Radical Roots ❤️✊🇬🇧 Mary Carpenter

Mary Carpenter – English educator, reformer, writer, anti-slavery campaigner and suffragist, who brought education to Bristol’s poor children and young offenders.

Born in Exeter in 1807, the daughter of a Unitarian minister, Mary helped her mother run a boarding school, eventually becoming head teacher of ‘Mrs Carpenter’s Boarding School for Young Ladies’ in Bristol.

Mary organised middle-class charities to alleviate the suffering of Bristol’s poor and offer an education to those without the means to pay. Later, she opened several schools for poor children herself, motivated by her Unitarian faith. She wrote: “Love must be the ruling sentiment of all who attempt to influence and guide these children”.

Inspired by a talk in 1846 by Frederick Douglass, who had escaped slavery, Carpenter became active in the campaign against slavery, describing slavery in the United States as “an atrocious act … against humanity, against itself, against God.”

Carpenter influenced social, educational and prison reform not only in Britain, but around the world, through her campaigns, books and personal example. She died in 1877, having never married, leaving an adopted daughter, Rosanna, and was buried in Bristol. Her funeral cortege was a mile long – a testament to the impact she had on so many lives.

Find out more about her: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Carpenter