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Dame Mabel Tylecote Papers

Date range: 1864–1987

Medium: Archive

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. She had a life-long interest in both adult education and its history (her 1957 book, The Mechanics' Institutes of Lancashire and Yorkshire before 1851, was based on her PhD thesis), and in higher education for women (publishing The Education of Women at Manchester University, 1883 to 1933 in 1941).

Although she stood for Labour unsuccessfully in five Parliamentary elections, she was active in local government: she had a seat on Manchester City Council during 1940-51, and Stockport City Council, 1956-63. She 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 archive 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, the WEA 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 and 1893), John Bright (1848 and 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:

Further information:



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