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Mary Blathwayt

Mary Blathwayt

Early Life

Mary Blathwayt was born on 1 February 1879 in Worthing, Sussex. Her father Linley was an Indian Army officer who retired to Eagle House, Batheaston, where Mary grew up with her brother William. She attended Bath High School and as she grew older she taught music to village children and raised hens. 


Mary, who along with her mother Emily had been interested in suffrage, met Annie Kenney in Bath in 1906. This accelerated Mary’s involvement in organising the campaign in the local area. Eagle House became a meeting place, rest home and eventually arboretum for the Suffragette movement. In 1911, Mary joined other suffragettes in Landsdowne Crescent in Bath to evade the census. Emily wrote that in 1912 Mary was spending all day in Bath working on the campaign. 

The Blathwayts' support, however, was critically tested when Vera Wentworth, Elsie Howey and Jessie Kenney assaulted Prime Minister Asquith.  When a nearby house was burned down by suffragettes, Mary resigned her membership of the WSPU in 1913, remaining a member of the NUWSS.

Later Life

Mary spent the rest of her life living with her parents and William at Eagle House, caring for the arboretum. She stayed in contact with Annie, sending her updates on the health of the arboretum and enclosing plant cuttings.  She died on 25 June 1961.

Mary kept a diary of her time working with the WSPU which provides a rich account of many of the suffragettes who had trees in the plantation.  


 'I walked around the suffragette planation yesterday morning and cut off four bits of trees for you. Your tree, Christabel’s Lady Constance Lytton's and Mary Howey’s.'