Series of articles to celebrate the Women of Winchester who made city a centre for social reform

4 Sep 2023
Three Victorian ladies

Winchester in the late 19th century was hot spot for ‘caring power’ thanks to a group of philanthropic Anglican lady activists.

Several of these pioneering women featured in the recently published book Women and the Anglican Church Congress 1861 -1938: Space, Place and Agency by two University of Winchester academics, Dr Sue Anderson-Faithful and Dr Catherine Holloway.

Following the release of the book, the authors, with their colleague Dr Ellie Simpson, an expert in historical perspectives on sex and relationships, are writing a series of six articles entitled Women of Winchester for the Hampshire Chronicle.

The first, due to appear on 14 September, centres on Mary Sumner, a rector’s wife from Alresford, who founded the Mothers Union.

The following five women feature in future articles:

  • Laura Ridding, daughter of the first Earl of Selborne and wife of George Ridding the headmaster of Winchester College, who founded the National Union of Women Workers
  • Josephine Butler: feminist, campaigner for women’s suffrage and abolition of child prostitution
  • Ellen Joyce: organiser of women’s emigration, founder of British Women’s Emigration Association
  • Charlotte Moberley: academic, first principal of St Hugh’s College Oxford and self-confessed ‘time traveller’
  • Charlotte Yonge: a novelist, whose many books promoted the church and showed her interest philanthropy women's education

The start of the newspaper series coincides with the first of two two-hour walks which Sue will be conducting as part of September’s Heritage Open day events.

Her Women’s History Walk sets out from the Buttercross at 1pm on 14 and 15 September. To book a place visit Winchester Women’s History Walk — Winchester Heritage Open Days

Pictured above (from left): Mary Sumner, founder of the Mothers Union, Laura Ridding, founder of the National Union of Women Workers, and novelist and philanthropist Charlotte Yonge

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