Violet Markham 1872-1959
Violet Markham was elected as Chesterfield’s first female mayor.
Violet Markham was the daughter of the industrialist, Charles Markham, part owner of Markham collieries and Markham Engineering. She was also the granddaughter of Sir Joseph Paxton, gardener designer at Chatsworth and architect of the Crystal Palace in London.
Her first interest was education and she set up the ‘Settlement’ educational foundation for the local community. Later she became a well known social welfare and education reformer and political pioneer.
She received the Order of Companion of Honour from George V in 1917 and was also one of the first women to stand for Parliament. She stood as a Liberal candidate for Mansfield in 1918 but was not elected.
Violet was a magistrate and an author of travel books and wrote her autobiography Return Passage in 1953.
In 1927 she was elected as Chesterfield’s first female mayor.