Malcolm Edward Falkus

Malcolm Falkus (13 January 1940 – 28 November 2017) was an economic historian, a lecturer at the London School of Economics, and a former professor and head of the Department of Economic History at the University of New England, New South Wales, Australia.


Malcolm Edward Falkus
Born 13 January 1940

Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, UK
Died 28 November 2017

Arrandale Lodge 431 Earlham Road Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Cause of death Suicide: Hanging by the Neck
Nationality British
Alma mater London School of Economics
Occupation Economic Historian
Years active 1966-2000
Employer London School of Economics, Department of Economic History University of New England Australia
Known for Author and Professor of Economic History
  • Hugh Edward Lance Falkus (father)
  • Doris Marjorie Falkus née Walter (mother)
Relatives Christopher Hugh Falkus (twin brother)

. . . Malcolm Edward Falkus . . .

Malcolm Edward Falkus was born on 13 January 1940 in Westcliff-on-Sea Essex England,[1][2] the son of the writer, filmmaker and presenter Hugh Edward Lance Falkus and Doris Marjorie Falkus (née Walter). He and his twin brother, the publisher Christopher Hugh Falkus, were educated at a Marist Convent in Paignton, Devon and then at St Boniface’s College, Plymouth.[3]

Malcolm took a first class degree at the London School of Economics where he subsequently became a lecturer in economic history. While at the LSE he published several significant scholarly works on economic and social history including The Industrialisation of Russia, 1700-1914 (1972)[4] and Britain Transformed: an Economic and Social History, 1700-1914 (1987).[5] In the 1980s and 1990s Falkus was commissioned to write several remunerated corporate histories. A history of North Thames Gas was originally planned in 1982 and a version was ready by 1985.[6] However, in the wake of the UK Government’s decision to privatise the gas industry publication was delayed until 1988 so that the entire history of the public ownership of North Thames Gas from 1949 to 1986 could be covered.[7] Other corporate histories were of the accountancy firm Coopers and Lybrand (1993)[8] and the Blue Funnel Steam Ship Company (1995).[9] 

In 1988 he succeeded Ron Neal as professor of economic history in Department of Economic History at the University of New England, Armidale, Australia.[10] Falkus was instrumental in the development of the Department as a major centre for study of Asian economics. He became the first Director of the UNE-Asia Centre (UNEAC). Falkus was the general editor of the two book series ‘Studies in the Economies of East and South Asia’[11] and ‘A Modern Economic History of Southeast Asia’.[12][10]

Falkus retired from UNEAC on his 60th birthday (13 January 2000) and then went to live in Thailand. He claimed that while there he compiled a Thai-Khmer dictionary, for which no reference is available. In 2001 he was commissioned by the World Bank to compile a series of labour law manuals for Cambodia.[10] He moved to Pattaya, Thailand in 2004. In June 2008 Falkus was arrested in Pattaya and charged with paying 12-year-old boys for sex, and was bailed on a surety of 200,000 baht.[13] He denied being either gay or a pedophile and stated he never lured young boys anywhere and for any purposes.[14] He evaded prosecution and went to Cambodia.

Falkus returned to the UK and lived in Norwich, Norfolk. On 28 November 2017 he was found hanged by the neck (aged 77) at his home in Arrandale Lodge Earlham Road Norwich. The Norfolk Coroner opened an inquest on 2 February 2018, and an in camera inquiry hearing was held on 2 October 2018 when the coroner gave a verdict of suicide.[15][2][16] His funeral service was held at St George’s Catholic parish on 11 December 2017.[17] He died intestate and administration of his estate was granted in London on 19 March 2018.[18] Several former colleagues posted a flattering obituary that is no longer available on the University of New England’s website.

. . . Malcolm Edward Falkus . . .

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. . . Malcolm Edward Falkus . . .