English social reformers, writers, and founders of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in 1895. They were early members of the socialist Fabian Society, and advocates of a radical approach to social reform. They married in 1892. They argued for social insurance in their minority report (1909) of the Poor Law Commission, and wrote many influential books, including The History of Trade Unionism (1894), English Local Government (1906–29), Decay of Capitalist Civilization (1923), and Soviet Communism: A New Civilization? (1935). They founded the New Statesman magazine in 1913.
Beatrice Webb was researching labour unions and working-class economic conditions when she met Sidney Webb in 1890. She wrote The Co-operative Movement in Great Britain (1891), Factory Acts (1901), My Apprenticeship (1926), and Our Partnership (1948). She also worked on English sociologist Charles Booth's Life and Labour of the People of London (1891–1903).
Sidney Webb was professor of public administration at LSE 1912–27. He is credited with drafting Clause Four of the 1918 Labour Party constitution (concerning the common ownership of the means of production). He was a member of the Labour Party executive 1916–25, entered Parliament in 1922, and was president of the Board of Trade in 1924, dominions secretary 1929–30, and colonial secretary 1929–31. He became a baron in 1929.
Webb, (Martha) Beatrice
Webb, Sidney James
(1859-1947) Social reformer and Labour theoretician. Initially a civil servant, Webb joined the Fabian Society in 1885. With his wife Beatrice...
Sidney was secretary of the Fabian Society when Beatrice met him. He had written one of the Fabian essays. He coined the phrase...
Full text Article Webb [née Potter], (Martha) Beatrice (1858 - 1943) and Webb, Sidney 1st Baron Passfield (1859 - 1947)
Beatrice and Sidney Webb constituted what has been called ‘the most prolific partnership in...