404 Hampstead Garden Suburb Virtual Museum : Document : Helen Bosanquet [SUFL05]
Helen Bosanquet
Helen Bosanquet

Overview to Helen Bosanquet

Helen Bosanquet lived at 13 Heathgate

Born in Manchester and educated at Newnham College, Cambridge. After graduation she worked for the Charity Organisation Society in London, which worked to coordinate the impact of a range of charities to make a long term effect. She was appointed a member of the Royal Commission on the Poor Law in 1905.

Generally regarded as the pioneer of Social Work, where the focus of her work was family and working class poverty.  She was outspoken about the burdens that disenfranchisement placed on poor working women.

Signatory to a petition sent to the government by social workers which was reported in the Common Cause (paper of the NUWSS) pleading, in their professional role for the extension of the franchise to women ‘without delay’, arguing “its denial constitutes, in our opinion, a serious hardship”…… they are in need of the protection afforded by the Parliamentary vote. It is our belief that the interests of the industrial community as a whole are intimately bound up with this movement for the enfranchisement of women. Co-signatories included Ethel and Philip Snowden and also Emma Janes, who lived in Litchfield Square at 90 Hampstead Way.

The Common Cause also reprints a letter which she wrote in late 1911 refuting the anti-suffrage arguments of Mrs Ward, a prominent campaigner against votes for women and arguing for giving the vote to all women; “The more I see and know of our working sisters the more I am amazed at the sheer waste of practical wisdom in our country due to the exclusion of women from politics”.

Return to Suffragists and Suffragettes here


Document, SUFL05