Martha Magee

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Martha Magee (c. 1755-1846) was a philanthropist and a co-founder and the namesake of Magee College in Ireland.

Martha Maria Magee was born in Lurgan around 1755. She married Rev. William Magee, a Presbyterian minister, who was ordained in 1780 and died in 1800 leaving her dependent on the Presbyterian Widow's Fund. Magee raised two sons, both of whom entered the military and died as young men. Magee inherited substantial money from her two brothers who were in the military in India. After inheriting the forture, she made numerous charitable donations throughout her life. In 1845, a year before her death, Magee bequeathed £20,000 in her will to the Presbyterian Church of Ireland to found a college for theology and the arts. [1] [2] [3] Magee died in Dublin on 22 June 1846. Magee College opened in 1865 primarily as a theological college, but accepted students from all denominations to study a variety of subjects.[1][4][5][6][7][8]


  1. ^ a b History of Magee College at UU Library website. Retrieved on 28 August 2006.
  2. ^ Union Theological College website, History Archived 9 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved on 28 August 2006.
  3. ^ Epitaph, 1845. Martha Magee's memorial at a cemetery in Lurgan reads, “The Rev Wm. Magee Minister of the Presbyterian Church Lurgan, died 9th June, 1800. At the demise of Mrs Martha Magee, about £60,000 to the Irish Presbyterian Church including £20,000 for the establishment of a college.” History from Headstones retrieved on 31 August 2006.
  4. ^ Reid's Hist. Presb. Church in Ireland (Killen), 1867, iii. 493 sq.
  5. ^ Porter's Life of Henry Cooke, 1875, pp. 400 sq.
  6. ^ Killen's Hist. Congr. Presb. Church in Ireland, 1886, pp. 12, 131, 187
  7. ^ Hamilton's Hist. Irish Presb. Church [1886], pp. 171 sq.
  8. ^ Irwin's Hist. Presbyterianism in Dublin, 1890, pp. 141 sq.; Presbyterian Churchman, June 1887, p. 148.