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OXFORD ASSOCIATION FOR THE HIGHER EDUCATION
OF WOMEN. The Report for 1881-2 announces that of the fiftyeight students attending lectures in the Michaelmas Term, 1881, rather more than half reside in the two Halls—in Lady Margaret Hall under Miss Wordsworth as Principal, and Somerville Hall, under Miss ShawLefevre. Lady Margaret Hall has been enlarged by about half its original size during the past year, and a similar extension is now in progress at Somerville Hall. Of the twenty-five students resident outside the Halls, seventeen live at their own homes, four have come from a distance to live with their friends, and four are boarding in Oxford under the supervision of the Secretary, Mrs. Green.
The past year has been the first in which the students attending the Lectures have offered themselves in any numbers for the Oxford Examination of Women over eighteen years of age. Of the twenty-one students who presented themselves, eight went in for the “First Examination," and seven passed. For the “Second Examination” (Pass) there were three candidates, and two passed. For thé “ Second Examination” (Honours) there were ten candidates, of whom one obtained a First-Class Certificate in French and German, five obtained Second Class Certificates in Philosophy, Modern History, English Language and Literature, and French and German respectively, and four obtained Third Class Certificates in Modern History, English Language and Literature respectively. Another student, who presented herself for the London Matriculation Examination in June came out tenth in the Honours Division, and obtained the Gilchrist Exhibition, offered to the woman who should take the highest place in that Examination.
LADIES COLLEGIATE SCHOOL, DERRY. On December 19th, the distribution of prizes was made by Sir Edward Reid, J.P., Mayor of Derry. The report stated that an examination was held on the special course prescribed for the Irish Society's Scholarship of £25. Miss Eleanor Hogben gained the scho
larship. The Student Teachers' Scholarship was, on the results of the same examination, awarded to Miss Mary Gillespie, but as she could not fulfil the conditions attached to the scholarship, she does not accept it. The prize of £5 given by a friend for Greek and Latin has been awarded to Miss Anna G. Hogben on the results of the intermediate examinations on these subjects; and the £5 given by the same friend for mathematics has been gained by Miss Bessie Anderson, who is the gold medallist in the senior grade this year. There was a good School of Art in Londonderry, of which many of the girls took advantage. Sufficient evidence of their progress was shown by the number of certificates and prizes which were gained by them at the recent examination. “At the intermediate examinations of this year, thirty-five girls presented themselves for examination-six in the senior, ten in the middle, and nineteen in the junior grade. Thirty-one passed, gaining for themselves six medals, eight exhibitions, three retained exhibitions, nine prizes, and for their school the first place in Ireland. Out of the three silver medals given for obtaining the second place in each grade, two—the senior and middle-were won by girls from this school, and out of the three gold medals for the first place in mathematics in each grade, two-the senior and junior--were won by our girls. The senior gold medal for the first place in English is held by one of our girls who has kept
the first place in English for three successive years. The middle grade medal for first place in music is also held by another girl from this school."
POOR LAW GUARDIANS. At the Conference held on this question in Leeds on December 8th, of which a short report was given in our last number, the following important letter from the Rt. Hou. Jas. Stansfeld, M.P., was read :
“I strongly approve of women as Poor Law Guardians. purely administrative point of view, I think it essential that women should, as Guardians, take their part in the public management of the poor. When I appointed Mrs. Senior to make certain inquiries for me as a Local Government Board Inspector, I did it on this ground, viz., that there were certain questions concerning the management of children in some large poor law institutions on which I had
That was my
to come to some judgment and resolution of my own. resporsibility, and I was expected to fulfil it by trusting in the faculties of perception and judginent of men alone. I think I should have been wanting in common decency at least, if not in common sense, if I had not said, “I will not see in these matters by the eyes of men alone. In the management of women in workhouse establishments, of girls and of children, it is in my mind presumption on the part of men to think they can do without women as well as with them. They may say, "We will have the help of women, but in subordination to men.' My answer is, if so, they will go against nature, for in the arrangement of the family and of the home, it is the woman who practically governs and not the man. And men find out how little they know when they are left with a young family. But in all these questions concerning the part and function of woman in public or associated life, the one thing in my opinion, and I believe in yours, is to create no artificial barriers, and to trust to nature that when left free to be chosen and to choose, women will be found in their lines of advance in public work most fitted for them and most likely to conduce to the public good.”
