Dorothea Beale - Encyclopedia

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DOROTHEA BEALE (1831-1906), English schoolmistress, was born on the 21st of March 1831 in London, her father being a physician of good family and cultivated tastes. She had already shown a strong intellectual bent and considerable force of character when in 1848 she was one of the first to attend lectures at the newly opened Queen's College for Ladies, London, and from 1849 to 1856 she herself took classes there. In 1857 for a few months she became head teacher of the Clergy Daughters' school at Casterton, Westmoreland, but narrow religious prejudices on the part of the governors led to her retirement. In 1858 she was appointed principal of the Ladies College at Cheltenham (opened 1854), then in very low water. Her tact and strenuousness, backed by able financial management, led to its success being thoroughly established by 1864, and as the college increased in numbers new buildings were erected from 1873 onwards. Under Miss Beale's headship it grew into one of the great girls' schools of the country, and its development and example played an important part in the revolution effected in regard to the higher education of women. Miss Beale retained her post till her death on the 9th of November 1906. Strongly religious by nature, broad-minded and keenly interested in all branches of culture, she exercised a far-reaching influence on her pupils.

Her Life was written by Elizabeth Raikes (1908).

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