Exeter Civic Society

Exeter Civic Society

Splatt, Edith

1911-1945
First Woman Exeter City Councillor

Edith Splatt  (1889-1945) was the first woman to be elected as a Councillor on Exeter City Council. She represented Belmont ward as an Independent from 1921 until 1945.

She started her working life as a dressmaker, and at one time had a shop in Sidwell Street. Later she worked as a journalist for the Express and Echo, and her column sometimes contained references to the campaign for women’s suffrage, of which she was a strong supporter. She is missing from the 1911 census, possibly as a deliberate act of civic disobedience which saw many suffragettes contrive not to be recorded on the census that year. It must have been around that time that she and her mother moved to 33 Herschell Road, where she lived until the end of her life.

This plaque is one of two erected by the Exeter Labour Women’s Council in 2019 to commemorate the centenary in 2018 of the extension of the franchise to women.

Sources:

Devon History Society website

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