Published: Thursday, 8th March 2018
Lucy Edith Sewell, who lived in Old Catton, has been chosen as one of 100 national suffrage pioneers.
Old Catton is famous for being the home of Black Beauty author Anna Sewell and the location of the house in which she penned the famous novel. But a new story is emerging from the Broadland parish - that of her niece, Lucy Edith Sewell, who was involved with the Norfolk Women's Suffrage movement.
This year marks the centenary of property-owning women over 30 years of age receiving the vote and a national Suffrage Pioneers project aimed to uncover 100 unrecognised women and supportive men who were active in the campaign. Lucy Edith Sewell has been chosen for national recognition.
As part of the project, Broadland District Council found three local figures in the district who helped women get the vote.
Lucy Edith Sewell was born in 1853 and then lived in North Walsham Road, Old Catton, with her parents Philip Edward Sewell and Sarah Woods. She attended training in London and passed a Cambridge University examination in Astrology in 1884. She was honorary treasurer of the Norwich Suffrage Society and the Norwich Anti-Vivisection Society.
Her sister, Helen Ada Sewell commissioned a triangular horse trough in front of Sewell Park in Old Catton to remember Lucy Edith and their aunt. Now used as a flower planter, it reads 'This fountain was placed here by Ada Sewell in memory of her aunt Anna Sewell authoress of Black Beauty and her sister Edith Sewell - both lovers of animals'.
There is less information about the other Broadland Suffragettes - Mary Anne Buxton and Alice Hoare.
Mary Anne Buxton was born in 1851 in Stoke Holy Cross but later moved to Broadland. She was one of the first two elected women on the Norwich School Board from 1886.
Alice Hoare was born in 1850. She was a board member of the Farm Workers Union and lived at the Vicarage in Aylsham from about 1891 to 1938.
Cllr Karen Vincent, Broadland District Council's Member Champion for Heritage, said: "It has been fascinating to find out about local connections to the Women's Suffrage movement.
"We would like to work with our communities to recognise these women further and teach the younger generation what a close connection they have to the votes for women campaign."