Lydia Becker

Lydia Becker

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Lydia Becker

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Lydia Ernestine Becker (24 February 1827 – 18 July 1890) was a leader in the early British suffrage movement, as well as an amateur scientist with interests in biology and astronomy. She is best remembered for founding and publishing the Women's Suffrage Journal between 1870 and 1890.


Born in Chadderton, Lancashire, the eldest daughter of Hannibal Leigh Becker, whose father, Ernst Becker, emigrated from Ohrdruf, Thuringia. Lydia Becker was educated at home, like many girls at the time. Intellectually curious, she studied botany and astronomy, winning a gold medal for an 1862 scholarly paper on horticulture. Five years later, she founded the Ladies' Literary Society in Manchester; she began a correspondence with Charles Darwin soon afterwards and convinced him to send a paper to the society.. Famous Chaddertonians. Chadderton Historical Society. 25 May 2008. Accessed on 6 August 2008.

In the autumn of 1866 Becker attended the annual meeting of the National Association for the Advancement of Social Science, where she was excited by a paper from Barbara Bodichon entitled "Reasons for the Enfranchisement of Women". She dedicated herself to organizing around the issue, and in January 1867 convened the first meeting of the Manchester Women's Suffrage Committee. It was the first...
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