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- Morton, Anna
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Anna Morton (19 November 1857–1917), was the daughter of a Frazer Morton,an Ulster Scott and weathy merchant, and his wife from Liverpool. Anna was the fourth of six children. Raised in a strict Prebyterian houshold, she was sent to finishing school in Dresden to study singing and piano. She later became a music teacher.
Anna developed a strong interest in the pioneer work of Octavia Hill, Josephine Butler and others involved in the reform movement focused on social and housing conditions of the poor in England. In 1883 she visited her younger sister Edith and her husband James Oliphant, then the head of a private school in Edinburgh. There she was introduced to Oliphant's friend and colleague Patrick Geddes. The friendship developed and the two married in 1886.
The couple settled in a flat in Edinburgh's Princes Street, later moving to James' Court, a tenament in the Lawnmarket where the two set about "impoving the social environment by example." Anna had three children: Norah, Alasdair and Arthur.
During her second visit to India in 1917 (the couple travelled extensively due to Sir Patrick's work as a town planner) Anna fell ill with typhoid fever and died, not knowing that their son Alasdair had been killed in action in France.
She was cremated in India.
The Geddes papers are held at the National Library of Scotland, MSS 10503, 10504. For more information, see: http://www.nls.uk/learning-zone/politics-and-society/patrick-geddes .
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November entry online calendar published by the WEA (Workers Educational Association) available at: http://www.latebloomers.co.uk/wforum/weacalendar/november.html .