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Henry Fawcett (1833-1884), Politician, political economist and academic
Sitter in 23 portraits
In 1858 Fawcett was blinded in a shooting accident, leading him to abandon his legal practice and pursue a political career. He wrote the Manual of Political Economy (1863), and later that year was appointed Professor of Political Economy at Cambridge University. In 1865, he was the first blind man ever to be elected to parliament. A Liberal, he was known as an independent backbencher, criticising Gladstone's administration as being insufficiently radical. Fawcett advanced the cause of blind people by advocating a royal commission on the blind, which was established shortly after his death. He was also active in the passing of the 1867 Reform Bill, and was particularly concerned with the position of women in employment.