Nancy Astor

About

Nancy Witcher Langhorne Astor, Viscountess Astor, CH (19 May 1879 – 2 May 1964) was an American-born British politician who was the second female Member of Parliament (MP) but the first to take her seat, serving from 1919 to 1945. Sinn Fein's Constance Markievicz had become the first elected female MP in 1918, but refused to take up her seat in line with party policy.Astor was an American citizen who moved to England at age 26 and married Waldorf Astor. He succeeded to the peerage and entered the House of Lords; she then entered politics and won his former seat in Plymouth in 1919, becoming the first woman to sit as an MP in the House of Commons. Her first husband was American Robert Gould Shaw II; the couple separated after four years and divorced in 1903. She served in Parliament as a member of the Conservative Party for Plymouth Sutton until 1945, when she was persuaded to step down. Astor's legacy has attracted attention recently for her views sympathetic to Nazism.

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