[In progress]


April 14 Palm Sunday birth, 12 Upper Westbourne Terrace, Paddington, London W

Paternal antecedents

Great-grandfather: George Toynbee (1783-1865), farmer of Heckington, Lincolnshire; descended from Toynbees of Coleby (North Kesteven), Lincolnshire; married Elizabeth Cullen (1785-1829); six sons and a daughter; remarried (Sarah Obbinson); further five sons and three daughters

Grandfather: Joseph Toynbee (1815-66), George’s third son by his first wife; successful London ear and throat doctor who treated Queen Victoria for deafness and knew Mill, Ruskin, Faraday, Jowett, Mazzini; married Harriet Holmes; died when he exposed himself, experimentally, to a mixture of prussic acid and chloroform; his death caused the family to fall on hard times; at least nine children; his widow died 1897

Great-uncle: “Uncle Harry” (1819-1909), Joseph’s youngest (full) brother, sea captain and pioneer meteorologist; went to sea 1833 as a midshipman in the East Indiaman Dunvegan Castle; first command was the Ellenborough; had also commanded the Gloriana and Marlborough before he took over the Hotspur, command of which he resigned 1866 in order to succeed Admiral Fitzroy as Marine Superintendent of the Meteorological Office; retired 1888

Father: Harry Valpy Toynbee (1861-1941), Joseph’s youngest son and ninth child; tea business; 1883- District Secretary, Charity Organisation Society; the head of the Society from 1875 to 1913 was a Balliol man, Charles Stuart Loch; 1887 July married; 1898- one of two Organizing Secretaries; he was socially between the rich whose donations he was soliciting and the poor whom he was helping; 1907 took leave, accepting a position with a Royal Commission on the Poor Laws which took him on prolonged visits to the north of England; when that ended began to suffer from depression; 1909 entered a mental hospital and never returned to normal life


Arnold Toynbee (1852-83), Joseph’s second son, who won a scholarship to Oxford; 1873-75 political economy Pembroke and 1875-78 Balliol; tutor at Balliol in charge of candidates for the Indian Civil Service; 1881-83 Bursar; wife Charlotte Maria Atwood (“Auntie Charlie”) (1841-1931); died of “brain fever” aged 30; Samuel and Henrietta Barnett founded Toynbee Hall in Whitechapel in the East End of London 1884 in his memory

Paget Jackson Toynbee (1855-1932), who married well enough (Helen Wrigley, “Aunt Nellie”) to become a country gentleman and devote his life to Dante (and Horace Walpole) scholarship


Gertrude Toynbee

Grace Coleridge Toynbee (1858-1946), bacteriologist; married Percy F Frankland (“Uncle Percy”) (same years)


Sarah Edith Marshall Toynbee (née Marshall) (“Edith”) (1859-1939), daughter of a Birmingham manufacturer of railway stock who had gone out of business; had gained a First in modern history at what became Newnham College in Cambridge (when women could sit the exams but not take degrees); the newly-weds lodged with Uncle Harry, a widower, at 12 Upper Westbourne Terrace


Joseph Toynbee, A Descriptive Catalogue of Preparations Illustrative of the Diseases of the Ear, John Churchill, 1857; The Diseases of the Ear: Their Nature, Diagnosis, and Treatment, John Churchill, 1860

Arnold Toynbee, Lectures on the Industrial Revolution in England: Popular Addresses, Notes and Other Fragments, together with a Short Memoir by B. Jowett, Rivingtons, 1884, posthumous, apparently prepared for publication by his wife

FC Montague, Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford, Arnold Toynbee, with an Account of the Work of Toynbee Hall in East London by Philip Lyttelton Gell, M.A., Chairman of the Council, also an Account of the Neighborhood Guild in New York by Charles B. Stover, A. B., in Herbert B Adams, Editor, Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science, Seventh Series, I, Baltimore, Publication Agency of the Johns Hopkins University, 1889

Alfred Milner, Arnold Toynbee, A Reminiscence, Edward Arnold, 1895; written as an address to members of Toynbee Hall and delivered there November 27 1894

Edith Toynbee, True Stories from Scottish History, Griffith Farran Browne & Co, c 1897

Gertrude Toynbee, editor, Reminiscences and Letters of Joseph and Arnold Toynbee (her reminiscences, their letters), Henry J Glaisher, no date but c 1900

Grace Frankland, scientific writings

Paget Toynbee, works on Dante and Horace Walpole


Jocelyn Mary Catherine Toynbee (1897-1985), who became the leading British scholar of Roman art

