Mrs Catherine Smithies
Person Female Born 1791 Died 1877
Born as Catherine Bywater. Founded the Band of Mercy movement in Britain. She also campaigned against slavery but we can find no details.
Her home, Earlham Grove House, built c.1865, has also been known as Westbury House and Woodside House. It still stands in Woodside Park on the High Road. Her son, Thomas Bywater Smithies (1817-83) who never married, was living with her in Earlham Grove when she died.
We can find no picture of Smithies so we are using this charming one of a Band of Mercy, possibly American.
2018: Dai Bevan wrote to tell us that the Shoreditch Observer, 3 November 1877 reports Mrs Smithies' funeral so she must have died shortly before that date. We had previously taken her date of death as 1878 from her son's page at the normally reliable ODNB. We thank Dai for this correction.