Dr Jill Pellew, MA (Oxon), MA (London), PhD (London)

Modern British History: the role of private patronage and philanthropy in the 19th and 20th century history of British universities

Jill Pellew was educated at Oxford and then did post-graduate work at the University of London.  Her area of historical study was the 19th and early 20th century history of the British civil service, in particular, the Home Office.  Having worked as an administrative grade civil servant in Whitehall, she lived abroad a good deal as the wife of a diplomat, teaching history and political science at the University of Sussex, University of Saigon and at the American University, Washington DC. In the 1980s she worked as Executive Secretary of the (American) Chatham House Foundation.  For 20 years she worked as a professional university fundraiser.  She was Director of Development at Imperial College and in the 1990s headed the fundraising team of the University of Oxford.  Until 2007 she worked as senior vice-president of an American fundraising consultancy (GrenzebachGlier) since when she has resumed historical research.




1982, The Home Office, 1848-1914: from Clerks to Bureaucrats (Heinemann)

1987, (ed. with Sabino Cassese), The Merit System (International Institute of Administrative Sciences, Brussels)


  • 1974, ‘The Home Office and the Explosives Act, 1876’, Victorian Studies, Vol. XVIII, No.2, pp.175-194.
  • 1983, ‘Practitioners versus Theorists: Early Attitudes of British Higher Civil Servants towards their Profession’, International Review of Administrative Sciences, Vol.XLIX, pp.3-12.
  • 1989, ‘The Home Office and the Aliens Act, 1904’, Historical Journal, 32.2, pp.369-385.
  • 2008, ‘New Philanthropists in the Tudor Period’ in (ed. David Cannadine and Jill Pellew), History and Philanthropy: Past, Present and Future (papers from Colloquium, published Institute of Historical Research)
  • 2012, ‘A Metropolitan University fit for Empire: the role of private benefaction in the early history of the London School of Economics and Political Science and Imperial College of Scicence and Technology, 1895-1930, History of Universities, XXVI/1, pp. 202-245.
  • 2013, ‘For the public good’, History Today, 63/7, pp. 18-20.


Current project:

Pellew is currently undertaking research for a book with the working title: A Commemoration of Benefactors: the role of philanthropists in the founding of English universities, 1860-2000.