The New Student's Reference Work/Hughes, Thomas

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Thomas Hughes

Hughes, Thomas, was born at Uffington, Berks, England, Oct. 20, 1823. He was educated at Rugby, entered Oxford in 1841, and was called to the bar in 1848, becoming a member of the chancery bar. In 1856 he published Tom Brown's School Days, a life-like and truthful picture of school days at Rugby. This is a book which will never die, and is perhaps the best boy's book that was ever written. The chief characters are drawn from life. The book throws great light on the character of that greatest of teachers, Dr. Arnold. In 1858 came out The Scouring of the White Horse; in 1861 Tom Brown at Oxford; and in 1869 Alfred the Great. He was all the time practicing law, and became queen's counsel in 1869 and county court judge in 1882. He early became associated with Maurice and Kingsley in the work of social and health reform among the London poor. He also represented Frome in Parliament from 1868 to 1874. He gained the good will of the working classes by his endeavor to promote a better understanding between employers and their men. In 1880 Hughes assisted in founding a coöperative colony in the United States, describing it in his Rugby, Tennessee. To him Chicago owes the founding of its public library in 1871. He died at Brighton, Sussex, March 22, 1896.