Margaret Toynbee (1900-?), a historian of Charles I and the Civil War


Uncle Harry was puritan and low church; Harry Valpy and Edith, his lodgers, middle-of-the-road Anglican; Edith read history to her son and was the dominant figure in his life before his marriage; published True Stories from Scottish History to supplement the household income

1897 March 3 birth of Jocelyn

1900 birth of Margaret

Early education by his mother; then under the aegis of a governess at a friend’s house nearby; then a day student at Warwick House, Maida Vale; then at age of ten a small legacy and reduced fees allowed his mother to send him to Wootton Court, Kent, where Greek and Latin were available; 1901 summer enrolled in scholarship examinations for Winchester; fell short by a single place; 1902 summer tried again and succeeded; depended on William of Wykeham’s endowment, intended to help boys from poorer families to rise, though by 1902 the majority at Winchester were fee-paying “commoners”


1902 September-1907 summer Winchester College

Made at least two lifelong friends there: David Davies, who became a judge and was knighted, signed as a witness at both of his weddings and with whom he had lunch nearly every week when they were both in London; and Eddie Morgan, who became a bishop

The teacher who influenced him most was his housemaster and Greek teacher, Montague John Rendall (1862-1950, headmaster 1911-24)


1907 October-1911 June Literae Humaniores, Balliol College, Oxford; before taking finals, appointed to a tutorial fellowship for teaching Greek and Roman history, to start in the next academic year but one; meanwhile his scholarship had been extended for a fifth year, to be spent abroad, as a result of his winning the Jenkins Prize

1911 September-November Italy on foot

1911 November-1912 August Greece and Turkey on foot

1912 October-1915 c April Balliol fellowship (did not resign until 1915 December)

First wife

1913 May 31 engagement to Rosalind Murray (1890-1967)

Rosalind was the daughter of Gilbert Murray (1866-1957), classical scholar, and Lady Mary Henrietta Howard (1865-1956)

Mary was the daughter of the presiding Rosalind, Dowager Countess of Carlisle, neé Stanley (1845-1921), of Castle Howard, widow of George Howard, the 9th Earl of Carlisle (1843-1911); Lady Britomart Undershaft in Shaw’s Major Barbara was modelled on her

The teetotal Dowager left Castle Howard to her teetotal daughter Mary, not to her sons or to the grandson, the 11th Earl (1895-1963), who had inherited the earldom in 1912; but the Murrays declined the inheritance; it passed to the Countess’s only surviving son, Geoffrey Howard (spelt Geoffry by McNeill, perhaps incorrectly, 1877-1935), in whose family it has remained; Toynbee and his wife would have the use only of a smaller house next door, Ganthorpe Hall

1913 September 11 marriage, Registry Office, District of Erlington (according to McNeill), Norfolk

Honeymoon, Castle Howard

1914 September 2 birth of Antony (Harry Robert) (“Tony”) (1914-39)


1915 May 1-1917 Foreign Office, London, propaganda directed at American public opinion; name of department unknown to me; editor, under the direction of Lord Bryce, of the Blue Book published by the British Government on the Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire: 1915 (Miscellaneous No. 31, 1916)

1915 December resigned from Balliol fellowship

1916 June 25 birth of (Theodore) Philip (1916-81)

1917 May 7-1918 May Department of Information, Intelligence Bureau, presumably under the Foreign Office, working on Turkish affairs

1918 May-December Political Intelligence Department of the Foreign Office, working on Turkish affairs

1918 December-1919 April Foreign Office, Paris Peace Conference, member of Middle Eastern section of British delegation


King’s College, University of London, Koraes Professor of Modern Greek and Byzantine Language, Literature and History

1921 January-September Greece and Turkey, reporting on the Greco-Turkish war for The Manchester Guardian

1922 December 22 birth of Lawrence (Leifchild) (1922-2002)

1924 June left Koreas chair


Royal (until 1926 British) Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London, Director of Studies; supported in the appointment by JW Headlam-Morley; also University of London, Research Professor of International History

Both posts were supported by the Sir Daniel Stevenson Foundation (until 1955?). What other titles at Chatham House?

