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It was just over 100 years ago that Nancy Astor became the first female to take a seat in Parliament, serving as an MP for Plymouth Sutton until 1945.


Find out about Nancy Astor's historic 1919 Election Campaign in more detail. Download the 'Nancy: Plymouth to Parliament 1919' information and image panels from our resources page.


Viscountess Nancy Astor (1879-1964) made history when she became the first female MP to take a seat in the House of Commons in November 1919.

She represented the Plymouth constituency of Sutton for 25 years. She was also Lady Mayoress of Plymouth during the Blitz - a key and defining period in the city's recent history.

Nancy - American-born - was a woman of contrasts: liked and disliked by her peers; fiercely independent and outspoken yet reliant on her friendships and guidance from her second husband, Viscount Waldorf Astor. She was wealthy yet generous; renowned for the lavish garden and dinner parties she hosted at her Cliveden estate in Buckinghamshire yet anti-drink and a campaigner for a number of social causes.

This website gives a glimpse into the life and times of a person who was flawed and complex but keen to do good; who may not have had an original mind but who certainly had an original personality; and who made history by being the first woman to enter Parliament at a time of many changes in British society - changes that had an impact on the status of women and the role of government, all set against a backdrop of the turbulence of the First and Second World Wars.