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Petition from Viscountess Rhondda, 1920

Lady Rhondda was the daughter of D A Thomas MP, who had been made Viscount Rhondda for services to Lloyd George's government during the First World War. As he had no sons, a special remainder was made to enable his daughter to take his title. However this did not entitle her to take his seat in the House of Lords.

On the death of her father, Lady Rhondda attempted to take his seat in the Lords. This manuscript petition to the Crown sets out her case. She based her claim on the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 which declared that ‘"a woman shall not be disqualified by sex or marriage from the exercise of any public function". You can see her signature, Rhondda, at the foot of page 2.

Her case was referred to the House of Lords Committee for Privileges in 1921, and was heard the following year.