Ashby, Arthur Wilfred

First name/s: Arthur
Last name: Ashby
Known names / nicknames:
Date of birth: 19/08/1886
Year of birth: 1886

Life before Ruskin

Date and place of birth19 August 1886 Tysoe, Warwickshire
Family eldest of 8 children of Hannah and Joseph Tysoe
Work Apparently helped his father in range of duties of a small farmer
Politics/Trade union activity Liberal

Trade Union membership (at time of entry to Ruskin)

Life at Ruskin

Dates at Ruskin 1909
Source of funding
Charles Buxton scholarship
Campaigns/political activity
Subjects studied at Ruskin
Qualification Diploma with distinction in economics and political science

Life after Ruskin


In 1912 following the award of a scholarship by the Board of Agriculture he went to the Institute for Research in Agricultural Economics at Oxford and then to the University of Wisconsin . There he studied the history of allotments and smallholdings and  wrote Allotments and smallholdings in Oxfordshire ( 1917 ).Research scholarship to Agricultural Economics Research Institute, Oxford


Food production department of Ministry of Agriculture during First World War establishing the first Agricultural Wages Board; Professor Agricultural economics UCW, Aberystwyth ; director Agricultural Economics Research Institute Oxford (1946)
Politics/trade union activity
‘In politics he was a supporter of the Labour Party, yet successive Labour governments failed to utilize effectively his unrivalled knowledge of the problems facing British agriculture’. (Oxford DNB)  JP; CBE 1946.
Family married Rhoda Dean Bland 1922. One son.
Place & date of death 9 September 1953 (Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford)

Date of death: 09/09/1953
Year of death: 1953

Achievements / Publications

Professor Agricultural Economics at Oxford university.

Developed an advisory service for Welsh farmers in connection with the co-operative movement

First chair in agricultural economics in Britain (1929)

Established the Milk Marketing Board ‘which more than any other initiative was responsible for bringing the agriculture of the lowlands of Wales (and the whole of the United Kingdom for that matter) out of poverty from 1933 onwards.’ (Oxford DNB)

List of publications in Journal of Agricultural Economics (vol. 12, 1956).

Material in archives or already published articles

Welsh biography online : author Llywelyn Phillips (1914-81), Aberystwyth

Oxford DNB ( Edgar Thomas)

M. K. Ashby, Joseph Ashby of Tysoe, 1859–1919: a study of English village life (1961)


Notes on Image/s

Ashby image

From Picture Post 19 January 1946

Comment of contributor/s and sources


Welsh biography online : author Llywelyn Phillips (1914-81), Aberystwyth

Oxford DNB ( Edgar Thomas)

I only came across Ashby’s name in the Picture Post article forwarded to the website. I was astonished that the son of the famous Joseph Ashby could be apparently accepted into institutions like the civil service and Oxford University during a period in which social mobility was supposedly so difficult. His sister, Mabel Ashby became a principal of Hillcroft College.


Hilda Kean

created 04/10/2013 at 1:10 pm, updated 13/10/2014 at 4:48 pm

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