Toynbee, Arnold (toinˈbē) [key], 1852–83, English economic historian, philosopher, and reformer. After his graduation in 1878 he was a tutor at Balliol College, Oxford, and was active in reform work outside the university, particularly among the London poor. His influence on his students and contemporaries was great, although he lived to be only 31. Toynbee was interested in applying historical method to the study of economics. He objected to Marxism, believing that the best interests of labor and capital lay in cooperation. His lectures to workingmen were published as Lectures on the Industrial Revolution of the 18th Century in England (1884), a pioneer work in economic history. Toynbee Hall in London, the first settlement house, was named for him.
See biographies by A. Milner (1901) and F. C. Montague (1889, repr. 1973).