Beatrice Wright

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For the American psychologist, see Beatrice Wright (psychologist).

Beatrice Frederika Wright, Lady Wright MBE, née Clough, later Rathbone (17 June 1910 – 17 March 2003) was an American-born British politician.

She came to England to study at Oxford where she met and later married John Rathbone, with whom she had two children, including Tim, later MP for Lewes. Her husband was elected in 1935 as Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Bodmin, but was killed in December 1940 in the Battle of Britain, aged 30. In March 1941 she was elected unopposed as his successor, and sat in the Commons for the rest of World War II. She stepped down at the 1945 general election, after becoming the first sitting MP to give birth to a child.

In 1942, she remarried to Paul Wright, who had a distinguished career as a diplomat and was knighted in 1975. They had one child, and both converted to the Roman Catholic Church.

She served as Vice President of the Royal National Institute for the Deaf from 1978 to 2003, and was a founder in 1982 of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, serving as the charity's President until 1988. In 1996, she was awarded an MBE.

The Beatrice Wright Training Centre for hearing dogs, in Selby, is named after her.

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Rathbone
Member of Parliament for Bodmin
19411945
Succeeded by
Sir Douglas Marshall