|Katharine Bruce Glasier|
Katharine Bruce Glasier c. 1895
|Born||Katharine St John Conway
25 September 1867
|Died||14 June 1950
|Known for||socialist and journalist|
Glasier was born in Stoke Newington as Katharine St John Conway, the second of seven children. Her older brother was Robert Seymour Conway. Their father, Samuel Conway, was a Congregationalist minister based at Chipping Ongar, Essex; his wife, Amy (née Curling) came from a well-off family from Stoke Newington.
The family moved to Walthamstow while she was young. She attended Hackney High School for Girls and studied classics at Newnham College, Cambridge with a scholarship, graduating with a degree in the second class. Notwithstanding the practice of Cambridge University, which did not award degrees to women at that time, she appended the usual BA to her name.
Conway became a teacher at Redland High School in Bristol, where she was inspired to join the Bristol Socialist Society after seeing a demonstration by striking female cottonworkers. She quit her job to become a teacher at a board school in Bristol and moved in with Dan Irving where she also had to care for his wife, also joining the Fabian Society. She began lecturing for the organisation, and in 1893 became a founding member of the Independent Labour Party (ILP). She was one of the fifteen members and the only woman elected to the ILP's first national administrative council in January 1893.
In the early years of the twentieth century, Glasier wrote for a number of publication. She published three novels - Husband and Brother (1894), Aimee Furniss, Scholar (1896), and Marget (1902–3) - and a collection of short stories, Tales from the Derbyshire Hills (1907).
She remained prominent in the ILP, and in 1916 took over from Fenner Brockway as editor of its newspaper, the Labour Leader. Initially a highly successful editor, disputes about her support for the Bolsheviks led to a decline in sales. However her husband was terminally ill and died in 1920 and she suffered a nervous breakdown in April 1921, resigning the editorship of The Leader. The editorship was taken over by H. N. Brailsford.
In the 1920s, Glasier joined the Society of Friends and the Theosophical Society. She became the ILP's National Organiser, but resigned in 1931 when the ILP left the Labour Party, continuing to work for the Labour Party, after a brief flirtation with the Socialist League.
She moved in Glen Cottage, in Earby in Lancashire, from 1922 until her death. Her younger son, Glen, died in 1928. After her death Glen Cottage was donated the Youth Hostels Association (England & Wales) for use as a youth hostel. It remains used for this purpose although the building is now owned by Pendle Borough Council.
Death and legacy
Katharine died in 1950 after a short illness. In Earby, Lancashire
- At her father's insistence her middle name was always pronounced Saint John not Sin-jən. See: Lawrence Thompson, The Enthusiasts: A Biography of John & Katharine Bruce Glasier. London: Victor Gollancz, 1971; pg. 59.
- Thompson, The Enthusiasts, pp. 61–63.
- Thompson, The Enthusiasts, pg. 63.
- Thompson, The Enthusiasts, pp. 70–71.
- Thompson, The Enthusiasts, pg. 96.
- Thompson, The Enthusiasts, pg. 83.
- Thompson, The Enthusiasts, pg. 230.
- Thompson, The Enthusiasts, pp. 237-238.
- "Earby Youth Hostel celebrates 100 years of hostelling". Pendle Borough Council. 22 February 2010. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
- Thompson, The Enthusiasts, pp. 240-241.
- Thompson, The Enthusiasts, pg. 243.
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biography(subscription required)
- Katharine Glasier, Spartacus Educational
|Editor of the Labour Leader
H. N. Brailsford