Beatrice Wright

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The Lady Wright

Beatrice Rathbone.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Bodmin
In office
11 March 1941 – 4 July 1945
Preceded byJohn Rathbone
Succeeded byDouglas Marshall
Personal details
Beatrice Frederika Clough

(1910-06-17)17 June 1910
New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Died17 March 2003(2003-03-17) (aged 92)
Political partyConservative
John Rathbone
(m. 1932; died 1940)

Paul Wright (m. 1942)
Children3, including Tim Rathbone

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

Early life[edit]

Wright was born in New Haven, Connecticut in the United States on 17 June 1910, her father was an international banker. She came to England as an exchange student at Christ Church, Oxford where she met and in 1932 married John Rathbone, with whom she had two children, including Tim, later MP for Lewes.[1] 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.

Later life[edit]

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.[2]

In 1982, she co-founded the charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, along with vet Dr. Bruce Fogle (father of Ben Fogle). The charity's northern training centre, in Bielby, East Riding of Yorkshire, is named the Beatrice Wright Training Centre after her.


  1. ^ "CLOUGH-GENEALOGY-L Archives". RootsWeb.
  2. ^ "Hearing Dogs: our history". Retrieved 17 November 2016.

External links[edit]

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