Octavia Hill (1838-1912), social reformer and philanthropist, letters
Many of the letters in this collection are to a Miss Schuster who provided financial support for her projects. She was assisted by her sisters and workers trained by her. Octavia Hill was also a co-founder of the National Trust.
The other main collections of letters are to Sydney J Cockerell and his son Sir Sydney C Cockerell (1867-1962) who was secretary to William Morris and the Kelmscott Press from 1892 to 1898 and Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge between 1908 and 1937.
Records were donated by Mrs N H Nicholls in March 1956.
Administrative / biographical background:
Octavia Hill helped in the artistic training of John Ruskin (1819-1900), writer and artist, who she later interested him in the problem of housing reform. It was through him that the first houses for improvement were purchased in 1865. The venture was later placed on a business footing and was supported by public donations.