Mabel Philipson

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Mabel Philipson
Member of Parliament
for Berwick-upon-Tweed
In office
31 May 1923 – 29 May 1929
Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin
Preceded by Hilton Philipson
Succeeded by Alfred Todd
Personal details
Born Mabel Russell
(1887-01-01)1 January 1887
Died 8 January 1951(1951-01-08) (aged 64)
Political party Conservative

Mabel Philipson (1887–1951) was a British actress and politician. She was the third female member to serve in the House of Commons after this became legally possible in 1918, as Member of Parliament (MP) for Berwick-upon-Tweed.


Early life[edit]

She was born Mabel Russell 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;[1] 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".[2]

She returned to the stage after leaving Parliament, appearing as Mrs Tilling in Other People's Lives at Wyndham's Theatre in 1929.[3]

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, Mabel was severely injured.[4]

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. ^ Pamela Brookes, "Women at Westminster", Peter Davies, London, 1967, p. 37-8.
  2. ^ Daily Telegraph, 20 November 1928, cited in Pamela Brookes, "Women at Westminster", Peter Davies, London, 1967, p. 67.
  3. ^ Pamela Brookes, "Women at Westminster", Peter Davies, London, 1967, p. 67.
  4. ^ "Stanley Rhodes Dies". 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