suffrage_petition
Surname: 
Burn
Given names: 
Alice M.
Given address: 
Canterbury College
Sheet No: 546
Town/Suburb: 
Ilam
City/Region: 
Christchurch
Notes: 
Biographical information from 'The Woman Question' by Margaret Lovell-Smith, New Women's Press, 1992:
 
Alice Meredith grew up and attended primary school at Hilton, South Canterbury. At the age of 16 she married one of her teachers, David William Murray Burn. In 1892 and 1893, while David Burn was teaching at Waitaki Boys' High School, Alice attended Canterbury College.
 
In 1894 both Alice and David Burn became the focus of controversy. Alice asked the Board of Governors of Canterbury College whether she could wear 'rational dress' to lectures, and when they said no, she appears to have left Canterbury College. In the same year David Burn was asked to leave Waitaki Boys' High School, many believed because of his political beliefs. As well as being a practical supporter of dress reform, he was a vegetarian and belonged to the local labour organisation.
 
Alice was an enthusiastic advocate of women's cycling and the dress reform movement. She was secretary of the Atlanta Ladies Cycling Club which formed in Christchurch in 1892, and in May 1894 convened a meeting in Christchurch to form the New Zealand Rational Dress Association. She was elected president and lectured on dress reform in many South Island towns.
 
She gave birth to a daughter in Dunedin in 1899 and studied for two years at Otago University towards a medical degree, before moving to Edinburgh with two of her sisters. Another sister, Eva, also studied medicine. Alice graduated MB ChB in 1906, did a diploma in public health, and appears to have lived and worked for the remainder of her life in Britain.
 

Click on sheet number to see the 1893 petition sheet this signature appeared on. Digital copies of the sheets supplied by Archives New Zealand.

How to cite this page

'Alice M. Burn', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/suffragist/alice-m-burn, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 2-Oct-2017

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