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Magee, Martha Maria (d. 1846)

Magee, Martha Maria (d. 1846)

Irish philanthropist . Born Martha Maria Stewart in Lurgan, County Armagh, Northern Ireland; died in 1846; married William Magee, a Presbyterian minister, in 1780 (died 1800).

Born into the Stewart family in the town of Lurgan in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, Martha Maria Stewart married Presbyterian minister William Magee in 1780. Twenty years later, her husband died; she then inherited what was then considered a fortune upon the deaths of her brothers. When Magee died in 1846, she bequeathed a sum of £20,000 sterling to be used for the construction and endowment of a college to educate and train Irish Presbyterian ministers. That institution, named Magee College in her honor, opened in Londonderry in 1865. It is now part of the University of Ulster.

Don Amerman , freelance writer, Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania

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