Mary Hobhouse


Mary Hobhouse was married to Lord Arthur Hobhouse, who served on the Viceroy's Legal Council in India. Upon their return to England in 1877, they became members of the National Indian Association. Mary Hobhouse often chaired the committee meetings of the Association, particularly from 1886 until 1901. She and her husband were leading figures of the Association until they died within months of each other in 1904 and 1905. The couple had no children.

After Cornelia Sorabji wrote to the National Indian Association in 1888, Lady Hobhouse was instrumental in raising funds for Cornelia Sorabji to study in Britain. Hobhouse wrote a letter to The Times and established a fund that was also advertised in the Queen. Contributors included E. A. Manning, Florence Nightingale, Madeleine Shaw Lefevre, Sir William Wedderburn and many other British figures. When Sorabji came to England in 1889, the Hobhouses saw Sorabji regularly and encouraged her to take up the teaching and then the legal line rather than medicine as Sorabji had originally envisaged.

Mary Hobhouse often contributed to the Journal of the National Indian Association (Indian Magazine at this time). Contributions included a review of Manmohan Ghose and Laurence Binyon's Primavera in 1890 and an edited selection of extracts from the diary of Mehdi Hasan Khan's visit to London in the same year.


Letter to The Times, 13 April 1888, p. 4.


Mary Hobhouse discusses the case of Cornelia Sorabji and her desire to be educated in England.

Contributions to periodicals: 

Indian Magazine

Queen: The Lady's Newspaper, 24 Auust 1889 (article on Sorabji's fund)


Miss Sorabji is very desirous to come to England and to pass the examination requisite to gain an Oxford or a Cambridge degree (the degree itself being as yet not granted to womenkind) since this would be a great advantage to her in her destined career in India. Difficulties, chiefly of a pecuniary character, prevent her at present from following this course, and unless an opening or a friend should arise she means to prepare to take the MA degree at the Bombay University, with a view to continuing the useful work of teaching and of helping her countrywomen directly and indirectly by the stimulus of her example.

The thought that perhaps others, like myself, may feel interested in watching Miss Sorabji's courageous course must be my excuse for troubling you with this letter.

Secondary works: 

Burton, Antoinette, At the Heart of the Empire: Indians and the Colonial Encounter in Late-Victorian Britain (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998)

Hobhouse, L. T., and Hammond, J. L., Lord Hobhouse: A Memoir (London: Edwin Arnold, 1905)

Hobhouse, Mary, Letters from India, 1872-1877 (Printed for private circulation, British Library, 1906)


The involvement of Mary Hobhouse in Cornelia Sorabji's case and her indirect appeal through The Times for financial help for Sorabji.

Archive source: 

Mss Eur F165, correspondence between Lady Hobhouse and Cornelia Sorabji, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Mss Eur F147, National Indian Association minutes, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Other names: 

Lady Hobhouse

Date of death: 
02 May 1905
Location of death: 
London, England

Benjamin Jowett


Benjamin Jowett was Master of Balliol College, Oxford, from 1870 to 1893. He had been Regius Professor of Greek from 1855 and was made Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 1882. While Jowett was Master of Balliol, forty-nine Indians were at the university, and twenty-two of those at Balliol. Jowett had the reputation of attracting students from all over the world. He was particularly concerned with university reform and was consulted on reforms to the Indian Civil Service. Jowett saw three successive viceroys of India come through Balliol (Lansdowne, Elgin, Curzon), and many young men undertook their probationary training for the ICS at Balliol. As Vice-Chancellor, Jowett opened the Indian Institute in Oxford on 14 October 1884.

Jowett notably befriended Cornelia Sorabji, sister of Richard Sorabji who was at Balliol 1890-3. Cornelia Sorabji studed law at Somerville College, 1889-93, and was the first woman to study law at Oxford. Jowett introduced Sorabji to leading contemporary figures in politics, law, social service, and literature while she was at Oxford. 

