"High thinking and plain living" is said to typify an elite segment of British society in the later-19th century and throughout much of the 20th. These qualities abounded in the intense and close network of personal, family and professional relationships among families with long-standing traditions of public service, and in industry, commerce and the professions, including the churches, medicine, the law, and in education and the universities. An outcome of this was the movement to establish "settlements" in deprived urban areas - largely in London. A list of those involved reads like a "Who's Who" of the great and good during this period - Gladstone, Jowett, Toynbee, the Webbs, Tawney, and on to the present day.
Settlements were refuges and centres for social work. They provided help with home management, family care, work with children, education and training, health, sport and recreation. The impulse contributed to the establishment of the welfare state, and the work of the Settlement Movement, though overshadowed by the provision of state-run welfare in the late-20th century.