Frances Dove

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Frances Dove Window in All Saints' High Wycombe. She presented the window to the parish church to pay tribute to the achievement of women through the ages.

Dame Jane Frances Dove, DBE, JP (27 June 1847 – 21 June 1942) was an English women's campaigner, who founded Wycombe Abbey and other girls' schools.

The daughter of a Lincolnshire clergyman, Dove attended Girton College, Cambridge but as the University refused to award women degrees she instead received hers ad eundem from Dublin - one of the many so called "steamboat ladies"[1] to do so. She later became Assistant Mistress at Cheltenham Ladies' College in 1877. From there she went on to become headmistress of St Leonards School, St Andrews, Scotland in 1882. She later founded Wycombe Abbey in 1896, and was its first headmistress. In 1900 she also founded the Godstowe School. On retirement from Wycombe Abbey in 1910, she endowed a scholarship at the school.

She was elected in 1907 to High Wycombe Borough Council.[2] In 1928 she was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. She died in 1942, shortly before her 95th birthday.


In 1933, she presented the Frances Dove Window at All Saints' Church, High Wycombe, to pay tribute to the achievement of women through the ages.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Trinity Hall's Steamboat Ladies : Trinity News | Ireland's Oldest Student Paper". 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2015-03-29. 
  2. ^ "Miss Frances Dove". Women's Local Government Society. Retrieved 21 June 2010. 


  • Alison L. Prentice & Marjorie R. Theobald, Women Who Taught: Perspectives on the History of Women and Teaching (1991)
  • Elsie Bowerman, Stands there a School - Memories of Dame Frances Dove, D.B.E., Founder of Wycombe Abbey School (1965)
  • Jessie Street (ed. Lenore Coltheart), Jessie Street, a revised autobiography, Federation Press, (2004) (ISBN 1-86287-502-2)

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