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Anstey, Rhoda (1865–1936), promoter of women's physical education, was born at Jurishayes Farm near Tiverton, Devon, on 15 April 1865, the seventh of nine children and second daughter of John Walters Anstey, a yeoman farmer, and his wife, Susanna Elizabeth, née Manley. She was a natural countrywoman with a great love of the county of her birth; in 1891 she was managing the dairy on the family farm. Little else is known of her early life before she attended ...

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Archer, Georgina (1827–1882), promoter of women's education, was born on 27 September 1827 in Edinburgh, the youngest of the four children of Andrew Archer, dentist, and his wife, Ann, née Cunningham. The family consisted of two sons and two daughters. The eldest, James Archer (1822–1904)...

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Astell, Mary (1666–1731), philosopher and promoter of women's education, was born in Newcastle upon Tyne on 12 November 1666, the first of two surviving children of Peter Astell (1638–1678), coal merchant, and his wife, Mary, daughter of George Errington, also a coal merchant in ...

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Ayrton [née Chaplin], Matilda Charlotte (1846–1883), physician, was born in Honfleur, France, the daughter of John Clarke Chaplin, a solicitor. Her early studies were in drawing and painting and she used her artistic talents throughout her subsequent career. But she began what was to prove a long struggle to qualify as a doctor about 1867. She attended classes at the ...

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Bebb [married name Thomson], Gwyneth Marjory (1889–1921), campaigner for women's admission to the legal profession, was born at Brasenose House, High Street, Oxford, on 27 October 1889, the second daughter and third of the seven children of Llewellyn John Montfort Bebb DD (1862–1915)...

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Gwyneth Marjory Bebb (1889–1921) by unknown photographer, 1920 by kind permission of Anne Tickell and Martin Tomlins

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Blake, Sophia Louisa Jex- (1840–1912), physician and campaigner for women's rights, was born on 21 January 1840 at 3 Croft Place, Hastings, Sussex. She was the youngest of the three surviving children of Thomas Jex-Blake (1790–1868), proctor of Doctors' Commons, and his wife, ...

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Sophia Louisa Jex- Blake (1840–1912) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bostock, Elizabeth Anne [Eliza] (1817–1898), promoter of women's education, was born in Liverpool, the only child of John Bostock (1772–1846), doctor of medicine, and his wife, Anne Yates (d. 1863). Her father, a Unitarian, assumed much of the responsibility for her early education. He taught her Italian, took her to lectures given by ...

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Brunner [née Irving], (Dorothea) Elizabeth, Lady Brunner (1904–2003), voluntary worker, was born on 14 April 1904 at 1 Upper Woburn Place, London, the daughter of Henry Brodribb Irving (1870–1919), actor–manager, and his wife, Dorothea Forster, née Baird (1873–1933), the actress who created the part of Trilby in ...

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Bulley [married name Brooke], (Agnes) Amy (1852–1939), promoter of women's education and women's trade unionism, was born on 20 April 1852 at Liscard, New Brighton, Cheshire, one of four sons and ten daughters of Samuel Marshall Bulley (1811–1880), cotton broker, and Mary Rachel Bulley, ...

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Campbell [née Black], Janet [Jessie] (1827–1907), promoter of higher education for women in Scotland, was born in Cross-Arthurlie, Renfrewshire, on 26 March 1827, the eldest child of James Black (1799?–1831) of Cross-Arthurlie, the owner of a bleaching business, and his wife, Eliza Taylor (1803?–1859)...

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Carbutt [married name Herford], Louisa (1832–1907), schoolmistress and educational pioneer, was born on 25 September 1832 at Altona, near Hamburg, Germany, the daughter of Francis Carbutt (1792–1874) and his wife, Louise Petronella, daughter of George Henry Penecke of Copenhagen. Sir Edward Hamer Carbutt, ...

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Anne Jemima Clough (1820–1892) by Sir William Blake Richmond, 1882 The Principal and Fellows, Newnham College, Cambridge

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Clough, Anne Jemima (1820–1892), college head and promoter of women's education, was born in Liverpool on 20 January 1820, the third child and only daughter of James Butler Clough (1784–1844), cotton merchant, and his wife, Anne (d. 1860), daughter of John Perfect...

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Cohen [née Waley], Julia Matilda (1853–1917), community worker and educationist, was born on 6 September 1853 at 20 Wimpole Street, Marylebone, Middlesex, the daughter of Professor Jacob Waley (1818–1873), conveyancing counsel to the court of chancery and the first holder of the chair of political economy at ...

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Collet, Clara Elizabeth (1860–1948), civil servant and promoter of women's education and employment, was born at Sunny Bank, Hornsey Lane, Islington, London, on 10 September 1860, the second daughter and fourth child of Collet Dobson Collet (1812–1898), a prominent champion of press freedom and editor of ...

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Cotta, Alix von (1842–1931), promoter of women's higher education, was born in Brunswick, the eldest of three daughters of Carl Berhard von Cotta (1808–1879) and Ilsabe Ida von Orges (1812–1902). She grew up in Freiberg, Saxony, where her father was professor of geology at the internationally renowned mining academy there. Her mother was 'gifted and charming' with a 'wide range of sympathies and interests' (...