By Tim Lambert
Matilda claims the throne of England but there is another claimant called Stephen and the two fight a long civil war
Mary Tudor becomes queen of England. She is the first woman to rule England in her own right.
Amye Everard Ball is the first woman in England to be granted a patent (for making tinctures from flowers)
Margaret Hughes becomes the first professional actress. (Before then women’s parts were played by boys).
The 17th Century
In towns, boarding schools for girls are founded. Girls are taught writing, music and needlework.
The first women’s magazine The Ladies Mercury is published
Mary Wollstonecraft publishes A Vindication of the Rights of Women
Women’s Rights in the 19th Century
The first women’s golf tournament takes place in Scotland
A law bans women and boys under 10 from working underground in mines
A Factory Act said that women and children could only work 10 hours a day in textile factories
In Britain, an Act for the Better Prevention and Punishment of aggravated assaults upon women and children is passed. A man who beats his wife can be imprisoned for up to 6 months with or without hard labor.
A law forbids women to work more than 10 hours a day in any factory
Women are first admitted to a university in Britain but they are awarded certificates of proficiency not degrees
John Stuart Mill publishes his book The Subjection of Women which demands equal legal rights for women.
Married women are legally allowed to keep their own earnings
In Britain, a new law bans women from working more than 56 hours a week in any factory. A new law allows a woman to obtain a separation order from a magistrate if her husband is violent.
In Britain, three women are awarded degrees by the University of London. They are the first women to be awarded degrees by a British university.
In Britain a law allows married women to own property in their own right
Women first play tennis at Wimbledon
Women are allowed to vote in county and borough elections
Isabella Bird becomes the first woman member of the Royal Geographical Society
Women are allowed to vote in urban district, rural district and parish councils
Lilian Lindsay becomes the first woman in Britain to qualify as a dentist
Ethel Charles becomes the first woman in Britain to qualify as an architect
Hertha Ayrton becomes the first woman member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers
Women’s Rights in the 20th Century
Aldeburgh becomes the first town in Britain to have a woman mayor (Elizabeth Garrett Anderson)
Britain gets its first policewomen
In Britain, the Women’s Royal Naval Service is formed
In Britain women over 30 are allowed to vote if they meet a property qualification
A new law opens certain professions to women. They are allowed to be solicitors, barristers, vets, and chartered accountants. They are also allowed to be magistrates and members of juries. Ada Summers is the first woman to sit in court as a magistrate. The Women’s Engineering Society is formed. Nancy Astor is the first female MP. to sit in the House of Commons.
Ivy Williams is the first woman called to the bar of England and Wales
Ethel Mary Colman is the first woman Lord Mayor in Britain (of Norwich)
In Britain, all women over 21 are allowed to vote the same as men
Margaret Bondfield becomes the first woman cabinet minister in Britain
Lilian Lindsay becomes the first woman president of the British Dental Association
Barbara Mandell becomes the first woman newsreader on British TV
Rose Heilbron becomes the first woman recorder in Britain
Hilda Harding becomes the first woman bank manager in Britain
Elizabeth Lane is the first woman in Britain to become a High Court Judge
An Equal Pay Act is passed in Britain
Rose Heilbron becomes the first woman judge at the Old Bailey (The Central Criminal Court of England and Wales)
In Britain, women are allowed to join the stock exchange for the first time
The Sex Discrimination Act makes it illegal to discriminate against women in employment, education, and training. Women gain the right to maternity pay.
Mary Langdon becomes the first female firefighter in Britain
Margaret Thatcher becomes the first woman prime minister of Britain
Mary Donaldson becomes the first woman Lord Mayor of London
Pauline Clare becomes the first female chief constable in Britain