Sylvia Fletcher-Moulton was born in London, the only daughter of Lord Moulton of Bank, Lord Justice of Appeal in Ordinary and member of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Her mother, Lord Moulton's second wife, was an American, Mary May Davis, the daughter of Major Davis of Syracuse, New York, who served in the Civil War before moving to Europe where he rented the Villa Floridiana in Naples. Here Sylvia spent many of her childhood summers with her nanny, Una Sherrif-McGregor (Da McGregor). Her mother died while she was still a child and she was brought up by her nanny (also governess and life-long companion) at the family homes in London and the New Forest.
Sylvia Fletcher-Moulton attended Westover School in Connecticut, USA and St Paul's Girls' School in London before coming to Girton to read History and Law 1922-25 (Part I History 1924, Part II Law 1925). After Girton, she was called to the Bar in 1929, and worked in the Chancery Division until 1937. At the outbreak of war she became Regional Administrator in the West Midlands for the Women's Voluntary Service (WVS) and served in Coventry and Birmingham 1938-44.
After the war, she returned to her home, Court House, in Barcombe, near Lewes, Sussex, where she created a beautiful garden and a small business in flowers for the Covent Garden Market in London. In 1947, she was appointed to the Lewes Bench where she served until she retired in 1973 (she was Chair of the Juvenile Bench for the last 10 years of her service). She joined the Lewes Conservative Association in 1945 and was Women's Chair of the Southeast Area 1957-60, and National Women's Chair from 1960 until 1961, when she was appointed Southeast Area Chair.
She held many other official and charitable posts. Amongst others, she was a member of the Royal Commission on Penal Reform, the Department of Inquiry into the Sunday Observance Acts, the Council of Tribunals, the Governing Body of Girton College, the Council of Southampton University, member and for twelve years, Chair of Westfield College, University of London, and member and Chair of the Chailey Heritage Hospital. She was awarded the CBE in 1961.
The bulk of the papers is photograph albums and loose photographs. Most of these pre-date the First World War and contain a record of the people and places in SFM's childhood. There are also miniature portraits of various family members and an album of sketches and watercolours by Edmund Sandars. There is a small collection of papers of and relating to Sylvia Fletcher Moulton, including notebooks and letters.
0102/29 - The papers were brought to Girton and deposited by Sylvia Fletcher-Moulton's godson, Ian Hamilton in April 2002. Further small acquisitions were received by post during 2002-03.