Lady Nancy Astor
First Woman to Sit in the English House of Commons
1879 – 1964 A.D.
Lady Nancy Astor, the first woman to sit in the English House of Commons, was American-born, the daughter of C.D. Langhorne of Greenwood, Va. Like her sisters, famous for their beauty and accomplishments, Nancy Langhorne was one of the belles of Virginia, and at an early age married Robert Gould Shaw. Left a widow, she in 1906 became the wife of Waldorf Astor, whose father, the head of the Astor family, had permanently settled in England.
In 1919, her husband, by the death of his father, took the title of Viscount, and gave up his seat in the House of Commons to enter the House of Lords. The seat he vacated was contested for by various candidates, among them being his wife, Lady Astor. After a spirited campaign in which her clever and original public speeches won the support of the voters, she was elected by a considerable majority, and on December 1, 1919, took the oat as a member of Commons.
Reference: Famous Women; An Outline of Feminine Achievement Through the Ages With Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women By Joseph Adelman. Copyright, 1926 by Ellis M. Lonow Company.