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Beatrice Potter Webb

Date of Birth:
22 January 1858

Date of Death:
30 April 1943


Quote count:

Times favorited:

Martha Beatrice Potter Webb was an English socialist, economist and reformer, usually referred to in the same breath as her husband, Sidney Webb. Although her husband became Baron Passfield in 1929, she refused to be known as Lady Passfield.

Beatrice Webb was born in Gloucester, the granddaughter of a Radical MP, Richard Potter. In 1882, she had a relationship with Radical politician Joseph Chamberlain, by then a Cabinet minister. This was a failure, and in 1890 she was introduced to Sidney Webb, whose help she sought in research she was carrying out for her cousin, Charles Booth, whose Life and Labour of the People of London categorised the poorest into class A: "Vicious: borderline semi criminal" or class B "Casual earnings, very poor. The labourers do not get as much as three days work a week, but it is doubtful if many could or would work full time for long together if they had the opportunity". Marrying Sidney in 1892, the two remained together. Beatrice was an active partner in all Sidney's political and professional activities, including the organisation of the Fabian Society and the establishment of the London School of Economics. She co-authored books such as the History of Trade Unionism , and was co-founder of the New Statesman magazine .

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