Edward R. Pease
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|Edward Reynolds Pease|
Edward R. Pease in 1913
December 23, 1857|
near Bristol, England
|Died||January 5, 1955(aged 97)|
Edward Reynolds Pease (23 December 1857 – 5 January 1955) was an English writer and a founding member of the Fabian Society.
Pease was born near Bristol, the son of devout Quakers, Thomas Pease (1816-1884) and Susanna Ann Fry (1829-1917; sister of Edward Fry, the judge); he was the sixth of Thomas's 15 children but Susanna's first, Thomas having had five children by previous marriages. Edward Pease was educated at home until he was 16, and soon after moved to London where he became a successful stock-broker.
In 1886, the death of a wealthy relative meant Pease received a sizeable legacy allowing him to give up work at the London Stock Exchange and devote time to his socialist interests. In 1886, he moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, began working as a cabinet-maker and formed the National Labour Federation, a general union with a national scope. However, his attempts to convert the working class to socialism were unsuccessful so he returned to London. He travelled to United States with Sidney Webb in 1888, and on his return married Marjory Davidson, a young Scottish schoolteacher.
In 1890 Pease was appointed secretary of the Fabian Society. As well as managing the society's administration, he edited Fabian News and wrote ten pamphlets, including tracts on liquor licensing (1899) and The History of the Fabian Society (1916).
Pease was also a member of the Independent Labour Party and in February 1900 he represented the Fabian Society at the meeting where it was decided to establish "a distinct Labour group in Parliament", forming the Labour Representation Committee (LRC - the forerunner to the Labour Party) to which Pease was elected, serving on the Party's executive committee for 14 years.
With his wife Marjory, Pease established the East Surrey Labour Party and both served on the local council. Their home at Limpsfield, The Pendicle, Pastens Road, became known as 'Dostoevsky Corner', because he housed so many Russian refugees who had been forced to leave their country because of their socialist beliefs.
- biographical record at British Library of Political & Economic Science
- Works by Edward Reynolds Pease at Project Gutenberg
- The History of the Fabian Society by Edward R. Pease
- Works by or about Edward R. Pease at Internet Archive
- ODNB article by Mark Bevir, ‘Pease, Edward Reynolds (1857–1955)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
|Party political offices|
| General Secretary of the Fabian Society
1891 – 1913
| Acting General Secretary of the Fabian Society
1915 – 1919
F. W. Galton