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Lady Aberdeen was born in 1857, the daughter of the first Baron Tweedsmouth, she married the first Marquis of Aberdeen in 1877. Lord Aberdeen became Governor-General of Canada in 1893 and remained in that office for the next five years.
One of the outstanding public figures of her time, Lady Aberdeen had been active in philanthropic and educational work along many directions for nearly sixty years. She was president of the International Council of Women for nearly forty years, 1893-1899 and 1904-1936. She was president of the Irish Industries Assoc., of the Women's National Health Association of Ireland, of the Onward and Upward Association, and for a number of years chairperson of the Scottish Council for Women's Trades. In Canada,Lady Aberdeen founded the Victorian Order of Nurses. While in Canada, Lady Aberdeen took a leading part in the formation of the National Council of Women of which she was the first president. She died in Scotland in 1939.