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Hutchinson, Marjorie Eileen Henrietta Grice- [married name Marjorie Eileen Henrietta von Schlippenbach], Baroness von Schlippenbach (1909–2003), historian of economic thought and Hispanist, was born on 26 May 1909 at The Lodge, Silverdale Road, Eastbourne, Sussex, the only child of George William Grice-Hutchinson (1877–1959), solicitor and philanthropist, and his wife, Edith Louise, née Eastwick (1878–1972). Her youth and education were atypical: she had tutors chosen for their knowledge of languages, art, music, and history. She mastered French, Latin, Spanish, and German. Her formal education was at the University of London (King's and Birkbeck colleges), where she studied Spanish.

In the mid-1920s Grice-Hutchinson's father acquired an estate near Malaga and lived there for the rest of his life. His extensive philanthropic efforts, aided by his daughter, included the founding of a school for girls, the provision of a medical dispensary, and financial assistance to the impoverished of the community. He possessed a yacht and used it to procure medicines from Gibraltar for the clinic. With the advent of the civil war he transported followers of Franco and later Republicans to Gibraltar, thus saving them from political assassination. Although he had had a successful law firm in London his wealth was derived from elsewhere: according to his daughter, in 1914–15 he had aided a young American, Count Louis Zborowski, by appeasing his creditors until he came into his inheritance. The count's father had been wealthy and his mother was a direct descendant of John Jacob Astor. The count was so impressed with Grice-Hutchinson's abilities that he ultimately offered him a contract to attend to his legal concerns. The contract guaranteed him a portion of the count's estate. Zborowski went on to co-design racing cars (including Chitty Bang Bang, the inspiration for Ian Fleming's children's novel, and the Higham Special, re-christened Babs, in which J. G. Parry-Thomas was killed while trying to break the land speed record in 1927) as well as drive in the major races. In 1924 he was killed driving in the Italian grand prix at Monza. William Grice-Hutchinson successfully sued the heirs for his compensation.

In Malaga, Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson met and became close friends with the writers Gerald Brenan and Gamel Woolsey. Together they experienced the first years of the Spanish Civil War. In 1994 she wrote an introduction to a Spanish translation of Woolsey's Death's Other Kingdom, a depiction of these years in Malaga. During the Second World War she used her skills as a translator for the (UK) Foreign Office. Following the war she taught briefly at King's College, London, before becoming a lecturer and head of the Spanish department at Birkbeck College; she also taught translation at the London School of Economics.

It was at the London School of Economics that Grice-Hutchinson took a course in the history and theory of economics offered by Friedrich von Hayek. Marjorie noted that nine of Hayek's twenty lectures were devoted to economic thought prior to Adam Smith and she approached him with the idea of researching the early economic literature in Spain. He encouraged her, but it was the Spanish historian Carmelo Viñas y Mey who directed her to the study La época del mercantilismo en Castilla (1500–1700) by José Larraz López, published in 1943. In Larraz's book she encountered the Spanish scholastics whose works in Latin and Spanish in the latter part of the sixteenth century displayed an early grasp of economic theory, particularly with regard to monetary concerns. The works of the scholars at the University of Salamanca (followers of Francisco de Vitoria) became the centrepiece of her ‘little’ book, as she would later refer to it, The School of Salamanca: Readings in Spanish Monetary Theory, 1544–1605 (1952). This book, which included translations from Latin and Spanish of the writings of members or continuators of the school, was widely and appreciatively reviewed by historians. Grice-Hutchinson, in her introduction, quoted Cervante's Don Quixote: ‘Tis vain to look for birds in last year's nest’. Yet she found in these late scholastics a response to the political, social, and economic challenges that the discovery of the Americas had imposed on Europe, especially on Spain. Just as much earlier scholarship had found the genesis of international law in the writings of this school, so too could be found advances in economic theory.

Grice-Hutchinson married the landowner Baron (Felix) Ulrich von Schlippenbach (son of Baron Felix von Schlippenbach, mining engineer) at Christ Church, Kensington, on 20 October 1951. She was then forty-two, and he a widower of fifty-one. After her marriage she resigned her position at Birkbeck and moved with him to his property near Malaga. She clearly relished and participated in the challenges of the pre-mechanized agriculture and a rural culture as yet unaffected by tourism. Much of this was captured in her books Malaga Farm (1956) and Children of the Vega: Growing Up on a Farm in Spain (1963). The first was a meticulous study of the Malaga region: its people, agriculture, culture, and history. The second was written in the voice of two fictional farm children. As Luis Perdices de Blas noted, both books demonstrated her pedagogical instinct and talent. Although both were written in English they became historically valuable to Spanish readers. Malaga Farm was translated and published as Un cortijo en Málaga in 2001. She was working on a translation of the second book at the time of her death.

