‘My whole time is given to the service of my fellow citizens’ – the first women elected to Birmingham City Council

The double-edged sword of the world wide web of instant knowledge sharing is a Diversional Stimulus – I started off looking for information on daggers and swords relevant to the character in my novel set during the English Republic, and found myself learning about women in local politics where I grew up in Selly Oak Birmingham!
I am going to save this, and come back again another day. I hope I live a long time to write and research these stories of our commoners development.

The Iron Room

As we look towards International Women’s Day and the forthcoming national and local elections, it seemed a timely moment to revisit the Library’s wonderful, but surprisingly little-used, collection of election literature for evidence of the first women elected to the City Council. Although limited parliamentary suffrage was not granted to women until 1918, they had been able to vote and stand for election in local political contests for some time as members of School Boards, Poor Law Guardians and local councillors.

Birmingham Municipal Elections Literature, 1909 - 1911.  Municipal Election 1911, Edgbaston Ward, Mrs Ellen F Pinsent and two other Unionist Candidates.  [LFF35.2] Birmingham Municipal Elections Literature, 1909 – 1911. Municipal Election 1911, Edgbaston Ward, Mrs Ellen F Pinsent and two other Unionist Candidates.
[LFF35.2] In 1911 two women were elected to serve on Birmingham City Council for the first time. Before this, a few women had served on City Council committees as co-opted, unelected members, particularly committees concerned with education, and the health and welfare of women and children. This had…

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