Nancy Astor - First Woman Mp in the House of Commons, Timeline and Family

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Nancy Astor's Personal Details

Nancy Astor was the first woman to sit as a Member of Parliament in the British House of Commons

InformationDetail
BirthdayMay 19, 1879
Died onMay 2, 1964
NationalityBritish
FamousFirst Woman Mp in the House of Commons, Carefree, Nazis, Leaders
IdeologiesNazis
SpousesWaldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor (m. 1906–1952), Robert Gould Shaw II (m. 1897–1903)
SiblingsHarry Langhorne, Irene Langhorne, Keene Langhorne, Lizzie Langhorne, Nora Langhorne Phipps, Phyllis Langhorne, William Langhorne
Known asNancy Witcher Langhorne Astor
Childrens 3rd Viscount Astor, David Astor, Jakie Astor, Michael Langhorne Astor, Robert Gould Shaw III, William Astor
Birth PlaceDanville, Virginia, United States
Political IdeologyCoalition Conservative
ReligionChristian Scientist
GenderFemale
FatherChiswell Dabney Langhorne
MotherNancy Witcher Keene
Sun SignTaurus
Born inDanville, Virginia, United States
Famous asFirst Woman MP in the House of Commons
Died at Age84

// Famous First Woman Mp in the House of Commons

Nancy Astor's photo

Who is Nancy Astor?

Nancy Witcher Astor (Viscountess Astor), famously known as Lady Astor, was the first woman to take seat as a Member of Parliament in the British House of Commons. She belonged to a family of ex-slave owners in Virginia, United States, and was raised in an upper-class environment. Her unfortunate and disastrous first marriage to a drunken army commander led her to English countryside in search of peace and direction. After this she soon became famous in the elite class for her intelligence, wit and charm. It was her second marriage to the Viscount Astor that gave her an opportunity to contest in the Westminster Parliament. Although her lack of political background, elite upbringing up and a strong Christian Science views were held against her during the elections, she still managed to win the seat in 1919, courtesy her incredible work for soldiers during WWI and the money she could afford to spend on campaigning. In her newly found political position, Lady Astor effectively introduced the Intoxicating Liquor (Sale to Persons under 18) raising the legal age for consuming alcohol in public from 14 to 18. She always had a controversial public image, which eventually worked against her, for she was publically expressive about her anti-Semitic views, sympathy for the Nazis, anti-catholic ideas and disregard for the minorities.

// Famous Carefree

Childhood & Early Life

Nancy Astor was born at the Langhorne House in Danville, Virginia, to Chiswell Dabney Langhorne and Nancy Witcher Keene. Her father was an auctioneer and a rail contractor.

When Astor was born, the Astor family was going through financial crisis but by the time she was a teenager, the family regained its wealth and they moved to an estate, known as Mirador, in Albemarle County, Virginia.

Astor went to a finishing school in New York with her sister Irene. She got married at the age of 18 but unfortunately the marriage did not work out, which compelled Astor to move to England.

Career

Astor found her relocation to England in 1905 comforting and became socially famous among the elites for her queer combination of wit and restraint. She got married again and started living in Buckinghamshire on the River Thames.

She became a part of a small political circle called Milner's Kindergarten, a group that promoted equality among English-speaking people and extension of British imperialism. She also increasingly became a devout to Christian Science.

Being a Christian Science follower, she participated in World War I, by being there for those who needed non-medical assistance. With her newly found spiritual beliefs and compassion, Astor became famous amongst soldiers.

After Waldorf inherited the title of viscount in 1919, she became a viscountess. She decided to campaign to take over her husband's seat in the House of Commons. It was a difficult task as Astor had no proper political background.

Her upper-class status was held against her during the campaign and she was continuously pulled down publically. But with her personality and work that she did during WWI, she was elected to the Westminster Parliament in 1919.

During the 1920s Astor made numerous effective speeches and introduced the Intoxicating Liquor (Sale to Persons under 18) Bill (nicknamed 'Lady Astor’s Bill') raising the legal age for consuming alcohol in a public house from 14 to 18.

She worked towards bringing more women into the civil service and the police force, worked towards education reforms, and financed many charitable organizations. She was particularly famous for supporting nursery schools.

By the 1930s, Astor started to lose her popularity because of various incidents, like the arrest of her son Bobbie for homosexual offences and her friendship with the controversial writer George Bernard Shaw. She remained unmindful of her mounting disapproval.

Her views on Nazism were further lowered her popularity. She was seen as a supporter of fascism and a political figure with anti-Semitic ideas. She and her husband were strong supporters of the British appeasement policy.

The Tories thought of her as a liability in the final years of World War II, and her husband told her that if she ran for office again the family would not support her, which is why she retired in 1945.

Major Works

As a Member of Parliament, Lady Astor brought a number of reforms. In the 1920s, she introduced the Intoxicating Liquor Bill raising the legal age for consuming alcohol in public from 14 to 18.

Awards & Achievements

In 1959, she was honored with the Freedom of City of Plymouth.

Personal Life & Legacy

Astor was married to Robert Gould Shaw II, commander of the all-black 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, in 1897. The couple had a son together: Robert Gould Shaw III but the marriage ended in divorce.

