Charles Booth

Died aged c. 76

Charles James Booth (30 March 1840 – 23 November 1916) was a British shipowner, social researcher, and reformer, best known for his innovative philanthropic studies on working-class life in London towards the end of the 19th century. During the 1860s Booth started to become interested in the philosophy of Auguste Comte, the founder of modern sociology. He was captivated by Comte's idea that in the future, scientific industrialists would be in control of the social leadership instead of the church ministers. Booth's work, along with that of Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree, influenced government policy regarding poverty in the early 20th century and helped initiate Old Age pensions and free school meals for the poorest children. In addition, his investigation would also demonstrate how poverty was influenced by religion, education, and administration. Booth is often compared to Seebohm Rowntree due to their concepts on poverty. Even though Rowntree's work draws upon Booth's investigation, many writers on poverty generally turn their attention towards Rowntree's because his concept clearly addressed the problem of defining a "subsistence" level of poverty. Both Booth and Rowntree were positivists; however, many differences between Booth and Rowntree's methodology existed. While Booth classified people by their source of income, Rowntree made distinctions through class and specifically categorized groups by their economic relationships. Booth is best known for his multi-volume book, Life and Labour of the People in London (1902), which focuses on the statistics he collected regarding poverty in London. Life and Labour "discusses a range of social conditions in which it reported that it appeared people are likely to be poor or on the margins of poverty. Booth is also recognized for influencing the transition from the Victorian Age to the 20th century. Due to his investigations on poverty, some honor Charles Booth as one of the founding fathers of social administration, and find his work critical when studying social policy.

Wikidata Wikipedia

Commemorated on 2 plaques

Spudgun67 on Wikimedia Commons
diane10981 on Flickr

Charles Booth 1840-1916 pioneer in social research lived here

6 Grenville Place, London, United Kingdom where they lived

1840-1916 Charles Booth ship owner & pioneer of social research born here

University of Liverpool Sports Centre, Oxford Street, Liverpool, United Kingdom where they was born (1840)