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Albert Mansbridge

© National Portrait Gallery, London. Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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What today would be called a 'self-starter', Mansbridge became an Anglican lay reader, a copyist in the Board of Education, attending evening lectures at the Battersea Polytechnic, and in 1896 a clerk with the Co-operative Wholesale Society in Whitechapel. Mansbridge is regarded as one of the most influential and creative figures in adult education. He and his wife, Frances Pringle founded the Workers' Educational Association in 1903 with 2/6d from the housekeeping. By 1905 it had a thousand members, a hundred affiliated bodies and eight branches. Mansbridge was the workers' representative on the Asquith Commission (1919–1922) on the reform of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

National Portrait Gallery, London





oil on canvas


H 90.2 x W 69.9 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Given by the sitter's widow, 1956

Work type



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National Portrait Gallery, London

St Martin’s Place, London, Greater London WC2H 0HE England

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