Lydia Becker, the forgotten face of Women's Suffrage. Her writing and campaigning, during the Victorian era, provided political motivation and inspiration to a generation of women.

The right for all British women to vote in general elections was first granted in 1928. Manchester’s Pankhurst family were well-known leaders of the direct action Suffragette movement which fought for the vote during the early years of the twentieth century.

Lydia Becker, the daughter of a German merchant based in Manchester, is much less well-known. It was Becker’s writing and campaigning during the Victorian era that provided much political motivation and inspiration to the generation of Edwardian women that followed – including a young Emmeline Pankhurst.

Cartoon concerning 1st Women's Disability Bill. 28th May 1870
Portrait Photograph of Lydia Becker (1827-1890)

Becker was the leader of the non-violent Victorian ‘Suffragist’ movement and founded the Women’s Suffrage Journal in 1870. Between the late 1860s and her death in 1890, she tirelessly committed herself to obtaining the vote via political means such as petitioning and undertaking peaceful demonstrations.