MANNING, Charlotte (former Speir, née Solly). Leyton, Essex 30.3.1803 — Westminster 1.4.1871. A Britishwoman interested in Indian History. Daughter of Isaac Solly, of Layton, Essex. Married with William Speir, M.D., lived in Calcutta. As a widow she came to England and collaborated with H. H. Wilson and wrote her books. From 1857 the second wife of James Manning (1781–1866), Serjeant-at-Law and Recorder of Oxford. She was an early feminist and in 1863 participated in founding the Ladies’ London Emancipation Society. In 1869-70 the first Mistress of Girton College, Oxford. As scholar, she did not know Sanskrit, but made good use of secondary sources. She was the stepmother of Elizabeth Adelaide Manning (1828–1905) who was in 1870-1905 Honorary Secretary of National Indian Association in London, specially interested in education of women and girls, and visited India twice.
Publications: Life in Ancient India. 1856 (as Mrs. Speir), much rev. and enl. ed. as Ancient and Medieval India. 1-2. 1869.
– Our last years in India. 1862.
Sources: JRAS Proc. 1871, iif.; Allibone & Kirk’s Supplement in Br. Biogr. Arch.; Wikipedia; stepdaughter e.g. in Buckland, Dictionary and Wikipedia.