Bonham-Carter, Violet (1887–1969)

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Bonham-Carter, Violet (1887–1969)

British peer. Name variations: Lady or Baroness Asquith of Yarnbury. Born Helen Violet Asquith on April 15, 1887, in London, England; died on February 19, 1969; only daughter of Herbert Henry Asquith (1852–1928, later earl of Oxford and Asquith) andHelen Kelsall (Melland) Asquith (died, 1891); stepdaughter ofMargot Asquith ; sister of Herbert Asquith (1881–1947) and Raymond Asquith (killed in action in WWI, 1916); stepsister of Elizabeth, Princess Bibesco (1897–1945); grandmother of actressHelena Bonham-Carter (1966—); educated privately at home and in Dresden and Paris; married Sir Maurice Bonham Carter, in 1915 (died 1960); children: Helen Cressida (who married Jasper Ridley); Laura Miranda (who married Joseph Grimond); Mark Raymond; Raymond Henry.

Violet Bonham-Carter politically supported her father Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith (1908–16) and his Liberal causes from 1905–1918, including old-age pensions, limiting the House of Lords veto, and the passage of Home Rule for Ireland. Her father, however, opposed women's suffrage until 1918, drawing the scorn of militant suffragists. A close friend of Winston Churchill, Violet was an ardent opponent of David Lloyd George. She was president of the Women's Liberal Federation (1923–25 and 1939–45) and of the Liberal Party (1945–47). Defeated in elections at Wells (1945) and Colne Valley (1951), she was vice-chair of the United Europe Movement (1947) and president of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (1964–69). Bonham-Carter was also governor of the BBC (1940–46) and the Old Vic (1945), and she was the first woman to give the Romanes lecture at Oxford in 1963. Created a Dame of the British Empire (DBE) in 1953 and created baroness in 1964, she published Winston Churchill as I Knew Him in 1965.

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