Ellen Pinsent

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Ellen Frances Pinsent

Ellen Frances Parker

(1866-03-26)March 26, 1866
Died1949 (aged 82–83)
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
OccupationMental health worker
Spouse(s)Hume Chancellor Pinsent
  • Richard Parker
  • Elizabeth Coffin

Dame Ellen Frances Pinsent DBE (née Parker; 26 March 1866 – 1949) was a British mental health worker.

She was the daughter of the Rev. Richard Parker and his second wife, Elizabeth Coffin. She married Hume Chancellor Pinsent (b. 1857), a relative of the philosopher David Hume, and they had three children. Their two sons, David Hume Pinsent and Richard Parker Pinsent,[1] were killed in the First World War, and their daughter, Hester, married the Nobel-prize winner Edgar Douglas Adrian, a peer.


Pinsent was the first woman elected, on 1 November 1911, to serve on Birmingham City Council.[2] She represented the Edgbaston Ward as a Liberal Unionist.[2] She had earlier been co-opted as a member of the council's Education Committee and served as Chairman of the Special School Sub-Committee.[2] She stood down from the council in October 1913 upon appointment as Commissioner for the Board of Control for Lunacy and Mental Deficiency.[2]


The Dame Ellen Pinsent Special Primary School (for children with learning disabilities) in Birmingham is named for her. Her life and work was chronicled in the book Ellen Pinsent: including the ‘feebleminded’ in Birmingham, 1900–1913.

References and sources[edit]

  1. ^ "Sunningwell War Memorial: Richard Parker Pinsent". Archived from the original on 15 August 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d Roberts, Sian (4 March 2015). "'My whole time is given to the service of my fellow citizens' – the first women elected to Birmingham City Council". Library of Birmingham. Retrieved 10 March 2015.

External links[edit]