In the year that we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the extension of voting rights to some women, here's a portrait of one of the great Selwyn figures involved in the suffrage movement.
(Mary) Kathleen Lyttelton was a co-founder of the Cambridge Women's Suffrage Association in 1884, and she worked closely with her friend Millicent Fawcett. Kathleen took on a national role in the campaign for women's votes and she was president of the National Union of Women Workers. After the death of her husband Arthur, the first Master of Selwyn, she became editor of the women's pages of the Guardian, a weekly journal. There she nurtured women writers, including Virginia Woolf.
Kathleen died in 1907 without ever being allowed the right herself to vote; but she made a major contribution to the campaign. Later this year, the college will be announcing plans to recognise her achievements.
Arthur Lyttelton was also a strong supporter of women’s right to vote. The involvement of both Lytteltons in the campaign meant that a number of meetings in support of women’s suffrage were held in Selwyn, shortly after the college’s foundation. The traditions continued. In 1913 the Master of Selwyn, then the Rev John Murray, conducted a devotional service for suffragists in Cambridge as part of the movement to change the law.