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Thomas# Bateman
Jane# Jordan
Bernard Martin# Senior J.P.
Elizabeth# Sclanders
Dr. Henry Charles# Bateman FRCS, LSA
Elizabeth Helen (pref Helen)# Senior
May Geraldine Frances Bateman


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May Geraldine Frances Bateman

  • Born: Q1 1872, Islington, London
  • Died: 30 Jun 1938, Chelsea District, London aged 66


Author, poet, journalist and (allegedly) the first British Female Bank Manager !

Got second name from finding birth record on ancestry. Previously just 'G'.

1881 Census (age 9) incorrectly indexed on ancestry as 'Bakman'. Living with widowed mother, 5 sisters and 1 visitor (Edward Bayess?, 28, Physcian) and 4 servants at 13 Canonbury Lane, Islington. Occupation; Scholar.

1890; Witness at the wedding of Bernard M Bateman and Alice Hinkson.

1891 Census (age 19) Single. Living at widowed mothers house at 64 Longridge(?) Road, Brompton, S.Kensington with siblings and 3 servants.

Text of an 1895 letter of hers from eBay; "MAY BATEMAN, English author. Autograph letter signed, 3 pages, on blindstamped letterhead of 64, Longridge Road, S. Kensington, 13 December 1895. To an unidentified editor or publisher, requesting permission to submit her poetry: "I see you have accepted the contributions of Mr. Norman Gale, Mr. Le Gallienne & others for 'Xmas card series -- You may possibly know my work -- My 'Sonnets & Songs', just published by Mr. Elkin Matthews has been favourably noticed. . . . & I have been doing work lately for 'Temple Bar,' 'The Englishwoman', 'The Parents' Review', 'The Senate[?]' etc. . . . Would you care to consider some verses of mine -- with reference to there publication as 'Xmas cards?. . . . If so -- would you tell me, in what form you would like them. . . . Vilanelles [sic] would, I think, be too long -- Also, what price you would give, if I sold the copyright entirely. . . . I enclose an advertisement from the 'Globe' . . . ." Folds soft and starting (one partially reinforced with a paper patch); lightly soiled and worn; else good. Measures approximately 4 1/2” x 7”. Authenticity guaranteed. Seller is a member of PADA (Professional Autograph Dealers Association), ABAA (Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America Inc.) and ILAB (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers). New York residents will be charged sales tax. May Geraldine Bateman (1872-1938); English author of Sonnets and Songs and The Alter of Life. "

From Wendy; Milwaukee Journal March 10 1896. 'Gossip about Women ; "May Geraldine Bateman is the name of a young English woman who has recently published a volume of poems of more than usual merit and who has had the pleasure of John Ruskin's friendship and literary direction, he having become interested in her when she was a child of 11. At 7 she won a prize for a little story quite out of the usual line. Miss Bateman has never been at a regular school having been taught at home by her father and tutors and when still very young she had read Shakespeare and Spenser. It was Mr Ruskin who led her to study literature and gave her advice as to what books to read. He also taught her 'to really love stories' and opened the wonderful science of geology to her young and enthusiastic eyes. He used to send her all sorts of odd specimens and write her the choicest quaintest little letters of description.' "

Ruskin references;
The works of John Ruskin, Volume 38, 1912 mentions (bibliography) "The Track of the Plough: Some memories of John Ruskin" by May Bateman. The previous book is "Bateman, Rosemary for Remembrance. A Collection of Stories and Poems. Edited by May Bateman" ;
The Arm of the Lord by Mrs.Comyns Carr, 1899 says "THE ALTAR OF LIFE: An Anglo-Indian Story, by May Bateman. Crown 8vo. 6s. Literature. ... One can understand why Mr Ruskin took such an interest in Miss Bate- man's work, because it is so full of clever, and sometimes brilliant"
British Books, Volumes 15-16; Volumes 68-69 says "The Altar of Life,' by May Bateman. This book is chiefly remarkable for its admirably described episode in the Sakat ... and was discovered by no less a personage than Mr. Ruskin, who helped her much with his advice at the beginning of ..."

Author Name M.A.B. and G.A. (Maud A Bateman and Grace Allen) [John Ruskin]
Title The Ruskin Birthday Book: A Selection of Thoughts, Mottoes, and Aphorisms for Every Day in the Year from the Works of John Ruskin
Binding Hardback.
Book Condition Good+ hardback (edgewear, esp. to spine, spine sunned, light foxing to outer pages). A few of the days have been filled in, all relating to the family Sillar. Mr Sillar was a correspondent of Ruskin's and this may reasonably assumed to be used by him or his family.
Size 411 pp
Publisher George Allen 1883
Inscription N
Seller ID 36305
Purple cloth with bevelled edges and gilt titles/decoration. Portrait frontispiece and all edges gilt.
Price = 135.00 GBP
1899; THE ALTAR OF LIFE: An Anglo-Indian Story, by May Bateman. Crown 8vo. 6s. Literature. — " A really remarkable book by a writer who has, we believe, made here her first essay in fiction other than the short story.

