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Mary Bateson Papers

Date range: 1890s–1929.

Mary Bateson (1865–1906), suffragist and historian, had a long association with Newnham College, Cambridge, as successively student, lecturer and fellow.

After receiving a first in the history tripos in 1887, Bateson focused her research initially on monastic and religious history, producing a pioneering study of women’s monastic communities.

In the 1890s her attention shifted to the customs and laws of the boroughs of medieval England, leading to the publication of a two-volume work, Borough Customs.

Bateson was also a suffragist and tireless advocate of women’s rights. She served the Cambridge Women’s Suffrage Association and in 1906 was a member of a delegation representing women graduates that met the Prime Minister, Campbell-Bannerman.

The archive chiefly comprises research papers, notes and transcriptions relating to Mary Bateson’s publications and lectures on medieval history, from the mid-1890s until her death in 1906.

There are extensive notes on Bateson’s most significant editorial works, Records of the Borough of Leicester (1899–1905) and Borough Customs (Selden Society, 1904 and 1906), and research for articles written for the English Historical Review, as well as some posthumous material.

Finding aids

Catalogue available online via ELGAR.

Location

The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library

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