Jellicoe, Anne (1823–1880), pioneer of women's education and founder of Alexandra College, Dublin, was born 26 March 1823 at Mountmellick, Queen's Co., the daughter of William Mullin (1796–1826), a quaker schoolmaster, and his wife, Margaret Mullin (née Thompson; 1801–1840). She had one brother, John William Mullin. Her father ran his own ‘superior’ school for boys, which taught English, history, the classics, and higher mathematics. She was educated probably by a governess, and on 28 October 1846 she married John Jellicoe (1819–60), a quaker miller of Monsterevan, the son of John Jellicoe and his wife, Elizabeth Thompson, of Flemingstown, Co. Tipperary. There were no children of the marriage. In 1848 the Jellicoes moved to Clara, King's Co. (Offaly), where Anne set up a lace and embroidery factory, in association with the quaker Goodbody family, to provide employment for women. She became interested in women's working conditions and, after she and her husband moved to Harold's Cross, Dublin, in 1858, she continued her work.
Widowed in 1862, Jellicoe increased her involvement in social work and in particular supported the Cole Alley infant school, Meath Street, which was run by quakers for the poor children of the Liberties area. In 1861 she prepared a critical paper on the conditions of women employed in factories for the first Dublin meeting of the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science (founded 1857). This paper (published in Transactions of the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science, 1861, 640–45) was read for her, but later she was invited to read another paper, ‘Woman's supervision of women's industry’ (Englishwoman's Review, viii (Feb. 1862)), at a social science meeting in London in 1862. She presented her next paper, ‘Visit to the female convict prison at Mountjoy, Dublin’ (Transactions of the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science, 1862, 437–42), to the Social Science Congress in London in 1862. In 1861 she was co-founder with Ada Barbara Corlett (qv) of the Irish Society for Promoting the Training and Employment of Educated Women, later known as the Queen's Institute, which provided training courses for women and assisted with their employment.
In the early 1860s Jellicoe became more concerned about the lack of formal education for middle-class women, many of whom sought employment as governesses, than with working and prison conditions. In 1866 she founded Alexandra College in Dublin to provide higher education for women. In this enterprise she was ably assisted by Richard Chenevix Trench (qv), Church of Ireland archbishop of Dublin (1864–86), and the college was modelled on Queen's College, London (founded 1848), with which Chenevix Trench had been closely involved. Alexandra College was the first university-style institution for women in Ireland; the broad curriculum included English language and literature, mathematics, history, natural science, geography, Latin, mental and moral philosophy, music, drawing, and callisthenics. Jellicoe was lady superintendent of the college (1866–80), and it flourished under her leadership and guidance. She had to work with a college council of clerical and academic men, while herself not a member of the council. Alexandra received much support from the staff of TCD, many of whom gave lectures. In 1869 Jellicoe founded the Governess Association of Ireland to assist women seeking employment as governesses by providing studentships at Alexandra College. In 1869 the college was influential in persuading the authorities at TCD to set up examinations for women, so that female students could be examined in university subjects and thereby display their academic ability.
In 1873 Alexandra School was founded as a ‘feeder’ high school for girls and from the 1880s it flourished under the headship of Isabella Mulvany, one of the first woman graduates of the RUI and another pioneer of the higher education of women. In 1878, just before her death, Jellicoe was active in the successful campaign to extend the Intermediate Education Act 1878 to girls’ schools. Along with pupils from other girls’ secondary schools, the pupils from Alexandra School and College entered for the intermediate board public examinations at the junior, middle, and senior grades, winning prizes and exhibitions, and thus preparing the way for the admission of women to higher education. Jellicoe died 18 October 1880 at the age of fifty-seven at her brother's house in Birmingham; she was buried at the Friends’ burial-ground at Rosenallis, Queen's Co. A woman of determination and great humility, she said: ‘The success of the College is my ample reward’ (Commemoration day speech, 1869). Two portraits of Jellicoe are preserved at Alexandra College. There is a memorial tablet to John and Anne Jellicoe in the chapel of Mt Jerome cemetery, Harold's Cross, Dublin.