Polling Day

So today is elections across the country so best to have a quick post about the blue plaque on my local polling station:

Lady Betty Hastings

Basically Lady Betty Hastings was pretty freaking awesome from what I’ve read so far.  Best summary can be found on the website of the charities that still run to this day having been set up from her philanthropy in the 18th Century.  She inherited a boat load of money in her early 20s, which for a society lady of that time meant she would have had access to a great deal more independence than most women who depended on finding a husband for survival.  As an avid read of Georgette Heyer novels I like to think I know a little bit about this world as she did her research well (something I am aiming to emulate). So this is why I think Lady Elizabeth Hastings is a truly admirable figure.

Finding herself safely established in society, with no need for a husband and an easy competence to live off she could easily have decided to spend her time attending balls and card parties, living a life of leisure.  Instead she went about donating her money to charity and most importantly setting up education institutions for girls.  So if you still have not voted yet think about that – a woman who had not right to vote and very little freedom in society decided to use her money not to further her own experiences but to ensure that young women were educated.

Sadly Lady Elizabeth Hastings had a sad end, suffering from breast cancer and undergoing painful surgery to treat it that was ultimately unsuccessful.  Definitely a lady worth remembering and an inspiration on election day.


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