The New International Encyclopædia/Webb, Sidney
WEBB, Sidney (1859—). An English author and barrister, born in London. He was educated in Switzerland, Germany, and at the City of London College. In 1878 he entered the English civil service, where he was employed in many capacities. He was called to the bar in 1885. He became a lecturer in the London School of Economics and Political Science and a member of the senate and the economic faculty of London University. His publications include: Socialism in England (1890); The London Programme (1891); The Eight Hours Day (1891), which he wrote in conjunction with Harold Cox; and Labor in the Longest Reign (1897). More important, however, are The History of Trade Unionism (1894), and Industrial Democracy (1897), written in collaboration with his wife. The History, which is based upon an extensive survey of original trade union records, is the most complete work extant on the progress of English labor organizations. Industrial Democracy aims to show the structure and spirit of the contemporary trade union world. His wife, Beatrice Potter Webb, became known for her minute knowledge of working class life obtained from a careful study of social conditions in Lancashire and East London, where she assisted Charles Booth in his great investigation of The Labor and Life of the People. In 1888 she gave her experiences in sweating dens to the House of Lords' Committee on Sweating. Besides collaborating with her husband, she published The Coöperative Movement in Great Britain (1891).