Mondy, Maria Charlotte
Signed the petition from the family home, 2, Coldbath Street, Greenwich London SE. This was a poor street at the bottom of Blackheath Hill on the way to Lewisham. Her parents were both working as shoemakers, but both their children worked hard to gain an education. Maria became a teacher and her brother Edmund became a professor of Mining ,
Samuel Mondy and Caroline Glasscock had married in Deptford in 1839 Both their parents were shoemakers. Mary was born in Water Street, Bristol in 1843.
By 1851 the family had moved back to London and were living in Cold Bath Lane Greenwich . Maria now had a younger brother, 5 year old Edmund. Her father was a shoe maker and her mother Caroline a shoe binder.
In the 1861 census 15 year old Edmund was an apprentice shipwright. 18 year old Maria is absent and I have not traced her whereabouts. Very probably she is working in a school, or perhaps was in Lewisham running a small day school. (see below)
In 1865 Maria was recruited to the London Association of schoolmistresses, Emily Davies’ organisation which fostered the education of girls by supporting their teachers. In 1866 she laft home and was living at 44 Charrington Street Oakley Square. This was a lodging house run by a widow, Ellen Theobald.
In 1867 her brother won a prize from the Royal Society of arts for mathematics done with Deptford Local Board, he won £3 He won another prize for mechanics in 1869 He was a ship wright still. By 1871 Caroline had died, and Samuel has moved to 3 Mount Pleasant Place, Lewisham Road. For a while Maria ran a ladies day school there in 1860, so her father may have owned the property already. He is employing a live-in Apprentice and they have a servant. Edmund is now a student at the Royal School of Mines. In 1880 Edmund went to India as a professor of mining, and remained there until he retired in 1903. By 1881 Samuel has moved to Commercial Place Greenwich and has a house keeper and two lodgers. He is employing two men and an apprentice. By 1901 he is living in Chetwynd Road St Pancras with his new wife (Amelia Hunt, his housekeeper!)
In 1871 Maria was teaching at Denmark Hill Grammar School, a large boys’ preparatory school in Camberwell, said to be one of the two best in London. She was one of two governesses, there were also 3 masters and 37 boys boarding.
She was involved with the Working Women’s College in Queen Square and you can see an example https://archive.org/stream/selectionsfromwo185work#page/2/mode/2up of a creative a magazine put together by students of the Working Women’s college at the time that she was an associate there.
At this time she became a mature University student . From 1879-1880 and 1882-3 she enrolled at University College London for courses. By 1881 she is a visiting teacher, lodging in Crowndale Road with a qualified nurse and a widow Jane Russell, who is an agent for The Metropolitan Association for Befriending Servants.
, In 1891 Maria is still a visiting teacher lodging at at 37 Crowndale Road, sharing with Jane Russell (now a secretary for a servants association} and Minnie Baker, clerk to a reading room and Margaret H Bayton, aged 17, a typist. These young working women, Minnie and Margaret , are boarders having their meals provided by Maria and Jane.
In 1891 she is a London member of the American Institute of Instruction, possibly attending in July 1891
She was involved in the National Home Reading Union which offered courses of prescribed books to people of all classes, with reading circles to support their reading. She wrote a pamphlet for the Union which includes suggestions for organising reading groups for young people. . https://archive.org/details/readingasmeansof00mondrich to read it on line! From page 4 She writes about her personal experiences of teaching classes of working class children in Board schools and the practical ways that she introduced the children to literature.
The Columbian Reading Union. Magazine recorded
“Miss Maria C. Mondy, who is in charge of the
young people’s section of the
National Home Reading Union, London, in a pamphlet
on School Libraries, has
quoted these words from Sir Walter Scott: To
make boys learn to read, and then
place no good books within their reach, is to
give them an appetite, and leave noth-
ing in the pantry save unwholesome and poisonous
food, which, depend upon it,
they will eat rather than starve. She has also
gathered some powerful words
from Rev. E. Thring on reading as a means of
When Maria’s father died in 1905 he left 119 .6..3dIn 1896 and 1921 she was on voters registers at 17 West Hill, Highgate as a householder for Crowndale Road as well as West Hill. In the 1911 census she records living there on her own, with four rooms Before she died in 1925 she would have been able to vote. When she died in Highgate she left £259..1s..10d and her Professor brother was her executor.