Story: Lesbian lives

Relationships: Household of three (2nd of 2)

Relationships: Household of three

Amy Large and Bessie Spencer were friends and companions for over 65 years. The pair met at school and lived together as working women. Large married family friend Frank Hutchinson in 1907, and Spencer (right) lived with the Hutchinsons on a farm in Hawke's Bay. The three are pictured together around 1912. Frank Hutchinson died in 1940 and the two women continued to live together. Spencer is best remembered as the founder of the Country Women's Institute. It is not known whether the women's relationship was sexual, but they were lifelong companions.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Howard Barraclough Fell Collection (PAColl-5355)
Reference: PAColl-5355-01

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Alison J. Laurie, 'Lesbian lives - Early relationships and networks', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 13 July 2024)

Story by Alison J. Laurie, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 15 Aug 2018