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MS 669

Reference code

MS 669


Grizel Hartley collection



Administrative / Biographical history

Hartley, Grizel (1900-1987)

Born Mary Grizel, but more commonly known as Grizel, she was the daughter of Sir George Seton. She was educated at St Paul’s Girl’s school and Girton College, Cambridge, where she read Natural Sciences.

In 1923 she married Hubert H-S Hartley, a French master at Eton College. In 1933 Hartley became a house master and Grizel became a popular and influential figure in the boys’ lives.

During the Second World War, Hubert Hartley joined the Coldstream Guards, and during his absence, Grizel continued at the house, first with George Horton and then Francis Cruso temporarily taking over as house master. However, Grizel continued to be a major figure in the boys’ lives, as shown by the affectionate letters they would exchange once the boys had left Eton College.

When Hubert gave up the house in 1951, the Hartley’s moved to Dorney House.

Grizel died on 24 July 1987.



Extent & medium

8 boxes

Content description

This artifical collection is predominately made up of P.S.H. Lawrence’s papers, which he acquired and created while editing Grizel’s letters for publication. The letters therefore represent her outgoing correspondence, rather than her own archive.

In addition, small collections of letters or individual items have been acquired by Eton College at various times and subsequently added to the collection. These include collections of letters written by Grizel Hartley to Wilfrid Blunt and Sydney Cockerell, as well as her personal address book.


The archival history for each collection is specified at the appropriate level.

Associated material

Letters from Grizel Hartley to Raef Payne are catalogued separately at MS 680 03 04; she is frequently mentioned in other correspondence in MS 680.

Finding aids

Contained in the collection of P.S.H. Lawrence’s papers is a ‘catalogue’ of Grizel Hartley’s letters, which he accumulated. This is catalogued under MS 669 01 04 and acts as an additional finding aid for the collection.

Existence and location of originals

The original letters were returned to the owners, who in most cases, were the recipients of the letters.

Publication note

A selection of her letters was published in ‘Grizel: Grizel Hartley remembered’, ed. P.S.H. Lawrence (Michael Russell, Salisbury, 1991) [ECL shelfmark: Ib8.1.46].
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