Clough, Jemima (1820–1892)

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Clough, Jemima (1820–1892)

English educator. Born Anne Jemima Clough at Liverpool, England, on January 20, 1820; died in Cambridge, England, on February 27, 1892; daughter of a cotton merchant; sister of the poet Arthur Hugh Clough.

Born in Liverpool, Jemima Clough was two years old when she moved with her family to Charleston, South Carolina. In her mid-teens, she returned to England (1836), where she was engaged as a teacher though her ambition was to write. She was prompted by her father's business failure to open a school in 1841, which she ran until 1846. Clough studied in London and worked at both the Borough Road and the Home and Colonial schools before opening her own small school in 1852 at Ambleside in West-moreland. Ten years later, she gave up this venture to educate the children of her brother Arthur Hugh Clough, who died in 1861, living for a time with his widow. Intensely interested in the education of women, Clough made friends with Emily Davies, Barbara Bodichon , and Frances Mary Buss . She helped found the North of England council for promoting the higher education of women, of which she acted as secretary (1867–70) and president (1873–74).

When a house for the residence of women students at Cambridge was opened, she was chosen as its first principal. Originating with five students in 1871 in Regent Street, Cambridge, this hostel continued at Merton Hall, Cambridge, in 1872, and led to the building of Newnham Hall (opened in 1875), as well as to the establishment of Newnham College for women (1880). Clough's magnetism and ambitious goals, together with her stewardship of Newnham College, led her to be regarded as one of the foremost leaders of the women's educational movement. Two portraits of Jemima Clough are located at Newnham College, one by Sir W.B. Richmond, the other by J.J. Shannon.


Clough, Blanche Athena. Memoir of Anne Jemima Clough, 1897.

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