From 1890 to 1893, the Dorset Suffragette Evelina Haverfield (1867-1920) lived at West Hall, an Elizabethan manor house at Folke near Sherborne, Dorset.  Three years earlier, in February 1887, Evelina (née Scarlett) had married Major Henry Wykeham Brook Tunstall Haverfield RA (1846-1895) and by 1890 they had two sons, John Campbell Haverfield (1887-1915) and Brook Tunstall Haverfield (1889-1954).

While living at West Hall, Evelina began compiling a book of recipes, now held at the Women’s Library at LSE (ref. 7VJH/4/1/06).  The book includes a recipe for Bonne Femme Soup (literally, ‘good woman’ soup) given to Evelina by Arthur R. Merer, the Chef de Cuisine at St. James’s Club in Piccadilly, London:

  1. ½ the quantity of lettuce to double the quantity of sorrel. Wash & dry them well, cut both into fine threads.
  2. Put 2 oz butter into stewpan & when dissolved add lettuce & sorrel, then stir the whole for about 25 minutes.  Then add good stock to it & let it finish cooking.
  3. When cooked enough take from the fire.
  4. Mix four yolks of eggs & half a pint of cream, & whip them well together.
  5. Now mix all the ingredients together, put them again on the fire & keep stirring until it comes to the boil. Then add the juice of one lemon in the soup tureen, then serve.
  6. Croutons: dice-shaped bread, fried & served on a napkin.

West Hall, Folke, Dorset.

Other recipes in Evelina’s recipe book include Warfield Pudding, Potato Pudding (made with mashed potato), Mysterious Pudding (made with marmalade), Gaufres à la crème (waffles with cream), Brandy Peaches, Scotch Haggis, Cold Fig Pudding, Indian Batter Cakes, American Corn Cakes (made with Indian meal from Jacksons of Piccadilly), Corn Slappers (made with Indian meal mixed with wheat flour), pilaf, brioches, Sally Buns, Rabbit Cream, Barley Water from ‘Arthurs’ Club, Sheep’s Head Pie, Ginger Beer, Lemonade, Toasted Cheese, and Chocolate Pudding.

Evelina’s notebook also contains medicinal recipes for both humans and horses.  It is often hard to tell which recipes are for humans and which are for horses, but with Evelina’s great love of horses, it is unlikely that she would have given anything to her horses that she would not have taken herself!  These recipes include cough mixture (raisins, sugar candy & licorice), hoof ointment (tallow or mutton fat & Stockholm tar), hair wash (hops & rum), and recipes for treating thrush (sulphate zinc & water) and brittle feet (tar, tallow, beeswax).

Evelina’s husband died in January 1895 from symptoms associated with syphilis and was buried at Bishop’s Caundle.  Four years later, in July 1899, Evelina married an old army friend of her husband, Major John Henry Balguy RA (1859-1933).  She wrote in her diary that day: “I married Major Balguy R.A. with no intention of changing my name or mode of life in any way.  He is an old friend of my darling Jack’s.  The ceremony took place at Caundle Marsh Church in the presence of Mrs. C., my “parlour boarder”, and of Shepherd, my groom.”   On 29 July 1899, Evelina resumed the name of her first husband by deed poll.  The deed poll was witnessed by General Sir Julius Richard Glyn KCB (1824-1905), of Sherborne House, Dorset.

Following a meeting at Sherborne in March 1909 at which Lady Frances Balfour (1858-1931) spoke on the subject of Women’s Suffrage, a Sherborne branch of the NUWSS was formed.  Evelina was honorary secretary of the Sherborne NUWSS and Mrs Mildred Mansel of Bayford Lodge was president.  Later, Evelina became actively involved with the WSPU and was twice sent to Holloway Prison for her involvement in suffrage deputations to the House of Commons, and on ‘Black Friday’ (18 November 1910) she was arrested and charged with assault for having struck a policeman in the mouth.

After the breakdown of her second marriage, Evelina moved to Peace Cottage at Brendon, North Devon and began a close friendship with fellow suffragette Vera ‘Jack’ Holme (1881-1969), to whom she left by her will £50 a year for life.  In 1914, at the start of the First World War, Evelina formed the Women’s Emergency Corps, the Women’s Volunteer Reserve (WVR), and the Green Cross Corps, which later evolved into the Women’s Army Corps (the WAAC, WRNS & WRAF).

Serbian stamp featuring Evelina Haverfield from the series ‘British Heroines of the First World War in Serbia’ (2015).

In May 1915, Evelina joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals with whom she worked in Serbia.  She made frequent visits back to England, giving lectures and raising money for her relief work in Serbia and, on 8 February 1918, she spoke at Sherborne School.  After the war, Evelina returned to Serbia where the government asked her to help the orphans of the war.  She founded the ‘Hon. Evelina Haverfield’s Fund for Serbian Children’ and set up orphanages at Uzitza and Bajina Bašta.  In March 1920, Evelina contracted pneumonia and died on 21 March 1920, aged 52.  She was buried at Bajina Bašta and a memorial service was held for her at Southwark Cathedral on 1 May 1920.  In 1923, a memorial tablet was installed in her memory at Bishop’s Caundle church in Dorset, beneath the memorial window Evelina had erected for her first husband.

Haverfield/Scarlett crest, Bishop’s Caundle church, Dorset.

See also: Sherborne & the fight for women’s suffrage

Further reading:
Elizabeth Crawford, The Women’s Suffrage Movement in Britain and Ireland. A Regional Study (2008)
Elizabeth Crawford, The Women’s Suffrage Movement. A Reference Guide 1866-1928 (2001)
Boyce Gaddes, Evelina. Outward Bound from Inverlochy. A Biography of the Hon. Evelina Haverfield(1995)
Lucinda Hawksley, March, Women, March (2013)
Pamela Vass, Breaking the Mould. The Suffragette Story in North Devon (2017)
The Women’s Library, LSE
Suffragette timeline: the long march to votes for women

Posted 1 February 2018 by Sherborne School Archives.

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