Brilliant post from Birmingham Archives & Heritage in time for International Women’s Day on Friday.

The Iron Room

In celebration of International Women’s Day, here is an interesting item (printed) from the archives of the National Council of Women, Birmingham Branch (MS 841).

It is a petition addressed to The Right Honourable Benjamin Disraeli, M.P. thanking him for previous support and again asking him to give his ‘support and influence as leader of the Conservative Party, to the measure to be proposed by Mr Jacob Bright in the House of Commons for removing the Electoral Disabilities of Women.’ The petition (undated) was probably penned c1870 and contains the signatures of many prominent female activists, – Ursula Bright, Lydia Becker, Margaret Lucas, the Ashworth sisters, Florence Nightingale no less, – many of whom came from non-conformist backgrounds.

From a local perspective, Eliza Sturge, also a signatory, was born in Birmingham into a prominent Quaker family. She was an active speaker for the suffrage movement and secretary of…

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