"To Try and Do Some Good" - The Remarkable Life of Angela Burdett-Coutts

05/21/2019 06:30 PM - 08:30 PM ET


History Society Event


  • $5.00  -  Students
  • $12.00  -  Non-member - online in advance


University of Pittsburgh
4200 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States of America
Room Number: English Nationality Room
Building Number: Cathedral of Learning


"To Try and Do Some Good" - The Remarkable Life of Heiress-Philanthropist Angela Burdett-Coutts


Join us in the English Nationality Room in the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning, for a presentation on the life of Heiress-Philanthropist Angela Burdett-Coutts.  


MEMBERS LOGIN FOR $5 REGISTRATION. To become a member, visit the Britsburgh membership page


Light British and international refreshments with a Victorian twist will be served.


A presentation by Kim Szczypinski on the unconventional life and philanthropy of 19th century British banking heiress Angela Burdett-Coutts (1st Baroness Burdett-Coutts) and her affiliations with some of the giants of her day:  Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington; Florence Nightingale; Charles Dickens; David Livingstone; and Sir James Brooke, the so-called “White Rajah of Sarawak," among others.


Join us for this enjoyable presentation on Angela Burdett-Coutts, who at age 23 became one of the wealthiest women in England when she inherited her banking family’s enormous £1.8 million fortune (equivalent to about £160m or $211m today).  Unconventional, self-willed and determined throughout her long life, Angela set her own course from the beginning, defying Victorian precepts regarding both marriage and the treatment of the poor and marginalized.  With her philosophy “What is the use of my means but to try and do some good with them?,” she was among the most generous and committed of Victorian philanthropists.  She allied with Charles Dickens, with whom she founded Urania Cottage, a home for “fallen” women who, out of poverty had turned to theft and prostitution.  The object of Urania Cottage was to give these women a new start by transforming them into literate and respectable women eligible for marriage and capable of domestic management or otherwise able to maintain a decent life.


Angela’s other philanthropic interests knew no bounds of race, religion, gender, age or class and reached as far as Africa, Asia and Australia.  A great animal lover, Angela’s charity also extended to non-human creatures as well.


Late in life, Angela contracted a marriage that shocked her countrymen and outraged Queen Victoria.  In spite of this, Victoria’s son and successor, King Edward VII, called Angela Burdett-Coutts, “after my mother, the most remarkable woman in the Kingdom.”  Come and find out why!


Kim Szczypinski is Study Abroad Coordinator at Duquesne University, where she has also lead and taught study abroad programs on the First World War.  She is on Britsburgh’s Board of Directors and Chairs the English Nationality Room Committee.




  • 6.30-7PM  Light British & international refreshments with a Victorian twist will be served in the Cathedral of Learning’s Croghan-Schenley Ballroom (1st Fl.)

  • 7-8PM Presentation on Angela Burdett-Coutts in the English Nationality Room (Rm. 144)

  • 8-8.30PM Q&A


Tickets: Members and students $5; Non-members $12


Explore fascinating British-themed topics with the guidance of experts and enjoy the company and conversation of fellow enthusiasts as a member of one of Britsburgh Societies: Britsburgh Arts Society, the Britsburgh Beer Society, the Britsburgh History Society, the Britsburgh Literary Society and the Britsburgh Tea Society. If you are not already a member, I would like to invite you to consider becoming a Britsburgh Society member




NeonCRM by Neon One

Our Mission

Building bridges across communities by driving growth in British-American culture, history, education, tradition and trade in Pittsburgh.


© 2018 British-American Connections Pittsburgh. Website designed by Robert Charlesworth

Privacy Policy