Posts Tagged ‘Henry Fawcett’

Henry Fawcett was born in Salisbury in August 1833. He was educated at Kings College School and the University of Cambridge. In 1856 he became a fellow of Trinity Hall. Two years later he was blinded in a shooting accident, but this did not stop him applying to Lincoln’s Inn to study Law, although after a years study he withdrew preferring to concentrate on his study of economics.

He was a defender of Darwin’s theory of evolution and spoke in favour at a number of meetings. In 1863, he was appointed Professor of Political economy at Cambridge. He wrote a number of influential books on economics and in 1883 he was elected rector of Glasgow University.

Fawcett combined his academic career with one in politics. After a number of defeats he was elected as MP for Brighton in 1865 and he held the seat until 1874, when he was elected as MP for Hackney in London a seat which he held until his death 10 years later.

In 1880 Fawcett was appointed Postmaster-General and introduced Post Office Savings Stamps, which allowed people to save at a penny a time. He was also responsible for the introduction of parcel post and postal orders. He was a strong supporter of Women’s Suffrage. He died in November 1884 following an illness and was buried in Cambridge.

This statue can be found in the Market Square in Salisbury

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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’.