Laura (Bond) Borden

Laura (Bond) Borden (1861 - 1940)

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Laura Borden formerly Bond
Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canadamap
Wife of — married 25 Sep 1889 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canadamap
Died in Ottawa, Ontario, Canadamap
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Profile last modified 3 May 2019 | Created 6 Apr 2014
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Activists and Reformers poster
Laura (Bond) Borden was a part of the Suffragettes Movement.

Biography

Laura Bond was a Canadian Suffragette.

She was born on November 26, 1861,[1] in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She was the youngest of Thomas Bond and Catherine Atkinson's nine children.[2]

In 1871, Laura was living with her parents and five of her siblings in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her father was a hardware merchant.[3] In 1876, when Laura was just 14 years old, she lost both of her parents. Her mother, Catherine, died in January 1876 in an accident.[4] Four months later, in May 1876, her father Thomas died of a tumor.[5] In 1881, Laura was living with her five older siblings in Halifax.[6]

Lady Laura (Bond) Borden
Laura Borden in 1901

Perhaps Laura Bond met Robert Borden, a barrister from Halifax, at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, where she was an organist and he was a regular attendee.[7] They courted about three years[7] before marrying on Sept. 25, 1889.[8] The couple shared an interest in the arts, she in music and theatre, he in literature. They enjoyed tennis, water sports and golf together.[7]

In 1891, Laura and Robert were living in Halifax. Living with them was Robert's younger brother, Henry Borden,[9] who was attending school at Dalhousie University in Halifax.[7]

Robert Borden had a successful law practice. He and Laura were able to spend several weeks during the summers of 1891 and 1893 touring Europe. They were still in Halifax in 1901.[10]

"Pinehurst" Halifax Home of Robert and Laura Borden
"Pinehurst"

After having lived in rented rooms for their early married years, in 1894, the Bordens bought "Pinehurst," a large home in a suburb of Halifax, off Quinpool Road.[7]

The house was built around 1873, and is Late Victorian Eclectic including some Classical Revival and Italianate features.[11]

"Glensmere" Ottawa Home of Robert and Laura Borden
"Glensmere"

Robert didn't like leaving his wife behind in Halifax when his political career began, and in 1905, when he made a firm commitment to national politics, he began the hunt for a house in Ottawa. In the summer of 1906, Robert and Laura moved to "Glensmere," along the Rideau River, at 201 Wurtemberg Street in Ottawa, Ontario.[12][13] Both homes were known for their "brilliant" gatherings.[14]

In 1915, Robert Borden, Prime Minister of Canada since October 1911, was knighted, Sir Robert Laird Borden. Laura (Bond) Borden, daughter of a hardware merchant, became Lady Laura Borden. Lord and Lady Borden can be seen here in full "Court" dress. They remained Canada's "first couple" all through World War I, until Sir Robert's retirement in 1920. Among its other achievements, the Borden administration campaigned for and won the right to vote for Canadian women in 1918. Always a champion of Canada, Sir Robert also succeeded in having Canada and the other British Dominions gain independent status in the post-war League of Nations.[15]

Lady Laura Borden
Lady Laura Borden in 1912

Around 1878, when Laura had been a teenager, the women of Nova Scotia began forming groups such as the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), which successfully lobbied for married women’s property rights.

In 1891, they turned to the topic of suffrage for women. After defeat of the first suffrage bill, in 1894, the Local Council of Women of Halifax, a local chapter of the National Council of Women of Canada, was formed. Laura Bond became a member of this group, and at one time served as it’s President.

It wasn’t until April 26, 1918 that the Nova Scotia Franchise Act was passed, giving the women of Nova Scotia the right to vote in provincial elections. A month later Sir Robert Borden, Laura’s husband, used his parliamentary majority to pass national suffrage for Canadian women.[16][17]

Laura has been described as lively, attractive,[7] active-minded, amiable, and talented. She contributed to her husband's success, and was actively involved in organizations and charities during her lifetime.[18] Among the many occasions on which Lady Laura's efforts to make the world a better place received public notice, was an article in the October 1908 issue of "Canadian Life and Resources".[14]

Canadian Life and Resources, October 1908, Pages 22-23
Canadian Life and Resources, October 1908, Pages 22-23. (click here to see full size)
Lady Laura died September 7, 1940 in Ottawa.[19] She is buried in the Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa, Ottawa Municipality, Ontario, Canada.[20]
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Sir Robert and Lady Laura Borden 1912

Sources

  1. As per 1901 census
  2. On the 1861 census, the household of Thomas H. Bond includes eight children. Laura was the ninth. See his profile for more details.
  3. 1871 Census of Canada, Library and Archives Canada Nova Scotia, Halifax West, Halifax Ward 5, Pg 66
  4. Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics – Deaths: - Registration Year 1876; Book 1808; Page 577; Number 88 – Death of Catherine Bond, 1876, Halifax
  5. Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics – Deaths: - Registration Year 1876; Book 1808; Page 594; Number 472 – Death of Thomas H. Bond, 1876, Halifax
  6. "Canada Census, 1881," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MV6L-9VX : accessed 14 March 2015), Laura Bond in household of George Bond, Ward no. 1, Halifax City, Nova Scotia, Canada; citing p. 90; Library and Archives Canada film number C-13168, Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; FHL microfilm 1,375,804.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Borden, Sir Robert Laird Dictionary of Canadian Biography]
  8. Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics – Marriages: Registration Year 1889; Book 1818; Page 141; Number 350 – Marriage of Laura Bond and Robert L. Borden, 1889, Halifax County
  9. 1891 Census of Canada, Library and Archives Canada Nova Scotia, Halifax (City), Ward 1, Pg 41-42, Family 184
  10. 1901 Census of Canada, Library and Archives Canada Nova Scotia, Halifax Ward 3, pg 21, Family 183
  11. Canada's Historic Places Website
  12. 1911 Census of Canada, Library and Archives Canada Ontario, Ottawa, ByWard, Pg 39, Family 268
  13. 1921 Census of Canada, Ancestry Ontario, Ottawa, ByWard, Pg 34
  14. 14.0 14.1 Canadian Life and Resources, Vol. VI No. 10, "About Women" p. 22, 23. Montreal: Resources Publishing Co., October 1908.
  15. Wikipedia Article "Robert Borden"
  16. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_Council_of_Women_of_Halifax Wikipedia “Local Council of Women of Halifax”
  17. lcwhalifax.org Local Council of Women of Halifax.
  18. Morgan, Henry J. (Henry James). Types of Canadian women and of women who are or have been connected with Canada. Vol 1. Toronto: William Briggs, 1903.p. 33
  19. Edmonton Journal, September 7, 1940 (accessed March 10, 2015), front page article:

    Obituary of Lady Laura (Bond) Borden
  20. Find A Grave: Memorial #146649233, Laura Borden.

See also:

  • Robert Craig Brown, “BORDEN, Sir ROBERT LAIRD,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 16, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed April 6, 2014.
  • 25 Sep 1889 Halifax, Halifax, Nova Scotia "Canada, Marriages, 1661-1949," index, familysearch : accessed 9 March 2015), Robert L. Borden and Laura Bond, 25 Sep 1889; citing Halifax, Halifax, Nova Scotia, reference 2:3STDPZL; FHL microfilm 1,298,882.


Lady Laura (Bond) Borden


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Laura Borden Wallpaper
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