404 Hampstead Garden Suburb Virtual Museum : Document : Carol(ine) Eliza Kelsey [SUFL21]
Carol(ine) Eliza Kelsey
Carol(ine) Eliza Kelsey

Overview for Carol(ine) Eliza Kelsey

Lived at 121 Hampstead Way (originally 57 Hampstead Way)

Mrs Kelsey was another female householder who refused to complete the census form. The enumerator has written “Returned not filled in, and refused particulars. Ascertained that there are usually 2 males and 2 females in the house”. He goes on to record Mrs Kelsey (corrected from Kelsall – there seems to have been some confusion with another refusing house) estimating her age as approx. 52. He also records 2 males, presumed to be sons, one approx. 30 – Architect (or artist) and the other where no information is offered. The last person is a female servant, estimated age being 29.

Carol(ine) Eliza Kelsey nee Matthews was born in London in about 1858. She emigrated to New Zealand, however her marriage failed and she returned to England. She is recorded in the 1901 Census as a Lecturer. She lectured for the LCC on the care of infants and was a pioneer of the kindergarten movement.  

Part of her story appeared in Suburb News in 2007: “Granny Kelsey was an amazing woman who went out to New Zealand to marry a South Island farmer and returned to England with her son, Cyril. She had been annoyed by the exposure the slit-back underwear gave when climbing the ladders onto the New Zealand boats so when she returned to England, she founded the movement for Hygienic Underwear for women. A newspaper report of 1908 describes her as a ‘Woman Socialist’ when giving a lecture to the Healthy and Artistic Dress Union on her vision of dress for the Millennium.

She, her daughter-in-law Enid* and Enid’s mother were apparently great friends of the Pankhursts”.

Carol Kelsey was the Secretary of the HGS branch of WSPU. Responsible for organising the ‘New Crusaders’ part of the pageant for the Votes for Women Coronation Procession in central London for which she is thanked in the Votes for Women newspaper. 

The Hampstead Garden Suburb contingent, presumably from all pro-suffrage groups was large enough to have a special place in the procession.

She later lived at 17 Northway until her death in 1933.

*Enid Francis E Steele became Enid Kelsey, marrying Cyril just after the Census. She appears in the Census, but he does not as he was living at his mother’s house, whilst Enid is recorded as a lodger at their future matrimonial home in Wordsworth Walk.

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