Influential Women


When researching our Hidden Women of Influence the volunteers lived for themselves the phrase "History is written by men." A frequent comment was that they could discover much about the fathers, husbands or sons but little of the women themselves, particularly in the earlier generations. This is our response, this is our timeline.

  • Mary Ann Gilbert

    Mary Ann Gilbert

    Years: 1776 - 1845

    Role: Agronomist and social reformer

    1776 – 1845 Mary Ann Gilbert was born into the wealthy and prominent Gilbert family in 1776. At the age of 6 she lost her father and when her mother […]

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  • Wilhelmina Brodie Hall

    Years: 1845 - 1939

    Role: Guardian at Eastbourne Workhouse, early proponent of foster care

    1845 – 1939 Wilhelmina was born in Eastbourne in 1845 to Dr David Hall and Anna Brodie. She was the youngest child and lived at various addresses in Eastbourne.

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  • Hendrina Holman Bentley

    Hendrina Holman Bentley

    Years: 1855 - 1928

    Role: Victorian missionary in The Congo

    1855 – 1928 Hendrina Holman Bentley (nee Kloekers) was a Victorian missionary in The Congo. In her obituary she was described as a ‘woman of wide interests, great strength of […]

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  • Ada Ellen Bayly

    Years: 1857 - 1903

    Role: Novelist

    1857 – 1903 a.k.a Edna Lyall. Ada Ellen Bayly was born in Brighton at No. 5 Montpelier Villas on the 25th March 1857, she was the youngest of 4 children […]

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  • Edith Nesbitt

    Edith Nesbit

    Years: 1858 - 1924

    Role: Author and co-founder of The Fabian Society

    1858 – 1924 Edith Nesbit, who her family called Daisy, is known to her reading public as E . Nesbit. She wrote initially for adults in order to support her […]

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  • Marie Corbett

    Marie Corbett

    Years: 1859 - 1932

    Role: Early proponent of foster care, Co-founder Liberal Woman's Suffrage Society

    1859 – 1932 Victorian women had few rights and little say in politics. Their place was very much in the home unless they were extremely wealthy and brave enough to […]

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  • Emily Phipps

    Years: 1865 - 1943

    Role: Headmistress, Feminist, Barrister and important figure in the National Union of Women Teachers.

    1865 – 1943 Emily Phipps was a headmistress, a feminist, a barrister and an important figure in the National Union of Women Teachers. . Known for her sparkling personality, wit […]

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  • Lady Emily Shackleton

    Years: 1868 - 1936

    Role: Emissary, progressive, Divisional Commissioner, Girl Guides

    1868 – 1936 Emily Mary Dorman, later to become Lady Ernest Shackleton, was born into a large wealthy family in Sydenham, Kent. The surname is well known because of her […]

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  • Violet Gordon-Woodhouse

    Years: 1871 - 1948

    Role: Musician

    1871 – 1948 Violet was born on the 23rd April 1871 to James Eglinton Gwynne and Mary (May) Earle. She spent her early years at Folkington Manor, just outside Eastbourne, […]

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  • Alice Hudson

    Years: 1877 - 1960

    Role: Justice of the Peace and first female Mayor of Eastbourne

    1877 – 1960 Eastbourne Town Hall was only 40 years old when it had it’s first woman councillor, Miss Alice Hudson in 1919. She subsequently became the first female Mayor […]

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  • Mabel Lucie Atwell

    Years: 1879 - 1964

    Role: Illustrator and author

    1879 – 1964 Mabel Lucie Attwell was a British illustrator. She was known for her cute, nostalgic drawings of children, based on her daughter, Peggy. Her drawings are featured on […]

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  • Winifred Lady Peck

    Winifred Lady Peck

    Years: 1882 - 1962

    Role: Author

    1882 – 1962 On the death of her mother when she was nine, Winifred went to live with her aunt in Eastbourne and attended school there. She wrote over 20 […]

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  • Elsie Bowerman

    Years: 1889 - 1973

    Role: Barrister, Author and Titanic survivor

    1889 – 1973 Elsie Edith Bowerman was born in Tunbridge Wells and died in Eastbourne. She challenged the establishment by becoming a suffragist whilst at Girton College, Cambridge and again […]

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  • Jessy Blackburn

    Years: 1894 - 1995

    1894 – 1995 Jessy was born 20th April 1894 and christened Tryphena Jessy Thompson the youngest daughter of Wesley and Catherine. She became the first woman to fly a monoplane […]

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  • Noel Streatfeild

    Noel Streatfeild

    Years: 1895 - 1986

    Role: Author

    1895 – 1986 Born into a family of clergy in Frant, Mary Noel Streatfeild, known as Noel, grew up to be one of England’s most-loved authors of children’s fiction, books […]

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  • Peggy Angus

    Years: 1904 - 1993

    Role: Artist and Designer

    1904 – 1993 Peggy Angus was born in Chile and came from a large family. Despite a Chilean upbringing Peggy was Scottish, and was soon sent away to Scotland for […]

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  • Elizabeth David

    Elizabeth David

    Years: 1913 - 1992

    Role: Cookery Writer

    1913 – 1992 Elizabeth David is well-known as an influential cookery writer. She was born Elizabeth Gwynne at Wootton Manor, near Polegate. Her father, Rupert Gwynne was Conservative MP for […]

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  • Angela Carter

    Years: 1940 - 1992

    Role: Writer of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays

    1940 – 1992 Angela Carter was a writer in the second half of the 20th century whose work dealt with areas of magical realism and adventure with undertones of feminism. […]

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Tania Long

66 years of Art and Life: Inspirational Artist Tania Long

Throughout history, there have been many creative artists and teachers who have dedicated their lives to their craft. One such

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Pier 2 Peer Annual Charity Walk, Run or Cycle, Eastbourne, Pevensey, Hastings

Pier 2 Peer Annual Charity Walk, Run or Cycle

Join Wayfinder Woman’s second charity walk between Eastbourne and Hastings Piers to raise funds to keep our volunteer

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Women in Lockdown: stories by and about women during Covid-19

Women in Lockdown

We launched Women in Lockdown: stories by and about women during Covid-19 at Eastbourne’s Town Hall at a packed event

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