Henry Fawcett 101: Famous Statesman and Economist
Zatrun Published at December 01, 2023

Henry Fawcett 101: Who is the Famous Statesman and Economist? in our article of, we will cover in detail everything you need to know about Henry Fawcett, the famous Statesman and Economist that our readers are curious about.

Who is Henry Fawcett?

Henry Fawcett was born on August 26, 1833, in Salisbury and was an English academic, statesman, and economist. He received his education at King’s College School and Cambridge University, where he studied economics. Fawcett entered Peterhouse in 1852, before transferring to Trinity Hall the following year.

In 1856, he received a BA degree, ranking 7th in the Wrangler’s list and became a fellow of the college the same year. At the age of 25 in 1858, he was blinded in a shooting accident. Despite his blindness, he continued to work especially in the field of economics. He had the potential to become a lawyer and was qualified to join Lincoln’s Inn, but he removed his name from their records in 1860, choosing not to pursue a career in law.

Academic Career:

In 1860, Henry Fawcett participated in the Oxford evolution debate. During the debate, when asked if he had read Samuel Wilberforce’s book “Origin of Species,” Fawcett responded loudly, “Oh no, he hasn’t read it.” This answer angered Wilberforce, but he held back his temper when he realized that the speaker was a blind economist.

In 1861, at the British Association meeting in Manchester, Henry Fawcett defended the logic of Charles Darwin’s theories. This defense significantly influenced the acceptance of evolutionary theories.

In 1863, Fawcett published his work “Manual of Political Economy” and became a Professor of Political Economy at Cambridge University. He became a recognized expert in the field of economics and published works such as “The Economic Position of the British Labourer” (1865) and “Labour and Wages.” In 1883, he was elected as the Rector of Glasgow University.

Political Career:

Henry Fawcett was elected as a Liberal Party candidate in Brighton in 1865 and served as a member of parliament there from 1865 to 1874. Later, he became a member of parliament for Hackney from 1874 to 1884 and fought for women’s suffrage. In 1880, he was appointed as Postmaster General by William Ewart Gladstone and became a member of the Privy Council.

Henry Fawcett had a strong interest in promoting savings through the Post Office Savings Bank. He introduced the savings stamp, which allowed penny-based savings and provided an opportunity to save towards a minimum account limit of one shilling. He presented a bill to Parliament that allowed savers to convert their Post Office Savings Bank savings into government stock and developed life insurance and pension schemes for the Post Office Savings Bank. He also introduced many other innovations, including parcel post, postal orders, and license changes to allow for pay phones and trunk lines.

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