertile land in the Shire Highlands in the hands of European owners had profound economic consequences that lasted throughout the colonial period.[28][29]

In April 1894 Johnston returned to England and was away for a year. He had quarrelled with Cecil Rhodes who had so far provided most of his funds, and during the first three years the administration had run up a deficit of £20,000. During his leave he managed to persuade the British Government to agree to take over the financing of the country. On his way back he visited Egypt and India with a view to recruiting soldiers, and eventually arrived back in Nyasaland with a flotilla of boats, 202 Sikh soldiers, and over 400 other men. 4000 porters were recruited in the Shire Highlands to carry stores and equipment. Johnston reached Zomba on 3 May 1895.[30]

Johnston visited Karonga in June 1895 to try to make a settlement but the Swahili leaders refused either to meet him curtail their raiding activities, so Johnston decided on military action.[31] In November 1895, Johnston he embarked a force of over 400 Sikh and African riflemen, with artillery and machine guns on steamers to Karonga and surrounded the traders' main stockaded town, bombarding it for two days and finally assaulting it on 4 December. The Swahili leader, Mlozi was captured, given a cursory trial and hanged on 5 December and between 200 and 300 of fighters and several hundred non-combatants were killed, many while attempting to surrender. Other Swahili stockades did not resist and were destroyed.[32]

North-Eastern Rhodesia and Nyasaland

Johnston realised the strategic importance of Lake Tanganyika to the British, especially since the territory between the lake and the coast had become German East Africa forming a break of nearly 900 km in the chain of British colonies in the Cape to Cairo dream. However the north end of Lake Tanganyika was only 230 km from British-controlled Uganda, and so a British presence at the south end of the lake was a priority. Although the northern boundaries of North-Eastern Rhodesia and Nyasaland were eventually settled by negotiations between Britain, Germany. Portugal and the Congo Free State, Johnston ensured that British bomas were established (in addition to those in Nyasaland) east of Luapula-Mweru at Chiengi and the Kalungwishi River, at the south end of Lake Tanganyika at Abercorn, and at Fort Jameson between Mozambique and the Luangwa valley to demonstrate effective occupation.[33]

Until 1899, Johnson had administrative control the territory which became North-Eastern Rhodesia (the north-eastern half of today's Zambia), and he helped to set up and oversee the British South Africa Company's administration in that area. North-Eastern Rhodesia was little developed in this period, being regarded principally as a labour reserve, with only a handful of company administrators.[34]

Although he missed out in Katanga, altogether he helped to consolidate an area of nearly half a million square kilometres into the British Empire – nearly 200,000 square miles (520,000 km2), or twice the area of the United Kingdom in 2009 – lying between the lower Luangwa River valley and lakes Nyasa, Tanganyika, and Mweru.

Later years

Okapi, from an original painting by Johnston, based on preserved skins (1901)

In 1896 in recognition of this achievement he was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB), but afflicted by tropical fevers, transferred to Tunis as consul-general. In the same year, he had married the Hon. Winifred Mary Irby, daughter of Florance George Henry Irby, fifth Baron Boston.[35]

In 1899 Sir Harry was sent to Uganda as special commissioner to end an ongoing war. He improved the colonial administration, and concluded the Buganda Agreement of 1900, dividing the land between the UK and the chiefs. For his services in Uganda, he received the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) in the King's Birthday Honours list in November 1901.[36] Also in 1901, Johnston was the first recipient of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society's Livingstone Medal,[37] and in the following year he was appointed a member of the council of the Zoological Society of London.[38] He received the honorary degree Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) from the University of Cambridge in May 1902.[39] The Royal Geographical Society awarded him their 1904 Founder's Gold Medal for his services to African exploration.[40]

In 1902 his wife gave birth to twin boys, but neither survived more than a few hours, and they had no more children. His sister, Mabel Johnston, married Arnold Dolmetsch, an instrument maker and member of the Bloomsbury set, in 1903.

