The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

Living Edition
| Editors: Palgrave Macmillan

Hyndman, Henry Mayers (1842–1921)

  • Anthony Wright
Living reference work entry


A British Marxist theorist and politician, Hyndman was born in London to a prosperous merchant family of staunchly Conservative politics; he was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. He became in turn a journalist, imperial traveller and financial adventurer. An enthusiast for Empire, he stood for Parliament in 1880 as an independent on a Tory radical programme but withdrew from the contest. Increasingly acquainted with continental socialism, he read Marx’s Capital in French in 1880 and became personally acquainted with Marx in London. This began the process whereby Hyndman, during the 1880s, emerged as the pioneer of British Marxism, the founder and leader of a Marxist party (the Social Democratic Federation) and the leading theorist and propagandist of Marxism in Britain. In essentials, this was the role he continued to play for the rest of his life.


Trinity College Conservative Politics Historical Basis Political Lesson Imperial Traveller 
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  1. Collins, H. 1971. The Marxism of the social democratic federation. In Essays in labour history 1886–1823, ed. A. Briggs and J. Saville. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  2. Hobsbawm, E. 1964. Hyndman and the SDF. In Labouring men, ed. E. Hobsbawm. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.Google Scholar
  3. Tsuzuki, C. 1961. H.M. Hyndman and British socialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony Wright
    • 1
  1. 1.