1899 Country Life; "Another novelist with a fulure is Miss May Bateman, the author of that clever book, " The Author of Life." She is going to try her hand at some sketches on incidenis of the day, which are to appear in the Ladies' Field."

1900; The Colonist Magazine "A small, slender figure, an oval-shaped delicate face, with big pathetic eyes of blue-grey, and soft, fair hair piled neatly on a well-carried head - such is the appearance of one of the most enterprising of lady journalists, Miss May Bateman, the clever young author of the much discussed 'Altar Of Life', who sailed recently for South Africa to 'do' the war from a woman's standpoint for Mr C.Arthur Pearson's new paper, the 'Daily Express' which appeared lately. Few girls of her age have been as much talked of as Miss Bateman"

1901 Census (age 29) Living at 64 Longridge Road, St Cuthbert's Parish, Brompton, S.Kensington with widowed mother and 2 sisters and 3 servants. Occupation; Living on own means.

1903; 'The Critic' (vol 42); "in the London Daily Mail. Either the interviewer, who signs the name May Bateman, is a genius at her work, or Miss Fowler lends herself most readily to the art of the interviewer. If all interviews were as clever as this one, ..."

1908; The Academy, Book Review; "Farquason of Glane By May Bateman. (Chapman and Hall.) It is a comfort to have a novelist who can at least write flowing and educated English, ... There is something positively lurid in the intense glee the author shows in dissecting that shrew."

1908 Spectator; "One of the CLEVEREST STORIES of the SEASON is Miss May Bateman's FARQUHARSON OF GLUNE by May Bateman."

1910; Article in Australian newspaper - Bay of Plenty Times has an article on 27 May 1910 according to this article " the first woman bank manager has been appointed in England. She is Miss May Bateman known as a novelist and writer of poems and articles in the reviews.' The Bank of which she is Manager is Farrow's Bank for Women, New Bridge Street London.It is the first institution of its kind in Great Britain. Miss Bateman when only 18 was private secretary to Sir Douglas Galton of the Board of Trade, abd also incidentally, treasurer to a large Hospital. Under Sir Douglas' guidance Miss Bateman was continually dealing with figures and she entiely managed his private accounts. The Bank for Women has started with 500 depositors. 2.5 % is paid on current accounts and 5% on fixed deposits - rates which seem somewhat high. It is thought that one advantageof the bank will be the encouragement it will give to women customers to ask for advice in small financial matters, which men don't care to be worried with. The whole staff of the bank consists of women or girls "
Farrows collapsed in 1920;
1911 advert for the bank ;

1910; Article in Commercial West "Miss May Bateman. the manager, has done newspaper work as a war correspondent in South Africa and has written several novels. Speaking today of the new bank she said: , “The bank will open with between 400 and 500 clients, ..."

1910; Colliers ; "London now has a woman's bank, its officers all -* being women, and its patrons likewise. Mankind has but one representative within its gates — the messenger boy. Miss May Bateman, novelist and war correspondent, is the manager."

1910; Miami News; lengthy article about May and the bank,3029631

1911 Census (age 39) ; not pulled but is living St George's, London. Wendy looked and was ; listed as author and novelist with private means - 31 Buckingham Gate SW with her faithful servant Florence Mabel Pullen.

1916; Wrote an article "Compulsory Service For Women" in Pall Mall Magazine. Comment on this article elsewhere "Many women wanted to take up arms and fight for their nation despite the disapproval of the general public. Some women argued as May Bateman did in 1916 that women had the obligation to assume some of the burden and hardship of conflict"

Wendy found on timesonline (each year 1939 to 45) ; "BATEMAN In ever loving and affection memory of May Geraldine Bateman a very dear Mistress and friend. June 30 1938 Florrie." ... and hence her death date, then I found on full death index for location.

1925; Catholic World; "May Bateman ("Montmartre and the 'Men of France' "), whose name in full is May Geraldine Frances Bateman, is a well-known English writer and a frequent contributor to The Catholic World. Among her contributions to these pages have been ..."

1925; The Saturday review of politics, literature, science and art, Volume 139 "Miss May Bateman describes the fortunes ot Solesmes, the Benedictine Abbey connected with the revival of liturgical ... years' almost uninterrupted 'Musings without Method' — a record on which the writer is to be heartily congratulated."

1934; Granted probate over sister Alice's will.

Who's Who In Literature; BATEMAN, May Geraldine Francis. Au of Sonnets and Songs (Mathews); The Altar of Life (Duckworth; Lippincott); 2nd ed and Continental ed; The Glowworm (Heinemann); Farquharson of Glune (Chapman & Hall); Fear, The Pursuer (serial); C.Fort Rev. Windsor Mag., Good Housekeeping, Harper's Bazaar, McClure's Mag., Cath.World (USA), Voluntad (Spain), Revue des Jeunes (France) etc. 1 Beaufort House, Beaufort Street, London SW3, Clubs; Ladies Park, Knightsbridge SW1.

