Jane Frances Dove
Frances was a local councillor and played a leading part in promoting votes for women and was a member of the National Union of Women's Surffrage
Frances Dove campaigned for the rights of girls to be given the same educational opportunities as boys and pushed locally for women teachers to be paid the same as men. She became a local councillor and was instrumental in setting up meetings in Wycombe in order to promote votes for women. She was a member of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies that promoted peaceful protest.
Frances raised £20,000 to set up Wycombe Abbey School to help provide girls with a good education and it is now one of the most successful and prestigious schools in the country. In 1874 she attained a standard degree, which she was able to convert into an MA in 1905. Frances became a town councillor in 1907 and in 1908 just failed by two votes to become the first lady mayor in England. She served on the health, hospital and free library committees of the town council and became a Justice of the Peace.
In 1906, Frances set up the Central Aid Society (CAS) to help the poor of Wycombe, some of whom were often seen begging at the Abbey gates and it still operates today.
Frances Dove worked for a fairer society where the role of women was seen as just as important as that of men. And to this end she led by example from the front not only setting up one of the most prestigious and successful girls schools in the country but also helping to set up charities which helped alleviate poverty and hardship at a time when there was no welfare state.
At the time of her death in 1942 no other woman had been elected to Wycombe Town Council