a1 University of Leeds
Charles Booth dates the beginning of the agitation for old age pensions from the late 1870's, which were marked by two publications of first importance in the field. He himself drew inspiration from the pamphlet of Mr Hookham who, in 1879, published ‘The Outline of a Scheme for dealing with Pauperism. The Question of the Day’. Running neck and neck with Mr Hookham, however, was another now long-forgotten gentleman named Canon Blackley who produced a scheme of national insurance which acquired widespread commendation. The two of them together symbolize both the desire for social action and the cleavage of opinion as to the direction such action should take.