Fenella Paton

Other names: 
Her maiden name was Crombie.
29 Jan 1901-21 Oct 1949.

Fenella Crombie was born in London in 1901. Her father, John W. Crombie, was Liberal MP for Kincardineshire and her mother, Minna Wason, was the daughter of Liberal MP, Eugene Wason. Fenella was the second of two children. Much of her childhood was spent in London, whilst her father sat in Parliament. Her father died in 1908. Her elder brother, Eugene, was killed in the Somme during the First World War. The Crombies were part of the Aberdeen family noted for their woollen mill and the "Crombie" coat.

Fenella Crombie married John Paton of Grandholm, Aberdeen.

Fenella became an active member of the Women's Liberal Association. She founded Aberdeen's first birth control clinic in 1926, amidst a storm of controversy. Her mother supported her. Fenella Paton supported the clinic from her personal funds. Although Paton was in regular correspondence with Marie Stopes, the clinic remained independent of Stopes' organisation. However, Stopes did visit in 1934. In 1935, Aberdeen Council started to partially fund the clinic. In 1948, Paton transferred it to the new National Health service. Fenella Paton died of cancer in 1949, leaving a widower and six children.

Aberdeen's Birth Control Pioneer
Article in the Leopard magazine, Oct 2007.
Aberdeen 1800-2000: A New History, (eds) Fraser and Lee, Tuckwell Press, 2000, p51.
The back-street beginnings of birth control
Press & Journal 4 Dec 1972
Birth Control and the Rights of Women; Post Suffrage Feminism in the Early Twentieth Century, Debenham, I.B. Tauris, 2014
especially p203.