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Peeresses or women peers?

"What we are asking for is that we should be described in terms which distinguish us more clearly from the wives of peers."

This was the request of Barbara Wootton, the first woman peer. She and others fought a long and determined battle with the House of Lords' authorities to be called woman peers and not peeresses.

As late as 1970 there was still some resistance to this. This letter from the Clerk of the Parliaments is about a meeting between Wootton and other women peers with the Lord Chancellor, and refers to the claim of the "militant women peers". These included Baroness Wootton, Baroness Swanborough, and Baroness Hylton-Foster.



Letter from the Clerk of the Parliaments, House of Lords, to the Clerk of the Journals, House of Lords, 9 March 1970, and background correspondence

Catalogue number

Parliamentary Archives, HL/PO/CP/1/6/42