1924 February temporary Chatham House position

1925 permanent Chatham House position

1927 began to make systematic notes for A Study of History

1929 July 23-1930 January 29 to Japan and back (itinerary here)

1930 began to write A Study of History

1933 Rosalind was converted to Catholicism

1936-39 Philip embraced Communism

1937 fellow of the British Academy

1939 February Edith died

1939 March 15 Tony died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound

1939 September or October-1943 June Balliol College, Director, Foreign Research and Press Service, a redeployment of Chatham House which was required to provide accurate information of foreign affairs to any branch of the government on demand; Rosalind asked him to live with her in London and accused him of being afraid of the Blitz

1942 November separation from Rosalind

1942 just before Christmas proposed marriage to RIIA research assistant, Veronica Marjorie Boulter (1894-1980), daughter of Reverend Sidney Boulter

1943 April- Foreign Office, London, Director, Foreign Office Research Department, new entity which merged the Foreign Research and Press Service with the Political Intelligence Department of the Foreign Office

1945 May refused knighthood (according to McNeill; reason?)

1946 April-? Paris Peace Conference, member of British delegation

1946 August divorce

1947 declined Regius Professorship of History at Cambridge

1952 completed A Study of History

1955 June retired from Chatham House

Second wife

1946 September 28 marriage to Veronica Boulter, Registry Office, Kensington

1947 moved to 45 Pembroke Square, Kensington

1947 May Sunday 18 personal note placed with his letters from Rosalind, quoted in McNeill


1956 (date?) Companion of Honour

1956 February 20-1957 August 3 journey round the world (itinerary here)

1957 Honorary Fellow, Balliol

1968 Associate Member, Academy of Moral and Political Sciences, Institut de France

1969 March 26 coronary

1974 June 29 reception “Ad Portas” at Winchester College

1974 August 3 stroke, followed by removal to Purey Cust nursing home, York

1975 October 22 death

Burial at Terrington, Yorkshire

1975 December 17 Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving, St James’s, Piccadilly


See this page for a summary


A few of Toynbee’s published letters touch on intimate personal matters. I have quoted them, or from them, in these posts:

Father and son

Balliol, Trinity Term 1914


1. Autobiographical asides in many of his writings, including prefaces (especially Preface of The Western Question in Greece and Turkey), and important information in Comparing Notes, AcquaintancesExperiences, travel books and published correspondence with Columba Cary-Elwes

2. Some of the writings listed here under Criticism contain biographical information

3. Some of Rosalind Murray’s writings contain autobiographical information

4. Six volumes of Philip’s Pantaloon series, a novel in verse, remain unpublished, but four have been published and contain autobiographical information:

Pantaloon, or The Valediction, Chatto & Windus, 1961

Two Brothers, Chatto & Windus, 1964

A Learned City, Chatto & Windus, 1966

Views from a Lake, Chatto & Windus, 1968

5. Introduction in EWF Tomlin, editor, Arnold Toynbee, A Selection from His Works, OUP, 1978

6. Philip Toynbee, Part of a Journey: An Autobiographical Journal, 1977-79, Collins, 1981

7. Jessica MitfordFaces of Philip: A Memoir of Philip Toynbee, Heinemann, 1984

8. Philip Toynbee, End of a Journey: An Autobiographical Journal, 1979-81, Bloomsbury, 1988, posthumous

9. William H McNeill, Arnold J. Toynbee, A Life, New York, OUP, 1989

10. Lois Wiegardt Whitaker, editor, The Gentle Giant’s Lady and Her Friend, Selected Letters of Veronica Boulter Toynbee, 1964-1980, Dubuque, Iowa, Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1997

11. Fergus Millar, Arnold Joseph Toynbee in Dictionary of National Biography, OUP, 2004, and earlier?


1. Morton mentions one photographic portrait of Toynbee in her section on biographical material, perhaps because it appears in a book: Yousuf Karsh, Portraits of Greatness, Nelson, 1959

2. The National Portrait Gallery has (2012 June) nine portraits: a wax medallion (1893) by Euphrosyne (“Effie”) Stillman, a bromide print by Walter Stoneman (1945 November, the best photographic portrait in my opinion), a bromide print by Karsh (1955, presumably the one mentioned by Morton), a quarter-plate negative by Elliott & Fry (1955), a bromide print by Walter Bird (1959), two bromide prints by Godfrey Argent (1969 October 1), a chalk sketch by Juliet Pannett (1972) and a bromide fibre print by Fay Godwin (1974)

3. There is no well-known oil portrait; one by his son Lawrence, painted in 1955, hangs in the Toynbee Room, Chatham House; another by Lawrence is at the V&A (unless the Chatham House picture was sent there); the obvious person for the job would have been Simon Elwes, a cousin of Toynbee’s friend Columba Cary-Elwes of Ampleforth; perhaps the existence of Lawrence inhibited the family from commissioning anyone else; Elwes is not mentioned in the correspondence with Cary-Elwes or by McNeill

