Herbert Fisher

Herbert Fisher books and biography


Herbert Fisher


Herbert Albert Laurens Fisher OM (21 March 1865 – 18 April 1940) was an English historian, educator, and Liberal politician.

Fisher was born in London, the eldest son of Herbert William Fisher (1826-1903), author of Considerations on the Origin of the American War and his wife Mary Louisa Jackson (1841-1916). His sister Adeline Maria Fisher was the first wife of the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, another sister Florence Henrietta Fisher married both Frederic William Maitland and Francis Darwin. Fisher was first cousin to Virginia Woolf and her sister Vanessa Bell. He was educated at Winchester and New College, Oxford. He was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield in 1912.

In 1899 he married the economist and historian Lettice Ilbert (1875-1956). Their only child was the British academic, Mary Bennett.

In 1916 Fisher was elected as Member of Parliament for Sheffield Hallam and joined the government of David Lloyd George as President of the Board of Education. In this post he was instrumental in the formulation of the 1918 Education Act, which made school attendance compulsory for children up to the age of 14. In 1918 he became MP for the Combined English Universities.

Fisher took the Chiltern Hundreds on 15 February 1926, retiring from politics to take up the post of warden of New College, Oxford, which he held until his death. There he published a three volume History of Europe (ISBN 0-00-636506-X) in 1935. He received the Order of Merit in 1937.

See also

  • List of Privy Counsellors (1910–1936)
  • List of Stewards of the Chiltern Hundreds
  • List of Members of the Order of Merit


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Herbert Fisher
  • "Herbert Fisher." Spartacus Educational. Accessed 26 June 2005

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