Macmillan, Chrystal (1871–1937)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Macmillan, Chrystal (1871–1937)

Scottish feminist and pacifist . Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1871; died in 1937; educated at St. Leonard's School, St. Andrews, and Edinburgh University; also studied in Berlin.

In 1908, on behalf of women Scottish graduates, Chrystal Macmillan became the first woman to address the House of Lords; she was arguing for their right to vote for parliamentary candidates to the Scottish Universities seat. A week later, the bill was defeated. She then joined the National Union of Suffrage Societies, serving as a leader with this group for a number of years until she resigned in opposition to proposals for protective legislation for women. In 1923, Macmillan founded the Open Door Council which espoused the elimination of legal restrictions on women. Six years later, she was named president of the Open Door International for the Economic Emancipation of the Woman Worker. As a pacifist, Macmillan was a major organizer for The Hague Congress in 1915 and secretary of the International Alliance of Women from 1913 to 1923. In 1935, she ran unsuccessfully as a Liberal candidate for the Edinburgh election.