Nancy Astor holds a very special place in parliamentary history. She was the first woman to sit in the House of Commons, but she was not the first woman to stand or be elected.
Seventeen pioneering women stood in the 1918 general election. Constance Markievicz was the only one elected, but as a member of Sinn Fein and in adherence to their abstentionist policy, she did not take her seat.
Dr Jacqui Turner has been working with Parliament to help portray Nancy Astor’s contributions to British politics .
In March 2019, Jacqui gave the International Women’s Day lecture in the Houses of Parliament ‘Nancy Astor: First steps towards a better balanced world’.
A small display ‘Nancy Astor: the first woman MP in Westminster’ with materials from the Parliamentary Archives is available to view in the House of Lords. Please email the Parliamentary Archives firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries about visiting the display. You can also view Parliament’s online exhibition on Nancy Astor.