Mabel Philipson

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Mabel Philipson
Mabel Russell Philipson.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Berwick-upon-Tweed
In office
31 May 1923 – 29 May 1929
Prime MinisterStanley Baldwin
Preceded byHilton Philipson
Succeeded byAlfred Todd
Personal details
Mabel Russell

(1887-01-01)1 January 1887
Died8 January 1951(1951-01-08) (aged 64)
Political partyConservative

Mabel Philipson (née Russell; 1 January 1887 – 8 January 1951) was a British actress and politician. She was the fourth female member to be elected to – and third to serve in – the House of Commons after this became legally possible in 1918, as Member of Parliament (MP) for Berwick-upon-Tweed.[1]


Early life[edit]

She was born on 1 January 1887.


She became a successful music hall and comedy actress and a Gaiety Girl.

On 21 November 1918 the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918, introduced a few weeks previously by Lord Robert Cecil was given Royal Assent, making women eligible as Members of Parliament. Hilton Philipson, her husband, was unseated on petition in 1923, due to a fraud involving his agent. Mabel Philipson won the by-election to follow him, while standing as a Conservative. It was said that she made no secret that she intended to hold the seat until her husband's return;[2] however when her husband's business hit financial difficulties in 1928 she announced her retirement as "the reason why I have held the seat has ceased to exist".[3]

She returned to the stage after leaving Parliament, appearing as Mrs Tilling in Other People's Lives at Wyndham's Theatre in 1929.[4]

Personal life[edit]

In February 1911 she married Thomas Stanley Rhodes (1890–1911) the son of Henry Rhodes a cotton manufacturer. Later that year, on 16 August, she and her husband were in a car crash at Brooklands motor racing circuit. He died of his injuries, and Mabel was severely injured.[5]

In 1917 she married Hilton Philipson, a business owner and National Liberal politician; they had three children. She died on 8 January 1951.

Selected filmography[edit]


  • John Sleight, Women on the March (1986)
  • Craig, F. W. S. (1983) [1969]. British parliamentary election results 1918–1949 (3rd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  1. ^
  2. ^ Pamela Brookes, "Women at Westminster", Peter Davies, London, 1967, p. 37-8.
  3. ^ Daily Telegraph, 20 November 1928, cited in Pamela Brookes, "Women at Westminster", Peter Davies, London, 1967, p. 67.
  4. ^ Pamela Brookes, "Women at Westminster", Peter Davies, London, 1967, p. 67.
  5. ^ "Stanley Rhodes Dies" (PDF). New York Times. 17 Aug 1911. Retrieved 7 August 2015.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Hilton Philipson
Member of Parliament for Berwick-upon-Tweed
Succeeded by
Alfred Todd