NOTTINGHAM.-On December 19th, a Conference with a similar object was held in the ante-room of the Exchange Hall, by kind permission of the Mayor. The chair was taken by the Rev. R. A. Armstrong, and among others present were Mrs. Shearer, and Miss C. A. Biggs (London), Mrs. G. R. Cowen, Mrs. Dowson, Mr. Councillor Brown, Mr. Councillor Walker, and Mr. É. H. Gordon, the last two gentlemen being Members of the Nottingham Board of Guardians.
The CHAIRMAN said the appointment of ladies on the Board of Guardians appeared to him from an abstract point of view a most eminently desirable consummation, inasmuch as the classes that had to be dealt with under the Poor Law included women as well as men, and above all, children in very large numbers. In considering what would be for the welfare of children, and how they should be trained, they would all agree that the voice of women ought to be heard as well as the voice of men, and the votes of women ought to be taken as well as those of men. Something in an unofficial way had been already done in this direction in Nottingham. An arrangement very satisfactory on a limited scale had been entered into by which ladies in the town had superintended the boarding-out of pauper children.
Miss C. A. BIGGS said that in former times women
used to take charge of nearly all the charities in the country. Now the great State Charity was managed in the organisation of Boards of Guardians, and if women were to do their share in the charitable work of the country, it must be by entering that organisation, and aiding in carrying out a system, the work of which had been left to men hitherto, Mrs. Nassau Senior, when she was appointed assistant Government Inspector by Mr. Stansfeld, had discovered many abuses which had gone on in different workhouses, and also other things, not abuses, but neglect, which told, however, very greatly upon the health of the inmates. It was she who pointed out to the Government that the children, and especially the girls, could not in the existing enormous schools receive the individual attention which they needed to bring them up healthily. Her suggestions had been made the basis of many alterations. As an instance of the energy which she infused into her work was a case when a bad attack of ophthalmia was reported from a school in the country. It was suggested that it came from the bad ventilation of the infant's dormitories, but there were proper ventilators. Mrs. Senior left London in the middle of the night, arrived at the place at four in the morning, obtained admittance, and found all the windows and ventilators shut, the air of the rooms being foul enough fully to account for ophthalmia. It was thought that what Mrs. Senior had been able to do as Assistant Inspector, many ladies might help to do if possessing official duties on the various Boards.
Mr. Councillor WALKER did not see any difficulty in Nottingham in returning ladies to the Board of Guardians, but suggested that two lady members out of a total of 57 would be insufficient.
Mrs. SHEARER (néé Miss DOWNING), said if they could possibly do it, they should have upon every Board a sufficient number of women to form a committee composed of women alone. There were many cases which, unfortunately, came before Boards which might be dealt with by such a committee, instead of by the general body of members. The qualification for a Guardian in Nottingham was a £25 ratal; in London,
£40. She intended to test whether married ladies were eligible for election. Her husband had no objection to her being on the rate-book as a ratepayer.
If the Local Government did not accept this, she would be prepared to go further, and seek to do away with this qualification.
Mr. Councillor BROWNE moved “ That this meeting is of opinion that it is desirable to have a fair proportion of properly qualified women on the Nottingham Board of Guardians, and that a provisional committee of ladies and gentlemen be formed to carry out this resolution.”
Mrs. Cowen seconded the proposition, which was put to the vote and agreed to.
It was next resolved that the following ladies and gentlemen should be appointed a provisional Committee:-Mr. J. B. Walker, Mrs. Cowen, Mrs. Medley, Mrs. Lewis, Mrs. Dowson, Mr. E. W. Enfield, Mr. Allport, and Mr. J. W. Lewis, with power to add to their numbers.
BIRMINGHAM.—On the same day, December 19th, a meeting of ladies assembled at the invitation of Mrs. C. E. Mathews, Edgbaston, and a committee was formed for the purpose of finding suitable women candidates.
SUFFRAGE. A deputation from the Edinburgh National Society for Women's Suffrage, on December 28th, waited upon Lord-Advocate Balfour, in his chambers, at Parliament-square. The deputation consisted of Mrs. Nicol, Miss Burton, Miss Wigham, Miss Kirkland, and Miss M. Matheson. The deputation presented his Lordship with an address, pressing, on the ground of justice, the claim which they advocated, and pointing out that as one-seventh of the property-holders in the country were women, property was to that extent unrepresented in the House of Commons. In answer to questions by the Lord-Advocate, it was stated that there were upwards of 9,000 women householders in Edinburgh, and that upwards of 5,000 of these had petitioned in favour of having the Parliamentary franchise extended to them. The ladies laid before his lordship the claim for representation which existed in