Mary Stewart, Baroness Stewart of Alvechurch

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Mary Elizabeth Henderson Stewart, Baroness Stewart of Alvechurch, née Birkinshaw, JP (8 May 1903 – 28 December 1984) was a British politician and educator. She was the wife of Labour Foreign Secretary, Michael Stewart.

The daughter of commercial traveller Herbert Birkinshaw and Isabella née Garbutt, Mary was born in Bradford and was educated at King Edward VI High School for Girls (KEHS) Birmingham, and Bedford College, University of London, graduating with a BA in philosophy in 1928. She married Robert Godfrey Goodyear in 1931, but they were divorced in 1941; she then married Stewart two months later on 26 July 1941.

During World War II, Stewart served with the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) at locations around the country. After the war, she worked for the Workers' Educational Association, as a tutor until 1964. She became a member of the Fabian Society Executive, serving as Chairman in 1963-64, and was also involved in local hospitals, schools and the East London Juvenile Court.

Stewart was created a life peer as Baroness Stewart of Alvechurch, of Fulham in Greater London on 15 January 1975.[1]

She was married to Michael Stewart, Baron Stewart of Fulham, they were one of the few couples who both held titles in their own right.


Party political offices
Preceded by
Anthony Crosland
Chairman of the Fabian Society
1962 – 1963
Succeeded by
Brian Abel-Smith