Marie Musaeus Higgins

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Marie Musaeus Higgins (May 18, 1855 – July 10, 1926) was a German educationist, best known as the founder and principal of Musaeus College in Colombo, Sri Lanka.[1] She also authored several publications based on Buddhist and Sinhala cultural themes, including Poya Days in 1924.[2] She is recognized as an important figure in the pre-independence Buddhist revival in Sri Lanka and a pioneer in female education in the country.


Higgins was born in Wismar, which was part of the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in Germany.[3] In Germany, after she completed her education, she became a "Frau Professor.[3] In the 1880s she went to the United States with her brothers where she met her husband, Anton Higgins, who was a U.S. Army officer.[3][4] Anton was a Theosophist and Marie Higgins eventually founded the Blavatsky Theosophist Lodge.[5] Her husband died a few years after their marriage, and Higgins went on to Ceylon with Colonel Olcott.[4]

Higgins founded the Musaeus Girls' School, first in a small mud hut, but eventually replacing the hut with a brick building in 1895.[4]


  1. Charles A. Gunawardena (2005). Encyclopedia of Sri Lanka. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. p. 178. ISBN 978-1-932705-48-5. 
  2. Cherry Briggs (1 January 2015). The Teardrop Island: Following Victorian Footsteps Across Sri Lanka. Summersdale Publishers Limited. p. 280. ISBN 978-0-85765-926-2. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Munasinghe, Charnika Imbulana (10 July 2014). "Marie Musaeus Higgins: Her Footprints on the Sands of Time". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 3 November 2015. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Founders". Musaeus College. Retrieved 3 November 2015. 
  5. "Musaeus, Mother and Mentor from America". Daily News. 19 November 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2015. 

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