Jane Arthur

18/11/1827 - 25/5/1907

A social reformer and supporter of women's emancipation, Jane Arthur was born in Broomlands, Paisley. The third of five children of Jessie Fulton and Thomas Glen, she grew up living alongside her father’s bakery in Broomlands. At the age of 20 she married James Arthur (1819-85), the developer of a large manufacturing and drapery business, and they had five children, the eldest of whom, Matthew, became the first Lord Glenarthur.

Jane Arthur supported both the temperance and the suffrage movements, and in 1873 she became the first woman to stand for and be elected to a school board when she was chosen to serve on the Paisley board. She provided bursaries for a Renfrewshire student and for a woman medical student. In the late 1880s she set up a Dorcas Society, to provide clothing for convalescents from Paisley Infirmary, and became vice-president of the Paisley Ladies' Sanitary Association, which promoted public baths. For many years the Arthurs supplied soup and bread to patients who were destitute following discharge from hospital. They also contributed to the building of the Paisley model lodging-house and provided mid-morning tea for the inmates of the poor house. The Jane Arthur Fund, which paid for the convalescence of poor patients, was established in 1903.

The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women
Entry on Jane Arthur by C. Joan McAlpine