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Macmillan for April has an article on National Dress Reform by Lady Harberton.
The Contemporary Review contains a paper on Vivisection and its Two-faced Advocates, by Miss Cobbe. Cassell's Magazine has a most interesting
paper on the manner in which women are employed in Belgium.
RECORD OF EVENTS.
WOMEN STUDENTS IN LONDON. A MEETING of ladies and gentlemen interested in female education was held on March 27th, at the Langham Hotel to promote the establishment of a “ hall of residence" for women students in London. Miss Müller, M.L.S.B., presided. It was pointed out that the opening of University College, London, to women had created the need for a place of residence which should offer to students attending the lectures of the college residential advantages similar to those enjoyed at Girton and Newnham Colleges, Cambridge. To meet this want, it was suggested that a house should be taken in the immediate neighbourhood of University College, and opened for the reception of students at the commencement of the Michaelmas Term. It was proposed to admit those who are studying at University College, the Slade School of Art, or the London School of Medicine for Women. Students under seventeen years of age cannot be admitted. Each student will have a room to herself, fitted up to serve as a sitting-room and bedroom, and a reference library and common room will be provided for general use. The hall of residence will be presided over by a lady principal, who will have under her control the internal management, subject to the regulation of the governing body. She will be accessible daily at a fixed hour to such students as may wish to consult her, and will make such arrangements as they may require for private tui
tion in the hall, supplemental to the lectures which they are attending. The expenses for board and residence will probably vary from 28s. to 35s. per week, not including fires in private rooms.
There will be no retaining charge for rooms during vacation. Payment for the term must be made in advance. Students are expected to give three months' notice before leaving. In the course of her address Miss Müller dwelt upon the intellectual advantages of the scheme, and Mr. J. G. Fitch, M.A., who followed, reminded the meeting that students would, if the hall of residence were established, at least be protected from the average London lodging-house keeper, of whom, he remarked, people had a very reasonable horror. With regard to the practical side of the scheme, it was pointed out, however, that the promoters should in the first place secure money for their preliminary expenses before the scheme could be fairly started. It was thought, too, that an appeal to the public for funds to erect a suitable building would meet with far more effective support than any effort to rent a house in Bloomsbury. Eventually a resolution was adopted in accordance with the object of the meeting, and a provisional committee appointed.
Miss M. C. WENTWORTH, of Wentworth House, Swan Walk, Chelsea, writes to the papers to say that a similar hall of residence already exists in London, and during the three years that it has been opened it has received ladies studying at University College, the British Museum, the Slade School of Art, the London School of Medicine, and the Royal Academies of Arts and Music. Copies of the prospectus and rules would be sent on application to her, or to the lady manager, Miss Cail, Russell House, Tavistock Square, Bloomsbury, who would also be very happy to show the house and garden to any visitors interested in the objects of the establishment.
CAMBRIDGE LOCAL EXAMINATIONS. The junior girls gained the highest percentage of passes, namely 71.1, though not so high as last year, when 75 per cent. passed. The history and geography, and the play of “ Çoriolanus were much
better prepared by girls than boys. The answering in Latin syntax and composition comes in for most severe condemnation. In fact, all through, the reports on the performances in the language papers, the apparent inability of candidates to comprehend grammar is commented on. The scientific subjects do not appear to be successfully attempted. From the general tenor of the reports it may be gathered that a mere pass signifies only the barest modicum of knowledge, and that much remains to be done before the instruction given to boys and girls of the middle classes rises to a moderate degree of intelligence and accuracy.Athenæum.
The Drapers' Company has placed at the disposal of the London School Board four scholarships, two for boys and two for girls, each of the average value of £30 per annum, and tenable for four years.
SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION, EDINBURGH. The contest for the Edinburgh School Board election took place on March 25th, with the gratifying result of the return in the second and third place on the poll of Miss Stevenson and Mrs. Bain. Dr. Sandford, also an unsectarian candidate, stood at the head of the poll. The Scotsman, March 27th, says:
Another aspect of the contest which gives ground for satisfaction is, the honourable position occupied by the women candidates. They have been restored to the places which they held in the first election—the second and third places on the poll ; and though they have not received the largest number of votes, they have been supported by a larger number of individual voters than any other candidate, not even excepting Dr. Sandford. It is impossible to mistake the significance of this fact. No doubt, Miss Stevenson and Mrs. Bain were supported by many simply because they were women, and because it was deemed important that women should be on the Board; but it is quite well known that hundreds of voters supported them because they were not sectaries. For electors who disapproved of the denominational selection of candidates, and who yet wished to take part in the election, there was nothing left but to vote for the ladies—unless it was to vote for Dr. Sandford. Many did the one thing, and many did the other, while some did both. There never has been an election in which “use and wont” has been at a greater discount. In 1879, the lowest “use and wont" had 8500 votes. At this election, seven of the “use and wont” candidates have polled fewer votes than that. If we leave out of account Mr. Balfour, whose position is peculiar, and whose votes are more than balanced
by those of the Temperance candidates, then we have this remarkable result, that Dr. Sandford, Mrs. Bain, and Miss Stevenson together received more votes than all the “use and wont” candidates together— Established Church, Free Church, and United Presbyterian.
