Life Peerages Act 1958: First Women Life Peers

The History of Parliament

Today marks the 60th anniversary of the announcement of the first life peers after the passing of the Life Peerages Act, 1958. This Act also allowed women to sit in the House of Lords for the first time so this blog is July’s installment of the Women and Parliament series. We are delighted to hear from guest blogger Dr Duncan Sutherland, a historian who has worked on women in Parliament for several years. Today he considers the experiences and contributions of the first four women life peers…

Life Peerages Act 1958

When the government announced the creation of life peers in 1958 to help revitalise the moribund Second Chamber, there was particular interest in who the first women appointed would be. Among those suggested but not chosen were Nancy Astor, former Suffragist Marjory Corbett Ashby and the elderly former Conservative Party activist Caroline Bridgeman. Three women passed over in 1958 would receive peerages…

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