Hill, Octavia

Octavia Hill (1838 to 1912). Housing pioneer. Her first social work involved teaching girls from a Ragged School when she was 14 years old in her mother's Christian Socialist Ladies' Guild. She trained as a paintings copyist by John Ruskin from 1855.

Hill helped with Barbara Bodichon's petition for the rights of married women in 1856 and taught French and drawing at Barbara Bodichon's School, Portman Hall in Marylebone.

Hill was Secretary to the women's classes at the Working Men's College in Red Lion Square, London. In 1862, she opened a girls' school with her sister in their house. She taught at the Working Women's College, Queen Square London from 1864.

In 1865, Hill began her housing work when Ruskin bought the lease for houses in Paradise Place (now Garbutt Place). She was a co-founder of the National Trust in 1885. (Robert Whelan, editor, 'Octavia Hill's Letters to Fellow Workers 1872-1911').