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Alice Beale 1845~1940

July 7, 2010

Alice Beale is perhaps best known as the first President of the Birmingham Settlement from 1899 to 1924, a charity ‘originally providing support to women and families in the seriously deprived area of St Mary’s, now known as Newtown‘.

She had associations with the Birmingham Women’s Hospital for 63 years and proposed the introduction of women Health Visitors.

I’m struggling to find out much more about Alice, though the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery do have a beautiful brooch/necklace she owned whilst Lady Mayoress.  I have also gleaned from the National Archives website,  that her husband, Charles Beale was Lord Mayor on four occasions, including three successive terms from 1897~1900.  In addition to his political career, he was in legal practice with their two sons.  No mention of any daughters – which of course doesn’t mean there weren’t any!

How different would life have been for the women of Birmingham without these kind of women.  And I wonder, if they had been alive today, in a society more equal for women, what they could have achieved.

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