In September 2016, as part of Birmingham Heritage Week, Sheroes of History organised an event about Birmingham Sheroes at The Library of Birmingham. It was a pleasure to hear Dr Cathy Hunt speak about Julia Varley. Below is a transcript of her talk. [Not to be cited without the author’s permission.]
The woman I am going to talk about this evening was not a native Brummie. She was born in Bradford in 1871, but I think that the fact that there is a blue plaque on the house in which she lived in Bournville for a large part of her adult life, highlighting the work that she did for women’s suffrage and for trade unionism gives her at least honorary Brummie status – and well deserved it is too. Continue reading Julia Varley: champion of the woman worker
Muriel Matters was an actor & suffragist who became known for her daring stunts in the campaign for votes for women. She was born in South Australia 1877 and was the third oldest of 10 children. She studied Music at the University of Adelaide.
in 1894, when Muriel was a young woman, the colony of South Australia became the first self-governing territory to give women equal franchise on the same terms as men; young women like Muriel could not only vote at state elections but could also nominate for a seat in Parliament. Continue reading Muriel Matters – Suffragette Shero
Ethel Smyth was a composer, suffragette and writer known for her passionate public and private life.
Born on 23rd April 1858 Ethel developed an interest in music from a young age. At 12, when she learned that her governess had studied music at the Leipzig Conservatory in Germany, she decided that was where she needed to go.
Unfortunately her father saw things differently, and was completely against the idea. He even stopped her music lessons to try and change her mind. Ethel was having none of it, and over the next seven years she persistently pressured her father; refusing to eat, locking herself in her room, skipping church and other social occasions until he finally gave in! At the age of 19 she finally left to attend the music school.
Continue reading Dame Ethel Smyth: Composer and Suffragette