John Lawrence Hammond was the son of a Yorkshire clergyman. In 1901, he married fellow author and social historian (Lucy) Barbara Bradby (1873-1961), the daughter of a headmaster of Haileybury College. She had studied the classics at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University. They collaborated in writing many works, including the series The Village Labourer (1911), The Town Labourer (1917) and The Skilled Labourer (1919), which etched starkly the lives of poor workers during the Industrial Revolution. In 1933, Oxford University gave recognition to the parity of their contribution by conferring on each of them an honorary D.Litt. degree. He was also editor of the Liberal weekly The Speaker -- which later became The Nation -- from 1899 to 1906, and was the Manchester Guardian's special correspondent at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 and the Conference on Ireland in 1921. He contribute numerous articles, reviews, and occasional editorials to the paper and in World War II became a permanent member of its staff.