In 1903 and in 1906 he stood for parliament for the Liberal Party, but was unsuccessful on both occasions. In 1906, the Johnstons moved to the hamlet of Poling, near Arundel in West Sussex, where Harry Johnston largely concentrated on his literary endeavours. He took to writing novels, which were frequently short-lived, while his accounts of his own voyages through central Africa were rather more enduring. Some have put forward the unlikely theory that he was the principal model for 'The Man who loved Dickens' in the novel A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh.

Wall plaque erected to the memory of Sir Harry Johnston in the church of St Nicholas, Poling, West Sussex. Designed and cut by Eric Gill

Harry Johnston suffered two strokes in 1925, from which he became partially paralysed and never recovered, dying two years later in 1927 at Woodsetts House near Worksop in Nottinghamshire. He was buried in the churchyard of St Nicholas, Poling, West Sussex, where there is a commemorative wall plaque within the nave of the church designed and cut by the Arts and Crafts sculptor and typeface designer, Eric Gill who lived in nearby Ditchling. The main typeface used on the plaque appears to be Gill's Perpetua – designed in 1925, but not released until 1929 – while the lower-case typeface used for the Latin quotation below is not presently recognised.

Harry Johnston was the very model of the multi-talented African explorer; he exhibited paintings, the majority of his works, highly valued today, represent diverse aspects of wildlife, landscapes and people of Africa, collected flora and fauna (he was instrumental in bringing the okapi to the attention of science), climbed mountains, wrote books, signed treaties, and ruled colonial governments. Like his fellow imperialists he believed in British and European superiority over Africans, though he tended towards paternalistic governance rather than the use of brute force. These attitudes, which seem patronising today, were outlined in his book The Backward Peoples and Our Relations with Them (1920), but included his view that colonial rulers should try to understand the culture of the subjugated peoples. Consequently, he was considered (by white settlers) as being unusually favourable towards the native peoples (for instance his administration was one of the first in British African colonies to train and employ Africans in the colonial service as clerks and skilled staff), and he had eventually fallen out with Cecil Rhodes as a result.[citation needed]


Harry Johnston is commemorated in the scientific names of the okapi, Okapia johnstoni and of two species of African lizards, Trioceros johnstoni and Latastia johnstoni.[41]

The falls at Mambidima on the Luapula River were named Johnston Falls by the British in his honour.

Sir Harry Johnston Primary school in Zomba, Malawi is also named after him.

Prominent Bengali author Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay mentioned the influence of Sir H. H. Johnston's works, one of many, in helping him portray scenes convincingly in his famous Bengali adventure novel Chander Pahar.


Frontispiece painting "The Negro in West Africa – Liberian Hinterland" painted by Johnston and published in his book The Negro in the New World (1910)

• The River Congo (1884)
• The Kilema-Njaro Expedition (1886)
• The History of a Slave (1889)
• British Central Africa (1897)
• The Colonization of Africa (1899)
• The Uganda Protectorate (1902)
• The Nile Quest: The Story of Exploration (1903)
• Liberia (1906)
• George Grenfell and the Congo (1908)
• The Negro in the New World (1910)
• The Opening Up of Africa (1911)
• Phonetic Spelling (1913) (online)
• A Comparative Study of the Bantu and Semi-Bantu Languages (1919, 1922) (online)
• The Gay-Dombeys (1919) – a sequel to Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens
• Mrs. Warren's Daughter—a sequel to Mrs. Warren's Profession by George Bernard Shaw
• The Backward Peoples and Our Relations with Them (1920)
• The Man Who Did the Right Thing (1921) – novel
• The Story of my Life (1923) – autobiography
• The Veneerings – a sequel to Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens

The standard author abbreviation H.H.Johnst. is used to indicate this person as the author when citing a botanical name.[42]

• Manuscripts of collected vocabularies of Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston are held by SOAS Archives


