Sheffield Female Political Association

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The Sheffield Female Political Association was the first women's suffrage organisation in the United Kingdom.[1]

The group was founded in February 1851 by several Sheffield women who were also active in the Chartist movement, led by Anne Kent and Anne Knight.[2] It also gained the support of Isaac Ironside's local Central Democratic Association.[3]

The Association passed a resolution written by Abiah Higginbotham[4] in support of the suffrage of adult women, and persuaded George Howard, 7th Earl of Carlisle to submit this as a petition to the House of Lords.[2][5] This probably inspired Harriet Taylor Mill to write The Enfranchisement of Women.[6]

Later in 1851, feminist activists Jeanne Deroin and Pauline Roland wrote to the group for support while imprisoned in France.[7]


  1. ^ "Knight, Anne", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  2. ^ a b Anne Knight (1786-1862)
  3. ^ Jane Rendall, Glossary: Women's Politics in Britain 1780-1870: Claiming Citizenship
  4. ^ A. P. W. Robson, The Founding of the National Society for Women's Suffrage 1866-1867
  5. ^ Millicent Fawcett, Women's Suffrage: A Short History of a Great Movement
  6. ^ Harriet Taylor Mill (1807 - 1858)
  7. ^ Ed. Nancy Hewitt, Internationalizing Feminism in the 19th Century