Margaret Cousins (1878 - 1954):
Margaret Cousins was born in Boyle, County Roscommon, and was educated at the local National and Intermediate Schools and the Victoria High School for Girls, Derry and the Royal Irish Academy of Music. At the Royal University of Ireland she took a degree in music. She became a teacher of music and later taught in a kindergarten. In 1908, along with Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, she founded the radical and militant Irish Women's Franchise League, of which she became the treasurer. She organised Sylvia Pankhurst's visit to Derry in 1910 and in the same year represented Ireland at the Parliament of Women in London, where she was arrested and sentenced to six months' imprisonment. In 1915 she went to India with James Cousins, her husband, and by 1916 had become the first non-Indian member of the Indian Women's University at Poona. In 1917 she was one of the founder members of the Indian Women's Association and from 1919 to 1920 was headmistress of the National Girls' School in Bangalore. She was the first woman magistrate in India. She was a Theosophist and was awarded the Founder's Silver Medal of the Theosophical Society in 1928. She was imprisoned for a year in 1932 because she addressed a public meeting in Madras to object to alterations to the penal code. Among her publications were books and pamphlets on art, philosophy and education. The joint autobiography, written with her husband, We Two Together was published in 1950. She was presented several times with generous amounts of money from the Indian government and the Prime Minister, Nehru in appreciation of her services to the country. From 1943 she was paralysed, and she died at Adyar.
||7 November 1878
||11 March 1954