Charlotte Payne-Townshend

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Charlotte Payne-Townshend

Charlotte Payne-Townshend (1857–1943)[1] was an Irish political activist in Britain. She was a member of the Fabian Society and was dedicated to the struggle for women's rights.

She married George Bernard Shaw in 1898 after nursing him through an illness. In 1906 the couple moved into a house, now called Shaw's Corner, in Ayot St. Lawrence, a small village in Hertfordshire. They also maintained a pied-à-terre in Fitzroy Square, London, and travelled the world extensively during the 1930s.

Charlotte resolved to have no children and abstained from sex completely throughout the marriage.[2] Shaw had several affairs with married women, though these are believed to have been platonic.[3]

She died in 1943 of osteitis deformans, a chronic bone disease, in their London residence[4] and was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium, where her ashes were kept until Shaw's death in 1950. Their ashes were taken to Shaw's Corner, mixed and then scattered along footpaths and around the statue of Saint Joan in their garden.[5]

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