Principals › Christine Burrows (1921-29)

Christine Burrows (1872-1959) went from Cheltenham Ladies’ College to read History at Lady Margaret Hall, but had to interrupt her studies to assist her mother Esther Elizabeth Burrows when in 1893 the latter was appointed Principal of the newly founded St Hilda’s Hall. Christine continued as a home student and completed her History degree in 1894, immediately becoming a History Tutor at St Hilda’s ; in 1895 at the age of 23 she became Vice-Principal, then in 1910 she succeeded her mother as Principal. In 1919 she resigned in order to live with her mother whose health was deteriorating. When in 1921 (the year she also received her MA by decree) she was asked to succeed Mrs Johnson as Principal of the Home Students, she accepted because this appointment was compatible with her living at home. She is thus a very rare example of someone who has been head of two Oxford houses. She devoted her energy and teaching and administrative skills to the Home Students for eight years, consolidating the Society’s position and laying the foundations for collegiate status by building up the strength of the tutorial team, before her mother’s ill-health forced her to resign in 1929. For the remaining thirty years of her life she did much quiet work for the advancement of women.