Hilda Runciman, Viscountess Runciman of Doxford

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Hilda Runciman

Hilda Runciman, Viscountess Runciman of Doxford (28 September 1869 – 28 October 1956) was a British Liberal Party politician.

Family and Education[edit]

A daughter of James Cochran Stevenson, a Liberal Member of Parliament for South Shields, Hilda Stevenson was educated at Notting Hill High School and Girton College, Cambridge where she took first class honours in the History Tripos. In 1898 she married Walter Runciman, a rising politician. They had two sons and three daughters.[1]

Political career[edit]

Local[edit]

She became the first woman member to be elected to the Newcastle on Tyne School Board.[1] She was also a member of the Northumberland County Council Education Committee and one of the earliest women magistrates.[2]

National[edit]

In the 1920s Mrs Runciman took on a more national political role. She served as president of the Women's National Liberal Federation, 1919–21, continuing to sit on its executive committee for many years. She also served as president of the Women's Free Church Council, a member of the executive of the League of Nations Union, chaired the Westminster Housing Association, and was a founder of the Westminster Housing Trust. In Liberal Party politics she was a strong advocate of H H Asquith, and under her presidency the Women's National Liberal Federation supported the maintenance of independent Liberalism and an end to the Lloyd George coalition.[3]

Parliament[edit]

She became an MP in her own right in 1928, when she was elected in a by-election as Member of Parliament for St Ives in Cornwall, though she remained in Parliament for only one year, handing the seat to her husband at the 1929 general election. She herself fought the 1929 general election for the Liberals at Tavistock, having been invited to become the candidate by the local Liberal Association against the wishes of national headquarters who were apparently unhappy that she was not a supporter of party leader David Lloyd George.[4] She narrowly failed to gain Tavistock from the Tories by just 152 votes.[5]

Titles[edit]

In 1937 her husband became Viscount Runciman of Doxford, and she was styled as Viscountess Runciman of Doxford.[3]

Death[edit]

Hilda Runciman died of heart failure at her home, 73 Portland Place, London, on 28 October 1956, aged 87.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Who was Who, OUP 2007
  2. ^ Pamela Brookes, Women at Westminster, Peter Davies Publishing, 1967, p. 65
  3. ^ a b c Martin Pugh, "Hilda Runciman", Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004-08
  4. ^ Brookes, p. 71
  5. ^ F.W.S. Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results, 1918-1949; Political Reference Publications, Glasgow, 1949, p. 330

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Hawke
Member of Parliament for St Ives
19281929
Succeeded by
Walter Runciman