200 Australian Women

(1836-1907) evangelist and social reformer

Eliza Pottie (1836-1907), evangelist and social reformer, was born in 1836 at Belfast, Ireland, only daughter of four children of Ruth Johnston (born Sayers) and William Bell Allen. About 1842 they came to Sydney, where her father established a soap and candle works and in 1860 was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly. The family were Quakers. On 13 March 1862 Eliza married John Pottie, veterinary surgeon. They had six children.

(1839-1915) preacher

Eliza Martha Webster (1839-1915), preacher and suffrage campaigner, was born in London, daughter of Caroline (born Gyles) and William Turner, a tailor. She was educated for three years at a high school at Dijon, France, where she 'early developed high intellectual qualities'. She arrived in Melbourne in October 1870 to visit her brother Henry Gyles Turner, general manager in Melbourne for the Commercial Bank of Australia and historian and littérateur. He was a leading member of the Melbourne Unitarian church, though a reluctant preacher, and Martha 'came to (his) assistance'.

(1839-1917) labour activist

Louisa Emma Miller (1839-1917), labour activist and feminist, was born on 26 June 1839 at Chesterfield, England, eldest of four children of Martha (born Hollingworth) and Daniel Holmes, cordwainer. Of a Chartist family, she never forgot the early lessons which influenced her to live and die a rebel. Throughout her life she followed a creed learnt from the writings of Tom Paine: 'The world is my country; to do good is my religion'. She eloped with Jabez Silcock in 1857 and they had four children, whom she supported after his death by sewing 70 hours a week.

(1840-1911) property owner

Eliza Elizabeth Macarthur-Onslow (1840-1911), property owner, was born on 8 May 1840 at 'Camden Park', Menangle, New South Wales, only child of Emily (born Stone) and James Macarthur, and granddaughter of Elizabeth and John Macarthur. She was educated at home. The family left for England in 1860 and she did the Grand Tour with her parents, returning in 1864 to 'Camden Park', the decision to return being influenced by her wish to live in Australia. On 31 January 1867 at Camden she married Captain Arthur Alexander Walton Onslow, then on sick leave from the navy. (He retired in 1871).

(1841-1906) crèche founder

Laura Mary Louisa Corbin (1841-1906), crèche founder, was born on 26 April 1841 in Adelaide, daughter of Mary Louisa (born Newenham) and Alfred Hardy, surveyor. The family later lived at Glen Osmond where Laura, 'a book scarcely ever out of her hands', and possessed of 'a sweet disposition', was educated by her mother. On 16 June 1869 at St Michael's Church of England, Mitcham, she married Thomas Wilson Corbin, a country doctor. After a year overseas in 1872 Dr Corbin practised in South Adelaide. They had ten children.

(1842-1909) religious

Mary MacKillop (1842-1909), foundress of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart and candidate for canonisation as a saint of the Catholic Church, was born in Melbourne on 15 January 1842, eldest child of Flora (born MacDonald) and Alexander MacKillop, Scottish immigrants. Initially well off, her parents fell upon hard times because of Alexander's imprudent charity to friends. Mary grew up familiar with poverty and, while still young, had to work to support her family.

(1840-1898) birth control advocate

Bridgetena Smyth (1842-1898), campaigner for women's health reform and for women's political rights, was born at Kyneton, Victoria, second daughter of Bridgetena (born Cavanagh) and John Riordan, a small merchant. She was named after her mother but always known as Brettena. In 1861 she married William Taylor Smyth, a storekeeper, who died in 1873 of phthisis. Brettena supported her children by changing the little greengrocery and confectionery shop which William had started in North Melbourne into a drapery and druggist's business.

(1842-1934) philanthropist

Bridgetena Emily Dobson (1842-1934), philanthropist, was born on 10 October l842 at Port Arthur, Van Diemen's Land, daughter of Charlotte (born Smith) and Thomas James Lempriere, public servant, artist and amateur scientist. She was educated at home. On 4 February 1868 she married Henry Dobson, lawyer and politician, who was elected Member for Brighton in the Tasmanian Legislative Assembly in 1891 and was Premier from 1892-94. There were two sons and three daughters.

(1845-1927) feminist

Maybanke Susannah Anderson (1845-1927), feminist reformer, was born at Kingston-on-Thames, England, on 16 February 1845, one of three children of Bessie (born Smith) and Henry Selfe, plumber. In 1854 they sailed on the Bangalore to Sydney where they lived in the Rocks district. While her brothers Norman and Henry were apprenticed to engineer P. N. Russell and Maybanke trained as a teacher, their father left them. In 1867 at St Philip's church, Sydney, Maybanke married Edmund Kay Wolstenholme, timber merchant.

(1845-1906) temperance advocate

Jessie Spinks Rooke (1845-l906), Christian temperance reformer, was born at Emu, in north-western Tasmania, daughter of Sophia (born Francis) and John Spinks, shepherd with the Van Diemen's Land Company. She moved to the mainland and married Charles Rooke, medical practitioner.

