Millicent Mackenzie

Last updated

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.



Academic 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]

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]

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.

"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)” [6]

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.

In 1915 Barbara Foxley took over her role as Professor of Education [7] 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". [8] 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. [9]

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, [10] 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. [11] 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. [9] [12]

Political Career

Mackenzie joined the women's movement, co-founding the Cardiff and District Women's Suffrage Society and stood as Labour Party candidate in the parliamentary elections of 1918 for the newly created University of Wales constituency, losing to former Flintshire Liberal MP Sir John Herbert Lewis. She was the first woman to stand in a Parliamentary election in Wales. [13] A copy of her election address is held at the National Library of Wales [14] .

General election 1918: University of Wales
Coalition Liberal Rt Hon. John Herbert Lewis73980.8N/A
Labour Mrs H.M. Mackenzie17619.2N/A
Turnout 91585.8N/A
Liberal win


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. [15] 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. [16] Millicent Mackenzie died on 10 December 1942 in Brockweir.

Books published

Related Research Articles

Rudolf Steiner Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect and esotericist

Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, esotericist, and claimed clairvoyant. 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.

Cardiff University Public research university in Cardiff, Wales

Cardiff University is a public research university in Cardiff, Wales. Founded in 1883 as the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, it became a founding college of the University of Wales in 1893, and in 1997 received its own degree-awarding powers, although it held them in abeyance. It merged with the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology (UWIST) in 1988. The college adopted the public name of Cardiff University in 1999; in 2005 this became its legal name, as an independent university awarding its own degrees. The third oldest university institution in Wales, it contains three colleges: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Biomedical and Life Sciences; and Physical Sciences and Engineering.

Margaret McMillan British activist

Margaret McMillan was a nursery school pioneer and lobbied for the 1906 Provision of School Meals Act. Working in deprived districts of London, notably Deptford, and Bradford, she agitated for reforms to improve the health of young children, wrote several books on nursery education and pioneered a play-centred approach that has only latterly found wide acceptance.

History of Waldorf schools

This article on the History of Waldorf schools includes descriptions of the schools' historical foundations, geographical distribution and internal governance structures.

Waldorf education Educational philosophy

Waldorf education, also known as Steiner education, is based on the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy. Its pedagogy strives to develop pupils' intellectual, artistic, and practical skills in an integrated and holistic manner. The cultivation of pupils' imagination and creativity is a central focus.

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.

The Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor is a private school located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It provides a Waldorf based education for students in grades PreK–12, and is one of two Waldorf Schools in the State of Michigan.

Elisabeth Vreede was a Dutch mathematician, astronomer and Anthroposophist.

Dame Olive Annie Wheeler, DBE was a Welsh educationist and psychologist, and Professor of Education at University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, now Cardiff University.

Steiner Schools Australia refers to the fifty-two Steiner or Waldorf educational institutions, thirty-six of which are governed by Steiner Education Australia (SEA) and are located in each the States and Territories of Australia. As with all Steiner schools, teachers are given a large degree of flexibility in developing the curricula within the collegial structures.

Rudolf Steiner University College

Rudolf Steiner University College is a state-accredited and state-funded private university college in Oslo, Norway.

Alfred Cecil Harwood *05.01.1898 London (UK) †22.12.1975 Forest Row Sussex was a lecturer, Waldorf teacher, writer, editor and anthroposophist.

Michael Hall is an independent Steiner Waldorf school in Kidbrooke Park on the edge of Ashdown Forest in East Sussex. Founded in 1925, it is the oldest Steiner school in Britain, it has an enrolment of over 500 students aged between three (Kindergarten) and eighteen.

Ernst Weissert, born 20 July 1905 in Mannheim Germany and died 2 January 1981 in Stuttgart was a teacher, general secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in Germany and co-founder and director of the Bund der Freien Waldorfschulen, the Hague Circle and the Friends of Waldorf Education.

Margaret Cross was a British educator and school principal, a pioneer of Co-education and of Steiner Waldorf education in Britain as well as of Biodynamic agriculture. Together with Hannah Clark she founded the Kings Langley Priory School, later the Rudolf Steiner School Kings Langley, which was closed in March 2019.

Arnold James Freeman was a British writer, philosopher, anthroposophist, adult educator, actor, director, Fabian Socialist, Labour Party candidate and co-founder of the anthroposophical magazine, The Golden Blade. He was the founder and first Warden of the Sheffield Educational Settlement.

Eileen Morley Hutchins, born 28 June 1902 in Hay-on-Wye, Herefordshire and died 9 October 1987 in Stourbridge was a Steiner school teacher, author and founder of the Elmfield Rudolf Steiner School in Stourbridge.

Violetta Elsa Plincke was a Waldorf teacher and lecturer on education who contributed much to the establishment of Steiner education in Britain.

Johannes Tautz (30 September 1914 in Koblenz am Rhein to 13 March 2008 in Dortmund, was a Historian, Religious scholar, Anthroposophist, Author and Waldorf teacher. He concerned himself with a better understanding of National Socialism and with questions of education in the twentieth century.

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


  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. 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
  7. 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
  8. [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).]
  9. 1 2 Rudolf Steiner in Britain by Crispian Villeneuve. Temple Lodge Press 2009 ISBN   978-1-906999-03-2
  10. Paull, John (2013) Stratford-on-Avon: In the footsteps of Rudolf Steiner. Journal of Biodynamics Tasmania, 111 (Spring): 12–18.
  11. 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.
  12. Hester Millicent Mackenzie Biographische Dokumentation der Forschungsstelle Kulturimpuls retrieved 2014.09.12
  13. [ Milicent Mackenzie Local Suffragettes. Retrieved 2014.09.12]
  14. "University of Wales representation, - National Library of Wales Archives and Manuscripts". Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  15. 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
  16. History of the Mackenzie Hall, Brockwell Village Hall retrieved 2014.09.09