My article in Bronte Studies

My article in Bronte Studies
My article

Monday 6 May 2024

Sir Arthur Lowes Dickinson - son in law of William Smith Williams


Arthur Lowes Dickinson was educated at  Charterhouse from where hr went to King’s College, Cambridge. Arthur gained a first in Maths. 

He became an accountant, soon becoming a partner in the London firm of Lovelock, HWS Whiffin & Dickinson. Through an involvement with a Californian company, he came to know Nicholas Waterhouse, son of one of the founders of Price Waterhouse. At that time, the American firm associated with Price Waterhouse was thriving but had lost both of its lead partners. Waterhouse asked Dickinson to go to New York to take charge. 

Arthur sailed on 1 April and took up his post on I July. He would serve the American firm until 1909 when he declared his wish to return to London. The death of his father in that year may have had some influence on this. In his eight years, the firm achieved prodigious growth, opening offices in San Francisco, Mexico City, Seattle, Montreal, Boston and Toronto. He also played a major role in the US accounting profession. All this came at a cost of a breakdown in his health. Sir Nicholas Waterhouse described him as ‘a man of terrific and unbounded energy’ and as having ‘the kindest and most sympathetic disposition. ’ 

Like a number of partners in Price Waterhouse, in 1915 Arthur volunteered to the war effort and served the Ministry of Munitions as financial adviser to the controlled establishment division. This division managed the factories around the country which had devoted production to the war effort.   Arthur, together with five other Price Waterhouse partners were awarded knighthoods for their war work. 

Arthur was married to Ellen Smith Williams, eldest daughter of William Smith Williams who discovered Charlotte Bronte. He was son of the celebrated artist Lowes Dickinson and brother of Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson one of the thinkers behind the League of Nations.