Mary Paley was born on 24 October 1850 at Ufford, Lincolnshire, the daughter of a strict evangelical clergyman. She died at Cambridge on 7 March 1944. She was the great-grand-daughter of Archdeacon William paley, the noted theologian considered by keynes to be an anticipator of bentham. Her success in the Cambridge higher local examinations for women over eighteen (established in 1869) won her a scholarship to Cambridge to attend ‘Lectures for Women’, a scheme established in the Easter term of 1870 to allow women to receive lectures from Cambridge University faculty. She was one of the first five students of what later became Newnham College, taking up residence in Cambridge under Miss Anne Clough in October 1871. Having attended Alfred marshall’s lectures in political economy, she was, in December 1874, one of the first two women to (unofficially) write the moral sciences tripos, then the only Cambridge examination to include political economy. Two of the four examiners voted her work on the tripos first class, the other two second class.
From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.