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Collection Overview

Hill, Matthew Davenport, 1792-1872
Matthew Davenport Hill Family Correspondence
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 0.25 linear feet
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 1


Consists of a small collection of letters addressed to members of the family of English penal reformer Matthew Davenport Hill.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection consists of a small collection of letters addressed to members of the family of English penal reformer Matthew Davenport Hill, with additional letters and other material, mostly addressed to the same recipients. Correspondents include Elihu Burritt, Richard Cobden, Dinah Maria Craik, Maria Edgeworth, James Anthony Froude, Alexander von Humboldt, Cardinal Newman, Sir Robert Peel, Anne Thackeray Ritchie, William Makepeace Thackeray, and Charlotte Mary Yonge.


Arranged alphabetically by correspondent in one series:

Collection Creator Biography:

Hill, Matthew Davenport, 1792-1872

William Davenport Hill was the eldest child of a successful English family. He began as a teacher, but, determined to read law, he became the first man from Birmingham to be called to the bar, where he was a close associate of Henry Brougham, and was appointed Recorder of Birmingham. Hill used this platform over many years to press for penal reform, concentrating particularly on juvenile crime and reform schools. His younger brothers included the inventor of the penny post, Sir Rowland Hill, and the prison inspector Frederic Hill; he also had several daughters who carried on his work of penal reform: Florence Davenport Hill, Rosamond Davenport Hill, and Joanna Margaret Hill.

Collection History


Purchased from Christopher Edwards in 2008 (AM2008-103).


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by John Delaney in May 2008. Finding aid written by John Delaney in May 2008 from notes provided by Christopher Edwards.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Matthew Davenport Hill Family Correspondence; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 1