The first duty of the Board is the election of its chairman.
The member whose position on the poll fairly entitles him to claim the chair is Dr. Sandford, and in some respects he would make an admirable chairman ; but it might seem invidious, and might savour of partisanship, to prefer him to his assailant. There is also an objection to placing a new member who has had no experience of the Board's work over those who have been long familiar with it. If, on these grounds, Dr. Sandford must be passed uver, then the next claim unquestionably belongs to Miss Flora Stevenson. Indeed, there is no other member of the Board who has a better right to the chair. She is returned by a larger number of voters than any other candidate without exception. She has been a member of the Board from the beginning, and has acquired a thorough knowledge of its business in all its departments and in all its details. She has proved herself an excellent woman of business, and a ready as well as a clear and concise speaker ; and she possssses ample leisure, which she has always been zealous to devote to the interests of public education. Why, then, should Miss Stevenson not be promoted to the chair? There is no Salic clause in the Education Act, any more than there is in the law of the British Constitution. Edinburgh has from the first set a good example to Scotland in having women on the School Board. Why siould the Metropolis hesitate to set the further example of putting a woman in the chair? We have not approved of all that Miss Stevenson has done in the past; and we are not likely to approve of all that she may do in the future ; but we are quite certain that she would not make the blunders that some chairmen have made ; and that, if ever she did make mistakes, she would acknowledge them with good grace and good temper. If there had not been a contest, provoked on unworthy grounds, and not altogether disconnected, perhaps, with this very point of the chairmanship, the matter might have been settled differently ; but the contest has entirely changed the situation. Since the men are not likely to come to an amicable arrangement, let them amicably give place to one of the woinen, who has proved herself singularly well fitted for the post.
ELECTION OF POOR LAW GUARDIANS. BIRMINGHAM.—There was practically no contest, as the two political parties in the town adopted a joint list of candidates. Mrs. Ashford and Mrs. Bracey Perry were placed upon the Liberal Association list for the parish of Birmingham. The election took place on March 25th. Mr. George Hill, returning officer, declared the result on March 30th. The whole of the sixty names on the joint list of Liberals and Conservatives had been elected. The lady candidates are described as follows: Eliza Ashford, 11, Lower Essex Street, manufacturer; and Caroline Mary Perry, 201, Hagley Road, widow. Though on the Liberal list the latter does not wish to be classed as a political representative. We understand that the Liberals had offered a place on their list to four or five ladies if they could be found. The mode of election is very peculiar in Birmingham, and efforts are being made that this shall be the last election under the old system. We quote from the local
paper: Under the present system of election the qualification necessary for a member of the Board is that of a £20 poor rate assessment; while that of a voter is £12. The voting is not cumulative, but each elector has the option of voting for 60 candidates or any less nuinber as he may think fit. The polling took place on Saturday in the Committee Room of the Parish Offices, Paradise Street. At 10 o'clock in the morning a meeting of electors was held in the Board Room, and was attended mostly by the retiring members of the Board. Mr. G. Hull, one of the churchwardens of the parish, presided. Mr. W. Bowen (the clerk) having read the notice convening the meeting, Mr. Bloor (the chairman of the late Board) proposed that Mr. Hull should be the presiding officer to conduct the election. This was seconded by Mr. W. Sharp, and carried unanimously. The presiding officer then proceeded to the committee room, and commenced taking the votes. Each voter had first to obtain a certificate from the rate collector, howing that he had duly paid his rates. This he presented to the presiding officer, together with an envelope containing the names of the candidates -each on a separate piece of paper—for whom he voted. The certificate was placed on a file, and the voting papers were deposited in a large box kept for the purpose. The polling proceeded slowly from the commencement until the close at three o'clock in the afternoon. About 100 persons voted during the first hour. It was expected that 600 or 700 persons would go to the poll, but the whole number of electors who voted was only between 300 and 400, while the number entitled to vote was 18,000. Among those who recorded their votes were several ladies, including Mrs. Ashford and Mrs. Perry. It is interesting to note the course which was adopted by several of the voters. One on being directed to get his certificate enquired if he was to vote as he was told. A reply was given in the affirmative, upon which the voter said he should do nothing of the kind,” and throwing down his voting papers, left
Another voter handed in the name of simply one candidate, and another struck out the names of all the candidates who were publicans, while another expressed his desire to vote only for the new candidates, but being unable to distinguish them from the old guardians, he left without voting at all. At three o'clock the box containing the voting papers was sealed, and placed