1. Obituary, (1927). Henry Hamilton Johnston, Ibis, Vol. XLIV, No. 1, p. 735.
2. Obituary, (1927). Henry Hamilton Johnston, Ibis, Vol. XLIV, No. 1, pp. 735–6.
3. Obituary, (1927). Henry Hamilton Johnston, Ibis, Vol. XLIV, No. 1, p. 736.
4. National Archives. "Mr Johnston's Imagination", 21 September 2017
5. K J Panton, (2015). "A Historical Dictionary of the British Empire", Lanham, Rowman & Littlefield, p. 113. ISBN 978-0-81087-801-3.
6. L Weintal, (1923). "The story of the Cape to Cairo Railway and River Route from 1887 to 1922 (Volume 4)", London, Pioneer Publishing, p. 4
7. G Harper, (2002). "Comedy, Fantasy and Colonialism", London, Bloomsbury Publications, pp. 142–3. ISBN 978-0-82644-919-1.
8. N. Ascherson, (1999). The King Incorporated: Leopold the Second and the Congo p. 161, London, Granta Books
9. N. Ascherson, (1999). The King Incorporated: Leopold the Second and the Congo pp. 162–3
10. F Axelson, (1967). Portugal and the Scramble for Africa, pp. 182–3, 198–200. Johannesburg, Witwatersrand University Press.
11. J McCracken, (2012). "A History of Malawi, 1859–1966", Woodbridge, James Currey, p. 51. ISBN 978-1-84701-050-6.
12. M Newitt, (1995). "A History of Mozambique", London, Hurst & Co, pp 276–7, 325–6. ISBN 1-85065-172-8
13. P. T. Terry, (1965). The Arab War on Lake Nyasa 1887–1895 Part II, The Nyasaland Journal, Vol. 18, No. 2, p. 39
14. Sir Harry Johnston, (1897). "British Central Africa", New York, Edward Arnold p. 81
15. O. J. M. Kalinga (1980). The Karonga War: Commercial Rivalry and Politics of Survival, Journal of African History, Vol. 21, p. 209
16. J McCraken, (2012). A History of Malawi, 1859-1966 pp. 57-8
17. P. T. Terry, (1965). The Arab War on Lake Nyasa 1887-1895 Part II, pp. 41-3
18. J McCracken, (2012). "A History of Malawi, 1859–1966", pp. 52–3
19. J McCracken, (2012). A History of Malawi, 1859–1966, pp. 53, 55
20. M Newitt, (1995). "A History of Mozambique", p 346.
21. R I Rotberg, (1965). "The Rise of Nationalism in Central Africa: The Making of Malawi and Zambia", 1873–1964, Cambridge (Mass), Harvard University Press, p.15
22. Baker, C.A. (1970). Johnston's Administration: 1891–1897. Malawi Government Ministry of Local Government, Department of Antiquities, p. 21.
23. J McCraken, (2012). "A History of Malawi, 1859–1966" pp. 58–62
24. B Pachai, (1973). Land Policies in Malawi: An Examination of the Colonial Legacy, The Journal of African History Vol. 14 p. 685
25. Owen J. M. Kalinga, (1984). European Settlers, African Apprehensions, and Colonial Economic Policy: The North Nyasa Native Reserves Commission of 1929, The International Journal of African Historical Studies, Vol. 17, No. 4, p.642
26. J McCraken, (2012). "A History of Malawi, 1859–1966", pp. 77–8.
27. Sir Harry Johnston, (1897). "British Central Africa", p. 85.
28. Sir Harry Johnston, (1897). "British Central Africa", pp. 112–13
29. B. Pachai, (1973). Land Policies in Malawi, pp. 682–3, 685
30. Baker, C.A. (1970). Johnston's Administration: 1891–1897. Malawi Government Ministry of Local Government, Department of Antiquities, pp. 42–4.
31. P. T. Terry, (1965). The Arab War on Lake Nyasa 1887–1895 Part II, pp. 43–4
32. J McCraken, (2012). "A History of Malawi, 1859–1966" pp. 61–3
33. A. Keppel-Jones, (1983). Rhodes and Rhodesia, 1884–1902, pp. 549–50, Kingston, McGill-Queen's University Press
34. E. A. Walker, (1963). The Cambridge History of the British Empire, Volume 1 pp. 696–7, Cambridge University Press
35. Obituary, (1927). Sir Harry H. Johnston, The Geographical Journal, Vol. 70, No. 4, pp. 415–16.
36. "No. 27377". The London Gazette. 15 November 1901. p. 7393.
37. RSGS memorial to recipients of the Livingstone Medal
38. "Zoological Society of London". The Times (36755). London. 30 April 1902. p. 6.
39. "University intelligence". The Times (36779). London. 28 May 1902. p. 12.
40. "List of Past Gold Medal Winners" (PDF). Royal Geographical Society. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
41. Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Johnston", pp. 135–136).
42. IPNI. H.H.Johnst.

