Woman Windeyer, Mary (1837 - 1912)

Sussex, England, United Kingdom
3 December 1912
Tomago, New South Wales, Australia
Suffragist and Temperance activist

Written by Patricia Grimshaw, The University of Melbourne

Mary Windeyer was a leader among the evangelical Protestant suffragists whose activism on behalf of the women's vote was associated with the suffrage campaign promoted by the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). She was born in England in 1837 and as a child migrated with her family to Sydney in 1839. In 1857 she married William Windeyer, a lawyer who became a prominent Sydney judge; the couple had nine children.

Mary Windeyer was actively involved in a number of causes promoting women's and children's welfare, including higher education and employment for women, and undertook philanthropic work as co-founder of the Ashfield Infants' Home and the Temporary Aid Society. She served as foundation president of the Women's Suffrage League of New South Wales from 1891 to 1893. She was active in the WCTU, where she joined forces with Elizabeth Ward, mother of seven, an evangelical preacher and a trained milliner, to discover ways of lobbying for women's rights. Windeyer effectively headed the WCTU's franchise department for several years, in which work she came to enjoy the aid of her librarian daughter, Margaret Windeyer. She died in 1912.

Published Resources


  • Windeyer, Victor, The Windeyers: Chapters of Family History, W. J. V. Windeyer, Sydney, New South Wales, 1992. Details

Online Resources