Born Merch Myrddin in Carmarthenshire, Elizabeth was a Welsh scholar, teacher, and promoter of women’s education.
She was the sister of Methodist reformer Hugh Price Hughes but had little education herself as a child.
She later attended a private school in Cheetham and became a teacher at Cheltenham Ladies College, and later on attended the Newham Ladies College in Cambridge England, becoming the first woman to take a first-class honour from the college.
She was appointed Principal of the Cambridge Training College for Women in 1884, which later became Hughes Hall (renamed in her honour).
She returned to Wales in 1899 where she continued to campaign for better secondary education.
She was the only woman on the committee which drafted the charter of the University of Wales and in 1920, she received an honorary degree from that university.