Grice-Hutchinson continued to aid her father in his charitable endeavours until his death in 1959. She later donated much of his property to the University of Malaga for botanical research. In 1978 she published Early Economic Thought in Spain, 1177–1740. This study effectively placed ‘the School of Salamanca’ into a broader context, that of Iberian intellectual contributions to the economic thought of Islamic, Hebraic, and Christian writers. In the quarter-century since her first academic effort the sub-discipline of the history of economic thought had blossomed. Some prominent writers in the field had recognized the Spanish contribution while others had not. In 1979 the department of economics of the University of Malaga made her an honorary member. From then until her death she was active academically, presenting and publishing papers. In 1993 eight of these articles were published as Economic Thought in Spain: Selected Essays of Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson, which appeared two years later in Spanish. The latter version included two more essays: one on the economic thought of St Thomas Aquinas and one on popular economic thought in fourteenth-century Castile.

Following her husband's death in the mid-1980s Grice-Hutchinson moved to a residencia in the city of Malaga. She placed her title of Baroness on the entrance and once commented that it had its social utilities. She did not lack for merited titles. For her charitable work she was awarded the Cinta de Dama in the Spanish Order of Civil Merit in 1959. She was made an MBE for her long-time efforts to maintain the protestant British cemetery in Malaga. The Ateneo of Malaga gave her its gold medal in 2002, and the provincial government of Malaga had intended to name her its ‘Adopted Daughter’ to coincide with her ninety-fourth birthday. Her academic recognition included honorary doctorates from the University of Malaga (1992) and the Complutense University of Madrid (1993). In 1994 she was made a distinguished fellow by the History of Economics Society. She was awarded the Castilla y León prize in social sciences and humanities in 1996. In 2001 she was made an honorary member of the European History of Economics Society.

Grice-Hutchinson's long, active life allowed her to witness many studies honouring her contribution to the intellectual history of economics, a legacy which continued to flourish after her death. Those who knew her all stressed her personal qualities. Luis Perdices de Blas summed them up, referring to her ‘exquisite education, her intelligence, her sympathy and her generosity’ (Perdices de Blas and Reeder, 16). She once helped a student, Dolores Garvayo, with her doctoral thesis. Garvayo commented: ‘Out of all my findings the most important was meeting Marjorie … When I am older I want to be like Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson’ (Sur in English, 9–15 May 2003). She died of heart failure on 12 April 2003 and her ashes were buried in the English cemetery in Malaga.

Christopher K. Ryan

Sources  

A. Gámez, ‘La memoría económica: Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson’, España Económica, 3741 (1992), 62–4 · L. Moss and C. Ryan, introduction, in M. Grice-Hutchinson, Economic thought in Spain (1993) · A. Gámez, ‘Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson’, in R. W. Dimand, M. A. Dimand, and E. L. Forget, A biographical dictionary of women economists (2000) · L. Gómez Rivas, ‘Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson y los orígenes del liberalismo en España’, La Ilustración Liberal, 11 (2002), 81–90 · Sur in English (18–24 April 2003) · The Independent (21 April 2003) · The Times (8 May 2003) · D. Garvayo, ‘Meeting Marjorie’, Sur in English (9–15 May 2003) · N. Barry, ‘The origins of liberty and the market: the work of Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson (1909–2003)’, Economic Affairs, 23/3 (Sept 2003), 42–4 · L. Perdices de Blas and J. Reeder, ‘Estudio introductorio: Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson y la Escuela de Salamanca’, La Escuela de Salamanca: una interpretación de la teoría monetaria española, 1544–1606 (2005) · L. Cevera Navas, ‘My family memories of Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson in Malaga, southern Spain’, American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 67/4 (Oct 2008), 535–45 · C. Ryan, ‘Working with Larry Moss and Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson’, American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 69/1 (Jan 2010), 85–9 · personal knowledge (2012) · private information (2012) · b. cert. · m. cert.

Likenesses  

photograph, 1993, repro. in Cevera Navas, ‘My family memories’, American Journal of Economics and Sociology