Octavia Hill, Social Reformer
13 August -- Commemoration
Octavia Hill was born in 1838 into a family active in social
work, and, during her teens, she was influenced by the
friendship of F D Maurice and John Ruskin. Earning her
living through teaching, Octavia was appalled at the
conditions in which most of her pupils lived. Borrowing
money, she bought some slum properties and began to manage
them in a more sympathetic way, insisting on financial
viability rather than mere charity. The success of the
scheme led to its extension and Octavia became a pioneer of
housing reform. Strongly motivated by her faith, she never
allowed her growing fame to undermine her personal humility.
She continued her work until her death on this day in 1912.
If celebrated as a Lesser Festival,
Common of any Saint, page 527