Article

Corruption and the Public Service Ethos in Mid-Victorian Administration: The Case of Leonard Horner and the Factory Office

Citation

Cawood I (2020) Corruption and the Public Service Ethos in Mid-Victorian Administration: The Case of Leonard Horner and the Factory Office. English Historical Review. https://doi.org/10.1093/ehr/ceaa249

Abstract
While the problem of political corruption in the mid-19 th century Britain has been much studied, the experience of corrupt behaviour in public bodies, both new and long established, is comparatively neglected. This article takes the example of one of the first inspectorates set up after the Great Reform Act, the Factory Office, to examine the extent of corrupt practices in the British civic state and the means whereby it was addressed. It examines the changing processes of appointment, discipline, promotion, the issues of remuneration and venality and the relationships between inspectors, the workers, the factory owners, the government and the wider civil service and the press and public opinion. The article argues that the changing attitudes of the inspectors, especially those of Leonard Horner, were indicative of a developing a 'public service ethos' in both bureaucratic and cultural settings and that the work of such unsung administrators was one of the agencies through which a corrupt behaviour in the civic structures of Victorian Britain was, with public support, challenged. The article concludes that the endogenous reform of bureaucratic practice achieved by the factory inspectorate may even be of equal significance as that which resulted from the celebrated Northcote-Trevelyan Report of 1853.

Notes
Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online

Journal
English Historical Review

StatusIn Press
Publication date online31/10/2020
Date accepted by journal30/07/2018
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/30220
ISSN0013-8266
eISSN1477-4534