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Dame Mabel Tylecote Papers

Date range: 1914–79.

The personal papers of Dame Mabel Tylecote, née Phythian (1896–1987), mainly concern her career in the Labour Party, Manchester local politics, and adult education.

Phythian read history at Manchester under T.F. Tout, and had a life-long interest in higher education for women. She wrote a landmark study on the subject, The Education of Women at Manchester University, 1883 to 1933 (1941).

Although she stood for Labour unsuccessfully in no less than five Parliamentary elections, she was active in local government, and campaigned both locally and nationally on issues such as adult education, housing and civil liberties.

Tylecote was made a dbe in 1966 for ‘political and public services’.

The collection comprises:

  • general correspondence, both personal and official
  • letters of congratulation and condolence
  • files relating to particular topics such as adult education, by-elections and general elections, her career in Manchester politics and Mechanics’ Institutes
  • Phythian family correspondence
  • letters to Lucile Keck of Chicago, Illinois, from Tylecote and others
  • Sidebottom family correspondence, including earlier letters from A.J. Balfour (1888, 1893), John Bright (1848, 1864) and Richard Cobden (1864)
  • personal diaries
  • photograph albums

There is also a collection of sixty-seven watercolours and drawings of scenes from the First World War by her brother Wilfrid Phythian. 

See also the Dame Mabel Tylecote Printed Collection.

Finding aids

Incomplete provisional handlist.


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library