26 November

On this day in 1867, Lily Maxwell, a kitchenware shop owner, cast her vote in a Manchester by-election to both great outrage and acclaim.

November 26, 2009 · 1 min read

Her name had been added to the electoral register by mistake, and she had to be accompanied to the polling station by bodyguards to protect her from opponents of women having the vote. A small number of other women ratepayers, including at least eight others in Manchester and three in London, also managed to vote over the next year before women voting was declared illegal in a court ruling on 9 November 1868.

Women had to wait until 1918 before they finally won the vote in Britain, when the suffrage was extended to those aged over 30 (it was 21 for men). An equal voting age had to wait until 1928.


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