4. Getty Images has photographs of Toynbee and Veronica Boulter; McNeill publishes a chalk drawing of Rosalind Murray circa 1910 by Gwen Raverat from the collection of Lawrence Toynbee

5. For Toynbee acted on film, see Toynbee and Young Indiana Jones

Sound and video

1. These posts link (or linked) to audio or film footage of Toynbee:

The Ancient Mediterranean View of Man

Toynbee and Ikeda

Britain and Europe

Toynbee and Ikeda 3

Reith Lectures 1


Santa Barbara 1967, and the age of planning

New York 1965: Ideology and Intervention

I Agree with a Pagan

Toynbee and Voegelin

A Conversation with Arnold Toynbee

Toynbee in Argentina

Sarasota 1965

Toynbee at UCLA

2. The National Sound Archive at the British Library has material. You can search, but not buy or hear, online (checked August 20 2011). I’ll link to other sound archive material when I come across it.

3. Susan Morton’s Bibliography, OUP, 1980 has short sections called Films and Tape recordings. I’ll show her entries as they stand, adding links.

Under Films:

Arnold Toynbee. Columbia Broadcasting System, 1955. 28 mins, sd., bxw, 16mm. Originally telecast as a special programme in the CBS series ‘Lamp unto my feet’. Records an interview with Lyman Bryson.

Arnold Toynbee. National Film Broadcasting Company, released by Encyclopædia Britannica Films, 1958. 28 mins, sd. b&w, 16mm. (Wisdom series.) ‘… talks about the experiences that have influenced his work, describes the quarter century of research and writing that went into his monumental summary of world history, and discusses his philosophy of historical causation’.

Small world: Toynbee, Wylie, Graves. Columbia Broadcasting System, 1960. 28 mins, sd., b&w, 16mm. Arnold Toynbee, Philip Wylie and Robert Graves ‘present historical explanations of the place of traditional religion and ethics in the modern world, and discuss American power and the cold war’. Host: Eric Sevareid; producers: Edward R. Murrow and others.”

Under Tape recordings:

Arnold Toynbee, history, and the hippies. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, 1969. [This should be 1967, probably May 1.] 43 mins 44 secs. ‘… conversation with Raghavan Iyer, John Seeley, and Scott Buchanan, about the unlearned lessons of history, the futility of patriotism, and his admiration for the hippies …’

The reluctant death of national sovereignty, by Arnold Toynbee and others. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, 1972. 27 mins 19 secs. ‘The importance of establishing a world community is emphasized in Mr Toynbee’s interview with three [unnamed] leaders in business and government, when they explore the development of multinational corporations as a possible trend in the development of world community.’”

In the last of these, the 1972 discussion, Dr Blutstein (below) says that the three leaders were Aurelio Peccei of Olivetti and Fiat and Eldridge Haynes and Orville Freeman of Business International Corporation (Freeman had had government experience). Given the date, it must have taken place in London.

Morton does not attempt to list broadcasts that have not been preserved on film or tape unless they were subsequently printed, and those are listed as articles.

[In progress]

10 Responses to “Cv”

  1. goyo000 Says:

    You note that the “The reluctant death of national sovereignty” discussion involved Toynbee and “three [unnamed] leaders in business and government”. They were Aurelio Peccei (Olivetti and Fiat) and from Business International Corporation (an industry association) Eldridge Haynes and Orville Freeman.

    I am doing some research in the area and it would help if you could point me in the direction of geting hold of a digital copy of this audio file.

    best wishes

    Dr Harry Blutstein

    • davidderrick Says:

      Thank you very much for this information. I wish I could point you to an audio file. Please let me know if you discover one. I have a post on the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions and the first of the two tapes Morton mentions. A comment under it, by me, refers to this 1972 discussion, which is the second.

  2. davidderrick Says:

    There are DNB articles on eight Toynbees:

    Frankland [née Toynbee], Grace Coleridge (1858–1946), bacteriologist
    Toynbee, Arnold (1852–1883), social reformer and political economist
    Toynbee, Arnold Joseph (1889–1975), historian
    Toynbee [née Atwood], Charlotte Maria (1841–1931), college administrator and local government official
    Toynbee, Jocelyn Mary Catherine (1897–1985), archaeologist and art historian
    Toynbee, Joseph (1815–1866), ear surgeon
    Toynbee, Paget Jackson (1855–1932), Dante scholar
    Toynbee, (Theodore) Philip (1916–1981), writer

  3. davidderrick Says:

    I like the resolute Victorian title Micro Organisms in Water: Their Significance, Identification and Removal (Grace Frankland, co-author with her husband, 1894). Today we would be less species-centric and give the other side its due.

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