Bodichon, Barbara Leigh Smith, 1827-1891

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Barbara Bodichon (nee Leigh Smith) was born on 8 April 1827 at Whatlington, Sussex, sister of the Arctic explorer, Benjamin Leigh Smith (1828-1913). She was educated privately and studied political economy, law and art at Bedford Square Ladies College, London, becoming a painter of some renown. After receiving an endowment from her father, she established her own progressive school in London, later known as the Portman Hall School. During the 1850s, she concentrated on the campaign to remove women's legal disabilities and restrictions, publishing A Brief Summary, in Plain Language, of the Most Important Laws concerning Women in 1854 and Women and Work in 1857, the year in which she married Eugene Bodichon, a French physician.

She went on to form a committee with the intention of reforming the law to give married women rights to own property. In 1856, a petition with 26,000 signatures was presented to the House of Lords, which led to the Married Women's Property Bill passing its first and second readings in the House of Commons in 1857. In 1858, Bodichon and her friend, Bessie Rayner Parkes, purchased The Englishwoman's Journal , which was published nationwide to inform women about the rights movement. In 1865, Bodichon co-drafted a petition on women's suffrage, which was presented to the House of Commons by John Stuart Mill in 1866.

With Emily Davies, she was instrumental in the foundation of Girton College, Cambridge, the first residential college for women. Following a serious illness in 1877, Bodichon was left paralysed and was no longer able to take an active role in the suffrage movement. She died on 11 June 1891 at Robertsbridge, Sussex.

From the guide to the Barbara Bodichon collection, 1882, (Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Davies, Emily, 1830-1921. The papers of Emily Davies and Barbara Bodichon from Girton College, Cambridge, 1849-1921 (inclusive), [microform]. Yale University Library
referencedIn Records of the Female Middle Class Emigration Society, 1862-1885 The Women' s Library
creatorOf Bodichon, Barbara Leigh Smith, 1827-1891. Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon collection, 1857-1858. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Daubigny, Charles François, 1817-1878. Autograph letters signed (8) : London, Paris and [n.p.], to Barbara Bodichon, 1869 Sept. 13-1875 Mar. 2 and [n.d.]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Elizabeth Blackwell Letters, circa 1850-1884 Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Davis, Paulina W. (Paulina Wright), 1813-1876. Papers, 1843-1890. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Eliot, George, 1819-1880. George Eliot collection of papers, 1841-1899 bulk (1841-1879). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn George Eliot collection of papers, 1841-1899, 1841-1879 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
referencedIn Spring, Rebecca. Rebecca Spring papers, ca. 1830-1900. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, 1828-1882. Autograph letter signed : London, to William Allingham, 1854 Aug. [1]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Blackwell family. Papers, 1832-1981 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Chapman, John, 1822-1894. John Chapman collection, 1851-1868. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn William Neale collection, 1881-1925 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Papers of Barbara McCrimmon related to Barbara Bodichon [née Leigh Smith], 1826-1989 The Women' s Library
referencedIn Dorothea Lynde Dix papers, 1798-1893 (inclusive), 1827-1887 (bulk). Houghton Library, , Harvard College Library, Harvard University
creatorOf Bodichon, Barbara Leigh Smith, 1827-1891. Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon collection, 1857-1858. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Eliot, George, 1819-1880. The George Eliot and George Henry Lewes collection, 1834-1981. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Personal Papers of Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon, 1801-2000 Girton College Library, University of Cambridge
referencedIn Chapman, John, 1822-1894. John Chapman collection, 1851-1868. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Davis, Paulina W. (Paulina Wright), 1813-1876. Paulina Wright Davis papers, 1843-1890. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Papers, 1832-1981 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, 1828-1882. Autograph letter signed with initials : place not specified, to William Allingham, Monday [1854 Apr. 24]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, 1828-1882. Autograph letters signed (22) : London, to Mrs. Barbara Bodichon, [1854] May 2-1876 Feb. 18. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Procter, Adelaide Anne, 1825-1864. Autograph letter signed : London, to Mrs. Bodichon, "Thursday" [n.d.]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn William Lofley collection, 1880-1881 Scott Polar Research Institute
creatorOf Rossetti, Christina Georgina, 1830-1894. Autograph letters signed (13) : London, to Mrs. [Barbara] Bodichon, [1860 Aug. 15]-[1876] Apr. 16. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Barbara Bodichon collection, 1882 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Charles Henry Brainard papers, 1795-1884 and undated. Houghton Library, , Harvard College Library, Harvard University
referencedIn Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, 1828-1882. Autograph letter signed : London, to William Allingham, 1855 Jan. 23. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn George Eliot and George Henry Lewes collection, 1834-1981 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Autograph Letter Collection: General Women's Movement, 1825-1896 The Women' s Library
referencedIn Blackwell, Elizabeth, 1821-1910. Elizabeth Blackwell letters, 1850-1884 (?). Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Barbara Bodichon collection, 1882 Scott Polar Research Institute
creatorOf Lewes, George Henry, 1817-1878. Autograph letters signed (2) : London and Holly Lodge, to Barbara Bodichon, 1878 Dec. 3 and [n.d.]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Autograph Letter Collection: General and Personal, 1800-1972 The Women' s Library
referencedIn Benjamin Leigh Smith collection, 1855-1882 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, 1828-1882. Autograph letter signed with initials : Hastings, to William Allingham, [1854 May 7]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Magnus Giver collection, 1881 Scott Polar Research Institute
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Baxter William person
associatedWith Blackwell, Elizabeth, 1821-1910. person
associatedWith Blackwell family. family
associatedWith BLACKWELL FAMILY family
associatedWith Blythe Isabella person
associatedWith Bodichon Barbara 1827-1891 person
associatedWith Bodichon, Eugène. person
correspondedWith Brainard, Charles Henry, 1817-1885 person
associatedWith British Exploring Expedition Russian Arctic 1881-1882 corporateBody
associatedWith Chapman, John, 1822-1894. person
associatedWith Daubigny, Charles François, 1817-1878. person
associatedWith Davies, Emily, 1830-1921. person
associatedWith Davis, Paulina W. (Paulina Wright), 1813-1876. person
correspondedWith Dix, Dorothea Lynde, 1802-1887 person
associatedWith Eliot, George, 1819-1880. person
associatedWith Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882. person
associatedWith Giver Magnus K person
associatedWith Gratton, Joseph. person
associatedWith Lewes, George Henry, 1817-1878. person
associatedWith Lofley William person
associatedWith Lofley, William person
associatedWith Longden, Dorothy. person
associatedWith Ludlow, Isabella Leigh Smith. person
associatedWith Magnus K Giver person
associatedWith Mott, Lucretia, 1793-1880. person
associatedWith Procter, Adelaide Anne, 1825-1864. person
associatedWith Rossetti, Christina Georgina, 1830-1894. person
associatedWith Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, 1828-1882. person
associatedWith Smith, Benjamin Leigh. person
associatedWith Spring, Rebecca. person
associatedWith William Henry Neale person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Southern States
Southern States
United States
United States
Subject
Slaves--Social conditions--19th century
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1827-04-08

Death 1891-06-11

Britons

Information

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