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Kirsty 03/10/2012

Key question:

To what extent did women become more involved in public life before 1901?

Poor Law
Local Councils

Timeline/Key dates

1859- Workhouse Visiting Society formed- Louisa Twining

1869- Municipal Franchise Act- unmarried women ratepayers could vote in municipal elections

1870- Education Act- women ratepayers could vote…

Page 2

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Kirsty 03/10/2012

1851-1914- The situation for Women

Poor Law

First Female Poor Law Guardian in 1875 and by 1900 there were around 1000 female Poor
Law Guardians who tried to improve the worst aspects of workhouse life
They did things such as replace broken chairs or make things more comfortable…

Page 3

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Kirsty 03/10/2012

1861- 26.3% of 2.709 million people employed women
1871- 26.8% of 3.118 million people employed were women
1881- 25.4% of 3.93 million people employed were women
Domestic service was a very important job for women as in rural areas going into service
work was about the only opportunity…

Page 4

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Kirsty 03/10/2012

1857- Matrimonial causes Act meant easier divorce as before divorce was only allowed if
couples went through a private Act of Parliament which was expensive and time consuming.
Before the Act divorce was also discriminatory as men could divorce their wives if they
proved she had committed adultery…

Page 5

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Kirsty 03/10/2012

When the Second Reform Act was passed the vote was given to adult male householders
(and lodgers with one year's residence) in the towns which also meant that skilled tradesmen
could get the vote. In 1884 male householders in the country were also given the vote. This


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