Amy Sharp campaigned for women’s suffrage through her active involvement in the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies.
Amy Sharp campaigned for women’s suffrage through her active involvement in the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies. She played a central role in developing the NUWSS in Westmorland and was Vice-President of the Ambleside branch from 1908-1913. The NUWSS supported a constitutional approach to securing women’s suffrage and by sponsoring a number of bills that would extend the franchise to women.
Amy had attended Newnham College, Cambridge from 1879 to 1882 and was awarded an Upper Second Class in Moral Science Tripos. However, she was not able to graduate with a BA until 1905, awarded by Trinity College, Dublin. Amy became editor of the Women’s Corner of the National Cooperative Journal but retired from this role in 1896.
Political power in Edwardian Westmorland was mostly exercised by a few influential families including prominent landowners and was not an area at the forefront of political activity in England. It was against this backdrop that Amy Sharp transformed the activities of the Ambleside and North Westmorland branches of the NUWSS. She encouraged letter writing to the Westmorland Gazette and the sending of “protest postcards” by qualified voters to local MPs demanding that they support women’s suffrage. Appleby Town Council gave its support to the suffragist cause in 1912. A particular achievement was the gradual build-up of support for Women’s suffrage from 1908 to 1914 among Labour, Liberal and Conservative supporters.