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Davies, Emily

Emily Davies (Sarah Emily Davies) (dā´vĬs), 1830–1921, British feminist, co-founder of Girton College, Cambridge. Educated at home, she became (1862) secretary of a committee to obtain the admission of women to university examinations. Out of this undertaking grew another committee, of which she was also secretary, to form a college for women. The college was organized at Hitchin, Hertfordshire, in 1869 and in 1873 transferred to Cambridge as Girton College. Davies was mistress of the college (1873–75) and its honorary secretary until 1904. From 1866 she was closely associated with the English woman-suffrage movement and was active in organizing the first woman-suffrage petition presented to Parliament by John Stuart Mill in 1866. She wrote Higher Education of Women (1866) and Thoughts on Some Questions Relating to Women (1910).

See D. Bennett Emily Davies and the Liberation of Women, 1830–1921 (1990).

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Davies, Emily

Davies, Emily (1830–1921). Born in Southampton, brought up in Gateshead where her father had a parish, Emily Davies began by helping Elizabeth Garrett Anderson to obtain her medical training. In 1862 she joined a committee to lobby for access to university examinations for women and then moved on to help organize a women's college. This opened at Hitchin in 1869 with five students and transferred to Girton, just outside Cambridge, in 1873, with fifteen. Davies served as mistress from 1873 until 1875 and as honorary secretary from 1867 to 1904. She was also a strong advocate of women's suffrage and organized J. S. Mill's petition to Parliament in 1866. ‘Small and plain … her face unrevealing between smooth bands of mouse-coloured hair’ was a contemporary assessment: ‘all at once friendly and formidable’ a later comment.

J. A. Cannon

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