Remembering Barbara Wootton
Barbara Wootton died in 1988 at the age of 91. She had been active in public life until her late 80s. At the time she died she was still a well-known figure.

Here are some extracts from the many obituaries that appeared after her death.

Sir Campbell Adamson in the Family Policy Bulletin
Barbara Wootton, one of the most remarkable women of her time, found success in so many fields that anyone not knowing her might be forgiven for imagining a formidable, even frightening person...In fact, she was not only approachable but had a remarkable capacity for friendship ...A burning desire to remove injustice and bring about change, without ever losing her sense of humour about her current preoccupation, was the magnet which drew so many to her.

Terry Morris in The British Journal of Sociology
As a persona in public life she enjoyed an academic eminence that none ever seriously challenged...It was in the formulation of practical policies that had the merit of both practicality and social acceptance that she was most successful.

O.R. McGregor in The Times
She was an iconoclast whose formidably critical mind challenged many conventional wisdoms by posing often embarrassing questions in fields as widely spread as sociology, social administration, criminology, law and social philosophy. From her first academic book, Plan or No Plan of 1934, to her last, Crime and Penal Policy, published when  she was 81, her elegant and limpid writing had compelling influence upon students and policy makers.

Tony Gould in New Society
Barbara was already an octogenarian when I first met her, and I was half her age. We began to meet regularly for lunch, always in the House of Lords ...We took it in turns to pay – equality in this as in other things...

Philip Bean in The British Journal of Criminology
Barbara Wootton was one of the most distinguished social scientists of the century. Her impact in social science generally and criminology in particular has been profound. She shaped the boundaries and provided the substance of many contemporary debates. She touched, and changed much: we take for granted her questions, and her conclusions have become our conclusions,. That is a measure of her influence...
Barbara Wootton was a polymath able to span academic disciplines with ease – in fact she probably did not recognise those tidy academic boundaries which other social scientists have been so eager to construct....Her insistence upon evidence to support all social science debates remained throughout her long academic was not that she wrote well, or that her writings had a certain elegance. It was who she was that was important. Her influence on Government was to provide that type of clear thinking liberalism which was as necessary then as it is today.

Robert Pinker in The Independent
Barbara Wootton will rank as one of the outstanding social scientists of our time. In her long and many faceted career she persistently and successfully advocated the application of scientific method to the analysis and resolution of social problems...In so many of the debates which have stemmed from the key issues of social and criminological policy over the past 50 years, the lucid, commonsensical and humane writings of Barbara Wootton have gone directly to the heart of the matter. All her work was informed by an irreverent wit, a deadly eye for humbug, a deep respect for scholarship and an abiding commitment to social justice.

Lena Jeger in The Guardian
Barbara Wootton was one of the most distinguished and diversely experienced women of this century....In the academic world her original and erudite work in sociology and economics brought new dimensions to these disciplines. Her innovative contributions are now so firmly established that several generations take for granted the present contours of their studies.

Barbara Wootton was not religious and did not believe that bodies mattered once their inhabitants had died. Her body was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium in North London and the ashes scattered in Section I-L of the Crematorium’s Garden of Remembrance. The photo on the right shows the Crematorium's card index entry for Barbara, and the photo at the top the section of the Garden where her ashes were scattered. There was no memorial service.