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George Peabody: an American philanthropist responds to poverty in Victorian London

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George Peabody made a lasting contribution to London through his donation of £500,000 in the 1860’s to establish the Peabody Trust. This led to the provision of good quality homes at a time when poor people often lived in slums rife with disease and crime. 

His donation continues to benefit London today, as Peabody owns 29,000 homes and provides services for 80,000 people. George Peabody is widely considered “the father of modern philanthropy”, providing inspiration for contemporaries, such as Carnegie and Rowntree, in a tradition which continues with today's American philanthropists, such as Bill and Melinda Gates.

This lecture will tell the story of how a once poor American made such an impact on our city. The story of the Peabody Trust is a social history of London from Victorian times through wartime Britain into the 21st century.