Papers of R.H. Tawney (1880-1962)

Scope and Content

University Grants Committee agendas and circulated papers, 1944-1950; correspondence, including with Shena D. Simon, Harold C. Shearman and members of the government, c.1939-1953 on topics including educational reform and post-war reconstruction, adult education, the school leaving age, day continuation schools, fees in secondary schools, democracy and education and the role of religion in education; writings, collected publications and press cuttings on educational matters, c.1940-1955.

Administrative / Biographical History

A distinguished social and economic historian, Richard Henry Tawney (1880-1962) was educated at Rubgy School and Balliol College, Oxford, from where he graduated in 1903 with a degree in Greats. He lived and worked at the University Settlement, Toynbee Hall, in the East End of London and then lectured at Glasgow University from 1906-1908. Tawney joined the Executive Committee of the Workers' Educational Association (WEA) in 1905, serving for over forty years, and between 1908 and c.1913 was a WEA class tutor in Lancashire and ... He was appointed Director of the Ratan Tata Foundation for the Study of Poverty at the London School of Economics (LSE) in 1913. He moved from LSE to Balliol in 1918 where he was a Fellow, returning again in 1919 as a Reader in economic history. He was Professor of Economic History at the London School of Economics, 1931-1949. Tawney served on the Consultative Committee of the Board of Education, 1912-1931 and on the University Grants Committee, 1943-1948. He was also a Christian Socialist and proponent of democratic education. Tawney took an active part in discussions on educational reform exercised influence on policy-making in the area of education. His publications on the topic include: Secondary Education for All (1922) and Education: the Socialist Policy (1924). As an economic historian he is best known for The Acquisitive Society (1921) and Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (1926).

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