Lincoln's Pioneering Caroline Martyn.

20th November 2018

Louth Naturalists', Antiquarian & Literary Society 
7.30pm Conoco-Phillips Room, Louth Library, Northgate, Louth, LN11 0LY

Prof Krista Cowman: Lincoln's Pioneering Caroline Martyn.  

Krista came to Lincoln in 2006 as Professor of History after working in the School of Cultural Studies, Leeds Metropolitan University, and the Department of History, University of York.  Her doctoral research centred on women and politics in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and used Liverpool as a case study for investigating the impact of the suffrage campaign on a range of other political organisations.  This led to more detailed research on women who worked as paid organisers for the militant Women's Social and Political Union.  Krista has published a number of books and articles on these themes, as well as consulting and appearing in various radio and television projects.

It was as part of these studies that she came upon Caroline Martyn, born in 1867 in Lincoln to James W Martyn who became Deputy Chief Constable of Lincolnshire, and his wife Kate.  Though initially a member of the Conservative Party like her parents, Caroline lodged in Reading with an aunt who had strong left-wing views.   Ill health forced Caroline to give up work and she devoted herself instead to the socialist cause.  As a devout Christian she became sub-editor of the Christian Weekly, later, as a leading member of the Independent Labour Party, their magazine, Fraternity. She campaigned for workers' rights, published many magazine articles but became nationally known as a lecturer, commanding large audiences as she travelled the country.   Sadly her fragile health failed her while on a speaking engagement in Dundee, dying at the young age of 29.  Keir Hardie considered her the leading socialist of her day.

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