Mrs Humphry Ward


Mary Ward (also known as Mrs Humphry Ward) was a well-known novelist in the late nineteenth century who was instrumental in the foundation of Somerville in 1879.  She was the first secretary of the Somerville Council (a position jointly held with Mrs Vernon Harcourt) and worked tirelessly, preparing for the arrival of new students.  It was Mary Ward who suggested that the new institution should be named after the renowned mathematician and astronomer, Mary Somerville. Although enthusiastic about education for women, she was less keen on the idea of votes for women and campaigned against suffrage in the early 20th Century , much to the dismay of many at Somerville.