Ethel Bentham(1861-1931), Doctor, politician and sufragette; MP for Islington East
Sitter in 1 portrait
A physician, politician and suffragist, Bentham contributed significantly to infant welfare by establishing a pioneering clinic. She trained at the London School of Medicine for Women from 1890-1893, before receiving a qualification in midwifery from the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin, where she was raised. Bentham was the first female doctor to practice in Newcastle upon Tyne and would later help to establish the mother and baby clinic in North Kensington, founded by the Women’s Labour League; one of the first clinics to offer medical treatment alongside advice. Bentham joined the Labour party in 1902 and became a member of the Women’s Labour League in 1910. She was elected a member of the Kensington Borough Council in 1912, representing the ward of Golborne. After the First World War, she was one of the first women to be appointed a magistrate, working in the children’s courts. In the 1929 election at the age of sixty eight, Bentham was elected to the Islington East seat.