Women at QM Logo
Featured Women
Women at Queen Mary Online: a virtual exhibition
Montage of QM Women
In this section:     Constance Maynard, First Mistress of Westfield College  

> Featured Women

> Women A to Z

> Women by College

See also:

> Women in Medicine and Dentistry

> Women in Science and Engineering

> Women in Arts and Humanities




Constance Maynard, June 1889. Constance Maynard, June 1889.
Courtesy of Queen Mary, University of London Archives.

ListenListen: Constance Maynard dramatisations on

Listening Help


Constance Maynard (1849-1935) was the first head of Westfield College, where she held the unique title of Mistress from its establishment in 1882. She remained Mistress until 1913.

She was born in Middlesex, and grew up in a strict evangelical household in Kent. Her parents were apprehensive about her attending university, however, in 1872, she joined a new college for women at Hitchin, which soon after became Girton College, Cambridge.

In 1875, Maynard sat for the moral sciences tripos and achieved the equivalent of a second class honours degree. During these years, she developed a vision of a college which not only promoted higher education for women, but also acknowledged a commitment to Christianity.

Maynard played an influential part in the establishment of Westfield College, and ensured its subsequent Christian mission. As Mistress, she saw Westfield successfully evolve from a small London college for ladies into a prominent College of the University of London.

She wrote numerous religious periodicals and tracts, as well as papers on the education of women, thereby contributing to the movement to secure intellectual enfranchisement of women.

Publications by Maynard, and a considerable collection of her manuscripts are held by the College Archives, including original memoirs, diaries, letters and poetry.


<< previous
Explore Featured Women
QMUL Logo © Queen Mary, University of London 2008 | Your privacy | Acknowledgments