Octavia Hill, Social Reformer

13 August -- Commemoration
If celebrated as a Lesser Festival, Common of any Saint, page 527

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.