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Biggs, Caroline Ashurst (1840–1889), novelist and campaigner for women's suffrage, was born in St Margaret's, Leicester, on 23 August 1840, the second daughter of Matilda Ashurst Biggs (1816/17–1866) and Joseph Biggs (1809–1895) [see under Biggs, John (1801-1871)], hosiery manufacturer, of Leicester...

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Caroline Ashurst Biggs (1840–1889) by Elizabeth S. Guinness, 1897 (after unknown photographer, c. 1875) The Mistress and Fellows, Girton College, Cambridge

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Howey, (Rose) Elsie Neville (1884–1963), suffragette, was born at Finningley, Nottinghamshire, on 1 December 1884, the daughter of Thomas Howey (1851/2–1887), rector of Finningley, and his wife, Emily Gertrude (née Oldfield). Following Thomas Howey's death, the family moved to the Malvern area which remained ...

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Ker, Alice Jane Shannan Stewart (1853–1943), doctor and suffragette, was born on 2 December 1853 at Deskford, Cullen, Banffshire, the eldest child of the Revd William Turnbull Ker (1824–1885), minister of the Free Church of Scotland, and his wife, Margaret Millar, née Stevenson (1826–1900)...

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McIlquham [M'Ilquham; née Medley], Harriett (1837–1910), local politician and suffragist, was born on 8 August 1837 at 41 Brick Lane, Old Street, London, the daughter of Edward Medley, master baker, and Harriet Medley, née Sanders. She spent her early life in London, and was reared in a Unitarian family in an atmosphere conducive to freedom of thought. Encouraged to take an interest in public questions, she read advanced literature, attended lectures by eminent Victorian radicals, and, like other young women with a social conscience, turned to parish visiting. Her liberal upbringing and exposure to radical thought thus sowed the seeds of a life devoted to progressive social reform and the political emancipation of women. Upon marriage to ...

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Catherine Courtauld Osler (1854–1924) by Edward Steel Harper II, 1917-18 © Birmingham Museums Trust

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Osler [née Taylor], Catherine Courtauld (1854–1924), social reformer and suffragist, was born at King's Square, Bridgwater, Somerset, on 26 February 1854, the eldest of the four children of William Taylor (1826–1903), a merchant, and his wife, Caroline Watson, née Shute (1821–1898). The ...

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Swaine, Ann Sykes (bap. 1821, d. 1883), suffragist and philanthropist, was baptized at Birstall, Yorkshire, on 15 September 1821, the eldest of the four daughters of Edward Swaine and his wife, Martha Sykes. She was a spinster, and lived in York for the last twenty-eight years of her life, nursing her ageing father until her own death at the age of sixty-one. A Unitarian, ...