Margaret Edward Boyle


Born: 5 May 1905 in Kirkden Manse, Angus, Scotland
Died: 11 September 1995 in Edinburgh, Scotland


Margaret E Boyle was born in Kirkden Manse, Angus, where her father the Rev John Boyle was minister. She was the second of a family of three daughters, and received her secondary education at Forfar Academy, where she became school Dux in 1921. In the same year she won a Simson Bursary for £25 for four years in the University of St Andrews Bursary Competition.

At the University of St Andrews she became friendly with fellow mathematics student Agnes Mudie and both lived in University Hall. The two friends graduated in 1925 with both being awarded MA (Class I). The friendship remained for the rest of their lives. After graduating Margaret taught mathematics for a time at Dalkeith High School, where she lodged with a family she kept up with till later in life. She and Agnes Mudie both lived at Buchanan Hostel, East Suffolk Road, Edinburgh, and both joined the Edinburgh Mathematical Society in June 1926. Margaret Boyle gave up teaching because of illness. In January 1930 she wrote from Kirkden Manse, Letham, Angus to the hon. secretary of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society:-

I left Edinburgh several years ago owing to a breakdown in health. As I am not likely to take up mathematics again, or be in the vicinity of Edinburgh, I regret that I must let my membership lapse.
In April 1931 she married David Gardyne Dorward, the dominie of Logie Pert School, near Montrose in North Angus. They had two sons, the elder being David Campbell Dorward (born in a Dundee nursing home on 7 August 1933) who became a well-known classical composer, and younger being John Dorward. In 1938 David, Margaret and family moved to Monikie near Dundee, where David was appointed the dominie of the local school, Monikie Primary School.

Agnes Mudie, Margaret's close friend, became known to the family as 'Auntie' Nancy. Agnes and Margaret frequently attended the St Andrews University Hall Association for reunions with her fellow-residents. She had no job after marriage except being a wife and mother. When her husband died in 1971 she moved to live with her son David and his wife in Edinburgh, where she died in September 1995.

Article by: J J O'Connor and E F Robertson

November 2007
MacTutor History of Mathematics
[http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Boyle_Margaret.html]