Civil Service History

Here are some interesting documents which shed light on the organisation and culture of the civil service in the 1800s and early(ish) 1900s. Later developments are covered in detail in the Civil Service Reform section of this website.

All the above documents assume (correctly) that the Civil Service was predominantly a male preserve until the 1960s.  This began to change after the publication of the Kemp-Jones Report in 1971.   But there had of course been a good number of impressive and ground-breaking female civil servants employed before then.  The Women in the Civil Service section of this website has a lot more information about them and about the employment of women in the civil service through to the present day..

I am also very glad to recommend Michael Coolican's book - No Tradesman and No Women - The Origins of the British Civil Service  - published as recently as 2018.

Information about the history of Regulation and Deregulation, and of Speaking Truth to Power, may be found elsewhere in the Understanding Government websites.


Martin Stanley

Spotted something wrong?
Please do drop me an email if you spot anything that is out-of-date, or any other errors, typos or faulty links.