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Freedom of Labour Defence Society, 1899 - 1916

Reference Code: GBR/0271/GCIP FLDS

Scope and Contents

The surviving archives of the Freedom of Labour Defence Society comprise minutes, correspondence, reports, investment papers and press cuttings. They were originally catalogued with the archives of the Society for Promoting the Training of Women, with which they were accessioned: they are presumed to have survived alongside the SPTW archives because of Jessie Boucherett's connections with both organisations.


  • Creation: 1899 - 1916


Conditions Governing Access

Priority access to designated officers of Futures for Women (in line with the Archive's procedures).

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to quote or reproduce must be sought from Futures for Women. Please contact the Archivist in the first instance.

Biographical / Historical

The Freedom of Labour Defence Society was founded in 1899 by Jessie Boucherett and Helen Blackburn in order to influence Members of Parliament and public opinion in relation to the Factory Bill (which became the Factory Act in 1901). Jessie Boucherett bequeathed £2000 to the Freedom of Labour Defence Fund on her death in 1905. The society continued active work until 1913, opposing proposals which would have an adverse effect on women’s work in particular. It remained in existence until December 1915, at which point it was considered unlikely that active work would be revived. Those who served as officers included the following: Lady Frances Balfour (President); Miss Edith Lawson (Secretary); Miss Antoinette Mackenzie (Treasurer); and Sir William Chance and Lady Knightley of Fawsley (Vice-Presidents). [Notes drawn from the archives.]


1 archive box(es) (1 box) : Paper

Language of Materials


Former / Other Reference


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Deposited with the archives of the Society for Promoting the Training of Women 1997.

Related Materials

See also GCPP Blackburn.


The catalogue of the records of the Society for Promoting the Training of Women [SPTW] was substantially reworked in 2016. The records of the FLDS were found amongst these, and are now catalogued separately here. The only connection between the FLDS and SPTW appears to be the fact that Jessie Boucherett was a co-founder of both.


Freedom of Labour Defence Society

Finding aid date

2016-05-31 15:07:35+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Girton College Archive Repository

The Archivist
Girton College Archive
Huntingdon Road
Cambridge CB3 0JG United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 338897