Historical information

Mrs Charlotte Anderson was born Charlotte Eliza Alsop in England in 1838 and arrived in Australia in 1848. She married lawyer James Anderson in 1864, and in the year of his death in 1878 she became the founding owner-Principal of Ruyton Girls' School, Kew.

Mrs Anderson operated Ruyton initially in her own home of 63 Bulleen Road, Kew (now 63 High Street South). According to Ruyton histories, Mrs Anderson is said to have begun the school with her own two sons, four daughters and some of her Alsop nieces and nephews who resided in Kew. Around the time of the addition of Maud King, the first student outside the family, the school changed to a 'Ladies College', and the boys were sent elsewhere for their education. By late 1881 Mrs Anderson began using the name 'Ruyton' for the school, in honour of a connection to Ruyton-XI-Towns, Shropshire, England where her great-grandfather had been vicar and where she was baptised. In 1882 Mrs Anderson moved the School to Edgecomb in Studley Park Road from 1882-1888. The larger premises enabled her to begin accepting boarding students from 1882. She retired due to ill health and sold the school to her friend Miss Eliza Bromby. Mrs Anderson lived at 'Bongamero', in the King Valley, Victoria until her death in 1906. She is buried in Boroondara Cemetery.

One of Ruyton's four Houses, Anderson, is named for Charlotte Anderson.

Artwork AC/0099 is a framed reproduction photograph of an original portrait of Mrs Anderson, c.1900-1906. The location and date of the original photograph is unknown, but may be held among Ruyton papers at the State Library of Victoria (MS 12079). The reproduction was probably created to be part of the gallery of Principals and significant people for the Conference/Boardroom, Henty House.

Physical description

A framed, black & white reproduction of a photographic portrait. The portrait shows the head and shoulders of a middle aged woman wearing Victorian-era clothing including a dark ribbon tied around her collar. She wears a lace cap on her head, and the cap's tail is draped around her shoulders. The woman's body is partially turned away from the camera, while her face is turned toward the camera.

Inscriptions & markings

Plaque on frame: "Mrs Charlotte Anderson/ 1878-1888"

Mounting & framing

Timber frame; cream mount