Millicent Mackenzie

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Millicent Mackenzie
Millicent Mackenzie 1915.jpg
Mackenzie in 1915
Hettie Millicent Hughes

1863 (1863)
Bristol, England
Died10 December 1942(1942-12-10) (aged 78–79)
Brockweir, England
Known forFeminist, educator
Spouse(s)John Stuart Mackenzie

Millicent Hughes Mackenzie (1863 in Bristol – 10 December 1942 in Brockweir) was a British professor of education at University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, the first female professor in Wales and the first appointed to a fully chartered university in the United Kingdom. She wrote on the philosophy of education, founded the Cardiff Suffragette branch, became the only woman Parliamentary Candidate in Wales for 1918, and was a key initiator of Steiner-Waldorf education in the United Kingdom.

Bristol City and county in England

Bristol is a city and county in South West England with a population of 463,400. The wider district has the 10th-largest population in England. The urban area population of 724,000 is the 8th-largest in the UK. The city borders North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, with the cities of Bath and Gloucester to the south-east and north-east, respectively. South Wales lies across the Severn estuary.

Brockweir village in United Kingdom

Brockweir is a small village on the eastern bank of the River Wye, within the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England. A road bridge links it across the river to Monmouthshire, Wales, about a mile (1.6 km) outside the village of Tintern and 7 12 miles (12.1 km) north of Chepstow. The village is close to both the Offa's Dyke Path and the Wye Valley Walk.

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Historical sovereign state from 1801 to 1921

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was a sovereign state established by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland.



Academic and political career

Hester Millicent Hughes was born in 1863 into the family of Walter William Hughes of Bristol. She went to school in the Bristol suburb of Clifton and later was sent for further schooling to Switzerland, after which she entered the University College, Bristol and the Cambridge Teacher Training College. She was normal mistress at the University College of South Wales & Monmouthshire from 1891 to 1904. This is where she met John Stuart Mackenzie, professor of philosophy at the University College, a Hegelian and author of a number of philosophical works and text books. The couple were married in 1898, and at her request the university allowed her to continue as normal mistress thereafter. When the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire opened their teacher training for female students, she was appointed to head it, the university being then just a few years old and having a welcoming and enlightened policy towards female students and staff. She made history through her appointment to associate professor in 1904 and to professor of education (women) in 1910, making her the first female professor in Wales and the first female professor appointed to a fully chartered university in the United Kingdom. [1] [2] [3] Millicent was appointed to Senate in 1909 (the first woman to be appointed to Cardiff's Senate), though the Senate Minutes record her attending and being involved in Senate Meetings going back to 25 October 1904. [4]

Clifton, Bristol suburb of Bristol, England

Clifton is both a suburb of Bristol, England, and the name of one of the city's thirty-five council wards. The Clifton ward also includes the areas of Cliftonwood and Hotwells. Other parts of the suburb lie within the ward of Clifton East.

University College, Bristol

University College, Bristol was an educational institution which existed from 1876 to 1909. It was the predecessor institution to the University of Bristol, which gained a royal charter in 1909. During its time the college mainly served the middle classes of Bristol, and catered for young men who had entered a family business and needed a greater understanding of scientific topics.

John Stuart Mackenzie (1860–1935) was a British philosopher, born near Glasgow, and educated at Glasgow, Cambridge, and Berlin. In 1884-89 he was a fellow at Edinburgh and from 1890 to 1896 fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He lectured on political economy at Owens College, Manchester, in 1890-93, and in 1895 became professor of logic and philosophy in University College, Cardiff. Mackenzie was an idealist philosopher and a Hegelian of the type of Green, Bosanquet, and Caird.

She played a key role in the establishment of the College School. This was a demonstration school founded by the university in which members of the Secondary Training Department for Women carried out their teaching practice, taught boys until the age of 10, who then went on to public school and girls until they were 18 or 19. [5]

She joined the women's movement, co-founding the Cardiff and District Women's Suffrage Society and standing as Labour Party candidate in the parliamentary elections of 1918, the only female candidate in the country. [6] In 1909 she published Hegel's Educational Theory and Practice, her most important book. Besides this she published numerous other books and lectures on education.

The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom that has been described as an alliance of social democrats, democratic socialists and trade unionists. The party's platform emphasises greater state intervention, social justice and strengthening workers' rights.

"Much of her work focused on the methods for preparing teachers for working in schools across the country and advocated co-educational instruction. She researched Welsh and UK schools and also drew insight from the US and European education systems. In 1894, with co-author Amy Blanche Bramwell, they wrote the title Training of Teachers in the United States, a title that focused on the co-education in US teacher trainer schools. She also authored Moral Education: The Task of the Teacher (1909); Freedom in Education. An Inquiry into its Meaning, Value, and Condition (1905)” [7]

Meeting with Rudolf Steiner's education

In 1913 she became a member of the Theosophical Society and on 2 July 1914 joined the London branch of Harry Collison, which was devoted to studying the works of Rudolf Steiner, who had appointed Collison as his official translator into English.

Theosophical Society Organization advancing theosophical thought

The Theosophical Society was an organization formed in the United States in 1875 by Helena Blavatsky to advance Theosophy. The original organization, after splits and realignments, currently has several successors. Following the death of Blavatsky, competition within the Society between factions emerged, particularly among founding members and the organisation split between the Theosophical Society Adyar (Olcott-Besant) and the Theosophical Society Pasadena (Judge). The former group, headquartered in India, is the most widespread international group holding the name "Theosophical Society" today.