(1846-1934) peace activist

Marian Fleming Harwood (1846-1934), anti-war activist, scholar and philanthropist, was born in Greenock, Scotland, daughter of Catherine (born Barnett) and Henry Reid, merchant. Raised in Belfast in an intellectual environment as a pacifist and feminist, she studied romance philology under Heinrich Morf at the University of Zurich before her marriage to Dr Septimus Harwood. She came to Australia for the sake of her husband's health in l885 but returned to Ireland, childless, on his death shortly afterwards.

(1846-1934) founder of hospital

Gertrude Abbott (1846-1934), founder of St Margaret's hospital, was born Mary Jane O'Brien on 11 July 1846 in Sydney, daughter of Rebecca (born Matthews) and Thomas O'Brien, schoolmaster. The family moved in 1848 to Dry Creek, South Australia, where her father ran a school and then took up farming. In February 1868, taking the name Sister Ignatius of Jesus, she entered the Order of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, founded two years earlier by Mary MacKillop (q.v.) and Julian Tenison Woods. Influenced by Woods, she and another nun claimed to witness visions.

(1847-1925) feminist

Rose Scott (1847-1925), feminist, was born on 15 October 1847 at 'Glendon' near Singleton, New South Wales, fifth of eight children born to Sarah Anne (born Rusden), an accomplished linguist and scholar, and Helenus Scott, pastoralist and later police magistrate in Maitland. Rose was educated at home by her mother. Her brothers were sent to grammar school; the family took a keen interest in the private school education of their sons. They were 'well-connected' and made regular trips to Sydney participating in social, cultural and intellectual events. Rose did not marry.

(1848-1920) newspaper proprietor

Louisa Lawson (1848-1920), newspaper proprietor, was born on 17 February 1848 on 'Guntawang' station, near Mudgee, New South Wales, second of twelve children of Harriet (born Winn) and Harry Albury, station hand. She was educated at the Mudgee national school. Kept home to help care for her younger siblings, she resented the drudgery. On 7 July l866 she married Niels Hertzberg Larsen (Peter Lawson). They joined the Weddin Mountain gold rush and he later took up a 16 ha selection at Eurunderee, near Mudgee.

(1848-1922) artist

Marian Ellis Rowan (1848-1922), natural history painter, was born in Melbourne on 30 July 1848, the first of seven children of Charles Ryan and his wife Marian, daughter of the botanist, sketcher and settler John Cotton. Ellis (as she was always called) had a normal middle-class girl's education, including tuition in watercolour painting. She may also have had private art lessons in both Melbourne and England (which she first visited in 1869), although claiming, with characteristic exaggeration, to have been entirely self-taught.

(1850-1919) factory inspector

Agnes Anderson Milne (1850-1919), factory inspector, was born in Lambeth, London, the second daughter of Lydia and William Inglis, carpenter. The family emigrated to Adelaide in 1855 and settled in Hindmarsh, where the children probably attended a small local school. Agnes married Henry Milne, a saddler and fellow Sabbath school teacher, in the Hindmarsh Congregational Church on 10 April 1973. (In 1885 she was to transfer her allegiance to the Church of Christ.) Strong Christian principles motivated her actions throughout her life.

(1850-1928) artist

Harriet Jane Neville-Rolfe (1850-1928), artist, was born at Sedgeford Hall, Norfolk, England, on 3 January 1850, fourth of nine children of Martha and Charles Fawcett Neville-Rolfe. While her Oxford-educated father helped tutor her brothers, Jane Neville-Rolfe received her early education from a governess and learnt Latin from the local vicar. From 1861-63 the family lived in Italy, where her childhood talent for drawing developed.

(1851-1909) philanthropist

Janet Marion Clarke (1851-1909), philanthropist, was born at 'Doogallook' station, Victoria, on 4 June 1851, eldest daughter of Charlotte Agnes (born Cotton) and Peter Snodgrass, squatter. He was agent for a syndicate involved in the bribery of politicians and in financial difficulties when he died in 1867. Janet became governess to the children of William Clarke, heir to William Clarke, pastoralist and landowner. The younger William's wife died in April 1871 and on 21 January 1873 he married Janet. They had four daughters and four sons.

(1851-1895) Aboriginal teacher

Bessy Cameron (1851-1895), Aboriginal teacher, was born probably in 1851 in Nyungar country (King George Sound), West Australia. Her mother's name is not known; her father was an 'old native servant' of Henry Camfield, Government Resident at Albany. Anne Camfield, a governess and teacher before marriage to Henry, in 1852 opened a 'native institution' (later known as Annesfield) with the backing of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel where Aboriginal children were to be 'trained in the habits of civilised life' and 'taught the great truths of Christianity'.

