Hillier, Eliza (Papers)

Scope and Content

Letters of the Eliza Mary Hillier (née Medhurst) and close family, 1846-1856; along with word-processed transcripts of this correspondence and notes compiled by Andrew Hillier in 2012.

Administrative / Biographical History

Eliza Mary Medhurst (afterwards Hillier) was born on 24th July 1828 in Parrapattan, Batavia, Java [Indonesia]. She was the third surviving child of the London Missionary Society (LMS) missionary Walter Henry Medhurst D.D. (1796-1857) and Elizabeth Medhurst (née Braune; 1794-1874). In 1844, Eliza Medhurst and her family moved from Java to Shanghai, following the appointment of her father to a LMS mission station in that city.

On 28th May 1846, Eliza Medhurst married Charles Batten Hillier, an Assistant Magistrate in the British territory of Hong Kong, whom she had met on the Medhurst's travels from Java to Shanghai. Eliza Hillier relocated to Hong Kong, where the couple lived for 10 years. Eliza Hillier had six children, four of whom survived. In 1856, Charles Hillier was appointed as the first British Consul to Siam [Thailand] and the family moved from Hong Kong to Bangkok. However, Charles Hillier died of an illness in Thailand (possibly amoebic dysentery) in the October of the same year. Following the death of her husband, a pregnant Eliza Hillier relocated to England on 2nd January 1857 and gave birth to the couple's seventh child. Eliza and her children first lived in Cambridge and then Cardington, Bedfordshire. In 1862, Eliza Hillier moved to Tiverton, Devon to continue the education of her children, where she met and married Charles Marshall-Hole, a local solicitor, with whom she had two children. Eliza died on 20th February 1886.


Divided into two series: 'Correspondence' and 'Transcripts'.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposited at SOAS Library in February 2012 by Andrew Hillier, great-great grandson of Eliza Medhurst.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish, please contact Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library in the first instance

Copyright held by Andrew Hillier