Julia was the youngest daughter of Mrs. Elizabeth Gaskell, born in 1846 and died in 1908 at the Gaskell home on Plymouth Grove. In its obituary the Manchester Guardian said that she “had the eager sympathy, wit, and communicative quickness that made good talk possible; ardently interested in letters, painting, the theatre, music above all, she criticised and took sides with knowledge and gusto, and often from a point of view that, like her manner and her personal charm , brought to mind the special fragrance of that age of the great Victorians in which her childhood had been passed.“
She was one of the founder members of the Manchester Social Club in Lower Mosley Street and was also involved with the Manchester and Salford Sick Poor and Private Nursing Institution and the Manchester Art Museum s well as many other causes. She was also very found of mountain climbing and was friends with Edward Whymper, the well-known mountain climber and the first man to climb the Matterhorn. She was survived by her older sister.