Margaret Mansfield, Baroness Sandhurst (nee Fellowes, ca. 1828 - 7 January 1892) was a noted suffragist who was one of the first women elected to a city council in the United Kingdom. She was also a prominent spiritualist.
Margaret Mansfield, Baroness Sandhurst
Portrait of Margaret, Lady Sandhurst
|Died||7 January 1892|
|Political party||Liberal Party|
|Spouse(s)||William Mansfield, Baron Sandhurst|
Sandhurst was the youngest of the seven children of Robert Fellowes (1779–1869) of Shotesham Park, Norfolk, and his second wife, Jane Louisa Sheldon (d. 1871). In 1854, Sandhurst married Sir William Mansfield, an administrator in the British Raj, who was later made the first Baron Sandhurst. They had four sons and a daughter. After her husband's death in 1876 Lady Sandhurst became increasingly involved in both spiritualism and Liberal politics.
She was an active member of the Women's Liberal Association, and later of the Women's Liberal Federation, and was head of the order's Marylebone branch. An active philanthropist, Sandhurst ran her own home for sick children in the Marylebone Road.
In January 1889, Lady Sandhurst was elected to the London County Council at the head of the poll. However, because she was a woman, one of the defeated candidates, the Conservative Beresford Hope, petitioned against her election, and both the Court of Queen's Bench and the Court of Appeal ruled against her. Sandhurst's seat was given to Beresford Hope in May 1889, and Sandhurst was fined 5 pounds for every vote she had given during her tenure on the council. In recognition of her sympathy towards Ireland, in September 1889, Sandhurst was awarded the Freedom of the City of Dublin.
That same year, she was also a council member of the Women's Franchise League, and supported in the formation of the Women's Trade Union Association. From 1889, also, she was a member of the executive committee of the Central National Society for Women's Suffrage. In 1890, she was elected president of the Society for Promoting the Return of Women as County Councillors, later (1893) renamed the Women's Local Government Society.
Sandhurst wrote at least two pamphlets on her political interests, one of which, Conversations on Political Principles, was published by the Women's Liberal Federation. Lady Sandhurst died suddenly in London on 7 January 1892, at her home, 29 Park Road, Regent's Park, and was buried with her husband at Digswell, Hertfordshire.
- Reynolds, K.D. "Mansfield , Margaret, Lady Sandhurst (bap. 1827, d. 1892)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
- D. Reynolds, ‘Mansfield , Margaret, Lady Sandhurst (bap. 1827, d. 1892)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2005 accessed 12 Jan 2017
- Harris Matthew, Arnold (1907). Woman Suffrage. T.C. & E.C. Jack. p. 52.
- Crawford, Elizabeth (2003). The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866-1928. Routledge. p. 617.