Women’s history is internationally celebrated in March, so what better time to look at the documents held at Hampshire Record Office recording some contemporary commentary relating to suffragettes.dsc_1873

The papers archived here for the Bonham Carter family reveal an insight into the views held on votes for women.  Amongst the papers we hold for this family is a  letter from Edgar Bonham Carter writing to his parents from Khartoum on 26 April 1913 (reference 38M49/G4/9/26), where he comments on activities of suffragettes and believes women should have the vote.

women

The opposite view though was held by Sibella Bonham Carter, expressed in a letter to her son Maurice Bonham Carter (reference 94M72/F976).  In the letter she refers to the explosion at Lloyd George’s villa attributed to suffragettes (20 February 1913).

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And again to Maurice, “Oh dear oh dear the Suffragists, what can one do? I feel so ashamed of my sex! I confess I hate politics in any form for women at present tho’ if they can only be trained in self-control and also to work with men in a business way, they can be most useful. After all what do men refuse us? Often I think they are too kind”.

dsc_1875

The archives also hold, in another collection, a picture of a lady referred to as ‘Aunt Lewie’ (Olivia Lewin Cobb) at Little Hawsted, Steep, reading ‘Votes for Women’ (reference 74A00/25), dated 21 April 1911.

vote-for-women

So if you want to explore the history of women in Hampshire or indeed any theme, then take a look at our online catalogue on our website at http://calm.hants.gov.uk/ and start exploring!

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One thought on “Women in the archives

  1. I’m not surprised to learn that Edgar Bonham-Carter supported women’s suffrage. He was well-known for his common-sense approach to justice in the Sudan, where he drafted and implemented the Sudan Penal Code from 1899-1917. These laws in an amended form remained in force until shari’a laws were introduced in 1983.

    Liked by 1 person

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