Frances Mary Buss (1827-1894), English schoolmistress, was born in London in 1827, the daughter of the painter-etcher R.W. Buss, one of the original illustrators of Pickwick. She was educated at a school in Camden Town, and continued there as a teacher, but soon joined her mother in keeping a school in Kentish Town. In 1848 she was one of the original attendants at lectures at the new Queen's College for Ladies. In 1830 her school was moved to Camden Street, and under its new name of the North London Collegiate School for Ladies it rapidly increased in numbers and reputation. In 1864 Miss Buss gave evidence before the Schools Inquiry Commission, and in its report her school was singled out for exceptional commendation. Indeed, under her influence, what was then pioneer work of the highest importance had been done to put the education of girls on a proper intellectual footing. Shortly afterwards the Brewers' Company and the Clothworkers' Company provided funds by which the existing North London Collegiate School was rehoused and a Camden School for Girls founded, and both were endowed under a new scheme, Miss Buss continuing to be principal of the former.
She and Miss Beale of Cheltenham became famous as the chief leaders in this branch of the reformed educational movement; she played an active part in promoting the success of the Girls' Public Day School Company, encouraging the connexion of the girls' schools with the university standard by examinations, working for the establishment of women's colleges, and improving the training of teachers; and her energetic personality was a potent force among her pupils and colleagues. She died in London on the 24th of December 1894.