Other Sources

• Thomas Pakenham, The Scramble for Africa
• Roland Oliver, "Sir Harry Johnston and the Scramble for Africa". 1958.
• James A. Casada, "Sir Harry H. Johnston: A Bio-Bibliographical Study. 1977.

External links

• Works by Harry Johnston at Project Gutenberg
• Full text of Johnston's book British Central Africa (1897). (text only)
• Full text of Johnston's book British Central Africa (1897). (facsimile)
• Works by or about Harry Johnston at Internet Archive
• Works by Harry Johnston at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• Works by Harry Johnston at Open Library
• The International Primary School which bears Sir Harry Johnston's name was founded in the early 1950s in Zomba, Malawi
• Newspaper clippings about Harry Johnston in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
Site Admin
Posts: 30830
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:55 am

Eliza Armstrong case
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/3/20

Continuing their discussion of the membership of "The Society of the Elect," Stead asked permission to bring in Milner and Brett. Rhodes agreed, so they telegraphed at once to Brett, who arrived in two hours. They then drew up the following "ideal arrangement' for the society:

1. General of the Society: Rhodes
2. Junta of Three: (1) Stead, (2) Brett, (3) Milner
3. Circle of Initiates: (1) Cardinal Manning, (2) General Booth, (3) Bramwell Booth, (4) "Little" [Harry] Johnston, (5) Albert Grey, (6) Arthur Balfour
4. The Association of Helpers
5. A College, under Professor Seeley, to be established to train people in the English-speaking idea."

Within the next few weeks Stead had another talk with Rhodes and a talk with Milner, who was "filled with admiration" for the scheme, according to Stead's notes as published by Sir Frederick Whyte.

-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley

The Eliza Armstrong case was a major scandal in the United Kingdom involving a child supposedly bought for prostitution for the purpose of exposing the evils of white slavery. While it achieved its purpose of helping to enable the passage of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885, it also brought unintended consequences to its chief perpetrator, W. T. Stead.


Main article: Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885

Since the middle of the 19th century, efforts by the Social Purity movement, led by early feminists such as Josephine Butler and others, sought to improve the treatment of women and children in Victorian society. The movement scored a triumph when the Contagious Diseases Acts were repealed under pressure due to their double standard nature and ultimate ineffectiveness.

At the same time, the campaign had also turned towards the problem of prostitution, and with male power over women. By the end of the 1870s, this had become particularly focused on fears that British women were being lured—or abducted—to brothels in the Continent, especially since this was happening to girls barely past the age of consent. Although the age was raised to 13 when amendments to the Offences against the Person Act 1861 were made in 1875, the movement sought to further raise this to at least 16, but Parliament was reluctant to make this change.

However, a Criminal Law Amendment Bill to change this was introduced in 1881. While it passed the House of Lords easily in 1883 after a two-year Select committee study, it stalled twice in the House of Commons. Then in 1885, it was reintroduced for a third time, but again it was threatened to be set aside ultimately because of a political crisis and the upcoming general election that year.

W. T. Stead

W.T. Stead in later years

Parliament recessed for the Whit Week bank holiday on 22 May, and the next day Benjamin Scott, anti-vice campaigner and the chamberlain of the City of London, went to see W. T. Stead, editor of the Pall Mall Gazette. Stead was a pioneer of modern investigative journalism, with a flair for the sensational. He was a supporter of the Social Purity movement.

