Statues and Monuments: Henry Fawcett

Posted: September 16, 2015 in History
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Henry Fawcett was born in 1833. He studied at Kings College school and at the University of Cambridge. At the age of 25 he was blinded in an accident, but he completed his studies in economics. He first came to prominence as a defender of Charles Darwin and during his academic career published a number of influential books on economic theory.  In 1883 He was made Rector of Glasgow University.

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Fawcett had a keen interest in politics and unsuccessfully stood for a number of seats before becoming MP for Brighton in 1865 and for Hackney in 1874. He was a noted campaigner for women’s suffrage and it was through this that he met Elizabeth Garrett, to whom he proposed in 1865. She turned him down saying that she needed to focus on her medical studies. He married Elizabeth’s younger sister Millicent in 1867.  In 1880 he was made Post-master General. He died in November 1884 following an illness.

Henry_Fawcett ([Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Henry_Fawcett ([Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

The Fawcett memorial in Victoria Embankment Gardens is by Mary Grant and was erected two years after his death. It carries the dedication ‘Erected to the memory of Henry Fawcett by his grateful countrywomen’.

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