William Albert Samuel Hewins Manuscripts

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The papers and correspondence of W.A.S. Hewins, economist, historian and politician, and first director of the London School of Economics, c. 1866 to 1931. The collection includes the unlisted papers of his son, M.G. Hewins.

Administrative / Biographical History

The archive consists of the papers of William Albert Samuel Hewins (1865-1931), economist, historian and Conservative politician, together with those of his son Maurice Gravenor Hewins (though the latter remain unlisted). The documents include official government papers, notes, lecture notes and diaries, together with an extensive and important correspondence involving leading politicians and dignitaries of the day. (For details of Hewins' collection of original nineteenth-century broadside ballads included in the Papers see separate entry under 'Hewins Ballads').

W.A.S. Hewins was born in 1865, and educated at Wolverhampton G.S. and Pembroke College, Oxford. He undertook postgraduate research in History under Sir Charles Harding Firth, and on leaving Oxford took part in university extension work. In 1895 he was invited to organise the London School of Economics, of which he was Director until 1903. He was also Tooke Professor of Economic Science and Statistics at King's College, London from 1897 to 1903 and held the chair of Modern Economic History at that University from 1902 to 1903.

In 1903 he was invited by Joseph Chamberlain to become Secretary of the Tariff Reform Commission, intended to promote Chamberlain's policy of safeguarding British industry and encouraging Imperial economic unity, a post which he held until 1917, serving as Chairman frrom 1920 to 1922.

During his political career he fought three unsuccessful by-elections before being returned as Conservative member for Hereford City in March 1912, representing the constituency until 1918. From 1915 he held various offices in the Unionist Business Committee and in the Empire Development Union.

In 1914 he became a Roman Catholic and acted as an adviser to Cardinal Bourne on political matters.

Hewins contributed numerous articles to periodicals and wrote several books, of which The Apologia of an Imperialist (1929) is largely autobiographical.

The papers of W.A.S. Hewins's son, Maurice Gravenor Hewins, form part of the collection (1907-1950) but are as yet unlisted.

Arrangement

By category

Conditions Governing Access

Available to all researchers, by appointment

Acquisition Information

Purchased 1967

Note

Description prepared by Lawrence Aspden

Other Finding Aids

W.A.S. Hewins: Sections 1-132. Listed W.A.S. Hewins: Sections 1-132. Listed M.G. Hewins: Sections 133-217. Not listed.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright: University of Sheffield