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Shaw, Mary Ellen
1859-1926

Born on 1 October 1859 in Nottingham, the daughter of the Registrar of Births and Deaths, she was a lifelong member of Mansfield Road WM chapel. She became a daily governess to small children. Made aware from an early age of the poverty and suffering in the city, she spent all her spare time involved in such social initiatives as Girls' Evening Homes snd a Mothers' and Babies' Guild. In 1900, supported by the Duchess of Portland (of Welbeck Abbey), she began 'Miss Shaw's Men's Bible Class' for poor working men. By the outbreak of the Great War this had 500 members. She printed her own hymn-book, and badges bearing the class insignia with a miniature portrait of the Duchess on the back were presented to regular attenders. When she died on 24 December 1924, the men had a memorial placed in the chapel, bearing the inscription: 'Her life was service, and her service was love'. This was lost when the congregation moved out in 1940, but the Men's Bible Class continued until 1964.

Sources

  • Rowena Edlin-White, 'Spinster of no occupation'? Mary Ellen Shaw 1859-1926 (2007)

Entry written by: RE-W
Category: Person

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