Biographical / Historical
Constance Louisa Maynard was born on 19 February 1849 in Highbury, Middlesex, daughter of Henry Maynard, South African merchant, and Louisa Hillyard. She grew up in a strict evangelical household in Hawkhurst, Kent: she was educated at home and for one year at Belstead School in Suffolk. She came to The College for Women, Hitchin in 1872, moving to Girton in 1873. She was the first woman to sit the Moral Sciences Tripos and achieved the equivalent of a second class honours degree.
Constance played an influential part in the establishment of Westfield College, London, a residential college in Hampstead for women (which merged with Queen Mary College in 1989). She held the title of Mistress (derived from the title established at Girton) from its establishment in 1882 until 1913.
Constance never married but in 1888, through a friend in the Salvation Army, she adopted the then eight year old Stephanë Anthon (known as Effie). She continued to support her until Effie died in 1915.
Constance Maynard wrote poetry, religious periodicals and tracts, and papers on the education of women. Her published works include 'Between College Terms' (1910); 'The Life of Dora Greenwell' (1926); 'From an early Victorian schoolroom to the university' (1914); and several contributions to The Hibbert Journal and other religious periodicals. Girton College Library holds copies of some of her published works.
Constance Maynard died at her home in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, on 26 March 1935, and was buried at Gerrards Cross parish church on 29 March.
These notes are largely derived from a more detailed biography of Constance Maynard which is available on the website of Queen Mary, University of London.