Yesterday on the top deck of a London bus my husband and I passed some time spotting blue plaques! If you are not familiar with them they are plaques that are placed on historic buildings usually indicating that a person of note lived or worked there.
The blue plaque project is now run by English Heritage. It was started in 1866 and is thought to be the oldest scheme of its type in the world. London can boast over 900 plaques on buildings celebrating people from all walks of life.
I was excited to spot the plaque placed to honour women’s suffrage campaigner Millicent Garrett Fawcett. Regular readers of my blog will remember that last month I wrote about the new statue erected in London’s Parliament Square to commemorate Millicent Garrett Fawcett‘s agency, the first representation of a woman in this most pertinent and exalted of sites.
The plaque is attached to a house in Gower Street, Bloomsbury. It states: ‘Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett 1847 – 1929 pioneer of women’s suffrage lived and died here’.
Millicent Garret Fawcett was the leader of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS), a position she held from 1897 until 1919. She was a tireless campaigner for women’s rights all her life. She co-founded Newnham College, Cambridge in 1875 and in July 1901 she led the British government’s commision that reported on the South African concentration camps during the Second Boer War.
Millicent Garrett Fawcett is famed for her long campaign for women’s political agency. Her memory is often overshadowed by the more vociferous and militant suffragettes of breaking windows and setting fire to post boxes notoriety. She is rightly remembered for her quiet feminism and for using diplomacy to further her cause.
I’ve previously written about another blue plaque that I came across on a day out, it commemorates Mayflower passenger William Mullins at his home in Dorking, Surrey.
Images author’s own unless stated