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1 October 1871*

Olive Christian Malvery born in Lahore to Thomas Barber Malvery and Jessie Malvery, née Anderson.


9 August 1874

Birth of her brother Henry Sinclair Malvery.


19 September 1874

Both Olive and Henry are baptised.


31 December 1895

Father, Thomas Malvery, dies aged 61 from 'excessive drinking.' He was buried in Sewee, Bombay in 3 January 1896.


c. 28 February 1898.

Moved to Britain to study music.


2 March 1898

Passed her entrance exam and enrolled at the Royal College of Music, London. 


May 1899

Introduced by Lady Henry Somerset, among other representative of the different National Women's Christian Temperance Unions, as part of celebrations of the National British Women's Temperance Association’s twenty-third anniversary in London.

4 November 1899

Leaves the Royal College of Music.



Tours at a number of venues with William Y. Hurstone, performing her ‘Indian Pictures’ – story poems introducing songs, alongside music composed by Hurlstone.



Continues to tour around the country, in particular offering her services to the National Temperance League for events raising awareness and funds. 

9 February 1903

Mother, Jessie Malvery, remarries at Simla to Benjamin George Faulkner Simmonds. 

24 February 1903

Malvery gives a fundraising concert for “The Girl’s Guild of Good Life” based at Hoxton Hall, East London.

4 May 1903

Malvery arranges a further concert-recital to raise funds for “The Girl’s Guild of Good Life”, this time at Grosvenor House and under the patronage of Queen Alexandra. 

June 1903

Impresses audiences at the world's Women's Christian Temperance Union convention in Geneva, resulting in an invitation to the United States. 

8 November 1903

Arrives at New York aboard the S.S. Celtic, to speak at the Cincinnati Convention for the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. She spends five months travelling the country. 

June 1904

First public record of her undercover work amongst London's poor. In an interview with London Daily News she argues that poverty in London is worse than that in India. One journalist responds “It is a humiliating thing to hear from a cultured and experienced young Indian woman that London wants missionaries more than India.”

November 1904 - March 1905

The series of articles "The Heart of All Things" detailing her undercover work amongst poor working women of London is published in Pearson's Weekly. 

April 1905 

Article "The Alien Question.” is published in Pearson's Magazine. 

13 May 1905

Hundreds attend the wedding of Olive Malvery to Archibald Mackirdy, the United States Consul at Muscat, Persia, at St Margaret’s church, Westminster. 

26 March 1906

Birth of daughter Flora Mackirdy in Peterborough. 

November 1906

'The Soul Market' published. 

March-April 1907

First public records of Olive raising funds for night shelter for homeless women and girls in London, supported by Lady Brassey and a committee of influential and well-known figures. 

July 1907

'Baby Toilers' published. 

13 November 1907

Birth of second daughter Mary Sinclair Mackirdy in Kesington. 


Publishes her first novel The Spectator, the story of a business woman. 

8 March 1909

Birth of son John Montgomerie Mackirdy in Sussex. 

8 November 1909 

Husband Archibald Mackirdy dies from a severe haemorrhage. He is buried at Kensal Green. 


Using The Christian Globe as a platform, launches an Industrial Campaign generating public interest and business for firms that were positive examples of working conditions for men and women.

3 November 1911

Her first hostel, The Mackirdy Hostel at 79 Great Titchfield Street, is opened by the Duchess of Albany. 

4 March 1913

Her second hostel, The Mackirdy Hostel and Haven for Women and Girls, at 112-124 Harrow Road, Paddington, is opened by Princess Alexander of Teck. 

January 1914

Founds and becomes Editor of the newspaper Mackirdy's Weekly. The paper promotes Women's Suffrage, but is strongly opposed to the militancy of suffragettes and is critical of Christabel Pankhurst. 

18 January 1914

Her house and most of her possessions, including an unfinished book, is destroyed in a fire. The international press report this as an act of deliberate arson by a suffragette. 

29 October 1914 

After suffering from an illness, Olive Malvery dies at her home in Purley, Surrey as a result of overdosing on sedatives. 

* Establishing a date of birth has been complicated by Malvery reporting herself as younger on a number of official documents. This has led to her incorrect date of 1877 being given in a number of places, and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography stating 'No record of her birth has been located.'  Her date of birth is given in her Baptism record from India, Select Births and Baptisms, 1786-1947, available through 

With thanks to the Royal College of Music Library for their assistance confirming  the dates of attendance.

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