1st Edition

Work and Unemployment 1834-1911

Edited By Marjorie Levine-Clark Copyright 2022

    This volume explores primarily late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century efforts to solve the problem of unemployment in the context of the new understandings of ‘unemployment’. The sources show the continuing power of discovering men’s commitment to work by finding ways to make them work. This volume focuses on emigration to put unemployed men to work in the British colonies, the various projects to employ urban men without work on the land, and the increasing ‘Intervention of the State’ in efforts like emigration and labour colonies. Accompanied by extensive editorial commentary, this volume will be of great interest to students of British History.

    Volume 4: Working for Unemployment

    Part 1: Emigration and Empire

    1. Anon, ‘Useful Caution to Emigrants’, The Moral Reformer, 3:11 (November 1833), pp. 340-2

    2. J. Crawford, Employment for the Million; or, Emigration and Colonization on a National or Extended Scale, The Remedy for National Distress, in a Letter Addressed to Her Majesty’s Ministers (London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1842), pp. 3-12.

    3. E. Jones, ‘Evenings with the People-The Unemployed, an Address. The Great Smithfield Meeting. A Reply to the "Times" and to Minor Opponents and an Insight into the Prospects of Emigrants in our Colonies and the United States’, (Published by the Author at the People’s Paper Office, 1857).

    4. Indentured Labour and the Loss of Employment in the West Indies in the 1860s.

    4.1Letter Regarding the Movement of Chinese Labourers from Cuba to Jamaica, 6 August, 1861.

    4.2 Letters Regarding Indentured Indian ‘Coolie’ Labourers Unable to Find Employment, Grenada, 21 November 1866.

    5. R. A. Arnold, Plan for the Temporary Employment of Operatives and Workmen in Casual Distress (London: W.W. Head, 1868), pp. 3-4.

    6. National Emigration Aid Society, Facts Respecting our Unemployed Able Bodied Poor: and the great advantages which emigration to British Colonies would confer, both by immensely improving their condition as well as increasing trade and reducing the Poor’s Rate (London: Charity Organisation Society, 1869).

    7. ‘England’s Unemployed’, c1870.

    8. H. L. Hastings, Hints on Emigration: An Address to a Company of the London Unemployed (London: Samuel Bagster & Sons, 1882), pp. 13-19, 24-8. 

    9. W. Hazell, A Social Experiment: Being an Account of the Working of Bird Green Test Farm for the Unemployed, 1891-1894 (London: Charity Organisation Society, 1895), pp. 3-12.

    10. East End Emigration Fund. "Report – 1899," pp. 1-17.

    11. L. H. Humphreys, ‘Emigration’, in County Borough of West Ham Distress Committee, Third Annual Report and Secretary’s General Review, 1905-8 (London, 1908), pp. 33-40.

    12. G. A. Williamson, The Central (Unemployed) Body for London, Report on Visit to Australia and New Zealand (London, 1911), pp. 1-26.


    Part 2: Domestic Labour Colonies

    13. H. V. Mills, ‘The Problem Stated’, ‘Co-operative Estates: The Remedy’, Poverty and the State, or Work for the Unemployed (London: Kegan Paul, Trench & Co., 1886), pp. 1-8, 163-7, 171-4, 177-8, 184-7.

    14. A. E. Petrie, Labour and Independence or Profitable Work for Those in Need of It (London: Stanford, 1887), pp. 9-13, 19-29.

    15. S. A. Barnett, ‘A Scheme for the Unemployed’, The Nineteenth Century: Monthly Review 24:141 (November 1888), pp. 753-763.

    16. H. E. Moore, ‘The Unemployed and the Land’, Contemporary Review, 63 (1893), pp. 423-38.

    17. H. V. Mills, ‘The Colony at Starthwarte,’ in J. Hobson (ed), Cooperative Labour Upon the Land, and Other Papers (London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co., 1895), pp. 64-9.

