Mabel Murray Hickson

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Mabel Murray Hickson, née Mabel Greenhow (2 February 1859, Esher – 12 November 1922 Esher), was an English writer of short stories.

She was born into a medical family with roots in Newcastle. Her father was Judge William Thomas Greenhow (1831-1921) & her grandfather was Thomas Michael Greenhow, co-founder of the city's Eye Infirmary[1][2] and Newcastle University Medical School.[3] He worked at the Newcastle Infirmary, later renamed the Royal Victoria Infirmary, for many years and was instrumental in its expansion in the 1850s.[1][4]

On the death of her mother Marian née Martineau in 1864 (by her own hand) when she was a toddler, Mabel was taken into the home of her paternal aunt Frances Greenhow (1821-1892) and her husband Francis Lupton (1813–1884). The Lupton family was a prosperous mercantile dynasty in Leeds; Francis was not only a manufacturer, but a banker and magistrate, and chairman of the finance committee of the Yorkshire College of Science, later the University of Leeds. His wife Frances was niece of writers and reformers Harriet and Dr James Martineau; her entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography focuses on her pioneering work expanding opportunities for female education, not least in co-founding Leeds Girls' High School. Mabel grew up at the family seat of Beechwood, a Georgian country house in Roundhay, a village just outside Leeds. She was raised alongside her cousins Francis Martineau, Arthur, Charles, and Hugh, all of whom contributed to the eminence of the city during the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

She married Robert Murray Hickson in 1884 (he died aged 29 in 1885).[5] After publishing a short novel, A Latter-Day Romance, in 1893, Hickson became a prolific contributor of stories to periodicals of the 1890s. Upon her second marriage in 1896 to Sidney Austyn Paul Kitcat (a first class cricketer, who played for Esher), she became Mabel Greenhow Kitcat, though she continued to write under the name Mrs Murray Hickson.[6]


  • A Latter-Day Romance, 1893
  • Shadows of Life, 1898
  • Concerning Teddy, 1899


  1. ^ a b "Newcastle Infirmary Time Line 1801–1849". Newcastle University. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 1832: Thomas Greenhow appointed honorary surgeon to the Infirmary. He had already been surgeon to the lying-in hospital, and in 1822 had established the Eye Infirmary with John Fife. 
  2. ^ Bettany, G. T. (2004). "Fife, Sir John (1795–1871), surgeon and politician". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 19 July 2013. He [Fife] specialized in diseases of the eye, founding in 1822, with T. M. Greenhow, a charity which became the Newcastle Eye Infirmary. 
  3. ^ Gosden, Peter (2004). "Lupton [née Greenhow], Frances Elizabeth (1821–1892), educationist". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Newcastle Infirmary Time Line 1850–1888". Newcastle University. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 1850: Mr Greenhow, as spokesman for the honorary medical staff, points out that again the Infirmary is inadequate for the needs of the area, which had tripled in population in the last 100 years. The annual report draws the attention of the governors and public to the Infirmaries shortcomings. 1851: Greenhow and Gibb visit hospitals in London and elsewhere to gain insight in modern hospital design, and report back to the committee. On March 13th John Dobson, the famous architect, laid his plans for a new wing and redevelopment of the Infirmary before the committee, and they were agreed on April 3rd. 1855: The Dobson Wing opened, costing £10 500. 
  5. ^ Hicksons found in Yorkshire
  6. ^ McCormack, Kathleen (1994), Thesing, William B., ed., British Short-Fiction Writers, 1880-1914: The Realist Tradition, Dictionary of Literary Biography, 135, Detroit: Gale Research Inc., pp. 212–216