Surrey has been an attractive home for political figures both at a local and national level.
Surrey History Centre collections include (click on the links to see the collections catalogue):
- Politicians such as James Chuter Ede one time leader of Surrey County Council, Labour MP for South Shields and Home Secretary was born and continued to live in Ewell. (SHC Ref: 390/- and SHC Ref: 6408/-)
- Discover the story of Arnold Spencer Leese (1878-1956), a notorious Guildford fascist and racist activist, in this blog by Kingston University lecturer, Dr Stephen Woodbridge,
https://historyatkingston.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/a-nazi-in-guildford-the-activities-of-arnold-leese-in-surrey-in-the-1930s/ A scrapbook among the records of Guildford Conservative Association, held at Surrey History Centre, contains cuttings relating to Leese and the 1935 General Election campaign (SHC ref 1801/2/8/2).
- Social reformers such as Lady Henry Somerset, founder and benefactor of Duxhurst Village (SHC Ref: CC978/-)
- Find out more about social reformer Edward Carpenter, who was one of the first gay activists, and is buried in Guildford.
- The Women’s Suffrage Movement was active in Surrey from the 1870s. Find out about the suffragette activities of Woking composer Dame Ethel Smyth (1858-1944) and her imprisonment in Holloway. You can even hear her talking to the author Vera Brittain about her activities in the Suffragette window-smashing campaign of March 1912, which lead to her arrest: http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/suffragettes/8314.shtml.
- Find out more about Emily Wilding Davison‘s ultimate sacrifice for the Women’s Suffrage Movement at the 1913 Epsom Derby, and learn about the suffragette literature of Constance Maud (1857-1929).
To find out more about some of the reformers and political activists in Surrey’s heritage follow the links on the left hand side.