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Isabel Cowe: Shore Gull and Suffragist-bookcover

By: Iain. E. Brown

Isabel Cowe: Shore Gull and Suffragist

Pages: 108 Ratings:
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Isabel Cowe was the owner of The St Abb’s Haven boarding house from 1914 to 1931. A native of St Abb’s and of fishing folk, she was a popular figure in the village. Throughout her life, Miss Cowe fought against the injustice of the Parish Council on a number of issues which she believed were detrimental to the community, earning herself the title ‘The Provost of St Abb’s’ from those who came to know her and respect her.

Isabel Cowe was no ordinary woman, devoting her life to serving others through charitable work for organisations such as the RNLI and the Children’s League of Pity. It was through her tireless devotion to the RNLI and the St Abb’s lifeboat crew that she earned one of her greatest accolades when awarded with the RNLI’s Golden Brooch.

As an influential female business owner, in a time before women were granted the vote, Miss Cowe gravitated towards the Suffrage Movement, becoming a member of the Women’s Freedom League.

In October 1912, she was to help organise and participate in the gruelling 400-mile Scottish Suffrage March from Edinburgh to London, which was a precursor for the Great Pilgrimage of 1913.

On her death a sundial was erected in her memory in the grounds of The Haven. The sundial, which still stands to this day, was funded by over 200 subscriptions from the length and breadth of the country by the many people who had come to know and respect this great woman and pioneer.

Born in 1977, the author spent the first few years of his life living in his father’s ancestral village, St Abbs, Berwickshire, Scotland. The family then moved to Shetland where he spent the majority of his childhood, before settling in Arbroath for the remainder of his teenage years. He now lives and works in Dundee with his wife and three young children.


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