Philanthropy began to become a feature of British public discourse in the mid-eighteenth century. This chapter traces its spread through print, the meaning accorded to it and the feelings it aroused. Mostly these were positive, but there were also critics, notably those who questioned whether mere humans could indeed extend love to all of humanity. It was notable that many of those who preached the universality of philanthropy were nevertheless confident, despite French claims to the contrary, that Britain was especially notable for its philanthropy.
John Howard’s death in 1790, and the celebrations of his life and achievements that flowed immediately from the press, seemed likely to herald a golden age for philanthropy. The foundation of the Philanthropic Society in September 1788 was an early sign that philanthropy was poised to play an increasing role and to enjoy greater prominence. The outbreak of the French Revolution was welcomed by those of a philanthropic disposition. Howard himself rejoiced in the fall of the Bastille from which he had been barred.
By 1793, however, the world had changed
The history of philanthropy in the century after the outbreak of the First World War has attracted little attention. For many years historians focused on the origins of the welfare state, on its implementation during and after the Second World War, and on how it has operated since then. In the late twentieth century an emphasis on the mixed economy of welfare regained attention. What was called ‘the voluntary sector’ came to be seen as often working with the state or pushing the state into action as well as striking out new ground on its own. 1 For the period
The internet has made possible the research that underlies this project. Databases make it possible to trace the use of key words such as ‘philanthropy’. The method I have adopted is to trace the history and usage of the word ‘philanthropy’ based mainly on a search of use of it and of cognate words such as ‘philanthropist’, in print – in newspapers and periodicals primarily but also in books, both non-fiction and fiction, and other forms of print. A major research tool has been the on-line collections of British newspapers and periodicals. 1
The aim is to
This review of Amelia
Fauzia’s Faith and the State: A history of Islamic
philanthropy in Indonesia (Brill, 2013) was originally
published in the Asian Journal of Social Science 42:
1–2 (2014), 165–7.
An angle for comparative historical research is
proposed here. To what extent did Christian institutions affect the
The historiography of philanthropy is sparse. Compared to other contingent areas of social history, for example the history of poverty and the Poor Laws, it is extremely thin. In this chapter I analyse the approaches taken in the main books that have informed views of how the history of philanthropy should be written.
B. Kirkman Gray, W. K. Jordan and David Owen
One marker of the poverty of the historiography is that students coming new to the subject are routinely directed to three books, B. Kirkman Gray’s A History of English Philanthropy from the
The mid-Victorian period was marked both by a running theme of praise for British generosity and by a continuity of the criticism of philanthropy that had marked the 1830s and 1840s. But the world was changing and a new phase in the history of philanthropy was opening. Its identification with evangelicalism became less pronounced, its relationship to capitalism more central. Political economy, the ideology of capitalism, continued to pose huge problems for philanthropists who tried to tackle poverty. On the other hand there were initiatives that suggested that
Discussion of philanthropy reached a peak in the late nineteenth century. The fundamental question that lay behind much of what was written was whether philanthropy was capable of coping with, far less resolving, the social problems that beset urban society: poor housing and sanitation, ill-health, unemployment; all this in a highly charged atmosphere centering around ‘urban degeneration’ and ‘the future of the race’. Out of these discussions emerged different views of the proper role of philanthropy. Some felt that it had ceased to have any useful role at all
This book examines the payment systems operating in British hospitals before the National Health Service (NHS). An overview of the British situation is given, locating the hospitals within both the domestic social and political context, before taking a wider international view. The book sets up the city of Bristol as a case study to explore the operation and meaning of hospital payments on the ground. The foundation of Bristol's historic wealth, and consequent philanthropic dynamism, was trade. The historic prominence of philanthropic associations in Bristol was acknowledged in a Ministry of Health report on the city in the 1930s. The distinctions in payment served to reinforce the differential class relations at the core of philanthropy. The act of payment heightens and diminishes the significance of 1948 as a watershed in the history of British healthcare. The book places the hospitals firmly within the local networks of care, charity and public services, shaped by the economics and politics of a wealthy southern city. It reflects the distinction drawn between and separation of working-class and middle-class patients as a defining characteristic of the system that emerged over the early twentieth century. The rhetorical and political strategies adopted by advocates of private provision were based on the premise that middle-class patients needed to be brought in to a revised notion of the sick poor. The book examines why the voluntary sector and wider mixed economies of healthcare, welfare and public services should be so well developed in Bristol.
The formation and development of the Walker Art Gallery
The art of philanthropy? The formation and
development of the Walker Art Gallery
The period 1870–1914 saw the rapid spread of municipal art galleries across
the region. Although these galleries were under municipal control, they often
depended upon the successful intersection of private and public forces. The
galleries of Liverpool, Manchester and Preston became the largest and best-known
in the region, yet in none of these towns did the municipalities initiate the schemes
or fund the construction costs. The formation and early development of these