Squires in the Slums: Settlements and Missions in Late Victorian Britain

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I.B.Tauris, Aug 15, 2007 - History - 266 pages
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Settlements were a distinctive aspect of  late-Victorian church life in which individual philanthropic Christians were encouraged to live and work in communities amongst the poor and set an example for the underprivileged through their own actions.  Often overlooked by historians, settlements are of great value in understanding the values and culture of the 19th century.
 
Settlement missions were first conceived when Samuel Barnett, the incumbent of St Jude's, Whitechapel, in the East End of London, sought to introduce them as a major aspect of Victorian church life.  Barnett argued that settlers should be incorporated into London communities that suffered from squalor and poverty to live and work alongside the poor, to demonstrate their Christian faith and attempt to enhance social conditions from the inside.  His first recruits were Oxford undergraduates and when Toynbee Hall was founded in Oxford in 1884, his radical vision of adapting Christian morality towards tackling social deprivation had begun.  By the end of the Victorian era more than fifty similar institutions had been created. 
 
Whilst few settlements lasted beyond the Victorian period, by injecting Christian ethics into trade unions, local government and the community, they had a huge impact which is still felt in the way these organisations operate today. 
  

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Contents

Londons Desperate Need
1
Samuel Barnett and the Founding of Toynbee Hall
27
Oxford Colleges in the East End
55
Cambridge South of the Thames
79
Public School Missions
101
Nonconformist Settlements
131
Womens Settlements
155
University Hall a NonSectarian Settlement
175
What the Squires Achieved
197
Notes and References
211
Bibliography
245
Index
255
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About the author (2007)

Nigel Scotland is Field Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Gloucestershire, where he has lectured since 1975.

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