Florence Horsbrugh, Baroness Horsbrugh
|The Right Honourable
The Baroness Horsbrugh
Horsbrugh in April 1945.
|Minister of Education|
2 November 1951 – 18 October 1954
|Prime Minister||Winston Churchill|
|Preceded by||George Tomlinson|
|Succeeded by||David Eccles|
|Member of Parliament for Manchester Moss Side|
23 February 1950 – 7 October 1959
|Preceded by||William Griffiths|
|Succeeded by||James Watts|
|Member of Parliament for Dundee|
27 October 1931 – 4 July 1945
Serving with Dingle Foot
|Preceded by||Michael Marcus
|Succeeded by||Thomas Cook
John St Loe Strachey
13 October 1889|
|Died||6 December 1969
Florence Gertrude Horsbrugh, Baroness Horsbrugh, GBE, PC (13 October 1889 – 6 December 1969) was a Scottish Unionist Party and Conservative Party politician. The historian Kenneth Baxter has argued "in her day... [she] was arguably the best known woman MP in the UK". and that she was "arguably the most successful female Conservative parliamentarian until Margaret Thatcher".
During the First World War, Horsbrugh pioneered a travelling kitchen scheme in Chelsea, London, which gained sufficient renown as to warrant an invitation to bring the kitchen to Buckingham Palace one lunch hour to entertain Queen Mary, who approved particularly of the sweets.
Horsbrugh was a Member of Parliament (MP) for Dundee from 1931 until her defeat in 1945. Her victory in 1931 was a surprising result and she was the first woman to represent the city at Westminster and the first conservative to be elected as MP for Dundee since the city gained its own constituency in 1832. At the time of her election Dundee had not yet elected a female councillor. She was the first woman to move the Address in reply to the King's Speech. She unsuccessfully contested Midlothian and Peebles in 1950 and was elected in the delayed poll at Manchester Moss Side, sitting from 1950 until her retirement in 1959. On retirement she was elevated to the House of Lords, as a life peer with the title Baroness Horsbrugh, of Horsbrugh in the County of Peebles, where she sat until her death.
She held ministerial office in the wartime coalition governments as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (1939–45), and Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (1945). She was only the second woman to hold a ministerial post in a Conservative-led government following Katherine, Duchess of Atholl. As Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health,1939–45, she was responsible for arranging the evacuation of schoolchildren from major cities during the war. Following her return to the House of Commons she was the first woman to hold a Cabinet post in a Conservative government, and only the third woman, after Bondfield and Wilkinson to be appointed as a Cabinet minister in Britain's history (1953-1954), having been appointed Minister of Education in 1951. She also served as a delegate to the Council of Europe and Western European Union from 1955 until 1960.
As part of her lifelong championing of social welfare issues, Horsbrugh took a marked interest in child welfare and introduced, as a private member, the bill which became the Adoption of Children (Regulation) Act 1939. Horsbrugh also carried out a great deal of preparatory work on the scheme which eventually became the National Health Service.
Baxter relates that Horsbrugh surprised a sports reporter who found her attending Dundee F. C. and Dundee United football matches during the 1935 election campaign. However she was a football fan and apparently supported Hearts.
- Baxter, Kenneth (2009). "Florence Gertrude Horsbrugh The Conservative Party’s forgotten first lady" (PDF). Conservative History Journal (8): 21. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
- Baxter, Kenneth (November 2013). "‘The Advent of a Woman Candidate Was Seen . . . As Outrageous’: Women, Party Politics and Elections in Interwar Scotland and England". Journal of Scottish Historical Studies. 33 (2): 268. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- The Papers of Florence Horsbrugh, Baroness Horsbrugh. "Personal Scrapbook: Travelling Kitchens of WWI," HSBR 2/1. Held at the Churchill Archives Centre.
- "MS 270 The Dundee Conservative and Unionist Association". Archive Services Online Catalogue. University of Dundee. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
- Baxter, Kenneth (2010). "“Matriarchal” or “Patriarchal”? Dundee, Women and Municipal Party Politics In Scotland C.1918-C.1939". International Review of Scottish Studies. 35: 100–101. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
- Kenneth Baxter (2011). "Chapter Nine: Identity, Scottish Women and Parliament 1918-1979". In Campbell, Jodi A; Ewan, Elizabeth; Parker, Heather. The Shaping of Scottish Identities: Family, Nation and the Worlds Beyond. Guelph, Ontario: Centre for Scottish Studies, University of Guelph. pp. 150–151. ISBN 978-0-88955-589-1.
- Baxter, Kenneth (November 2013). "‘The Advent of a Woman Candidate Was Seen . . . As Outrageous’: Women, Party Politics and Elections in Interwar Scotland and England". Journal of Scottish Historical Studies. 33 (2): 269. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- The Times House of Commons 1951. London: The Times Office. 1951. p. 80.
- Baxter, Kenneth (2009). "Florence Gertrude Horsbrugh The Conservative Party’s forgotten first lady" (PDF). Conservative History Journal (8): 22. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
- Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [self-published source][better source needed]
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs [self-published source][better source needed]
- Pugh, Martin (2004). "Horsbrugh, Florence Gertrude, Baroness Horsbrugh (1889–1969)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/33997. Retrieved 2009-05-24. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Florence Horsbrugh
- The Papers of Florence Horsbrugh, Baroness Horsbrugh are held at the Churchill Archives Centre in Cambridge and are accessible to the public.
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Dundee
With: Dingle Foot
John St Loe Strachey
|Member of Parliament for Manchester Moss Side
|Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health
|Minister of Education