Birth of Violet Bonham Carter, Baroness Asquith of Yarnbury

Born in Hampstead, London the daughter of H.H. Asquith and his first wife Helen Milland, Violet Asquith grew up at the heart of the Liberal establishment during the last periods of Liberal government. Fiercely protective of her father and his legacy, she had an often stormy relationship with her step-mother, Margot. An accomplished speaker, she played a prominent role in the 1920 Paisley by-election which saw Asquith’s return to parliament. In the 1920s and 30s Violet was one of the key players in keeping the Liberal flag flying, serving twice as President of the Women’s Liberal Federation (1923-25 and 1939-45). After the Second World War and with her children grown up, she stood twice for parliament – in 1945 for Wells, coming third and for Colne Valley in 1951 when she finished a close second. In 1945 she became the first woman to serve as Liberal Party President. Still in demand as a speaker, the development of broadcasting brought her to a wider audience as a regular panellist on The Brains Trust and Any Questions. In a coda to her career Violet Bonham Carter became a working peer from 1964 until her death in 1969.