Agnes Smyth Baden-Powell (16 December 1858 – 2 June 1945) was the younger sister of
Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell Lieutenant General Lieutenant general (Lt Gen, LTG and similar) is a three-star military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War ...
, and was most noted for her work in establishing the Girl Guide movement as a female counterpart to her older brother's
Scouting Movement The Scout movement, also known as Scouting or the Scouts, is a voluntary non-political educational movement for young people. Although it requires an oath of allegiance to a nation's leaders and, in some countries, to a god, it otherwise allows ...

Scouting Movement
. Agnes was born in Paddington, London.

Early life

Agnes was the thirteenth of fourteen children of her father, the Reverend Baden Powell, who was the Savilian Professor of Geometry at the
University of Oxford The University of Oxford is a collegiate university, collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the List of oldest universit ...
from 1827 to 1860. She was his third daughter, but the elder two had died before Agnes was born; she was her mother's only daughter. Her mother, the third wife of Baden Powell (the previous two having died) was a gifted musician and artist, was Henrietta Grace Smyth, the elder daughter of
William Henry Smyth Admiral William Henry Smyth (21 January 1788 – 8 September 1865) was a Royal Navy officer, hydrographer, astronomer and numismatist. He is noted for his involvement in the early history of a number of learned societies, for his hydrographic ...
and his wife Annarella. Apart from Robert already mentioned above, among Agnes's brothers were
Warington Baden-Powell Henry Warington Smyth Baden-Powell KC (3 February 1847 – 24 April 1921), known as Warington within the family, was a British master mariner A master mariner is a licensed mariner who holds the highest grade of seafarer qualification; namely, ...
, Sir
George Baden-Powell Sir George Smyth Baden-Powell, (24 December 1847 – 20 November 1898), was a son of the mathematician, the Rev. Prof. Baden Powell (mathematician), Baden Powell. He was also the brother of: Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, The 1st B ...
Frank Baden-Powell Francis Smyth Baden-Powell (29 July 1850 – 1933) was a British barrister, officer and painter. Biography Frank Baden-Powell was born on 29 July 1850, the third son of the Rev. Prof Baden Powell (mathematician), Baden Powell and his third wife Hen ...
, and
Baden Baden-Powell Baden Fletcher Smyth Baden-Powell, (22 May 1860 – 3 October 1937) was a military aviation pioneer, and President of the Royal Aeronautical Society from 1900 to 1907. Family Baden-Powell was the youngest child of Baden Powell, and the brot ...

Baden Baden-Powell
. Her mother, Henrietta Grace Smyth, was the third wife of Rev. Baden Powell. Henrietta Grace was a gifted musician and artist, a daughter of Admiral
William Henry Smyth Admiral William Henry Smyth (21 January 1788 – 8 September 1865) was a Royal Navy officer, hydrographer, astronomer and numismatist. He is noted for his involvement in the early history of a number of learned societies, for his hydrographic ...
and Eliza Anne "Annarella" Warington, Annarella Warington. When Agnes was only two years of age, the Reverend Baden Powell died. To honour him after his death, Agnes's mother Henrietta added Baden to their surname and that branch of the family has since been known as Baden-Powell. Baden's death left the family under the firm control of Henrietta, who was determined to instill in her children a desire to succeed. Agnes' brother, Robert, has been quoted as saying, "The whole secret of my getting on lay with my mother." Agnes went on to become an accomplished musician, playing the organ, piano and violin. Her varied interests included natural history and astronomy, and she kept bees, birds and butterflies in her home. In April 1901 Agnes became engaged to Sir William Bisset Berry, the Speaker of the South African Parliament, but they did not marry. Some years later she became very friendly with Guglielmo Marconi. With her brother Baden Baden-Powell, Baden Fletcher Smyth Baden-Powell Agnes made aeronautical balloons, working the silk for the envelope, and they made many flights together. Later she helped him with aeroplane-building. Agnes was an honorary companion of the Royal Aeronautical Society from 1938.http://www.spanglefish.com/olavebadenpowell/index.asp?pageid=531848 She was for some years president of the Westminster Division of the Red Cross, and worked for the League of Mercy and for Queen Mary's Needlework Guild.

Guide movement

Following the creation of the The Scout Association, Boy Scout Association, Robert Baden-Powell organised a gathering of Scouts at the The Crystal Palace, Crystal Palace in London in 1909. Amongst the many thousands of Boy Scouts gathered, there were several hundred Girl Scouts, and also a small group of girls, dressed in Scout uniforms, who had gatecrashed the event without tickets. Popular opinion at this time was against mixed activities for girls, and growing pressure persuaded Robert Baden-Powell to consider setting up a separate organisation for the Girl Scouts, and having been turned down by first aid societies, he approached his sister, Agnes, who reluctantly agreed to take on the organising of the new sister group, Girl Guides. Agnes Baden-Powell's character was useful in counteracting negative opinions of the new Girl Guides. A friend wrote of her:
Anyone who had come into touch with her gentle influence, her interest in all womanly arts, and her love of birds, insects, and flowers, would scoff at the idea of her being the president of a sort of Amazon Cadet Corps.
In late 1909, Robert Baden-Powell published "Pamphlet A: Baden-Powell Girl Guides, a Suggestion for Character Training for Girls" and "Pamphlet B: Baden-Powell Girl Guides, a Suggestion for Character Training for Girls". These were precursors to the handbook. By April 1910 there were 6,000 young girls registered as Girl Guides. In 1912, Agnes brought about the formation of the Lone Guides, 1st Lone Company and was the de facto president of Girlguiding UK, The Girl Guide Association. During this time, Agnes wrote the Guides' first handbook. This was ''How Girls Can Help to Build Up the Empire, The Handbook for the Girl Guides or How Girls Can Help to Build Up the Empire'', and published in 1912, it was a reworking of the ''Scouting for Boys'' book written by Robert several years earlier but with chapters added by Agnes on a number of subjects. The Girl Guide movement was given official recognition in 1915. In early 1916 Agnes's young sister-in-law Olave Baden-Powell was appointed Sussex County Commissioner, and in September 1916 the new County Commissioners voted Olave into the new post of Chief Guide, putting her in charge of Guiding, Agnes was offered the honorary post of President which she reluctantly accepted. In 1917, following pressure, Agnes resigned from the presidency in favour of Princess Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood, Princess Mary, who was also a keen supporter of the Girl Guides, and Agnes became Vice-President. Agnes continued as Vice-President until her death. She was buried in the family grave in Kensal Green Cemetery in London, though her name was not listed on the monument.


External links

* * {{DEFAULTSORT:Baden-Powell, Agnes Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting Girlguiding UK Scouting pioneers British beekeepers 1858 births 1945 deaths Baden-Powell family, Agnes