Date of birth: 
15 Apr 1817
Secondary works: 

Abbott, Evelyn and Campbell, Lewis, Life and Letters of Benjamin Jowett (London: John Murray, 1897)

Brown, Judith M., Windows into the Past: Life Histories and the Historian of South Asia (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2009)

Faber, G. C., Jowett: A Portrait with a Background (London: Faber, 1958)

Hinchliff, Peter, Benjamin Jowett and the Christian Religion (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987)

Hinchliff, Peter and Prest, John, ‘Jowett, Benjamin (1817–1893)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2006) []

Jones, John, Balliol College: A History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998, 2nd edition 1997)

Quinn, Vincent and Prest, John, Dear Miss Nightingale: A Selection of Benjamin Jowett's Letters to Florence Nightingale 1860-1893 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987)

Sorabji, Cornelia, India Calling (London: Nisbet & Co., 1934)

Symonds, Richard, Oxford and Empire: The Last Lost Cause? (New York: St Martins Press, 1986)

Archive source: 

Letters regarding Indians, the ICS and Sorabji, Balliol College Archives, Oxford

Mss Eur F165, letters to Cornelia Sorabji, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Mss Eur F111-112, letters to Curzon, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Other letters, Bodleian Library, Oxford

Other letters, British Library Manuscript Collection, St Pancras

City of birth: 
Camberwell, London
Country of birth: 
Date of death: 
01 Oct 1893
Location of death: 
Hampshire, England
Tags for Making Britain: 

Elizabeth Adelaide Manning


Born in 1828, Elizabeth Adelaide Manning was involved in the formation of the London branch of the National Indian Association in February 1871 with her step-mother, Charlotte Manning, at their home at 107 Victoria Street, London. Charlotte Manning died soon after in April 1871 and her step-daughter later moved to Maida Vale. After the death of the founder, Mary Carpenter, in Bristol in 1877, Manning became Honorary Secretary of the NIA and the headquarters were shifted to London. With the role of Honorary Secretary, Manning also became editor of The Journal of the National Indian Association. Manning was involved in the renaming of the journal to The Indian Magazine in 1886 and then to The Indian Magazine and Review in 1891. She remained Honorary Secretary until July 1905, when she had to resign owing to ill-health.

Through a twenty-eight year stewardship of the National Indian Association, Manning's name became synonomous with the Association. Cornelia Sorabji stayed with Miss Manning when she first arrived in England in 1889 and maintained links with the Association throughout her life. Sukumar Ray visited the Association in 1911 and described the organization as 'Miss Manning's Association' in letters to his parents.

On her death in 1905, the Indian Magazine and Review produced a special memorial issue in October on that year. The issue included personal recollections from M. M. Bhownaggree, Syed Ameer Ali and Dadabhai Naoroji. In the November 1905 issue, the journal printed an obituary poem by N. B. Gazder, entitled 'In Memory of Elizabeth Adelaide Manning'. The NIA was one of the institutions to which Miss Manning bequeathed money in her will.

Date of birth: 
01 Jan 1828

A. Yusuf AliSyed Ameer Ali, Mr and Mrs Thomas Arnold, Surendranath Banerjea, E. J. Beck (successor as Honorary secretary of NIA), Mancherjee Merwanjee Bhowanaggree, Mary Carpenter (founder of NIA), Emily Davies, N. B. Gazder, Lalmohan Ghose, Lord and Lady Hobhouse, Dr G. W. Leitner, Charlotte Manning (step-mother), Sarojini Naidu, Dadabhai Naoroji, Hodgson Pratt, Cornelia Sorabji.


Contributions to periodicals: 

Editor of Journal of National Indian Association, Indian Magazine and Indian Magazine and Review from 1877 to 1905

Precise DOB unknown: 

The Times, 14 August  1905 (obituary)

Memorial Issue - Indian Magazine and Review, 418 (Oct 1905)

Secondary works: 

Sutherland, Gillian, ‘Manning, (Elizabeth) Adelaide (1828–1905)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2007) []

Archive source: 

Minutes of the National Indian Association, 1871-1905, Mss Eur F147/2-9, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Correspondence and papers, GB12 Ms Add 6379, Cambridge University Library

Other names: 

Miss Manning

E. A. Manning

Adelaide Manning

Date of death: 
10 Aug 1905
Location of death: 
London, England
Tags for Making Britain: 
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