404 Hampstead Garden Suburb Virtual Museum : Document : Maude Royden [SUFL28]
Maude Royden
Maude Royden

Overview to Maude Royden

Maude Royden – 2 South Square, 110 Hampstead Way (1952-death in 1956)

Born Liverpool in 1876. Daughter of a shipowner. Educated at Cheltenham Ladies College and Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.

She was a prominent suffragist. She was a member of the National Executive of the NUWSS and editor of the Common Cause, the NUWSS newspaper

After university, she first worked with the poor in a Women’s Settlement in Liverpool and did parish work assisting a CofE vicar. In 1908 she became a regular speaker for the NUWSS and in 1909 was elected to its executive. She edited its newspaper “The Common Cause” from 1913-14, as well as writing pamphlets. She also served as Honorary Secretary. Very much in favour of the Election Fighting Fund policy of supporting Labour in by-elections. (see also Catherine Marshall).

Also active in CLWS. She was involved in its foundation in 1909 and was the first chair. She also joined Women’s Tax Resistance League.

She was a pacifist which put her in conflict with the position of NUWSS due of its support for WW1. As a result, she resigned from editing Common Cause in 1915 and left the executive council. However, she continued to support the enfranchisement of women as a member of National Council of Adult Suffrage.

Her considerable contribution to the battle for female suffrage is acknowledged by her inclusion on the plinth of the Fawcett statue in Parliament Square. She summarized the impact of her suffrage work on her life: To work for the enfranchisement of women was a tremendous experience, a tremendous education... The struggle both absorbed and widened my life. It gave me a sympathy - and I believe an understanding which linked me to all disfranchised persons and nations.

In later life she was worked for the Church of England. She was an effective preacher and is said to be the first CofE campaigner for the ordination of women. Coined the phrase describing the Church of England as the Conservative Party at prayer (1917); she thought it should take a more progressive path.

She settled in Hampstead Garden Suburb late in life and died at her home in Hampstead Way in 1956.

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Document, SUFL28