The Oxford Companion to Edwardian Fiction (Oxford Companions) ; May Geraldine Frances Bateman. Educated Anglo-French College, South Kensington.
Daily Express's correspondent during the Boer War. Edited magazines: edited the Imperial Colonist with Lady Knightley of Fawsley, contributed to Harper's Bazaar, Good Housekeeping
Wrote novels: The Altar of Life (1898), The Glowworm (1901), Farquharson of Glune (1908). Was the object of Oswald Crawfurd's attentions

This <> says she wrote;
May Geraldine Frances BATEMAN UK (F: c1872 - ?)
Sonnets And Songs [p|1895]
The Children's Hour (ed) [s|1897]
The Altar Of Life [f|1898/?]
The Glow-Worm [f|1901]
The Gunner's Little Sister [f|1901]
Farquharson Of Glune [1908]
Speed Up [n|1920]

Bateman research; She was apparantely a published novelist and appears in the British Library catalogue. A " ...a well known journalist" who had annoyed her family by wanting to join the amateur society war workers at the Cape. This was just after the death of the Queen (22 Jan 1901) so it looks as if she is the Daily Express journalist in May 1901. She was certainly a very prolific authoress author, who wrote some of her many books under a pseudonym.

From Peter G Bateman biog;
"Aunt May, a novelist, was a favourite with us children but a source of worry to our father. During the Boer War he had in the nick of time prevented her from sailing uninvited to Table Bay to succour the wounded on the battlefield, a task for which she was wholly unfitted.
Her next escapade was her engagement to a fortune hunting Italian count of more than doubtful antecedents. A report from the Rome police hastened his departure - but Aunt May, of course, was heartbroken. As her novels were never reprinted, while those of Marie Corelli attained enormous sales, she decided to adopt a financial career. A newly founded bank accepted her offer to join the staff as what must have been one of the earliest PROs in business, and her complete ignorance of anything to do with banking rendered her fully competent to induce her women friends to confide their savings to her employers. She must have lost many of these friends when a few months later the bank failed with a resounding crash. The last shock she administered was the admission that she had become a Roman Catholic. The family took this badly but with his usual common sense my father settled the affair by saying What on earth does it matter to anybody else what church she goes to? "

From Wendy; I have now got a book called Yeoman Service by the Lady Maud Rolleston - basically memoirs of officer's wife during Boer War and May Bateman gets quite a few mentions whilst in Kimberely: ie page 162: on April 30 Lady Gifford brought a Miss Bateman and Captain Strange to tea. Miss Bateman was a nice and pretty little lady who had come out from England all alone as the correspondent to the new paper. the Daily Express. It is an extraodinary phase of the times to see a young woman, pretty and unmarried and a lady, come out absolutely alone to see as much as possible of a country during a war in order to record her experiences and observations. She goes about wherever she can, and she is very cheerful and pleasant and was most popular with us all. p195 On June 5 Miss Bateman arrived andy my home was quite full. We had a very cheery dinner...
p197 (Lady R has news that her wounded husband Lance is in Lindley).. At last we began to pack and very soon got the things sorted out. Miss Bateman and Nan doing most of the packing.

Possible 'sightings' from Wendy ; I have come across the name 'May Bateman' from the late 1890s to the 1930s I can't tell if it is the same May Bateman each time or if there were a few of them flitting around London Society. Anyway a May Bateman had published Sonnet and Songs 1895?, The Children's Hour edited by M Bateman 1896 and sold in aid of the Invalid Children's Soc. A Miss M Bateman also attended the New Vagabond Club annual dinner at the Holborn Restaurant, London On June 16 1898. I have also come across a Bovril advertisement from 1901 quoting a Miss May Bateman correspondent for the Daily Express in Kimberley on 8 May 1901!!! I think this must just be coincident as I suppose there must be quite a few May Batemans however it would be great if it was ours. Also the name Miss May Bateman keeps coming up in the list of mourners at society funerals at the Brompton Oratory during the 1930s and also a guest at a 'do' at Westminster Cathedral celebrating the Pope's coronation. Now these all stop in the 1930s which would tie in with our May's death. There is also an article by a May Bateman in the Catholic World 1927 around St Teresa and the Carmelites and of course we do know that sibling Gabrielle ended up a Carmelite nun.

From Wendy;Found this in Oxford Companion to Edwardian Fiction: "(John)Oswald (Frederick) Crawford Diplomat & Writer. Married twice - lover of novelist Anthony Hope's daughter Violet. Generally believed to have infected her with syphilis . At same time had affairs with wife of publisher Frederic Chapman and future second wife Amelia. Said to have attempted to seduce May Bateman". This is definitely our May Bateman as she is cross referenced in book along where she is said to have been educated at Anglo French College, Kensington. Also mentioned the Oswald Crawford incident but in a more 'romantic' fashion!

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