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Last updated: 15 April 2010

Baxter, Millicent Amiel

Collection | Ref # ARC-0370 | Held by Hocken Collections - Uare Taoka o Hakena

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Baxter, Millicent Amiel


Baxter, Millicent Amiel (nee Macmillan Brown), 1888-1984

Level of description:



0.04 linear metres

Reference number:



Millicent Amiel Brown was born on 8 January 1888, the daughter of John Macmillan Brown, the founding professor at Canterbury University College and his wife Helen (nee Connon), the first woman to graduate with honours in the British Empire and principal of Christchurch Girls' High School. After her mother's death in 1903, Millicent was taken to live with relatives in Sydney and educated at the Presbyterian Ladies College and graduated with a BA from Sydney University in 1908. Following her father's wishes, she returned to care for him in Dunedin where he was a temporary Professor of English at Otago University. In 1909 father and daughter travelled throughout England and Europe. Millicent then studied at Newnham College in Cambridge, followed by further study in Germany. At the beginning of World War I she returned to New Zealand to care once again for her father. Some time later she was shown a copy of a letter by a New Zealand farmer, Archibald Baxter, a conscientious objector. She later recalled that the letter affected her so deeply that she sought him out at the Otago family farm. Archibald and Millicent married in 1921. The couple soon bought a farm at Kuri Bush where there was no electricity or modern conveniences. For the first time, Millicent had to learn to cook and sew and keep house. Terence was born in 1922 and James in 1926. Around 1930 the family moved to Brighton where Archibald worked as a shearer. The family explored the South Island as often as they could and from 1937 to 1938 they travelled through Europe. In 1939 Archibald published 'We Will Not Cease' - the story of his struggle as a conscientious objector. Both the Baxters were strong advocates for the peace movement and belonged to Amnesty International. In 1958 James became a Catholic and his parents followed in 1965. Archibald died in 1970 and James Keir Baxter died in 1972. Millicent died in 1984.

Scope and contents:

The collection includes a manuscript of Millicent Baxter's autobiography, later published as 'The memoirs of Millicent Baxter' (Cape Catley, 1981), and a manuscript of her memoir of her son, poet James K. Baxter.

Dates covered:

Circa 1960 - Circa 1973

Access conditions:

Not restricted.

Finding aids:

Listed on the 'Hakena' archives and manuscripts catalogue.

Related links:

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Associated with:


Brighton · Christchurch · Dunedin



Poets · Poetry

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