Thomas Hughes was born on October 20th, 1822 in Uffington, Berkshite, England to John and Margaret Hughes. He attended the Rugby School, then went on to Oriel College at Oxford and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1845. He studied law at Lincoln's Inn and at the Inner Temple, London, and was accepted to the Bar in 1847. That same year he married Francis Ford.
Hughes soon became a supporter of Chartism, a political party in England (1838-48), which contended for universal suffrage, the vote by ballot, annual parliaments, equal electoral districts, and other radical reforms. He formed the Christian Socialist movement in 1848 with Frederick Denison Maurice and Charles Kingsley, a movement that wanted to use the Church to help prevent revolution by the working classes. The movement produced two journals, Politics of the People (1848-1849) and The Christian Socialist (1850-51), and a series of pamphlets called Tracts on Christian Socialism.
"In the first place, the Browns are a fighting family. One may question their wisdom, or wit, or beauty, but about their fight there can be no question. Wherever hard knocks of any kind, visible or invisible, are going; there the Brown who is nearest must shove in his carcass. And these carcasses, for the most part, answer very well to the characteristic propensity: they are a squareheaded and snake-necked generation, broad in the shoulder, deep in the chest, and thin in the flank, carrying no lumber. Then for clanship, they are as bad as Highlanders; it is amazing the belief they have in one another. With them there is nothing like the Browns, to the third and fourth generation. "Blood is thicker than water," is one of their pet sayings. They can't be happy unless they are always meeting one another. Never were such people for family gatherings; which, were you a stranger, or sensitive, you might think had better not have been gathered together. For during the whole time of their being together they luxuriate in telling one another their minds on whatever subject turns up; and their minds are wonderfully antagonistic, and all their opinions are downright beliefs. Till you've been among them some time and understand them, you can't think but that they are quarrelling. Not a bit of it. They love and respect one another ten times the more after a good set family arguing bout, and go back, one to his curacy, another to his chambers, and another to his regiment, freshened for work, and more than ever convinced that the Browns are the height of company." (from Tom Brown's Schooldays)
In 1856 Hughes wrote Tom Brown's Schooldays about his time at Rugby School and followed it with Tom Brown at Oxford in 1861. Hughes was elected as an MP for 1865 through 1874, then became the principal of the Working Men's College until 1883. Thomas Hughes died of heart failure in 1896 at Brighton.
Suggested sites for Thomas Hughes:Encyclopedia article about Thomas Hughes