Time of change
1825The book Appeal of One Half of the Human Race, Women, Against the Pretensions of the Other Half, Men, to Retain Them in Political and Thence in Civil and Domestic Slavery, by William Thompson and Anna Doyle Wheeler, is published.
The Great Reform Act reforms parliamentary representation. The words “male person” inserted in the act explicitly exclude women from the electorate.
Ladies’ Collegiate School (later Victoria College), Belfast, is founded by Margaret Byers.
Contagious Diseases Acts passed. A woman suspected of being a prostitute could be arrested and subjected to compulsory checks for venereal disease. If found to be infected she could be confined to a “lock hospital” until cured
Alexandra College in Dublin is founded by Anne Jellicoe.
Petition signed by 1,499 women, including Anna Haslam, asking for the inclusion of women in the forthcoming reform of the franchise, is presented to the House of Commons.
Reform Act extends the parliamentary vote to more categories of men. John Stuart Mill’s amendment to include votes for women is defeated. Suffrage campaigning begins.
An Irish branch of the Ladies’ National Association for the Repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts is formed. Isabella Tod and Anna Haslam are among those involved in this campaign.
Isabella Tod founds the North of Ireland Womens Suffrage Society.
Anna and Thomas Haslam found the Dublin Women’s Suffrage Association, later the Irish Women’s Suffrage and Local Government Association (IWSLGA)
Intermediate Education (Ireland) Act opens the public competitive examinations of the Intermediate Education Board to both boys’ and girls’ schools.
University Education (Ireland) Act provides for the establishment of the Royal University of Ireland as a purely examining and degree- awarding institution. Women can sit the Royal examinations and receive university degrees.
The Ladies’ National Irish Land League is founded. Anna Parnell, one of the honorary secretaries, is the effective leader.
Married Women’s Property Act gives married women in England and Ireland the right to own, acquire and dispose of property.
The Royal University of Ireland confers degrees on its first nine women graduates.
After a long campaign by British and Irish feminists, the Contagious Diseases Acts are repealed.
Foundation of the Gaelic League. Women and men are admitted on equal terms.
Poor Law Guardians (Ireland) Act makes women eligible to be elected and serve as Poor Law Guardians.
Local Government Act (Ireland) establishes county and borough councils and urban and rural district councils. Women rate payers gain the vote for all and eligibility for election to all except county and borough councils.
85 women elected as Poor Law Guardians and 31 as rural district councillors and four elected as urban district councillors.
Inghínidhe na hÉireann, the first independent women’s nationalist organisation in Ireland, is founded by Maud Gonne.
Trinity College, Dublin, opens lectures and degrees to women.
Sinn Féin is founded by Arthur Griffith. Women are admitted on equal terms with men.
Foundation of the Irishwomen’s Franchise League (IWFL) as a militant suffrage society, by a group led by Hanna Sheehy Skeffington and Margaret Cousins.
The Irish Universities Act establishes the National University of Ireland and Queen’s University Belfast. All degrees and offices in both are open to women.