Vera Woodhouse, Lady Terrington

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Vera Terrington in 1921

Baroness Vera Florence Annie Woodhouse, Lady Terrington (née Bousher) (1889 – 19 May 1973) was a British Liberal Party politician, and one of the first women Members of Parliament (MP).


She married firstly in 1907 to Ivo Sebright who died in 1912. In 1918 she married Harold Woodhouse, Lord Terrington, whom she divorced in 1926. Finally she married Max Lensveld in 1949.

Political career[edit]

She joined the Liberal party and took an active interest in the affairs of South Buckinghamshire. She served as Vice-President of the Buckinghamshire Lace Association. She was a Member of the Grand Council of Our Dumb Friends League.[1] At the 1922 general election, she stood as a Liberal candidate in the Wycombe division of Buckinghamshire but the Conservative MP Colonel W. B. du Pré held the seat with a majority of 4,473.

General Election 15 November 1922:

Electorate 45,049

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist William Baring du Pré 15,627 50.1 n/a
Liberal Lady Vera Terrington 11,154 35.8 n/a
Labour S Stennet 4,403 14.1 n/a
Majority 4,473 14.3 n/a
Turnout 69.2 n/a
Unionist hold Swing n/a

She stood again at the December 1923 general election, and was elected to the House of Commons with a majority of 1,682 votes.

Vera Terrington
General Election 6 December 1923:

Electorate 46,521

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Lady Vera Terrington 14,910 46.9 +11.1
Unionist William Baring du Pré 13,228 41.7 -8.4
Labour George Young 3,611 11.4 -2.7
Majority 1,682 5.2
Turnout 68.2
Liberal gain from Unionist Swing +9.8

In Parliament, she supported the abolition of the means test for old-age pensions, and supported the Guardianship of Infants Bill which would have given both parents equal rights to custody. She also campaigned against cruelty to animals. She lost her seat a year later, at the 1924 general election.

General Election 29 October 1924:

Electorate 48,652

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Sir Alfred Knox 20,820 54.8
Liberal Lady Vera Terrington 12,526 33.0
Labour George Young 4,626 12.2
Majority 8,294 21.8
Turnout 78.0
Unionist gain from Liberal Swing

After 1949 she moved to South Africa. She did not enter public life in South Africa. She died on 19 May 1973, cremated at Eastbourne on 30 May 1973; and her ashes were interred in East Hoathly Churchyard, East Sussex on 1 August 1973. At the time of her death she was living at Monks Cottage, Graywood, East Hoathly. Her age was given as 84.


  1. ^ The Woman's Year Book, 1923
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
William Baring du Pré
Member of Parliament for Wycombe
Succeeded by
Sir Alfred Knox