Scott told stories of sexually exploited children to Stead, who agreed to work for popular support. Stead set up a "Special and Secret Committee of Inquiry" to investigate child prostitution, which included Josephine Butler, as well as representatives of the London Committee for the Suppression of the Traffic in British Girls for the Purposes of Continental Prostitution (of which Scott was the chairman) and the Salvation Army. As part of the investigation, two women, an employee of the Pall Mall Gazette and a girl from the Salvation Army, posed as prostitutes and infiltrated brothels, leaving before they were forced to render sexual services. Butler spent ten days walking the streets of London with her son Georgie, posing as a brothel-keeper and a procurer, respectively; together they spent a total of £100 buying children in high-class brothels. Stead, in turn, also spoke to a former director of criminal investigation at Scotland Yard to get first-hand information; he later cast his net wide to include active and retired brothel keepers, pimps, procurers, prostitutes, rescue workers and jail chaplains.

Stead felt that he needed something more to make his point: he decided to purchase a girl to show that he could do it under the nose of the law.

A £5 virgin

Bramwell Booth c.1881

With the help of Josephine Butler and Bramwell Booth of the Salvation Army, Stead got in touch with Rebecca Jarrett, a reformed prostitute and brothel-keeper who was staying with Mrs Butler in Winchester as an assistant. Although Mrs Butler had no problem with Rebecca's meeting Stead, she did not know Stead's reason for doing so.

Stead prevailed upon Jarrett to help him to show that a 13-year-old girl could be bought from her parents and transported to the Continent. Despite her reluctance about returning to her old brothel contacts for help, Jarrett agreed to help.

Rebecca Jarrett met an old associate, a procuress called Nancy Broughton. Through her Jarrett learned of a 13-year-old named Eliza Armstrong, whose alcoholic mother Elizabeth was in need of money. She arranged for Jarrett to meet Mrs Armstrong, who lived in the Lisson Grove area of West London, and although Rebecca told the mother the girl was to serve as a maid to an old gentleman, she believed Mrs Armstrong understood that she was selling her daughter into prostitution. The mother agreed to sell her daughter for a total of £5 — equivalent to approximately £574 in 2014.[1] On 3 June, the bargain was made.

On the same day, Jarrett then took Eliza to a midwife and abortionist named Louise Mourez, who examined her and attested to her virginity and sold Jarrett a bottle of chloroform. Then Eliza was taken to a brothel and lightly drugged to await the arrival of her purchaser, who was Stead. Stead, anxious to play the part of libertine almost in full, drank a whole bottle of champagne, although he was a teetotaler. He entered Eliza's room and waited for her to awaken from her stupor. When she came to, Eliza screamed. Stead quickly left the room, letting the scream imply he had "had his way" with her. Eliza was quickly handed over to Bramwell Booth, who spirited her to France, where she was taken care of by a Salvationist family.

In the meantime, Stead wrote his story.

The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon

Main article: The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon

On Saturday 4 July 1885, a "frank warning" was issued in the Pall Mall Gazette: "All those who are squeamish, and all those who are prudish, and all those who would prefer to live in a fool's paradise of imaginary innocence and purity, selfishly oblivious to the horrible realities which torment those whose lives are passed in the London inferno, will do well not to read the Pall Mall Gazette of Monday and the three following days".[2] The public's appetite whetted sufficiently in anticipation, on Monday 6 July, Stead published the first instalments of The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon.

The first instalment taking up six whole pages, Stead attacked vice with eye-catching subheadings: "The Violation of Virgins", "The Confessions of a Brothel-Keeper", "How Girls Were Bought and Ruined". He argued that while consensual adult behavior was a matter of private morality and not a law enforcement issue, issues rife in London existed that did require legislative prohibition, listing five main areas where the law should intervene:[3]

1. "The sale and purchase and violation of children.
2. The procuration of virgins.
3. The entrapping and ruin of women.
4. The international slave trade in girls.
5. Atrocities, brutalities, and unnatural crimes."

