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Hemyock Castle
Ancient Heart of the Blackdowns

Influential Women

Celebrating 100 years of Votes for Women in Britain: 1918 to 2018

In 1918, many women in Britain aged over 30 gained (or regained) the right to vote in elections. Ten years later in 1928, this was extended to all women (and men) aged over 21. In fact until the 1832 "Great Reform Act" abolished it, some wealthier women such as Mrs. Elizabeth Posthuma Simcoe could previously have had the right to vote: As well as banning many unsatisfactory electoral practices, this 1832 reform act had also restricted voting in future to only men.

Painting: Elizabeth Simcoe
Mrs Elizabeth Posthuma Simcoe, by Mary Anne Burges

While researching the topic of democracy, voting, & votes for women, there were many unfamiliar terms. Also, the right to a say in government has often depended on whether a person owned or controlled sufficient property. This research led to the our new Glossary of Political, Property & Government Terms.

For many hundreds of years, and until quite recently, people were considered to have an allotted or even "god-given" station in life. People were deterred from rising above their station or from usurping the rights & privileges of their betters. So until quite recently, it was though normal for certain people "to rule" & for the vast majority of people "to be ruled." During that time, people's station was determined largely by heredity but also by how much property they owned or controlled. At times, that "property" even included other humans. So people's individual influence over their lives and their rulers, was determined largely by their own station in life.

These days, most people in Western societies support & believe in democratic forms of government, with universal suffrage which does not exclude any significant groups of adult residents from being entitled to vote.

See also our glossary article about the UK Electoral Reform Acts.

Hemyock Castle – Six Influential Women

These webpages honour six of the influential women associated with Hemyock Castle. These Extraordinary Women associated with Hemyock Castle; Include Joanne Illery who successfully petitioned the courts & Parliament for years for compensation, after her husband was hanged by Royalists who besieged Hemyock Castle in 1643/44.

These webpages were created as part of a special exhibition for Hemyock Castle's 2018 Heritage Open Day.

Heritage Open Days are part of European Heritage Days, a Council of Europe initiative. They are co-ordinated by The National Trust with funding by players of People's Postcode Lottery.

Hemyock Castle receives no funding, and makes no charge for entry on Heritage Open Days. We welcome donations to The Blackdown Support Group & Musgrove Leukaemic Group Somerset.

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Hemyock Castle, Hemyock, CULLOMPTON, Devon, EX15 3RJ, UK.
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