Papers of Margaret Heitland

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The archive consists of two commonplace books kept by Margaret Heitland before her marriage, (1875 and 1884-1926); a register of articles received for publication in Queen Magazine (1909-1915); correspondence (including a letter from author Charlotte M Yonge); press cuttings and photographs.

Administrative / Biographical History

Margaret Heitland (1860-1938) was born in 1860, the daughter of the Rev WH Bateson DD, Master of St John, College, Cambridge University, and his wife Anna Aitkin. Margaret was educated at Highfield School, Hendon and in Heidelberg, Germany. She and her two sisters, Anna and Mary Bateson were involved with the women's suffrage movement alongside their mother. When the Cambridge Women's Suffrage Association was formed in 1884, Margaret Bateson was appointed the first honorary assistant Secretary. However, her main interest was journalism and she entered the profession in 1886. Two years later she began working for the 'Queen' magazine, where she remained for most of her career. In Jan 1888 she organised a campaign of meetings in various towns for the Women's Suffrage Society and in 1895 she was editor of a collection of interviews, which was published under the title of 'Professional Women upon their Professions'. She married William Emmerton Heitland MA, Fellow of St John's College, in Jul 1901 but continued her work after this time and was elected to the executive committee of the Cambridge Association of Women's Suffrage the following year. She supported the Association financially, paying the costs of a Secretary for seven months in 1905. In Dec 1908 she was asked to speak at a private meeting in Bedford which led to the founding of the Bedford Society for Women's Suffrage. It was in Bedford in 1912 that she also spoke to members of the local branch of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies in support of the national organisation's Election Fighting Fund which was aimed at supporting Labour Party candidates in seats where an anti-suffrage Liberal candidate was standing. By 1913 she was the president of the Cambridge Women's Suffrage Association, a member of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies Executive committee and vice president of the Central Bureau for the Employment of Women, which she had helped to found and on whose behalf she had lectured on women's employment since 1906. In 1920, Heitland was a member of the standing committee of the Cambridge branch of the National Union of Societies for Equal Citizenship. She died in 1938.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for research. Readers are advised to contact The Women's Library in advance of their first visit.

Acquisition Information

Deposited in 2000 and 2002 by Robert Robertson, a relative of Margaret Heitland's executor.

Other Finding Aids

The Women's Library Catalogue

Related Material

The Women's Library Printed Collections holds the periodical 'The queen, the lady's newspaper, and court chronicle'.

Further papers of Margaret Heitland are to be found amongst the Arncliffe Sennett Papers at the British Library, while the records of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies: Bedford branch (1908-18) are held by Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Record Service (Reference: X114). The papers of the Cambridge branches of the Association for Women's Suffrage and National Union of Societies for Equal Citizenship (1884-1939) are held in Cambridgeshire County Record Office (Reference: 455 and 550).