London Metropolitan Archives - Item Details


Date of Creation:


Reference Code:


Scope and Content:
  • These records comprise of Dame Henrietta Barnett's 'Autobiographical Memoirs' together with autograph letters and other papers in manuscript and typescript by Henrietta and her friend and literary agent Marion Paterson. Most of the records concern travel to the USA, Japan, India and Italy.
Extent: 0.15 linear metres
Classification: COLLECTIONS
Site Location: London Metropolitan Archives
Level of Description:

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Administrative History:
  • Henrietta Barnett née Rowland was born on 4th May 1851 into a well to do family. From an early age she became involved with charity work being a district visitor for the Charity Organisation Society where she met her future husband the Rev. Samuel Barnett, curate at St. Mary's church Bryanston Square. They married in 1873 on 28th January and moved to Whitechapel when Rev. Barnett was appointed vicar of St. Judes Church, Commercial Road, Whitechapel. Henrietta lived and worked here for thirty years 1873 to 1902 in poverty stricken East End of London.

    She was a determined lady who had a wide experience of social work as the first woman Poor Law Guardian 1875, a member of the Departmental Committee of Inquiry into the condition of Poor Law Schools, the co-founder of the Children's Country Holiday Fund 1884, and the co-founder of both Whitechapel Art Gallery 1901-1936 and Toynbee Hall.

    Henrietta Barnett also had a dream of 'a huge estate on which all classes could live in neighbourliness together with friendships coming about naturally without artificial efforts to build bridges between one class and another'. This vision was realised in 1906 as Hampstead Garden Suburb and in May 1907 the first sod was cut.

    Henrietta Barnett died in 1936 at the age of 85.
Creator: Barnett | Dame | Henrietta Octavia Weston | 1851-1936 | social reformer and author
Copyright: City of London
Source of Acquisition:
  • Records purchased in 1998 with the aid of the V&A purchase grant fund www.V& <http://www.V&>
  • B98/135
Access Restrictions: These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information may be subject to access restrictions
Physical Condition: Fit
Arrangement: Documents in chronological order.
Related Material: ACC/3813 records of Hampstead Garden Suburb.
A/TOY records of Toynbee Hall founded in 1884 by Rev. Samuel Barnett.
F/BAR family papers gathered by Henrietta Barnett for the purpose of recalling events in her own life and of writing the life of her husband Canon Barnett published in 1918.