Margaret Elizabeth Noble was born in Dungannon, Co. Tyrone on the 28th of October 1867. Her parents were Samuel Richmond Noble and Mary Isabella Hamilton. As a young woman, Margaret had a strong devotion to her faith. She trained as a teacher and began her first teaching post in Keswick in 1884. Margaret worked in a number of orphanages and poor mining towns. This gave her a keen sense of the importance of charitable acts, something which would stay with her for her entire life. As she progressed in her career, Margaret became aware of the Swedish and German models of education whereby children are taught from a younger, pre-school age. She became involved in the establishment of the ‘New Education’ and in 1892 established her own school where the focus would be on learning through play instead of the more rigid methods of formal education.