Lady Nancy Astor Chapter
"Real education should educate us out of self into something far finer; into a selflessness which links us with all humanity.” Lady Astor
Nancy Astor (1879-1964) was born in Virginia, USA, and moved to England in 1904 after a failed first marriage. In 1906, she met and married politician Waldorf Astor who was also born in the USA and had moved to England, where his father was the owner of the Observer newspaper.
When his father died, Waldorf inherited the title of Viscount Astor and as a member of the House of Lords had to relinquish his seat as Conservative MP for Plymouth Sutton. Lady Astor decided to stand in Plymouth Sutton in his place and was elected to office in November 1919, becoming the first woman MP to take her seat in the House of Commons. (The first woman to be elected was Constance Markievicz in 1918, but as a member of Sinn Fein she had disqualified herself by refusing to take the oath.) She was MP for Plymouth Sutton for 26 years until 1945. She was by her own words an ardent feminist fighting for women’s causes and equal rights.
Generous with their wealth the City of Plymouth received buildings, land and money from the Astors adding hugely to the historical legacy of the city. In addition, Lady Astor supported many charitable causes throughout the country.
Nancy died in May 1964, but has relatives who still live in South Devon.
With a foot on both continents and generosity of spirit along with her feisty character we are pleased to honor her legacy by selecting Lady Nancy Astor as our chapter name.
Lady Nancy Astor chapter was founded in 1994. We meet on the third Sunday afternoon each month. We enjoy a pot luck luncheon and social time prior to our business meeting. Currently we have 20 members from all walks of life; retirees, homemakers, teachers, lawyers and other professional women. We enjoy each other’s company and always have a good turnout at DBE social events during the year. We believe raising funds for the Home should be fun and we endeavour to make it so. Come and join us for tea and a social hour; we would love to meet you.