Alice Schofield Coates

Born: Alice Schofield was born on 3rd May 1881 near Prestwich in Lancashire. Her parents were Richard Schofield and Mary Jane Westbrook. She had three brothers.

Educated: She attended Nelson Street Board School, Manchester Stockwell Teacher Training College.

Married: Alice Schofield married Charles Coates in February 1910 at Christ Church, Coatham. She then called herself Alice Schofield Coates.

Family: Alice and Charles had two daughters, Marion and Alice, and a son, Peter.

Home: Alice Schofield was a teacher in Manchester. When she became a suffragette organiser she moved from lodging to lodging. She first came to Middlesbrough in 1906 where she had been invited to speak about women’s suffrage. From 1910 she lived in Middlesbrough, at first on Roman Road, and afterwards at “Agecroft” on Harrow Road, which later housed the Leeds University Adult Education Centre.

Known for:  Alice Schofield Coates was an active suffragette both locally and nationally. At one time she was vice president of the Women’s Freedom League. In 1919 Mrs. Schofield Coates became the first woman councillor for Middlesbrough. As a Labour councillor she campaigned for slum clearance and affordable council houses. She was behind the establishment of a Child Welfare Centre in Middlesbrough and she was one of the campaigners who helped to set up the Maternity Hospital at Parkside in Middlesbrough. She remained on Middlesbrough council until 1935. She was also a J.P. for 35 years.

Died: Alice Schofield Coates died in June 1975.

Further Information: “Alice Schofield Coates: Suffragette and Middlesbrough Councillor” Sarah Eddy in the Cleveland and Teesside Local History Society Bulletin no. 53 (Autumn 1987)   “Dictionary of Labour Biography” vol. 9 Joyce M.Bellamy and John Saville (eds) (1993)