Elizabeth Jesser Reid (December 25, 1789 - April 1, 1866)
At the death of her husband, Elisabeth Jesser Sturch became independent and she started helping various philanthropic causes. Active in liberal Unitarian circles, Reid was an anti-slavery activist, attending the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1840. She met Lucretia Mott and the other American female delegates who had been denied the right to speak at the convention. 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. She also founded the Reid Trust, which continues to support women's education with small grants to this day. 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.
Timeline & Places:
• December 25, 1789: born.
• 1849: founded Bedford College, London, 47 Bedford Square, Fitzrovia, London WC1B 3DR, Regno Unito
• 1849: founded Bedford College, 9 York St, Marylebone, London W1U, Regno Unito