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Raised in Poverty
Mary Slessor (1848-1915) was born, the second of seven children, into a poor and troubled home in Scotland. Although her mother was deeply religious, her father was a violent drunkard, who brought the family to abject poverty, fear and misery. Their one-roomed home had no water, lighting or toilet and hardly any furniture. Mary slept on the floor. Mary’s older brother died, leaving her as the oldest surviving child. When her father died, the burden of supporting her family fell upon her young shoulders. At 10 Mary began work as a half-timer, spending half her time at school and half her time at the mill. At 14 years Mary began working full time, a 58 hour week at the looms. However, her mother ensured that Mary went to Church every Sunday.