Pinkerton, Emily (Emilie) Cordner- (c.1859–1902), publisher, was born probably in Newry, Co. Down, where her parents, William Henry Cordner (d. 1890) and Matilda Cordner (née McCracken), had a jewellery and watchmaker's shop. There were also at least three sons in the family. As a young girl Emily contracted rheumatic fever, which weakened her heart and caused a lifetime of poor health. She taught music after her father's death, and married (31 January 1894), in Warrenpoint Remonstrant presbyterian church, the Rev. Samuel Pinkerton, who was minister of 1st Newry presbyterian church, associated with the Remonstrant synod. Unusually at that date, Samuel Pinkerton added his wife's surname to his own; he was a relative of John Pinkerton (qv), a Parnellite MP, and the couple were interested in Irish nationalism, especially in the work of John Martin (qv) and John Mitchel (qv), who were both associated with Newry. Mitchel's father had been Pinkerton's predecessor in 1st Newry.
In 1897 Emily Cordner-Pinkerton published The open window, the first of five annuals, which contained much of local interest, historical articles by F. C. Crosslé (1847–1910), and a great deal of advertising, as well as reflections on contemporary life and on the importance of the Irish language. The annuals were well produced and illustrated with photographs, some taken by the Cordner-Pinkertons, and were very popular in the area. A Glasgow Herald reviewer in 1901 noted their appearance as ‘another unmistakeable sign of the new spirit of toleration and association which in spite of the chances and mischances of politics is restoring [in Ireland] “Nature's social union” ’.
While engaged in this publishing venture, Emily Cordner-Pinkerton carried on with the duties of a minister's wife, and also had four children, two boys (1895, 1899) and two girls (1897, 1901). Her pregnancies must have further weakened her heart; on 2 August 1902 she died of heart failure; her husband died of tuberculosis less than a year later on 16 March 1903.