(1853-1899) feminist
Annette Bear-Crawford
Annette Bear-Crawford
(1854-1938) botanical artist

Rosa Catherine Fiveash (1854-1938), botanical artist, was born on 22 July 1854 in Adelaide, youngest child of Margaret (born Rees) and Robert Archibald Fiveash, businessman and mine superintendent. Educated by a governess, trained in art by Miss A. Benham and from 1881-88 at the Adelaide Schools of Art and of Design, Rosa 'the little one in black' was selected from the school's pupils to illustrate J. Ednie Brown's Forest Flora of South Australia (1882-90). Rosa painted 32 of the 45 plates.

(1855-1928) temperance advocate

Maria Elizabeth Kirk (1855-1928), temperance advocate and social reformer, was born probably on 9 December 1855 in London, daughter of Maria Elizabeth and Alfred Peter Sutton, salesman's assistant. On 14 September 1878 she married Frank Kirk, an ironmonger's assistant and later a bootmaker. Reared in the Quaker faith, Marie Kirk worked as a missionary in London's slums and in her late twenties became active in the British Women's Temperance Association. She represented it in 1886 at a meeting held in Toronto, Canada, to organise the World Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

(1856-1940) writer

Katie Langloh Parker (1856-1940), writer, was born on 1 May 1856 at 'Luilyl', Encounter Bay, South Australia, the home of her grandparents, Martha and Rev. Ridgway William Newland. Her parents were Henry and Sophia Field and she was christened Catherine Eliza Somerville, the fourth of eight children. Her father, overlander and pastoralist, had taken up 'Marra' station on the Darling in partnership with Edward and Andrew Chisholm. His brother-in-law Simpson Newland, author of Paving the Way, later became a partner.

(1856-1902) doctor

Emma Constance Stone (1856-1902), medical officer and feminist, was born on 4 December 1856 at Hobart, Tasmania, the oldest child of English parents Betsey (born Haydon) and William Stone, organ builder. She was educated at home. The family moved to St Kilda, Melbourne, about 1875 where she ran a small family school until 1884, when she left for the United States to study medicine.

(1857-1929) writer

Barbara Jane Baynton (1857-1929), writer, was born on 4 June 1857 at Scone, New South Wales, the youngest daughter of Elizabeth (born Ewart) and John Lawrence, carpenter. Her parents were bounty emigrants from Londonderry, Ireland. Throughout her life she alleged she was the daughter of Captain Robert Kilpatrick and Penelope Ewart and she gave her age as five years younger than she was.

(1857-1940) headmistress

Eliza Anne Fewings (1857-1940), headmistress, was born on 28 December 1857 at Bristol, England, daughter of Sarah (born Twining) and Charles Fewings. She trained as a teacher under her brother, headmaster of King Edward VI Grammar School in Southampton. After eight years teaching at the Roan Girls' School, Greenwich, she was appointed headmistress of Dr Williams' Endowed High School for Girls in North Wales (1886-96). On the Council of Bangor and Aberystwyth University Colleges, she campaigned for and won equal status for women at the Aberystwyth College.

(1858-1931) singer and actress

Eleanor Stewart Towzey (1858-1931), singer and actress, was born on 22 November 1858 in Wolloomooloo, Sydney, daughter of Theodosia Stewart, actress, and her actor husband Richard Towzey, who changed his name to Stewart. There were two half-sisters from her mother's previous marriage to James Guerin, theatre musician. Nellie made her stage debut as a child playing with her father in The Stranger at the Haymarket, Melbourne. She attended boarding school, which she disliked, and at Christmas played pantomime under her father's management.

(1858-1923) feminist and teacher

Julia Margaret (Bella) Lavender (1858-1923), feminist and teacher, is known also as Bella Guerin. She was born on 23 April 1858 at Williamstown, Victoria, daughter of Julia Margaret (born Kearney) and Patrick Guerin, prison officer, both from Ireland. Having studied at home to matriculate in 1878, Bella graduated BA from the University of Melbourne in 1883 (the first woman to graduate from an Australian university) and MA in 1885.

(1859-1951) journalist

Daisy May Bates (1859-1951), journalist, was born on 14 October 1859 in County Tipperary, Ireland, into a Catholic family, as Dwyer or O'Dwyer. Though in her 80th year she admitted her correct age, she earlier stated her birth date as 1863 and invented genteel Anglo-Irish Anglican connections. She arrived as an assisted immigrant to Townsville, Queensland, in January 1883, and as governess on 'Fanny Downs' station married Edwin Murrant (better known as 'Breaker' Morant) on 13 March 1884 at Charters Towers. His arrest on a charge of larceny soon afterwards ended the marriage.

(1859-1924) caterer

Daisy Charlotte Sargent (1859-1924), caterer, was born in Sydney, one of nine children of Sarah and Thomas Foster, livery stable proprietor. She worked as a manageress of a confectionary shop in George St, Sydney before her marriage in 1883 to George Sargent, a baker, then employed as a foreman in a George St bakery. Charlotte's only child, Foster Henry Hartley (known as Hartley), was born in 1878. The Sargents opened a bakery in Glebe, moving later to Leichhardt. A lottery win enabled them to purchase a bakery in Surry St which they lost when George became ill.