First name/s: Wil John
Last name: Edwards
Known names / nicknames:
Date of birth: 01/01/1888
Year of birth: 1888
Life before Ruskin
Date and place of birth: Sometime in January 1888 in Cynon Valley, Wales
Work: worked as a coal miner
Politics/Trade union activity:ILP
Trade Union membership (at time of entry to Ruskin)
Life at Ruskin
Dates at Ruskin: 1908 -9
Source of funding:Scholarship through the Ruskin Correspondence Society (went back to work after a year because of financial hardship
Campaigns/political activity:Pitched battles with Oxford undergraduates! Protested against a mock prayer meeting held by other students (bucket of water from first floor.)Ruskin men broke up a meeting on the new Licensing Act in Oxford Town Hall. Various other brawls included one where Annie Kenney [ of the WSPU] was prevented from speaking by Oxford undergraduates, and Edwards took her place briefly before being pulled down.
Qualification: Studied Political Economy (protested against the lecturer, Mr Furness, who had written, ‘A jolly good essay, spoilt by discussing the Marxian theory of value’) – many other students had also requested NOT to attend Furness’ lectures.They got Noah Ablett to take his place, unofficially. Sociology (Dennis Hird, excellent)
Life after Ruskin
Work: Back down the mine. Checkweigher
Politics/trade union activity:Trade union, county council, taught Marxist economics
Place & date of death:
Date of death:
Year of death: 0
Achievements / Publications
Book From the Valley I Came (Angus and Robertson 1957). He gives details of negotiations between Ruskin and the University in 1907 -8; the College rejected overtures from a ‘committee of Oxford dons interested in working-class education’.There were visits from A Lees Smith of Balliol and Lord Curzon, then Chancellor of the University.
Material in archives or already published articles
Notes on Image/s
Comment of contributor/s and sources
Everything I know about Wil John Edwards is from his book From the Valley I Came.
I was asked to send in this bit of information in the hope that others will be able to add to it.