Elizabeth Jesser Reid - Bedford Square, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 31.121 W 000° 07.764
30U E 699155 N 5711413
Quick Description: Elizabeth Jesser Reid was the founder of the Bedford College for Women.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 8/19/2011 8:56:24 AM
Waymark Code: WMCBND
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member miatabug
Views: 4

Long Description:
The plaque reads:
"Bedford / College for Women / University of London / Founded here / in 1849 / by / Elizabeth Jesser / Reid".


Bedford College was founded in London in 1849 as a higher education college for the education of women. It was the first institution of its type for women in the United Kingdom. In 1900, the college became a constituent school of the University of London. It played a leading role in the advancement of women in higher education, and also in public life in general. The college became fully coeducational in the 1960s. In 1985, Bedford College merged with another of the University of London's colleges – Royal Holloway College. The merged institution was named Royal Holloway and Bedford New College (RHBNC) currently known as Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL).

Text source: (visit link)


Elizabeth Jesser Reid (25 December 1789 - 1 April 1866), was an English social reformer, anti-slavery activist and philanthropist. She is best remembered as the founder of Bedford College.

She was born Elizabeth Jesser Sturch in 1789 in London. Her father, William Sturch, was a wealthy Unitarian ironmonger. In 1821, she married Dr. John Reid. Dr. Reid had inherited land on the River Clyde at Glasgow, which had become valuable as the port grew in size. His death in July 1822 gave Mrs. Reid an independent income, which she used to patronise various philanthropic causes.

Active in liberal Unitarian circles, Reid was an anti-slavery activist, attending the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1840 and taking a close interest in the American Civil War. She was also in contact with leading figures in the revolutions in France and Germany in 1848, and the struggles for Italian independence.

In 1849, Reid founded Bedford College at Bedford Square in the Bloomsbury area of London. The college was a women-only higher education institution which aimed to provide a liberal and non-sectarian education for female students – something no other institution in the United Kingdom offered at the time. Bedford College played a leading role in the advancement of women in higher education, and in public life in general. There is a green plaque on her house in Bedford Square.

Reid died in 1866, leaving her remaining wealth in a trust fund for the college.

Bedford College became a college of the University of London in 1900, and merged with Royal Holloway College in 1985 to become Royal Holloway and Bedford New College. One of the halls of residence on the current campus is named "Reid Hall" in memory of the Bedford College founder.

Text source: (visit link)
Blue Plaque managing agency: Unknown

Individual Recognized: Elizabeth Jesser Reid

Physical Address:
46 Bedford SquareLondon United Kingdom

Web Address: [Web Link]

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