Edith Marie Thompson (1877–1961), sports and empire settlement administrator
Thompson, Edith Marie (1877–1961), sports and empire settlement administrator, was born at 44 Russell Road, Kensington, London, on 19 May 1877, the only daughter of William Frederic Thompson (1847/8–1921), barrister and mineral and chemical merchant, and his wife, Marie Charlotte, née Warde (1849/50–1900). She was educated at Norland Place School and was a boarder at Cheltenham Ladies' College in 1892–3, at a period when there was still very little sport played at the school. In January 1895, after returning to London she enrolled in the ladies' department of King's College, London, and continued to attend classes there, in English, history, Italian literature, political economy, and Old English, until 1900. The vice-principal of the ladies' department, Lilian Faithfull, was first president of the All England Women's Hockey Association (AEWHA), founded in November 1895. The women's association had sought affiliation to the men's hockey association and on being rebuffed created a separate governing body for the women's sport, with a rule that no man should hold executive office. In 1901 Thompson founded a weekly journal, the Hockey Field, as the organ of the AEWHA, and she edited it until 1920. Her book, Hockey as a Game for Women (1904), urged that team games should be part of the curriculum of girls' schools, and that hockey was the best winter game to inculcate the qualities of self-control, self-reliance, unselfishness, and good fellowship. Sceptics were reassured that women players ‘dressed neatly and becomingly’, their skirts were ‘not indecently short’, and they did not ‘shout or knock each other down’ (p. iii). She attributed the success of the sport for women to the wise rule of the AEWHA, whose organizational genesis she described.
Citation : Williams, J. (2012) Edith Marie Thompson (1877–1961), sports and empire settlement administrator. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Oxford University Press http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/103423
Research Group : International Centre for Sports History and Culture
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- School of Humanities