Sidney Webb, Fabian Intellectual and Reformer, Dies
October 13th, 1947
The death in Hampshire at the age of eighty-eight of Sidney Webb, closed the final chapter on one of the most remarkable husband-and-wife partnership of modern British political and social history. Sidney Webb's wife, Beatrice, predeceased him by four years, but he at least had the satisfaction of seeing the landslide victory of 1945 that brought a majority Labour government to power for the first time.
The Webb's chief contribution (the possessive plural so often used by historians underlining how inextricably they were bound politically and intellectually) had come decades earlier when they formed a team that was the driving force behind the majority of the intellectual and philosophical initiatives that fed turn-of-the-century Progressivism and centre-left activity, and eventually, the emerging British Labour Party. Linked inextricably with the emerging Fabian Society, founders of the London School of Economics in 1894 and the New Statesman magazine in 1913, their influence and work-load was prodigious.