Octavia Hill‘s Homes of the London Poor is a reprint of a series of articles originally published in the Fortnightly review and Macmillan’s magazine. Published in 1875 by Macmillan, Hill’s observations of the living environment of London’s working poor assumes the detail of a social anthropologist, and provide insight into her motivations as a social reformer, advocate for the urban poor, social housing and the preservation of suburban woodlands and urban open spaces.
The Archives and Special Collections have also acquired a small pamphlet “Memoranda of observations and experiments in education“ written by Octavia Hill’s mother, Caroline Southwood Smith Hill in the early nineteenth century. The daughter of early sanitary reformer, Dr. Thomas Southwood Smith, Caroline was concerned with educational reform, particularly as it related to mothers.
Manufacturers occasionally developed improvement schemes within their own operations. York University has acquired a collection of letters written by J.P. Wilson to employees at the Price’s Patent Candle Company in Belmont, England, a factory owned by his family. Published in 1851, the collection illustrates some of the educational reforms employed by some factory owners in the nineteenth century in an effort to improve the lives of their employees.
Andrew Ure’s “The philosophy of manufactures ; or, An exposition of the scientific, moral, and commercial economy of the factory system of Great Britain” was published in 1835 and addresses work conditions in English textile mills in the early industrial age.
These items can be accessed in the Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections Reading Room.
Wohl, A. S., “Octavia Hill and the Homes of the London Poor”, The Journal of British Studies, vol. 10 : no. 2 (May, 1971), pp. 105–31.