(Sarah) Emily Davies (22 April 1830 – 13 July 1921) was a feminist, suffragist and a pioneering campaigner for women's rights to university access.
Born in Southampton, she spent her childhood in Gateshead where her father was an Anglican rector. She moved to London in 1862 where she edited feminist magazine The Englishwoman's Journal.
In 1866 Davies published The Higher Education of Women and founded the London Schoolmistresses' Association.
In 1869 she founded the College for Women at Benslow House in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. In 1872 it moved to the village of Girton, Cambridgeshire. This eventually became Girton College of the University of Cambridge, and was England's first residential college for women. From 1873 to 1875, Davies served as mistress of the college from 1873-1875, and secretary in 1904.
In 1870 she sought election to the London School Board, failing to gain a nomination for the City of London, instead winning a seat at Greenwich. She served a single three-year term, retiring at the next election due to pressure of work. Her brother, Llewelyn Davies, was also a member of the LSB repesenting Marylebone from 1872-1873.
In 1889 she joined the London Committee of the National Society for Women's Suffrage, becoming secretary in 1904. In 1912 she resigned when the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies aligned itself to the Labour Party. She instead joined the Conservative and Unionist Women's Franchise Association becoming one of its vice-presidents.
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