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Webb, Sidney

WEBB, SIDNEY (1850- ), English socialist and author, was bom in London on the 13th of July 1839. He was educated at private schools in London and Switzerland, at the Birkbeck Institute and the City of London College. From 1875 to 1878 he was employed in a city office, but he entered the civil service by open competition as a clerk in the War Office in 1878, became 'See Leinendamastmuster des XVII. und XVIII. Jahrhunderts, Emil Kumsch (Dresden, 1891).

surveyor of taxes in 1879, and in 1881 entered the colonial office, where he remained until 1891. In 1885 he was called to the bar at Gray's Inn. Mr Webb was one of the early members of the Fabian Society, contributing to Fabian Essays (1889); and he became well-known as a socialist, both by his speeches and his writings. He entered the London County Council in 1892 as member for Deptford, and was returned at the head of the poll in the successive elections of 1895, 1898, 1901 and 1904. He resigned from the civil service in 1891 to give his whole time to the work of the Council (where he was chairman of the Technical Education Board) and to the study of economics. He served from 1903 to 1906 on the Royal Commission on Trade Union Law and on other important commissions. He married in 1892 Miss Beatrice Potter, herself a writer on economics and sociology, the author of The Co-operative Movement in Great Britain (1891) and a contributor to Charles Booth's L'fe and Labour of the People (1891-1903). His most important works are: a number of Fabian tracts; London Education (1904); The Eight Hours Day (1891), in conjunction with Harold Cox; and, with Mrs Sidney Webb, The History of Trade Unionism [1894, new ed. 1902), Industrial Democracy (1897, new ed. 1902), Problems of Modern Industry (1898), History of Liquor Licensing (1903), English Local Government (1006), etc. Mrs Webb was member of the Royal Commission on the Poor Law, and she and her husband were responsible for the Minority Report (see POOR LAW) and for starting the widespread movement in its favour.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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