Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement/Hubbard, Louisa Maria

HUBBARD, LOUISA MARIA (1836–1906), social reformer, born in St. Petersburg on 8 March 1836, was eldest in the family of four sons and three daughters of Wililam Egerton Hubbard, Russian merchant, younger brother of John Gellibrand Hubbard, first Baron Addington [q. v.]. Her mother, Louisa Ellen (d. 1883), was daughter of Captain William Baldock. In 1843 her family left Russia for England, and settled at Leonardslee near Horsham. She was educated privately. Her father interested himself in philanthropic work, especially that of the Church Missionary Society; he died in 1882, and his widow survived him for a year. From that time till 1893 Miss Hubbard resided at Beedinglee in Sussex.

Miss Hubbard devoted her life and means to improving the condition of women of her own class who had to work for their living. She brought to her task much business capacity, a strong religious sense, and abundant culture. In 1864 she began her labours by interesting herself in the order of deaconesses, which had been formed in 1861, and she sought to train and organise them for teaching and nursing. In 1871 (under the initials 'L. M. H.') she issued 'Anglican Deaconesses: or, Is there no Place for Women in the Parochial System?' But her main aim was to open to women new fields of work in all directions. From 1869 to 1878 she compiled annually 'A Guide to all Institutions for the Benefit of Women.' The number of such institutions rose, she points out, from five in 1854 to over a thousand in 1898. On 19 Aug. 1871 Miss Hubbard began in the church and tory newspaper 'John Bull' a series of letters on work for ladies, which were published collectively in 1872, with an introduction by Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth [q. v.], as 'Work for Ladies in Elementary Schools, with an Introduction by an Old Educator.' Her proposals, supported by her father's influence, led to the transformation in February 1873 of the college founded by Bishop Otter [q. v.] at Chichester into a college for training as elementary teachers girls from secondary schools. In 1878 she further proved her interest in education in 'Why Should I send my Child to School?' and in 1880, 'A Few Words to the Mothers of Little Children.' In 1875 she published a 'Handbook for Women's Work,' which in 1880 became 'The Englishwoman's Year Book.' This Miss Hubbard edited until 1898. In 1875 she started the 'Woman's Gazette' (afterwards named 'Work and Leisure'), and edited it till 1893. There she advocated nursing as a profession, a proposal which won the active sympathy of Florence Nightingale [q. v. Suppl. II]. Miss Hubbard was also one of the earliest advocates of massage and of typewriting as women's occupations and also suggested gardening fifteen years before the foundation of the woman's department of the Swanley Horticultural College. Miss Hubbard helped Lady Mary Fielding to form in 1870 the Working Ladies' Guild, and an article (1881) by Miss A. Wallace in Miss Hubbard's 'Woman's Gazette' on the 'Co-operation of Governesses' led to the formation of the Teachers' Guild in 1884. In 1889 Miss Hubbard founded a friendly society for gentlewomen. The British Women's Emigration Society, formed in 1880 (now at the British Institute), the Matrons' Aid Society (now the Midwives' Institute), and the Church of England Women's Help Society, an offshoot of the Girls' Friendly Society, all owed much to Miss Hubbard's activity. In 1889 she provided considerable funds for the Gentlewomen's Employment Club, in Lower Belgrave Street, London, which was a result of her endeavour to solve the problem of providing homes for gentlewomen. Apart from her philanthropic interest. Miss Hubbard was an adept at landscape painting and an enthusiastic horsewoman. In 1885 she published an allegory, 'The Beautiful House and Enchanted Garden,' and in 1887 'Where to Spend a Holiday.' In 1893 her health showed signs of failure, and she gave up most of her work. In 1899 a paralytic stroke completely disabled her while she was in Tyrol. She remained there until her death at Gries bei Bozen on 25 Nov. 1906.

[Information supphed by Miss Hubbard's brother, Mr. William Egerton Hubbard, J. P.; The Times, 1 Dec. 1906; A Woman's Work for Women, being the Aims, Efforts, and Aspirations of L. M. H. (Miss Louisa M. Hubbard), (with portrait), 1898, by Edwin A. Pratt.]

J. E. G. de M.