reproduced as frontispiece to the 'Letters' of 1906.
Hill was the benevolent interpreter of Johnson's era to his own generation, and brought to his work a zeal and abundant knowledge which gave charm to his discursiveness. In addition to the works already cited he edited Johnson's 'Rasselas' (Oxford, 1887); Goldsmith's 'Traveller' (Oxford, 1888); 'Wit and Wisdom of Samuel Johnson' (Oxford, 1888); Lord Chesterfield's 'Worldly Wisdom: Selection of Letters and Characters' (Oxford, 1891); 'Eighteenth Century Letters, Johnson, Lord Chesterfield' (1898) and Gibbon's 'Memoirs' in the standard text (1900). He also issued in 1899 'Unpublished Letters of Dean Swift' (the dean's correspondence with Knightly Chetwood of Woodbrook, 1714-31, from the Forster Collection, since embodied in Ball's new 'Swift Correspondence'). There appeared posthumously his 'Letters written by a Grandfather' (selected by Hill's younger daughter, Mrs. Lucy Crump, 1903) and 'Letters of George Birkbeck Hill' (arranged by Mrs. Crump, 1906).
[Brief Memoir of Dr. Birkbeck Hill, by Harold Spencer Scott, prefixed to Lives of the English Poets, vol. i. 1905; Hill's published Letters, 1903, 1906; The Times, 28 Feb. 1903, 9 Nov. 1906; Percy Fitzgerald's hostile Editing à la mode—an examination of Dr. Birkbeck Hill's new edition of Boswell's Life of Johnson (1891), his A Critical Examination of Dr. B. Hill's Johnsonian Editions (1898), and his James Boswell, an autobiography (1912); personal knowledge and private information.]
HILL, ROSAMOND DAVENPORT (1825–1902), educational administrator, born at Chelsea on 4 Aug. 1825, was eldest of the three daughters of Matthew Davenport Hill [q. v. for family history]. In 1826 the family moved to the father's chambers in Chancery Lane, and thence, in 1831, to Hampstead Heath. Here they became intimate with Joanna [q. v.] and Agnes Baillie. At the age of eight Rosamond went to a day school, where she was taught practical botany, a subject which affected her future attitude towards practical education. Most of her education was acquired at home, where her mother's failing health threw much of the household management on her. During girlhood, on 1 March 1840, she had an interview in London with Maria Edgeworth [q. v.], of which she has left a long account (Memoir, p. 11). After a move to Haverstock Hill, where Thackeray and other distinguished men visited them, the family travelled abroad, in 1841 in France, in 1844 in Belgium, and later in Switzerland and Italy. In 1851 the father's appointment as a commissioner in bankruptcy took the family to Bristol, where Mary Carpenter [q. v.] enlisted Rosamond's services in her 'St. James's Back Ragged School.' Rosamund took the arithmetic classes and taught the children practical household work. Rosamond was soon acting as private secretary to her father, and eagerly identified herself with his efforts at educational and criminal law reform. In 1856 she visited Ireland and wrote 'A Lady's Visit to the Irish Convict Prisons.' In 1858 she and her father visited prisons and reformatories in Spain, France, and Germany. The temperance question and the treatment of prisoners occupied her pen. In 1860 Davenport Hill and his daughters published 'Our Exemplars, Rich and Poor.' Meanwhile in 1855 Rosamond and her father had inspected together the reformatory at Mettray, founded on the family system by M. Frederic Auguste Démétz, of whom Rosamond became a lifelong friend. After the ruin of the Mettray school during the war of 1870, she helped to raise nearly 2500^. in England for its restoration. In 1866 Miss Carpenter and Rosamond started at Bristol on the Mettray principles an industrial school for girls, which is still at work. On the death of her father in 1872 Rosamond and her sister Florence went to Adelaide on a visit to relatives named Clark, of whom Emily Clark was a notable worker on behalf of children. In Australia the sisters inspected schools, prisons, and reformatories with the aid of (Sir) Henry Parkes [q. v.]. Miss Hill gave evidence in Sydney before a commission on reformatory treatment, and the report issued in 1874 quoted her evidence and included an important paper by her, 'A Summary of the Principles of Reformatory Treatment, with a Special Reference to Girls' (printed in the Memoir). She argued that the treatment should aim at fitting the girls to govern themselves.
In 1875, after returning home by way of Egypt and Italy (in 1874), the sisters published 'What we saw in Australia,' and they completed in 1878 a biography of their father. In 1879 the two sisters settled in Belsize Avenue, Hampstead, and now added to their surname their father's second name, Davenport, in order to avoid confusion between Miss Rosamond Hill and Miss Octavia Hill (1838-1912), the active social reformer, who was no relation.