Remarkable British women: 6 top facts

Suffragettes, London. Credit: GL Archive/Alamy
Suffragettes, London. Credit: GL Archive/Alamy

Read our 6 facts about the women who changed British history, by fighting for the vote and dedicating their lives to a noble yet dangerous cause

Did you know?

  • Writer Mary Wollstonecraft has been called The Mother of Feminism. She was also the mother of Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.
  • The first woman to vote in a parliamentary election in Britain was the Manchester shopkeeper Lily Maxwell in 1867. Her name was on the voters’ register as a ratepayer and she was cheered at the polling station. This loophole was quickly closed.
  • Not all women supported the vote.The ‘Anti- Suffrage League’ said: “We believe in the division of functions as the keystone of civilisation”.
  • Women also wanted freedom from their corsets and advocated bloomers and unlaced underwear. Many suffragettes were keen cyclists, believing it was “a woman’s right to dress for an activity”.
  • Millicent Fawcett’s National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies is now The Fawcett Society, which continues to campaign for women.

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