Scope and Content

The papers comprise correspondence, printed publications and cuttings relating to Liberal politics, free trade, womens suffrage and the National Trust. It includes some letters from Millicent Garrett Fawcett.

Administrative / Biographical History

Dorothy Hunter was one of three daughters of Sir Robert Hunter (1844-1913) of Meadfield, Haslemere, a pioneer of the open spaces movement and co-founder of the National Trust. He became in 1869 a partner in the firm of solicitors (Fawcett, Horne and Hunter) who worked for the Commons Preservation Society; in 1882 he became Solicitor to the GPO. The accumulation contains letters to him from Octavia Hill, Canon Rawnsley and others about the preservation of open spaces both before and after the foundation of the National Trust in 1895.

Dorothy had a highly successful career as a 'girl orator' between 1904 and 1910, speaking for the Liberal Party on behalf of Free Trade and Women's Suffrage. She later worked both nationally and locally for these and other causes which her father had had at heart, including The National Trust and Commons and Footpaths Preservation Society. Her work in all these spheres is illustrated here, though there is less material for her later years, and practically none directly concerned with her 18 years as a member of Haslemere Urban District Council, where she was chairman of the Planning Committee. She also served on other local organisations. The bundles of letters for the years when she was active in politics include several from Millicent Fawcett and other prominent members of the women's movement. There are letters to and from Lady Hunter, and from Dorothy's sisters Winifred and Margaret Hunter (later Mrs Mason), and from Sir Roberts's sister, Miss Anne Hunter (who lived in Kingston-on-Thames), some of them written during the First World War. Miss Anne Hunter's papers include letters from missionary members of the Lachlan family, to which Sir Robert's mother belonged.

References to suffrage activity have been extracted as part of Surrey Heritage's March of the Women project which focused on the growth of the suffrage campaign in Surrey.

Access Information

There are no access restrictions.

Acquisition Information

Deposited on long loan in June 1977 by Mrs Ruth Maunsell, Miss Hunter's niece and executrix.

Other Finding Aids

An item level description of the archive is available on the Surrey History Centre online catalogue

Related Material

For further papers of Sir Robert Hunter, see 1621.