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MS 707

Reference code

MS 707


Belinda Norman-Butler archive



Administrative / Biographical history

Norman-Butler, Belinda (1908-2008)

Belinda Norman-Butler was born on 10 December 1908, the daughter of William (Billy) Ritchie and his wife Marine (Meg). Through her father’s side, she was the granddaughter of Anne Thackeray Ritchie and the great-granddaughter of William Makepeace Thackeray. Through her mother’s side, she was the granddaughter of Charles Booth.

She was a talented musician and in 1928 went to the College of Music where she was taught by Ralph Vaughan Williams. She was particularly successful in promoting young musicians and enjoyed teaching children to sing.

Belinda married Edward Norman-Butler in 1931, and they had two children, Christopher and Catherine.

Her daughter, Catherine Wilson wrote a full biographical account of her life in a booklet entitled ‘Belinda’ (2008). A copy is kept with the archive.



Extent & medium

25 boxes and 47 albums

Content description

This archive represents the private papers of Belinda Norman-Butler. Containing mainly letters and other items relating to her family, it is of particular interest to a social historian for their insight into a close and well-connected 20th century family. Norman-Butler also collected letters from other close family members, and therefore the collection spans beyond Norman-Butler’s life, covering all the significant events and changes that took place during the 20th century.

The archive can be broadly divided into bundles of letters, diaries, photographs and albums. However the albums also contain correspondence and photographs and researchers should use the archive as a whole.


Norman-Butler kept the letters and albums until her death when her daughter Catherine Wilson found them in her mother’s attic and desk.

Associated material

MS 430: Anne Thackeray Ritchie Collection: This collection was preserved by Belinda Norman-Butler and presented to Eton College Library. The collection contains additional letters to and from Norman-Butler and other family members.

MS 931: Correspondence between Elizabeth Hutchings and Belinda Norman-Butler

Finding aids

An initial catalogue was created by John Aplin, a copy of which is held by Eton College Library and kept with the papers. The item numbers given by Aplin have been recorded in this catalogue. Aplin's catalogue provides additional details on the contents of the various letters in particular.

Eton College Library also holds digital copies of the Aplin lists.
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