14/11/2017 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Campaigner Sister Nivedita commemorated with English Heritage Blue Plaque


English Heritage has unveiled a blue plaque to Sister Nivedita (Margaret Noble, 1867-1911), an educationalist and campaigner for Indian Independence.

Born Margaret Elizabeth Noble in Dungannon, County Tyrone (now in Northern Ireland), Sister Nivedita devoted herself to the support of women’s education and philanthropic work among the poor in India, and also campaigned strongly for Indian independence.


Revered within Indian communities in Britain and beyond, Sister Nivedita’s English Heritage blue plaque is at 21A High Street, Wimbledon, a three-storey, late Victorian property of yellow stock brick, now with a shop front, which remained her family’s lodgings whilst she travelled around England, India and France.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m delighted that English Heritage is honouring Sister Nivedita with a blue plaque at her former home in Wimbledon on the 150th anniversary year of her birth.

“Devoting herself to philanthropic work and the promotion of women’s education in India, Sister Nivedita also campaigned tirelessly for Indian independence. This first public recognition of Sister Nivedita in London is a fitting tribute to her lasting legacy, particularly on the 70th anniversary year of India’s independence, and I’m sure it will prove a popular addition to the iconic London Blue Plaques Scheme.”

The story of 'the lioness'

In November 1895, a few years after Margaret Noble opened her own kindergarten, the Ruskin School in Wimbledon, she met Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), the chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, an Indian mystic and yogi. Drawn by his message of religious universalism and philanthropy, she helped organise the Vedanta Movement in London until she persuaded Vivekananda to let her join him in India in 1898.

This proved to be a turning point in her life and a move that led her to dedicate the rest of her life to India and its people. Vivekananda himself wrote of her devotion: ‘I am now convinced that you have a great future in the work for India. What was wanted was not a man but a woman; a real lioness, to work for the Indians, women especially’. He named her Sister Nivedita or ‘The Dedicated’, when he initiated her as a brahmacharini (a female disciple).

The blue plaque was celebrated in partnership with The Followers of Sister Nivedita and included a dedication by Swami Dayatmananda.

(images copyright English Heritage)

Back to News

14/11/2017 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

Society of Genealogists supports Family Tree Live

The team behind the new family history show Family Tree Live are delighted to announce the Society of ...

AGRA recognition for Pharos family history course

The joint Pharos Tutors and Society of Genealogists Family History Skills & Strategies (Advanced) Distance ...

Battle-damaged jacket was from Waterloo, expert analysis reveals - video report

The authenticity of a jacket worn by a British Army officer at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 has been ...

Historic boats star in Traditional Boat Festival 2018 at Henley on Thames

A survivor from the Great War and a colourful but unhurried Royal spectacle will line up with a World beater ...

Other News

Become an archaeologist at interactive London exhibition

In a nod to Islington’s real and mythical past, American artist Goode will create a lost world at James ...

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Casualty List added to UNESCO Memory of the World Register

To mark International Archives Day on 9 June, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) and UNESCO ...

Represent! Voices 100 years on

The People’s History Museum has opened its exhibition Represent! Voices 100 Years On by recreating a defining ...

July issue Subscriber Club Offers

Find out what's on offer for Family Tree subscribers in this month's subscriber club deals. ...