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Mary Lee (1821–1909)

Mrs. Mary Lee, whose name at one time was prominent in South Australia chiefly in connection with the women's suffrage movement, died at her residence, Cover street, North Adelaide, on Saturday afternoon from pleurisy supervening influenza. Mrs. Lee lived to the age 0f 83 years, having been born in 1821. She was a daughter of Mr. John Walsh, of Kiliknock Estate, County of Monaghan. She came to South Australia on the first trip of the Orient, which left London in November, 1879. Mrs. Lee was actively associated with many movements having for their objects the uplifting of women. She was deeply interested in the Jewish colonization and, possessing a ready pen, was pressed into the service of what was called the White Ribbon Army, for which she did wonderful work. This led to the beginning of the women's suffrage movement, in which she played a conspicuous part. Mrs. Lee held the position of Secretary until the reform had been granted, and South Australia had led the way with the women's vote. She was the first and only lady visitor to the Lunatic Asylum, and that duty she carried out faithfully and lovingly until advancing years dictated withdrawal. Mrs. Lee's husband was the late Mr. George Lee, organist at Armagh Cathedral and the late Mr. David Lee, her nephew, was for a considerable number of years city organist in Melbourne. Her only surviving daughter is Miss Evelyn Lee of the Telegraph Department, and Mr Charles Lee, of Liverpool, is a son.

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Citation details

'Lee, Mary (1821–1909)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Mary Lee, c.1895

Mary Lee, c.1895

State Library of South Australia, 20793029

Life Summary [details]


14 February, 1821
Monaghan, Ireland


18 September, 1909 (aged 88)
North Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

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