British Workman magazine

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This material is held at Glasgow Caledonian University, Heatherbank Museum of Social Work
Reference Number(s)GB 815 H/bank 17
Dates of Creation1855-1892
Name of Creator S W Partridge & Co (publishers: fl.1850s-1960: London, England)
Language of Material English
Physical Description 0.5 metres (2 oversize boxes)

Scope and Content

Britsh Workman magazine (incomplete) 1855-1892

Administrative / Biographical History

The founder of the British Workman was Thomas Bywater Smithies, who was born in York in 1817. He had a great interest in temperance work and believed that literature could be a powerful tool for doing good in that work. In 1851 he published the Band of Hope Review and Sunday Scholars' Friend. Following that publication, Smithies established the long running firm of S W Partridge & Co and began the British Workman in January 1855 edited by himself. It was a four page illustrated paper produced monthly at the cost of 1d. From the start it was evident that Smithies put a considerable amount of his own money into the publication as he required a print run of 100,000 to break even. Other philanthropists contributed, no. 57’s print run of 200,000 being paid for by four friends with all copies being donated to the London City Mission to be distributed abroad. By 1868 there were editions in four major European languages as well as Latin. Very eminent artists like George Cruikshank (1792-1878) and Sir John Gilbert drew for it and Lord Shaftsbury was a constant supporter. Florence Nightingale distributed it to troops in the Crimean War. Smithies died in 1883 and the publication was bought by the firm who had produced it for 28, S.W.Partridge and Co.


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Museum Curator, Heatherbank Museum of Social Work.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents.

Physical characteristics

Copies of the British Workman are oversize and in a fragile condition.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 1847 procedures

Acquisition Information

Gift: Hector Swash, lecturer, Glasgow Caledonian University: 2001

Custodial History

Held by Mrs Swash until 2001


None expected

Other Finding Aid

Item level list available via the resources section of Heatherbank Museum of Social Work Web pages ( . Printed item level list also available.

Location of Originals

This material is original

Alternative Form Available

Individual copies are held at the British Library.

Related Material

Finding aids for the Subject-based Ephemera Collection and a Resources Library, which holds supporting material and published literature, may contain associated information and can be consulted via Heatherbank Museum of Social Work Web pages. A subject-based Newspaper Cuttings Collection is also available for consultation.


No known publications using this material

Personal Names

Cruikshank George 1792-1878 English caricaturist
Gilbert Sir John 1817-1897 English painter and illustrator
Smithies Thomas Bywater fl 19th century journalist

Corporate Names

S W Partridge & Co fl 1850s-1960

Cataloguing Info

TitleBritish Workman magazine
AuthorCompiled by Andrew Thomson, Hub Project Archivist, 21 June 2004
Publication Glasgow University Archive Services
77-87 Dumbarton Road , Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, G11 6PW,
21 June 2004
Edition First edition
CreationFinding aid created by Andrew Thomson, Hub Project Archivist, 21 June 2004

The template for the encoded finding aid was developed by Lynda Smart, Assistant Archivist using XMetal Version 2.0 and amended by Victoria Peters, GASHE project manager.

The correspondences between the ISAD(G) elements and the EAD element types, and between EAD element types and MARC fields, were adapted by Pete Johnston, Glasgow University Archives & Business Records Centre, and Paul Watry and Julie Allinson, Liverpool University, Department of Special Collections and Archives, from those recommended in the EAD Application Guidelines Version 1.0 .

Amendments were made by Lynda Smart, Assistant Archivist, Glasgow Unversity Archive Services to update the correspondences between the EAD and ISAD(G) elements so the EAD elements correspond to ISAD(G) Second Edition. Amendments were made by Victoria Peters to incorporate the EAD 2002 changes.
Language Usage English