Constance (née Gore-Booth) Markievicz 1868

Constance (née Gore-Booth) Markievicz 1868

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Constance Gore-Booth aka the Countess Markievicz was born in London and brought up in Lissadell House, County Sligo. She and her sister Eva were childhood friends of the poet W. B. Yeats. She met  Casmir Markievicz, while studying at a Parisian school of art.  Married in 1900, their daughter Maeve was born in 1902. In 1903 the family took up residence a 1 Frankfort Ave, Rathgar, Dublin (a wedding gift from her mother). 

Constance and her sister Eva were the daughters of Baronet and Arctic explorer Sir Henry Gore-Booth and his wife Georgina. Both girls were presented to Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace but despite this background, both sisters became prominent social activists, supporters of women’s suffrage and the Irish republican movement.  

Constance was a suffragette and socialist and became active in nationalist politics. In 1908 she joined Sinn Féin. She also joined Maud Gonne’s women’s group, Inghinidhe na hÉireann (Daughters of Ireland). She became a regular contributor to Bean na hÉireann (Women of Ireland - Ireland’s first women’s nationalist journal, founded by Helena Molony, who would become her closest friend). In 1909 she founded Na Fianna, an organization to teach boys military drills and the use of weaponry. 

She gave up the material advantages of being a member of the ruling Anglo-Irish class to devote her time to the working class of Dublin. During the 1913 Lockout “Madame”, as she was known, ran a food depot for locked-out workers in her home and was helped by Maud Gonne and their socialist and feminist friends running a Soup Kitchen in Liberty Hall.

She was undoubtedly the prominent female leader of the Easter Rising. A member of the Irish Citizen Army, Constance Markievicz served as an Officer during the Rising. Following the surrender, she was arrested and became the only woman of the Rising to be sentenced to death (later commuted to life imprisonment). She was released in 1917.

In the General Election of 1918 she was the first woman to be elected to the British House of Commons (elected as MP for the St. Patrick’s Division of Dublin but refused to take her seat).

When the first Dáil Éireann met on the 21st of January 1919, she was both the first Irish female Cabinet Minister (for Labour) and the first female Cabinet Minister in Europe.

Countess Constance Markievicz died age 59 in 1927. At her bedside were her husband, daughter, stepson and some female friends. She lay in State in the Rotunda but was given a large public funeral rather than a State one.

Additional Information
Date of Birth 4th Feb 1868  
Date of Death 15th Jul 1927  
Associated Building (s) Lissadell House, 1 Frankfort Avenue RATHGAR  
Father (First Name/s and Surname) Sir Henry Gore-Booth, 5th Baronet  
Mother (First Name/s and Maiden) Georgina May Hill of Tickhill Castle, Yorkshire, England, daughter of Colonel Hill and a niece of the Earl of Scarbrough.  
Townland born Buckingham Gate in London  
Names of Siblings Eva Gore-Booth  
Spouse (First Name/s and Maiden/Surname) Count Casimir Dunin Markievicz of Poland  
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References

The Life of Constance Markievicz Ireland VIEW SOURCE

Buildings Associated with this Ancestor