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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 A/WLG
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1888-1925
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.96 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Women's Local Government Society


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Women's Local Government Society (also called the Society for Promoting Women as County Councillors) was founded in the late 1880s by Annie Leigh Browne as a network of Liberals, suffragettes and other like-minded women who believed that women should be allowed to play a greater part in political life, and who wished to challenge confusion created by the Local Government Act, 1888, which gave women the right to vote in local council elections but not to stand in them. Women had been given the right to stand for election to Boards such as School Boards, but the 1888 Act absorbed these bodies into the new Councils, meaning that women lost their places on the Boards. The Society was founded in London but encouraged the formation of regional branches.

The Society was involved in campaign work, legal challenges and lobbying which resulted in the 1907 "Qualification of Women" Act which allowed women ratepayers to be elected to Borough and County Councils. Following the passing of the 1907 Act the Society gave practical support to women standing for election. In December 1907 Reina Emily Lawrence, London's first female councillor, was elected on to Hampstead Borough Council after winning a by-election with a majority of 319 votes. She was supported by the Hampstead branch of the Society.

The Society stopped operating during the First World War, although it was revived in 2006-07 to celebrate the centenary of the 1907 legislation.

Some information from the website of the Women's Local Government Society, (accessed June 2010).


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Women's Local Government Society, including minutes of the Executive Committee, Council and sub-committees; annual reports; outgoing letters; printed notices, memoranda, letters and handbills printed by the Society.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

A/WLG-1: Minutes; A/WLG-2: Annual reports; A/WLG-3: Outgoing letters; A/WLG-4: Printed material.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in the London County Record Office by A. E. Chandler and J. Kilgour of Sidmouth, in August 1955.

Allied Materials

Related material:

See also papers relating to the Women's Local Government Society, reference NA1345, at the Women's Library Special Collections, London School of Economics.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
June to August 2010.

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