MARKHAM, Violet Rosa, 1872-1959, liberal activist and public servant

Scope and Content

This collection covers both the public and the private aspects of Violet Markham. The documents relating to her public works cover her involvement in the National Relief Fund, the Central Committee on Women's Employment, the Women's Section of the National Service Department, the Unemployment and Assistance Board, the Trade Board for the Cutlery Industry, and the Voluntary Social Services Enquiry, along with material on the issue of domestic service. The documents relating to Markham's private life consist of biographical and personal material, including diaries, correspondence, photographs, writings, speeches and broadcasts, and material documenting her education, domestic and household matters, and her work on Joseph Paxton, her grandfather, who designed the Crystal Palace.

Administrative / Biographical History

Violet Rosa Markham, 1872-1959, grew up near Chesterfield and maintained links with the town throughout her life. Her independent income allowed her to devote much of her time to public service, both locally and nationally, and to travel extensively. Markham's first interest was education. She was a member of the Chesterfield Education Authority from 1899 to 1934, and in 1902, she was the founder President of the Chesterfield Settlement, an educational foundation for the local community. At the outbreak of World War I, the National Relief Fund was established to alleviate distress caused by the war. The fund dispensed aid to service families and dependents, as well as civilians. The experience of serving on the Executive Committee of this organisation left Violet Markham with a lifelong interest in reducing the effects of poverty and unemployment, especially with regard to women. In 1934, she became a member of the Unemployment Assistance Board and she also worked on the Central Committee on Women's Employment. Markham was also active politically. She stood as an Independent Liberal for the Mansfield Division of Nottinghamshire in the 1918 general election, was elected as a town councillor for Chesterfield in 1924, and served as Mayor of Chesterfield in 1927.


This collection is arranged in 29 sections:
1. National Relief Fund, 1914-1921.
2. World War I: Committee and Administrative Papers, 1915-1919.
3. Central Committee on Women's Employment and other Women's Employment Papers, 1914-1941.
4. The National Register, the National Service Department and Women's Services, 1915-1919.
5. Papers and Correspondence, 1919-1953.
6. Unemployment Assistance Board: Minutes, Board Memoranda and Regulations, 1934-1946.
7. Unemployment Assistance Board: Subject Files, 1935-1945.
8. Unemployment Assistance Board: Local Reports and Surveys, 1935-1945.
9. Unemployment Assistance Board: Correspondence Files, 1934-1940.
10. Trade Board for the Cutlery Industry, 1930-1934.
11. Voluntary Social Services Enquiry, 1946-1947.
12. Domestic Service, 1938-1957.
13. Lectures and Writings, c1914-1954.
14. Various (papers and press cuttings), 1903-1943.
15. Biographical and Personal, 1883-1959.
16. Education, 1887-1894.
17. Diaries, 1888-1958.
18. Domestic and Household, 1873-1958.
19. Family Correspondence, c1840-1955.
20. Miscellaneous Papers and Correspondence, 1858-1959.
21. Photographs, 1888-1955.
22. Arthur Basil Markham, 1890-1954.
23. Joseph Paxton and Crystal Palace, 1850-1951.
24. Official Papers (Additional), 1915-1946.
25. Letters, 1887-1957.
26. Correspondence and Papers, 1898-1955.
27. Travel, 1890-1955.
28. Writing, Speeches and Broadcasts, 1900-1959.
29. Press Cuttings and Printed Matter, 1899-1958.

Access Information


Other Finding Aids

Printed handlist and online catalogue available.

Archivist's Note

Output from CAIRS using template 14 and checked by hand on March 27, 2002

Conditions Governing Use