Women From Hackney’s History

The Hackney Society


To celebrate International Women’s Day 2021 (8th March), The Hackney Society and Hackney History launched a new publication containing 113 brief illustrated biographies of women from Hackney’s history who lived or worked, were born or buried in today’s borough. Drawn from widely differing backgrounds, none of these women is still with us but their stories cover five centuries and show us how times have changed for women and for Hackney. Written and designed by Hackney women, the book has been produced in collaboration with Hackney History (Friends of The Hackney Archives).

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Some Hackney women you may not yet know:
EDITH GARRUD led the suffragette Bodyguards. She was a jui-jitsu expert reported to have thrown a policeman over her shoulder. She lived in Stoke Newington.

MINNIE GREEN ayah or Indian nanny, was abused by her employers, won redress in court and found shelter in the Ayahs’ Home in King Edward’s Road.

BEATRICE HASTINGS born in King Edward’s Road, was a journalist, polemicist and poet who lived in Paris with Amedeo Modigliani. Katherine Mansfield was also her lover.

REBECCA JARRETT a prostitute, found refuge in Hackney. She helped abduct a young girl in order to expose child sex trafficking.

HETTY KING the King of the Male Impersonators, enjoyed a stellar career and was billed the Female Beau Brummell by the Hackney Empire.

ALICE MARRIOTT of the National Standard Theatre in Shoreditch played Hamlet and, in separate productions, both Romeo and Juliet. She also ran the theatre.

HANNAH SNELL dressed as a man to search for her errant husband, was press ganged into the army and joined the Royal Marines before settling in Stoke Newington.

Read about these women and over 100 others.

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