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Mary Howey

Tree planted by Mary Howey

Early Life

Mary C O Howey was the daughter of a Nottinghamshire clergyman. She was born in Finningley, South Yorkshire, in 1884 but the family moved to Malvern after her father’s death in 1887. Her mother Gertrude was a suffragette and theosophist. Her sister Elsie was a prominent  suffragette and also planted a tree in the Arboretum. Mary became an artist. 


In February 1908 Mary was arrested, along with her sister Elsie, for taking part in a demonstration outside the House of Commons. It seems likely that Mary was also imprisoned following this protest - her name appears in the Roll of Honour of imprisoned women. 

In 1910, Mary appeared in a procession depicting suffragettes journey from prison to citizenship. She sat on a throne on a float representing all suffrage prisoners surrounded by young women dressed in white. Mary worked for the WSPU in Penzance. 

Mary spoiled the 1911 census form, writing 'Votes for Women' in large capitals across the form. She gave her occupation as 'Artist and Suffragette' and her address as Holly Lodge, near Malvern. Mary included a domestic servant on the form but not her sister or her mother and it seems likely they were evading the census. 

Mary planted a cypress tree on 2 September 1910.  


'Not Enfranchised.' Mary Howie wrote this in the 'Infirmities' column on her 1911 census form.