Thomas Hughes letter

Scope and Content

This small collection contains one handwritten letter from Thomas Hughes to a Mr Todd explaining that he is unable to attend the co-operative gathering suggested by Mr Todd.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Hughes was born on 20 October 1822 in Uffington. He was educated at Twyford School, Rugby School and later at Oriel College, Oxford graduating in 1845. Called to the bar in 1848, Hughes became Queen's Counsel in 1869, a bencher in 1870 and was given a county court judgeship in Chester in 1882. Alongside his legal career, Hughes was elected to Parliament twice, for Lambeth from 1865 to 1868 and for Frome from 1868 to 1874. During his time in Parliament he worked on legislation for trade unions and co-operatives.

Outside of work, Hughes was a committed social reformer. He was involved in the Christian socialism movement; was a co-founder of the Working Men's College in Great Ormond Street; acted as the first President of the Co-operative Congress in 1869) and in 1880 founded the settlement of Rugby in Tennessee as an experiment in utopian living. He is, however, probably most famous for being the author of Tom Brown's School Days (1857) and its sequel Tom Brown at Oxford (1861). Other books of Hughes' include The Scouring of the White Horse (1859), Religio Laici (1868) and the Life of Alfred the Great (1869).

He married Frances Ford in 1847 and had five sons and four daughters. He died on 22 March 1896.

Access Information

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Custodial History

Purchased from Miss E. Bocking of Norwich with U DP136-141 between 17 Nov 1949-2 Oct 1951

Related Material

File. Thomas Hughes [U DLB/11/60]