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Jessie Wilton Phipps

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Dame Jessie Percy Butler Wilton Phipps (née Duncan) (9 February 1855 - 7 August 1934) was an educationist and local politician.

Born in the United States, she was the daughter of William Butler Duncan of New York City and his wife Jane Sargent. In 1876 she married William Wilton Phipps, an Englishman living in New York. In 1880 the couple moved to England, settling in Chelsea in the following year. She became a manager of a group of London School Board elementary schools and of a number of special schools. The school board was abolished in 1904, with its work passing to the London County Council. She became a co-opted member of the county council's Education Committee in 1907.

The couple had four children: the youngest daughter, Margaret Percy Phipps, was a Mayor of Chelsea. She became a widow in February 1911.

In 1913 she became a member of the county council when she was elected a Municipal Reform Party alderman. She was Vice-Chairman of the County Council for 1920-21. From 1923-26 she was Chairman of the LCC Education Committee. She also represented the county council on a number of outside bodies and was Chairman of the London Council for the Blind from 1926-31.

Following her retirement as Chairman of the Education Committee she was created a Dame of the British Empire in Birthday Honours 1926 "for services to education".[1]

In 1931 he failing eyesight led to her retirement from public life. She died of heart failure aged 79 at her home in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire.


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