71 Botanic Avenue

71 Botanic Gardens71 Botanic Avenue was the home of Isabella Tod. Tod was a writer and was involved in a number of campaigns in Belfast, including female education, the suffrage, temperance and home rule. She campaigned for women’s education and was secretary of the Belfast Ladies Institute, which used professors from Queen’s University to educate upper-class women.

Tod established the first suffrage society in Ireland in 1871, which proved to be moderately successful: women in Belfast obtained the right to vote in municipal elections in 1887, eleven years before women in the rest of Ireland did so. Tod was also strongly opposed to Home Rule and set up the Women’s Liberal Unionist Association. She travelled around England speaking against Home Rule at public meetings. Furthermore, she organised an anti-Home Rule petition that attracted 20,000 signatures; it was presented to the House of Commons in 1893.