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Dorothy "Dora" Greenwell

Dorothy "Dora" Greenwell

Female 1821 - 1882  (60 years)

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  • Name Dorothy "Dora" Greenwell 
    Nickname Dora 
    Born 6 Dec 1821  Greenwell Ford, Lanchester, Durham Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Census 1851  Foston, Driffield, Yorkshire Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    age 28, visitor 
    Census 1861  North Bailey, Durham Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    daughter, age 31, unmarried 
    Census 1871  North Bailey, Durham Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    age 49, daughter "Dora Greenwell" 
    aka Dora Greenwell 
    Died 29 Mar 1882  Clifton, Bristol Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I4144  Brooksbank
    Last Modified 18 Oct 2014 

    Father William Thomas Greenwell, JP, DL,   b. 13 Feb 1777, Lanchester, Durham Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 May 1854, Lanchester, Durham Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years) 
    Mother Dorothy Smales,   b. 1789, Durham Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Sep 1871, Lanchester, Durham Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years) 
    Family ID F1192  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Dorothy 'Dora' Greenwell
    Dorothy 'Dora' Greenwell

  • Notes 
    • Wikipedia http://goo.gl/JYyTR
      Dorothy Greenwell was born 6 December 1821 at the family estate called Greenwell Ford in Lanchester, County Durham, England. Her father was William Thomas Greenwell (1777\endash 1856) and mother was Dorothy Smales (1789\endash 1871). Her oldest brother was William Greenwell (1820\endash 1918), an archaeologist. She had three younger brothers: Francis Greenwell (1823\endash 1894), Alan Greenwell (1824\endash 1914) and Henry Nicholas Greenwell (1826\endash 1891). She was known as Dora to avoid confusion with her mother.
      She published her first volume of poems in 1848, after her family had to leave their home. She moved to Durham with her brother William who would later become canon of Durham Cathedral. After a short time working with her brother Alan who was rector of Golborne, she moved back to Durham and lived with her mother.
      Her major success came in the 1860s. Many works have Christian religious themes. She is often compared to Christina Rossetti, and dedicated a book to Elizabeth Barrett Browning. In addition to poetry, she wrote essays on women's education and suffrage, and attacked the slave trade. After her mother's death in 1871, she visited friends for a few years, and then moved to London in 1874. After an accident in 1881 she lived with her brother Alan Greenwell in Clifton, Bristol. She died 29 March 1882 and was buried in Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol.
      ----
      She was taught by a governess for five years then taught herself, studying philosophy, political economy and languages. After the loss of Greenwell Ford, the family moved to Ovingham, where Dora taught local girls and published her Poems (1848). In 1850, the family settled at Golbourne in Lancashire, where Dora became friendly with Josephine Butler and supported her work. After 1854, the Greenwells lived in Durham. This was the period of Dora's greatest intellectual achievement, and she met many literary celebrities, including Jean Ingelow and Christina Rossetti. After 1874, she settled in London and supported the franchise struggle. She also became addicted to opium.
      Dora Greenwell was a woman of understated elegance and had a melodious voice. Despite her strong Christianity, her letters are lively and spirited. She was, in fact, a sociable woman, though much restricted by her Victorian sense of duty towards her mother. She was loud in the praise of her friend Christina Rossetti, to whom she has been compared, but her last words on herself reflect a sense of failure to meet her own high standards 'One word would alone tell my story - inadequacy.'

  • Sources 
    1. [S3255] 1851 Census i4143.

    2. [S3253] 1861 Census i4145.

    3. [S3254] 1871 Census i4145.