Autograph Letter Signed to "Mrs Seymour" containing some logistics relating to her work, appointing a man to a job, and mentioning how busy she is ("I have little time for correspondence"),
HILL Octavia 1838 -1912. Housing and social reformer (1895)
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Hill mentions her opinion of "Mr Lock" (almost certainly the secretary of the Charitable Organisation Society (COS), of which she had been a member for a number of years) - "there is no one whose opinion I should so entirely trust on a matter of this kind. He has a rare and deep sympathy with men of all kinds, and a perception of character and power which make him nearly always know how to fit the right man in..." - and suggesting Mrs Seymour liaise with him directly regarding the appointment. Also mentioning another gentleman: "I conclude you will arrange something about Mr Chance being hospitably put up for the night." The COS shared a similar outlook to Hill who believed in self-respect: both she and the institution deplored dependence fostered by kindly but unrigorous philanthropy (ODNB).
Hill was one of the driving forces in the late nineteenth in developing social housing for the poor, particularly in cities such as London. Ruskin was an early friend and admirer whose financial backing (after the death of his father in 1864) allowed for Hill's long-held dream to establish improved housing for ‘my friends among the poor’ to become a reality. Hill also believed in the importance of the availability of open spaces, campaigned against urban development in areas still protected today (including Hampstead Heath and Parliament Hill Fields) and was one of three founders of the National Trust.
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