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Historic Women of England
Some East Anglian Women from History
By Glynn G. Burrows -
In the past, women have often enjoyed much less publicity than men, that was the way of the world I’m afraid, but there have been several women who have made an impression on the history of this area.
One early example is Boudicca who was wife of the leader of a tribe called the Iceni,
who were living in this area when the Romans arrived in Britain in AD43.
The Iceni continued to co-
Boudicca and her daughter are believed to have survived the battle, but it is said that they took poison to avoid capture. There is a massive statue of Boudicca in London.
My second choice is a true local heroine; Nurse Edith Cavell.
Edith Cavell was born in 1865, the daughter of the Reverend Frederick Cavell and his wife Louisa who lived in the Norfolk village of Swardeston. As with many Victorian Vicar’s daughters, Edith grew up in beautiful surroundings and she was very lucky to receive a good education and to be able to spend time painting, playing tennis, dancing and doing the sorts of thing that young ladies did in those days. She became a pupil teacher, governess and, as she had a flair for languages. She took a European holiday with a legacy she had received and returned with a great interest in Nursing and, in 1890 took a place in Brussels.
Returning to Norfolk and then to a London Hospital for training, Edith took up her nursing career, which, in those days was no easier than it is today! Hours were 7am to 9pm with half an hour for lunch! Pay was £10 a year!
In 1907, Edith went back to Brussels and was soon in charge of a training school for nurses. In late 1914, two stranded British soldiers turned up at this training school, looking for shelter on their way to Holland and they started an underground lifeline for soldiers trapped behind enemy lines. Edith was pleased to help, but, by August 1915 Nurse Cavell was arrested. She was shot on October 12th.
The outcry that followed surprised everyone, not least the Germans and Nurse Cavell was acclaimed as a martyr and, although she was buried in a simple grave in Belgium, after the war, she was exhumed and brought back to her beloved Norfolk where she was buried at Norwich Cathedral. The area where she is buried is called Life’s Green and beside the Cathedral Gate is a monument to one of Norfolk’s most beloved women.
The last woman that I’d like to talk about will surprise you, possibly the last woman
that you would consider to have a Norfolk connection. Pocahontas, yes, Pocahontas!
I won’t even think about telling you anything about the story, you all know more about John Smith and the Indians than I do, but you perhaps are not aware that Pocahontas became Mrs John Rolfe. She came over to England and lived, for some time in his family home, which was at Heacham, on the Norfolk coast! Sadly, Pocahontas died in England and is buried in Gravesend, Kent.
Glynn Burrows is the owner of Norfolk Tours in England -
Enjoy Making This Puzzle
In this chromolithograph credited to the New England Chromo. Lith. Company, ca. 1870,
Pocahontas saves the life of John Smith. The scene is not particularly historically
accurate as there are no mountains in Tidewater Virginia, the Powhatan Indians lived
not in thatched houses and not tipis and the Native Americans are somewhat stereotyped.
In addition, the scene that Smith famously described in his Generall Historie (1624)
did not take place outdoors but in a longhouse-
How to Make An Online Jigsaw Puzzle
1. Click on the Ghost Icon to form your workspace.
2. Click and drag the pieces where you want them.
3. To rotate the pieces, mouse over them and use either your mouse roller or your arrow keys to turn them.
4. Click on Image to see the colors better.
5. Use the full screen function to make it easier.