The theme of "Maiden Tribute" was child prostitution, the abduction, procurement and sale of young English virgins to Continental "pleasure palaces". Stead took his readers to the labyrinthine streets of London (intentionally recalling the Greek myth) to its darker side, exposing the flesh trade while exposing the corruption of those officials who not only turned a blind eye but also condoned such abuse. Stead acknowledged that his articles described the situation of a small minority of London's prostitutes, agreeing that most "have not come there by the road of organized rape", and that his focus was child victims who were "regularly procured; bought..., or enticed under various promises into the fatal chamber from which they are never allowed to emerge until they have lost what woman ought to value more than life".[3] In particular, he drew a distinction between sexual immorality and sexual criminality, and criticized those members of Parliament who were responsible for the Bill's impending "extinction in the House of Commons" and hinted that they might have personal reasons to block any changes in the law.

The disclosure began properly in the 6 July publication, in which Stead reveals that he had asked if genuine maiden virgins could be procured, and being told it was so, asked whether such girls were willing and consensual, or aware of the intentions planned for them:[3]

"But," I continued, "are these maids willing or unwilling parties to the transaction -- that is, are they really maiden, not merely in being each a virgo intacta in the physical sense, but as being chaste girls who are not consenting parties to their seduction?" He looked surprised at my question, and then replied emphatically: "Of course they are rarely willing, and as a rule they do not know what they are coming for." "But," I said in amazement, "then do you mean to tell me that in very truth actual rapes, in the legal sense of the word, are constantly being perpetrated in London on unwilling virgins, purveyed and procured to rich men at so much a head by keepers of brothels?" "Certainly," said he, "there is not a doubt of it." "Why, "I exclaimed, "the very thought is enough to raise hell." "It is true," he said; "and although it ought to raise hell, it does not even raise the neighbours." "But do the girls cry out?" "Of course they do. But what avails screaming in a quiet bedroom? Remember, the utmost limit of howling or excessively violent screaming, such as a man or woman would make if actual murder was being attempted, is only two minutes, and the limit of screaming of any kind is only five... But suppose the screams continue and you get uneasy, you begin to think whether you should not do something? Before you have made up your mind and got dressed the screams cease, and you think you were a fool for your pains... Once a girl gets into such a house she is almost helpless, and may be ravished with comparative safety."[3]

Stead commented that "Children of twelve and thirteen cannot offer any serious resistance. They only dimly comprehend what it all means. Their mothers sometimes consent to their seduction for the sake of the price paid by their seducer. The child goes to the introducing house as a sheep to the shambles. Once there, she is compelled to go through with it. No matter how brutal the man may be, she cannot escape". A madam confirmed the story for him, stating of one girl that she was rendered unconscious beforehand, and then coercively given the choice to continue or be homeless afterwards.[3]

The last section of the first instalment bore special mention: under the subheading "A Child of Thirteen bought for £5" Stead related the story of Eliza, a purchased victim, whose name he changed to "Lily". Although he vouched "for the absolute accuracy of every fact in the narrative", Stead changed a number of details, and omitted the fact that "Lily's" purchaser was none other than himself. Describing himself as an "investigator" rather than an "informer", and having also promised not to use information obtained against those who provided it, he stated that he would disclose actual names and identifying details only to the two UK Archbishops, one M.P., two members of the House of Lords active in criminal legislation or child protection, and a past director of the CID.[3]

Reactions to the "Maiden Tribute"

The "Maiden Tribute" was an instant hit. While W.H. Smith & Sons, who had a monopoly on all the news stalls, refused to sell the paper due to its lurid and prurient content, volunteers consisting of newsboys and members of the Salvation Army took over distribution. Even George Bernard Shaw telegraphed Stead offering to help. Crowds gathered in front of the Pall Mall Gazette offices. Second-hand copies of the paper sold for up to a shilling — twelve times its normal price.

Within days, Stead had been getting telegrams from across the Atlantic inquiring about the scandal. By the end of the series he had thrown Victorian society into an uproar about prostitution. Fearing riots on a national scale, the Home Secretary, Sir William Harcourt pleaded with Stead to cease publication of the articles; Stead replied that he would comply if the Bill would be passed without delay. Since Harcourt could not make that guarantee, Stead ordered the Pall Mall Gazette presses to continue until paper ran out.