She got married again to Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor, an American born English politician and newspaper proprietor, in 1906. The couple had 5 children: William Astor, Nancy Phyllis Louise, Francis David Langhorne, Michael Langhorne and John Jacob.

She died in 1964 at her daughter's home at Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire. She was cremated and her ashes interred at the Octagon Temple at Cliveden.

Trivia

She lived her final years in loneliness.

Astor’s son Bobbie committed suicide after her death and Jakie married a famous Catholic woman, against her wishes, and her other children became alienated from her towards the end of her life.

During one of her US tours she told a group of African-American students that they should aim to be like the black servants she had during her youth.

She publicly blamed her husband for forcing her to retire from parliament.

In Rhodesia, she arrogantly told the white minority government leaders that she was the daughter of a slave owner.

Astor once got into a fight with her husband over chocolates and soon after he had a heart attack. After this, their marriage grew cold.

// Famous Leaders

Nancy Astor biography timelines

  • // 19th May 1879
    Nancy Astor was born at the Langhorne House in Danville, Virginia, to Chiswell Dabney Langhorne and Nancy Witcher Keene. Her father was an auctioneer and a rail contractor.
  • // 1897 To 1903
    Astor was married to Robert Gould Shaw II, commander of the all-black 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, in 1897. The couple had a son together: Robert Gould Shaw III but the marriage ended in divorce.
  • // 1905
    Astor found her relocation to England in 1905 comforting and became socially famous among the elites for her queer combination of wit and restraint. She got married again and started living in Buckinghamshire on the River Thames.
  • // 1906 To 1952
    She got married again to Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor, an American born English politician and newspaper proprietor, in 1906. The couple had 5 children: William Astor, Nancy Phyllis Louise, Francis David Langhorne, Michael Langhorne and John Jacob.
  • // 1919
    After Waldorf inherited the title of viscount in 1919, she became a viscountess. She decided to campaign to take over her husband's seat in the House of Commons. It was a difficult task as Astor had no proper political background.
  • // 1919
    Her upper-class status was held against her during the campaign and she was continuously pulled down publically. But with her personality and work that she did during WWI, she was elected to the Westminster Parliament in 1919.
  • // 1920
    During the 1920s Astor made numerous effective speeches and introduced the Intoxicating Liquor (Sale to Persons under 18) Bill (nicknamed 'Lady Astor’s Bill') raising the legal age for consuming alcohol in a public house from 14 to 18.
  • // 1920
    As a Member of Parliament, Lady Astor brought a number of reforms. In the 1920s, she introduced the Intoxicating Liquor Bill raising the legal age for consuming alcohol in public from 14 to 18.
  • // 1930
    By the 1930s, Astor started to lose her popularity because of various incidents, like the arrest of her son Bobbie for homosexual offences and her friendship with the controversial writer George Bernard Shaw. She remained unmindful of her mounting disapproval.
  • // 1945
    The Tories thought of her as a liability in the final years of World War II, and her husband told her that if she ran for office again the family would not support her, which is why she retired in 1945.
  • // 1959
    In 1959, she was honored with the Freedom of City of Plymouth.
  • // 2nd May 1964
    She died in 1964 at her daughter's home at Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire. She was cremated and her ashes interred at the Octagon Temple at Cliveden.

// Famous Nazis

Nancy Astor's FAQ

  • What is Nancy Astor birthday?

    Nancy Astor was born at 1879-05-19

  • When was Nancy Astor died?

    Nancy Astor was died at 1964-05-02

  • Where was Nancy Astor died?

    Nancy Astor was died in Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire, England

  • Which age was Nancy Astor died?

    Nancy Astor was died at age 84

  • Where is Nancy Astor's birth place?

    Nancy Astor was born in Danville, Virginia, United States

  • What is Nancy Astor nationalities?

    Nancy Astor's nationalities is British

  • What is Nancy Astor ideologies?

    Nancy Astor's ideologies is Nazis

  • Who is Nancy Astor spouses?

    Nancy Astor's spouses is Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor (m. 1906–1952), Robert Gould Shaw II (m. 1897–1903)

  • Who is Nancy Astor siblings?

    Nancy Astor's siblings is Harry Langhorne, Irene Langhorne, Keene Langhorne, Lizzie Langhorne, Nora Langhorne Phipps, Phyllis Langhorne, William Langhorne

  • Who is Nancy Astor childrens?

    Nancy Astor's childrens is 3rd Viscount Astor, David Astor, Jakie Astor, Michael Langhorne Astor, Robert Gould Shaw III, William Astor

  • What is Nancy Astor's political ideology?

    Nancy Astor's political ideology is Coalition Conservative

  • What is Nancy Astor's religion?

    Nancy Astor's religion is Christian Scientist

  • Who is Nancy Astor's father?

    Nancy Astor's father is Chiswell Dabney Langhorne

  • Who is Nancy Astor's mother?

    Nancy Astor's mother is Nancy Witcher Keene

  • What is Nancy Astor's sun sign?

    Nancy Astor is Taurus

  • How famous is Nancy Astor?

    Nancy Astor is famouse as First Woman MP in the House of Commons