Rudolf Steiner Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, economist and esotericist

Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner was an Austrian clairvoyant, philosopher, social reformer, architect, economist and esotericist. Steiner gained initial recognition at the end of the nineteenth century as a literary critic and published philosophical works including The Philosophy of Freedom. At the beginning of the twentieth century he founded an esoteric spiritual movement, anthroposophy, with roots in German idealist philosophy and theosophy; other influences include Goethean science and Rosicrucianism.

In 1915 Barbara Foxley took over her role as Professor of Education [8] as Mackenzie and her husband went into early retirement to travel and write. The Council Minutes, 1914–1915 record a meeting of the Council on 14 May 1915, accepting their resignations "with deep regret". [9] It was not until after World War I, when travel had become possible again that she went, together with her husband, on two lecture tours, visiting India, Burma, Ceylon and Europe between 1920 and 1922, and Berkeley, California in 1923. In August 1921 the couple were present at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland to take part in the Summer Art Course that had been organised by Baron Arild Rosenkrantz for English participants. Here they met Rudolf Steiner for the first time, spoke to the people working at the Goetheanum and experienced the educational work being done at the first Waldorf school. Rudolf Steiner spoke highly of them and of the philosophical works they had written, in particular Hegel's Educational Theory and Practice and Jack Mackenzie's Elements of Constructive Philosophy. [10]

Barbara Foxley was a British Professor of Education at University College, Cardiff and a campaigner for women's rights.

World War I 1914–1918 global war starting in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the resulting 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

Goetheanum world center for the anthroposophical movement, including performance halls, in Dornach, Switzerland

The Goetheanum, located in Dornach, in the canton of Solothurn, Switzerland, is the world center for the anthroposophical movement.

As a result of this conference, Mellicent arranged for a lecture cycle for British teachers to take place at Christmas 1921 by Rudolf Steiner and some of the Waldorf teachers. Around forty people responded to her invitation, travelling from England to Dornach, where Rudolf Steiner held the lecture cycle Soul Economy – Body, Soul and Spirit in Waldorf Education besides a varied supporting programme.

On her return to Britain, Millicent then initiated the educational conference in Stratford-on-Avon in April 1922, [11] was the founder and chairperson of the "Educational Union" whose purpose was to bring awareness of Rudolf Steiner's educational ideas into English and American teacher's organisations and directed the organisational group for the summer conference "Spiritual Values in Education and Social Life" in August 1922 in Oxford. [12] She organised the public lecture of Rudolf Steiner on education on 30 August 1924 in Essex Hall, London under the auspices of the Educational Union for the Realisation of Spiritual Values and gave the welcoming address. Through her efforts the founders of Steiner-Waldorf education in the United Kingdom were introduced to these ideas and built up the first schools. [10] [13]


John Mackenzie, her husband, died in December 1935 in their home in the village of Brockweir near Chepstow in Gloucestershire. She edited his autobiographical notes and published them in 1936. [14] When the Brockweir town hall was built in 1937, she donated the money for the building and called it the Mackenzie Hall in honour of her husband John S Mackenzie. [15] Millicent Mackenzie died on 10 December 1942 in Brockweir. Cardiff University's Mackenzie House in Newport Road is named in honour of her.

Books published

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  1. The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy Edited by A.C. Grayling, Naomi Goulder, and Andrew Pyle Continuum 2010 ISBN   9780199754694
  2. Timeline Cardiff University retrieved 2014.09.09
  3. Edith Morley was appointed in 1908 as Professor of English at what was then University College, Reading, which was a higher education institution but could not award its own degrees. Law, Cheryl (2004). "Morley, Edith Julia (1875–1964)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography . Oxford University Press. Retrieved 14 February 2011.(subscription or UK public library membership required)
  4. [Minutes of the University of South Wales and Monmouthshire Senate (Ref: UCC/SN/M/4). Information provided by Cardiff University Institutional Archive, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 26 November 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link).]
  5. [Minutes of the College School, Cardiff (Ref: CS/1). Information provided by Cardiff University Institutional Archive, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 26 November 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link).]
  6. [ Milicent Mackenzie Local Suffragettes. Retrieved 2014.09.12]
  7. First Female Professor Appointed in the Largest Coal Port in the World, Post March 8, 2013 by Kelly Page for We are Cardiff retrieved 2014.09.09
  8. Beddoe, D. (2004-09-23). Foxley, Barbara (1860–1958), educationist and campaigner for women's rights. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 29 Jan. 2018, see link
  9. [Minutes of the University of South Wales and Monmouthshire Council (Ref: UCC/CL/Mn/12]. Information provided by Cardiff University Institutional Archive, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 26 November 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link).]
  10. 1 2 Rudolf Steiner in Britain by Crispian Villeneuve. Temple Lodge Press 2009 ISBN   978-1-906999-03-2
  11. Paull, John (2013) Stratford-on-Avon: In the footsteps of Rudolf Steiner. Journal of Biodynamics Tasmania, 111 (Spring): 12–18.
  12. Paull, John (2011) Rudolf Steiner and the Oxford Conference: The Birth of Waldorf Education in Britain. European Journal of Educational Studies, 3(1): 53–66.
  13. Hester Millicent Mackenzie Biographische Dokumentation der Forschungsstelle Kulturimpuls retrieved 2014.09.12
  14. John Stuart Mackenzie. [An autobiography.] Edited by his wife, etc. With a chapter on the life and work of J. S. Mackenzie by W. Tudor Jones. Williams & Norgate, 1936
  15. History of the Mackenzie Hall, Brockwell Village Hall retrieved 2014.09.09