Thank you if you gave your vote to Elizabeth Raffald for the first female statue since Queen Victoria, currently the only statue of a woman in Manchester, a city of innumerable women achievers. There are many reasons why Elizabeth, a woman of tremendous enterprise, should be honoured. She was amazing, inspiring and determined but in particular I think she deserves a statue for the following reasons:-
1 Her many achievements are examples of the true spirit of Manchester, that of hard work and enterprise.
2 She helped to build the city we are so proud of, contributing her knowledge of social etiquette which oiled the wheels of the new society, contributing to the city's wealth at a time when manufacturing was becoming vital to the area's economic growth
3 She deserves it as an innovator, something for which this city is renowned - many of her recipes were new, giving away the secrets of the skilled confectioner that she was
4 She deserves it on behalf of countless women like her who work hard despite adversity, aspiring to a better life. She lived at a time when married women had no legalrights
5 She is the earliest woman on the list and we should start at the beginning and work our way through the list
6 She was an indefatigable, respected character who was buried ignominiously at Stockport without a mention on the headstone. Manchester should honour her contribution to the city.
A statue is the least we can do.
Above is the display in Stockport Heritage library with (L-R) Sophie and Hayley, HLF funded trainees who put together the display, and Andrew Simcock, the Manchester councillor spearheading the campaign for a female statue for Manchester.
Have you heard of Elizabeth Raffald?
Elizabeth lived at the dawn of the Industrial Age. Her name is unfamiliar to most Mancunians and yet she was a powerhouse of hard work and entrepreneurialism, something for which Manchester has always been renowned. She was a skilled confectionery cook, writer and businesswoman who lived in Manchester from 1763 , when she married at the age of 30, until she died in 1781. In that short time she produced a definitive cookbook and the first trade directory for Manchester, financed newspapers, wrote a book on midwifery and yet still found time to have a family. More about her here
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My next novel will be a story based on the life of The Experienced English Housekeeper, Elizabeth Raffald, who lived in Manchester in the 18th century. She is such a remarkable character I had to dedicate a whole page of this website to her, (See here). In 18 years in Manchester she achieved such a lot that it is a disgrace her name is mainly forgotten. I hope I can help put that right.
To start the process, I have produced a booklet about her to give some basic information on her tremendous achievements - the fictionalised biography is still to come...