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London Metropolitan Archives

BARNETT, Henrietta (1851-1936)


Reference code(s): GB 0074 LMA/4063

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives

Title: BARNETT, Henrietta (1851-1936)

Date(s): 1891-1936

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 0.15 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Barnett | Dame | Henrietta Octavia Weston | 1851-1936 | social reformer and author


Administrative/Biographical 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.


Scope and content/abstract:

These records comprise 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.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Documents in chronological order.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the City of London.

Physical characteristics:


Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Records purchased in 1998.


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.

DESCRIPTION NOTES Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: August to October 2010.

Autobiographies | Prose | Literary forms and genres | Literature
Biographies | Prose | Literary forms and genres | Literature
Social reform | Social policy
Social reformers | People by roles | People
Travel writing | Nonfiction | Prose | Literary forms and genres | Literature

Personal names
Barnett | Dame | Henrietta Octavia Weston | 1851-1936 | social reformer and author

Corporate names

India | South Asia
Italy | Western Europe | Europe
Japan | East Asia
London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
USA | North America