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  • Writer's pictureEunice Taylor

Irish Woman Entrepreneur - Martha Patterson from Antrim, Ireland B: 1848

Martha was born on 10 April 1848 in Lisburn, Antrim, Ireland to John Patterson a farmer from Blaris, Annahilt, ( Antrim and Down) Ireland and Elizabeth McCandless from Dromore, Co Down, Ireland (who were married on 30 April 1847 at Annahilt Church of Ireland by the Rev H Boyle). With the pressures of low income and being the eldest child, Martha moves to Belfast and works as a seamstress. She marries Thomas Maxwell a weaver from Boardmills, Co Down, when she is 25 in St Mary's Belfast, Church of Ireland. At 32 she moves with her husband to Scotland where industry was booming. She ends up in Greenock, Scotland where her husband Thomas gets a job as a sugar labourer. She and Thomas have seven children between 1875 and 1883. By 1891 when she is 42 and her youngest child Martha is 8 she has her own Draper's shop at 64 The Vennel in Greenock. She puts her seamstress skills to good use and starts to sell nurses uniforms and other practical goods. She helps her granddaughters open a Greengrocers whilst in their teens (abt 1917, but they do not have the business acumen of their granny and give the fruit away way to those who can't afford it!). Martha lives to 71, outlives her husband, and is still working as a Draper to the end. She dies leaving $1687, 17s 6d to her grandson James Andrew Love, a writer (Love James A., writer and notary public, Consular agent for the United States ; secretary to Greenock Infirmary 1902.)

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