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William Henry BEVERIDGE


William Henry BEVERIDGE, economist. Knighted, 1919; created peer, 1945.


BEVERIDGE, William Henry was born in 1879 in Bengal, India.


During his first year at Balliol College, Oxford, he studied astronomy, but later changed to law and graduated in 1901.

While a Stowell Civil Law Fellow of University College, Oxford, 1902 to 1909, his interests again changed, and he turned to economics and sociology.


His early economic work on unemployment, his work as a civil servant, his directorship of the London School of Economics (1932-1937), and his scholarly work on the history of wages and prices, are all dwarfed by the wartime investigations on social insurance which resulted in the Beveridge Report of 1942. This document was the blueprint for the Labour government’s social legislation after 1945. Beveridge’s

work was the culmination of efforts begun by Beatrice Webb, with Beveridge’s assistance, in the Minority Report of the Royal Commission on the Poor Laws of 1909.

Fellow, University College Oxford, 1902-1909. Civil Servant, 1908-1919. Director, London School of Economies and Political Science, London, United Kingdom, 1919-1937.

Master, University College Oxford, 1937-1944.


  • He was knighted in 1919.

    In June 1941, Beveridge was named chairman of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Social Insurance and Allied Services and on December 1, 1942, the committee's report was presented to Parliament. Among many other recommendations, the report advocated a compulsory insurance scheme to be administered by the state that would offer security to all individuals in all eventualities; it also recommended the creation of a Ministry of Social Service, and In 1946 the Labour Party government enacted many of the recommendations into law.

    In October 1944, Beveridge was elected to the House of Commons.

    In 1944 he became one of the vice-presidents of the Liberal Party.

    He was created first Baron Beveridge of Tuggal in 1946.



He was married to Jessy Janet Philip

Jessy Janet Philip