Ontario's Historical Plaques 

Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques

2004 - Now in our 15th Year - 2019

 To find out all about me, you can visit the Home Page 

Looking at this page on a smartphone?
For best viewing, hold your phone
in Landscape mode (Horizontal)

Emily Ferguson Murphy 1868-1933

Emily Ferguson Murphy 1868-1933

Photo by Alan L Brown - Posted August, 2004

Emily Ferguson Murphy 1868-1933

Photo from Google Street View ©2011 Google - Posted January, 2011

Plaque Location

The Municipality of Chatham-Kent
In Chatham, on the northwest corner of
Selkirk Street and Victoria Avenue

Coordinates: N 42 24.635 W 82 11.366


Plaque Text

A leading Canadian feminist, journalist and reformer, Emily Murphy lived in Chatham from 1890 to 1894 when her husband was rector of this church. In 1916 she was appointed police magistrate for Edmonton. Her authority was challenged by a lawyer who claimed that under the British North American Act women were not legal "persons" and could not hold crown appointments. Women's organizations tested the law repeatedly by submitting female candidates for the Senate. All were rejected. Judge Murphy, with four other Alberta feminists, took the "Persons Case" to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Britain. That body ruled in 1929 that women were indeed persons. The following year, a woman was appointed to the Senate of Canada.

Related Ontario plaques
Nellie Mooney McClung 1873-1951
Louise C. McKinney


Women Reformers

Other Plaques in Chatham
The Abolition Movement in British North America
Chatham Blockhouse 1794
David Mills 1831-1903
Dr. Anderson Ruffin Abbott 1837-1913
Jean McKishnie Blewett 1862-1934
John Brown's Convention 1858
Kent County Court House
Mary Ann Shadd Cary (1823-1893)
Mary Ann Shadd (Cary) (1823-1893)
Old St. Paul's Church & Christ Church
The Provincial Freeman

Chatham-Kent Plaques

Here are the visitors' comments for this page.

> Posted March 13, 2009
See the others of the Alberta Five. Also their Historic Sites and Monuments Board/Parks Canada plaques. Mrs. McClung, Mrs. McKinley, Mrs. Parlby, Mrs. Edwards. Note the Heritage Minute re Murphy that says their menfolk poo-pooed their efforts is nonsense. The husbands were supportive and in the case of Ferguson-Murphy, a well known relative tipped her off to the little-known procedure of appealing over the head of the Supreme Court of Canada to the Law Lords of the Imperial Privy Council in London. Read "Emily Murphy Crusader", 1945, by Byrne Hope Saunders for an almost contemporary account of her career.

Here's where you can send me a comment for this page.

Note: Your email address will be posted at the end of your comment so others can respond to you unless you request otherwise.

Note: Comments are moderated. Yours will appear on this page within 24 hours (usually much sooner).

Note: As soon as I have posted your comment, a reply to your email will be sent informing you.

To send me your comment, click alanlangfordbrown@gmail.com.

Alan L Brown

Note: If you wish to send me a personal email, click here.