Pipe, Hannah Elizabeth

Schoolmistress, the granddaughter of John S. Pipe (1768-1835; e.m. 1790) and niece of John Willson Pipe (c. 1799-1836; e.m. 1818). She was born in Manchester on 27 November 1831 and educated at Chorley High School. Her father, who died when she was nine, was a WM local preacher. She opened her first school for girls in Manchester in 1848, taking in boarders four years later. Moving to Clapham Park, London in 1856 she founded the Laleham Boarding School for Girls, which provided an enlightened education in arts and science with a strong emphasis on religious and moral education. ('Foxhowe' in Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler's Farringdons was a fictional depiction of Laleham.) Katherine Price Hughes was influenced by her as one of her pupils. Among her staff were such notable figures as William Sterndale Bennett and George Macdonald. In 1875 she attached an orphanage to the school, to enable her pupils to have contact with the poor. Although a convinced Wesleyan, she was free from denominationalism and not all her pupils were Methodist. Retiring to Limpsfield in 1890 she was instrumental in building a convalescent home for women in neighbouring Oxted. She died at Limpsfield on 29 December 1906.


'I look back to my two years at "Laleham" as a very formative period in my life. The influences I received remained with me and decided the trend of much that I thought and felt later on. To Miss Pipe I owe a deep debt of gratitude for the inspiration which she gave me. Her nobility and wide-mindedness shone out like a beascon light .I can see now, after the experience of many years, that she was often too severe regarding mere girlish faults and failings, but the study of psychology as applied to adolescence was then unknown, and if it had been known Miss Pipe would hve been among the first to profit by it. I visited he several times after she resigned her position at 'Laieham' and was increasingly cnscious of her nobility and steadfast Chrisian character.'

Katherine Price Hughes, The Story of My Life (1945), p.39

  • Anna M. Stoddart, The Life and Letters of Hannah E. Pipe (1908)
  • Katherine Price Hughes, The Story of My Life (1945) pp.31-9, 63-4
  • Oxford DNB