- 1885 - 1947 (Creation)
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The Primrose League was founded in 1883, started by Sir Henry Drummond Wolff and ten friends at the Carlton Club, primarily to promote unity in a Conservative party at its lowest ebb. The League recognised that the party didnt consist of any one class in the community and aimed to promote unity between the classes. Lord Randolph Churchill was a leading light, and the organisation was seen by him as the way forward to enable the new Tory Demoncracy to regain power. Women members were known as Dames.
The Croydon branch of the Dames Primrose League, Grantham Habitation No 505, was founded in July 1885. Lady Randolph Churchill, and William Grantham MP and his wife Emma were present at the inaugural meeting. Mr Grantham was MP for E. Surrey from 1874 - 1885 and became Croydons first MP in November 1885 securing a majority over Mr Jabez Balfour. In one of its opening minutes of meeting the function of Habitation was outlined as discussing the ways in which ladies could help in counteracting the ignorance was erroneous principles among the people. Members included Dames (full women members), Honorary Members (men) and Absolute Members. Throughout the history of the Habitation, many charitable events were co ordinated, monies raised going to various good causes, especially during the First World War, eg. to homes for wounded soldiers. Juvenile branches were organised, awards for long service and successful recruiting were presented, and social events and speeches were often organised.
Mrs E. G. Man July 1885 - May 1886
Mrs M. E. Peard May 1886 - April 1887
Mrs E. A. Strong April 1887 - May 1888
Miss M. Etheridge May 1888 - April 1889
Mrs M. E. Peard April 1889 - April 1900
Mrs L. A. Walton April 1900 - April 1901
Mrs A. Crowley April 1901 - March 1910
Mrs A. Bouquet March 1910 - March 1913
Mrs A. Crowley March 1913 - ?
Source unknown. AR74/5 was accessioned by Croydon Public Libraries in 1978 and transferred from the Local Studies Library in 1999.
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Accession Number: A349
Primrose League Grantham Dames, Croydon Branch, Literature Committee minutes
Item date: 1952-1968
Accession date: 1978
Custodial history: Transferred from Local Studies Library collection
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Four minute Books and membership records of the Dames Primrose League, Grantham Habitation No 105.
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