Stead's revelations struck a responsive chord in the public. Amidst the hysteria, it provoked a wide variety of reform groups and prominent individuals to call for an end to the scandal. Dozens of protest meetings were held throughout London and the provincial towns. Thousands, including wagon loads of virgins dressed in white, marched to Hyde Park demanding that the Bill be passed. The government was soon on the defensive and those members of Parliament who had previously opposed the Bill, now understood that opposition would not only mean denying the existence of child prostitution, but condoning it as well. While many of them wanted to have the paper prosecuted under obscenity laws, they bowed to the inevitable. On Wednesday 8 July debate resumed over the bill, on 7 August it passed its third and final reading, and passed into law a week later.

Unintended consequences

W.T Stead photographed in his prison uniform

Although Stead was supported in his investigation by the Salvation Army and religious leaders including Cardinal Henry Edward Manning and Charles John Ellicott, the Bishop of Bristol, his plan backfired on him. Rival newspapers, including The Times, investigated the original "Lily" and found that Stead was the "purchaser". Mrs Armstrong told police that she had not consented to put her daughter into prostitution, saying she understood that she would enter domestic service. Jarrett did not get the permission of the child's father.

Stead, Jarrett, Booth and Louise Mourez, the midwife, and two others appeared in court on 2 September charged with the assault and abduction for Eliza Armstrong without the agreement of her parents.

On 23 October, the defendants were brought to trial, with the Attorney General, Richard Webster, acting as prosecutor. Stead defended himself. He admitted that the girl was procured without the consent of the father and that he had no written evidence of payment to the mother. Stead had relied on Rebecca Jarrett's word, and was unable to prove Mrs Armstrong's complicity in the crime. Stead, Jarrett and Mourez were found guilty of abduction and procurement. The others were acquitted. Jarrett and Mourez were sentenced to six months in jail and Stead was sentenced to three months.[4] He was sent to Coldbath Fields Prison for three days and then to Holloway as a first-class inmate for the rest of his sentence.


Many groups protested against Stead's imprisonment, and he was treated well in prison. "Never had I a pleasanter holiday, a more charming season of repose", he later said. In Holloway as a "first class misdemeanant" he had his own room with an open fire and a fellow prisoner as a servant to tend to him. His wife and children were allowed in for Christmas. Mourez died in jail. Jarrett survived her six months with hard labour. While in prison, he continued to edit the Pall Mall Gazette, and his Christmas card played up his martyrdom. Stead wrote a threepenny pamphlet of his prison experience soon after his release.[5] He asked the prison governor whether he could keep his prison uniform, although he spent much of his sentence in ordinary civilian street clothes. The governor agreed, and thereafter, every 10 November, the anniversary of his conviction, Stead would dress up in his prison garb to remind people of his "triumph".[6]

After the trial the prosecutor, surnamed Poland, started a public subscription for the Armstrong family through an advertisement in The Times. The money paid for Eliza to attend a training centre for girls to become servants. She lost connection with the Salvation Army after her return from France, and details of her later life are unknown.

Stead died in the Titanic disaster.


1. According to the Bank of England inflation calculator. Archived 22 November 2016 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 25 August 2015.
2. W.T. Stead, Notice to our Readers: A Frank Warning, The Pall Mall Gazette, 4 July 1885.
3. "W.T. Stead - "The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon - I" - Full Text - The Pall Mall Gazette, July 6, 1885".
4. Mr. Justice Henry Charles Lopes' Sentence, The Old Bailey (10 November 1885). Quoted in Alison Plowden (1974), The Case of Eliza Armstrong: A Child of 13 Bought for £5.
5. W.T. Stead (1886). My First Imprisonment. London: E. Marlborough & Co.
6. "Stead portrait". Archived from the original on 12 April 2004.

Further reading

• Weightman, Gavin (2013). The case of the £5 Virgin: the true story of a Victorian scandal. Backstory.

External links

• The W.T. Stead Resource Site - contains the complete text of "Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon" (including facsimiles of the original articles) as well as the most complete account of the Eliza Armstrong Case.
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