British Women's Temperance Association

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The British Women's Temperance Association (BWTA) was founded following a meeting in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1876 featuring American temperance activist "Mother" Eliza Stewart. Margaret Bright Lucas, who toured with Stewart during these meetings, was elected BWTA president in 1878. A follower of American temperance since visiting the country in 1870, where she was warmly received as "John Bright's sister", she also supported peace and anti-prostitution work, and served on the executives of the National Society for Women's Suffrage and the Ladies' National Association. Her main concern being temperance, she remained BWTA president until her death.

The BWTA achieved greater success under her successor, Lady Henry Somerset, but ultimately British temperance was destined to achieve less than its American counterpart. Lady Henry was succeeded by Rosalind Howard, Countess of Carlisle, known as "The Radical Countess" for her opposition to alcohol consumption. Lucas was however, an important link in the Anglo-American women's reform networks as well as being a pioneer in British women's temperance.


  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography