Students learn about Norwich suffragette - and former pupil - 100 years after women given the vote
Original photograph held by the Norfolk Record Office
Students have been learning about a Norwich suffragette, and former pupil, who became one of the country’s first female MPs.
Pupils at Norwich High School for Girls have been brushing up on the history of Dorothy Jewson, in lessons which come 100 years after women were given the right to vote on February 6, 1918.
Born in 1884, she was educated at the high school until 1903, before moving to Cambridge to study classics at Girton College.
Last week, a group of budding historians used material from the school archives, helped by local historian and author Frank Meeres, to learn about Mrs Jewson, who, when she moved back to Norfolk, became one of the founding members of the Norwich branch of the Women’s Social and Political Union.
In 1923, she was elected MP for Norwich, becoming one of the first few female MPs, and used her maiden speech to bring down the voting age for women to 21, which went ahead five years later.
Matt Bradshaw, head of history and politics at Norwich High School for Girls, said: “In this centenary year for women’s suffrage, the girls were particularly excited to learn that someone who attended our school had gone on to not only campaign for the vote, but to serve in parliament itself.”
The girls looked through school photographs of the Mrs Jewson, and read reports on her academic success in Latin.
While at school, she was awarded the Miss Guerney Prize for Latin, and served as captain of the hockey team.
The event was help in partnership with BBC Radio Norfolk, to mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, which gave women over the age of 30 the vote for the first time.
One year nine pupil, Cassie, said: “The workshop was really interesting, and I learnt not only about the inspiring Dorothy Jewson, but also how important people like her are to history.
“Without Dorothy and people like her, women might not have gained the vote.”
Calls have been made for suffragettes who were jailed while fighting for the right to vote to be pardoned.