Florence Hobson ( - 1881):
Florence Hobson was born in Monasterevan, County Kildare. She had her mind set on becoming an architect, but at the turn of the century there were no women with architects' professional qualifications in Ireland, Wales or Scotland, though two women had been articled in England. Florence Hobson went to London where her proposal to become an architect met with 'if you were a little less good looking, you'd have a better chance'. She was eventually accepted by James Phillips, the leading Methodist Church architect. By 1893 she had passed two qualifying examinations held under the Royal Institute of British Architects. In 1905 she was appointed to assist the Royal Commission on the City of Belfast's Health and Housing, and spent the next fifteen years making a thorough report. She travelled to Germany and Switzerland to ascertain how these countries dealt with similar problems. She was a member of the Belfast Naturalists' Field Club and delivered a lecture on town planning at the library in Royal Avenue in 1913. She was Bulmer Hobson's sister and Ireland's first woman architect.