    18. E. H. Kerwin, A Labour Colony in Working Order (London: George Reynolds, 1895), pp. 3-11.

    19. Letter from George Ranking, member of the Charity Organisation Society, regarding labour colonies, 1905.

    20. ‘Speech by Mr. Fels’, in Report of Conference on the Problem of Unemployment held in the County Hotel, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Wednesday 1st February, 1905 (Newcastle Upon Tyne: Doig Brothers, 1905), pp. 8-13.

    21. H. Brown, Unemployed Workmen Act, 1905: Report of Subcommittee as to Farms and Labour Colonies (Leeds, 1905), . 3-12.

    22. Central Unemployed Committee, Minutes of Hollesley Bay Rota Committee, October 27, 1906.

    23. L. H. Humphreys, ‘Farm Colony’, in County Borough of West Ham Distress Committee. Third Annual Report and Secretary’s General Review, 1905-8 (London, 1908), pp. 26-31

    24. ‘Vagrants: A Proposal’ in Booth, W., The Vagrant and the Unemployable: A Proposal whereby Vagrants May Be Detained under Suitable Conditions and Compelled to Work (London: The Salvation Army, 1909), pp. 17-23.

    Part 3: The Intervention of the State

    25. H. R. Smart, The Right to Work (Manchester: Labour Press Society, 1895), pp. 1-5, 15-16,

    26. G. C. T. Bartley, London and the Unemployed Problem (To the Editor of the Times) Occasional Paper No. 5, Fourth Series, (London: Charity Organisation Society, 1905), pp. 1-6.

    27. Trades Union Congress, Report of Deputation to the Rt. Hon. A.J. Balfour, M.P., February 7th, 1905, on ‘Unemployment,’ and Mr. Balfour’s Reply (London: Cooperative Printing Society Limited, 1905), pp. 4-14.

    28. J. K. Hardie, John Bull and His Unemployed: A Plain Statement on the Law of England as It Affects the Unemployed (London: ILP, 1905), pp. 3-6, 8-16.

    29. A. M. Humphry, The Unemployed Workmen Act as Administered During the Winter of 1905-1906, A Paper Read at a Meeting of the Poor Law Workers’ Society, (London: Spottiswoode and Co., 1906), pp. 5-14.

    30. County of Birkenhead, Birkenhead Distress Committee (Unemployed Workmen Act, 1905), Report of the Distress Committee for the Period Ended 29th September 1906 (Birkenhead, 1906), pp. 3-11.

    31. City of Edinburgh, ‘Unemployed Workmen Act 1905’, Distress Committee for the City of Edinburgh & Report for the Local Board for Scotland, 1905-1907 (Edinburgh: Lorimer and Chalmers, 1907), pp. 7-18, 22-25, 27-28

    32. Women’s Unemployment and the State

    32.1 Women’s Work Committee’, in Preliminary Report upon the Work of the Central (Unemployed Body of London (Unemployed Workmen Act, 1905) to May 12th, 1906 (London: Vail and Co., 1906), pp. 49-51.

    32.2 Central Unemployed Body, Women’s Work Committee Minutes 3 May, 24 May, and 12 June 1906, pp. 16, 20, 22.

    32.3 L. W. Papworth and M. E. MacDonald, Report of the National Conference on the Unemployment of Women Dependent on Their Own Earnings (London: Women’s Industrial Council, 1907), pp. 3-4, 34-36, 38-39.

    33. L. H. Humphreys, ‘Employment Exchanges’, in County Borough of West Ham Distress Committee, (London, 1907), pp. 1-6.

    34. J. R. MacDonald, The New Unemployed Bill of the Labour Party (London: Independent Labour Party, 1907), pp. 3-15.

    35. G. Lansbury, ‘Unemployment’, Economic Review 17:3 (July 1907), pp. 299, 301-304, 306-308.

    36. David Lloyd George, Introduction of Unemployment Insurance to Parliament, May 4, 1911, UK Parliament, Hansard, House of Commons Debates, 4 May 1911, Vol 25, cols. 609-644. 



    Marjorie Levine-Clark is Professor of History at University of Colorado Denver, USA