Women’s history

Explore women’s history through the lives of women at LSE through the years. 

Pamela Pigeon: “doing a special job”

On 1 November 2019 GCHQ, the intelligence and security agency responsible for providing communications intelligence to the government and armed forces, marked its centenary. For the first time GCHQ revealed the role of five previously unrevealed sites across the UK in the history of British intelligence. LSE Archivist, Sue Donnelly, investigates the LSE career of one woman destined to […]

  • Dame Cicely Veronica Wedgwood
    Permalink Gallery

    A PhD student at LSE: Dame Cicely Veronica Wedgwood (1910-1997)

A PhD student at LSE: Dame Cicely Veronica Wedgwood (1910-1997)

Despite never holding an academic post Dame Cicely Veronica Wedgwood was a well known and respected historian and public intellectual. The King’s War and The King’s Peace, published in the 1950s, were widely read by the general public introducing many to the history of the English Civil War. LSE Archivist, Sue Donnelly, investigates Wedgwood’s time as a PhD student […]

  • LSE students at Cambridge 1940s credit LSE Library
    Permalink LSE students at Cambridge 1940s, credit LSE LibraryGallery

    Unfailing equanimity – Eve Evans, School Secretary 1940-1954

Unfailing equanimity – Eve Evans, School Secretary 1940-1954

Between 1896 and 1954 the role of School Secretary, the senior administrator in the School, was held by three women apart from a brief period between 1938-1940. LSE Archivist, Sue Donnelly, looks at the career of the last of these women, Eve Evans (1894-1971) who worked at the School from 1920 to 1954.

At the end of summer term 1954 […]

Votes for Women – a history on film

This International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, watch a history of the women’s suffrage campaign and its legacy at LSE.

The Women’s Library and archives at LSE hold the story of the campaign for women’s suffrage, which resulted in the first votes for women. Watch this film to find out what happened, how we are commemorating their work on campus […]

Maureen Colquhoun – first openly gay woman in Parliament

Women’s rights activist and former Labour Member of Parliament for Northampton North Maureen Colquhoun was elected to the House of Commons in 1974. She became the first openly gay woman to serve in Parliament after coming out a year later, write Louise Armitage and Megan Marsh. Maureen studied at LSE in the mid-late 1940s and served as a local councillor […]

Meet Beatrice Webb – LSE co-founder and social reformer

Blog editor Hayley Reed introduces Beatrice Webb (1858-1943), one of the four founders of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Born 22 January 1858, Beatrice Webb (nee Potter) became a leading social reformer, Fabian Society member, co-founder of LSE and prolific diarist. Her diaries are available at the LSE Digital Library.
Early years
Beatrice’s accomplishments are a testament to her […]

  • Women Labour MPs, 1929. Credit NPG. Front row, left to right: Lady Cynthia Mosley (1898-1933), Miss Susan Lawrence (1871-1947), the Rt Hon Margaret Bondfield (1873-1953), Miss Ellen Wilkinson (1891-1947), Miss Jennie Lee (1904-1988). Back row: Dr Marion Phillips (1881-1932), Miss Edith Picton-Turberville (1872-1960), Dr Ethel Bentham (1861-1931), Miss Mary Agnes Hamilton (1882-1966). This photograph was taken to mark the first election following the introduction of universal suffrage in 1928. Among the MPs photographed are the first woman cabinet minister (Margaret Bondfield), the future leader of the Jarrow marchers (Ellen Wilkinson) and the founding spirit of the Open University (Jennie Lee).
    Permalink Women Labour MPs, 1929. Credit NPG. 
Front row, left to right: Lady Cynthia Mosley (1898-1933), Miss Susan Lawrence (1871-1947), the Rt Hon Margaret Bondfield (1873-1953), Miss Ellen Wilkinson (1891-1947), Miss Jennie Lee (1904-1988). Back row: Dr Marion Phillips (1881-1932), Miss Edith Picton-Turberville (1872-1960), Dr Ethel Bentham (1861-1931), Miss Mary Agnes Hamilton (1882-1966). This photograph was taken to mark the first election following the introduction of universal suffrage in 1928. Among the MPs photographed are the first woman cabinet minister (Margaret Bondfield), the future leader of the Jarrow marchers (Ellen Wilkinson) and the founding spirit of the Open University (Jennie Lee).Gallery

    #LSEWomen in the Commons – a history of female LSE graduates elected to the House of Commons

#LSEWomen in the Commons – a history of female LSE graduates elected to the House of Commons

The history of female LSE graduates who have been elected to the House of Commons is long and illustrious. LSE’s Greg Taylor introduces a series of women who blazed a political trail, challenged the patriarchy and stuffy rigidity of Westminster, and represented their local areas with passion and commitment.

The first LSE alumna to be elected was Marion Philips, who served the […]

December 27th, 2018|People, Women's history|0 Comments|

Hilde Himmelweit – pioneer of social psychology

In the mid 1960s Social Psychology emerged from Sociology as an independent department – the precursor of today’s Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science. LSE Archivist, Sue Donnelly, looks at the career of Hilde Himmelweit who led the discipline through its formative years at LSE.

Hildegarde Therese Litthauer was born in Berlin on 20 February 1918. Her father, Dr Siegfried […]

A mother and daughter at LSE – Herabai and Mithan Tata

LSE often runs in the family with several generations making their way to Houghton Street. LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly writes about an unusual mother and daughter duo.

In 1919 a young Indian woman, Mithan Ardeshir Tata enrolled to study at LSE. Mithan was born in 1898 into a Parsi family in Mumbai (then known as Bombay), the daughter of Herabai […]

Lilian Knowles (1870-1926) – the pioneer

Jennie Stayner introduces pioneering female academic Lilian Knowles, first female professor of Economic History at LSE, and first female Dean of Faculty in the University of London.
Intentionally or unintentionally, it seemed to be her lot to be breaking down barriers.
C M Knowles
Lilian Charlotte Anne Knowles (Tomn) was born in 1870 in Cornwall and spent a happy childhood riding horses and winning […]