Philanthropist, feminist, educationist. Born Rose Mary Yeates in Horton, Buckinghamshire, to William Willson Yeates and his first wife Mary. When she was seven three of her baby sisters died in quick succession, followed by her mother 3 years later. See her father's page for this sad story.
1846 she married Robert Thompson Crawshay (1817 - 1879) a wealthy 'ironmaster' of Merthyr Tydfil and was the mistress of the 72-roomed and 15-towered Cyfarthfa Castle until her husband's death in 1879. Though it produced 5 children her marriage was not happy, which may have some bearing on her campaigns for women's suffrage and the reform of matrimonial law. Also interested in education she joined school boards, one of the first women to do so. Created a literary prize for female scholars and created 7 free libraries insisting they were open to women (she had to do that!). Died at home, "Cathedine", Bwlch, Breconshire, Wales.
Andrew Behan has researched this lady and can add: The probate records show her estate totalled £19,852-0s-3d when she died and at the time of the 1871 census she was residing at her London address of 39 Wimpole Street.
Wikipedia has a page for Rose Mary and others for some of her Crawshay relatives and for Clissold Park. These together provide a family connection with the location of the memorial, Clissold Park. Rose Mary's husband's aunt, Eliza (or Elizabeth, depending on source) Crawshay and her husband, Reverend Augustus Clissold, owned Clissold Park. Rose Mary was widowed in 1879 and then in 1889 Clissold Park was opened to the public. Just 4 years after that Rose Mary had the fountain installed there, in memory of her three sisters who had died 60 years before.
Note: Her birthplace is sometimes given as Caversham Grove (her father's family home) but the official records give Horton Grove.