Printed petition endorsing the registration of midwives, headed 'Private and Confidential.] [Provisional. The Midwives' Institute.' Completed in manuscript with names, addresses and sums pledged.

Angela Frances Mary Wigram [née Vaughan], Lady Fitzwygram (d.1935) [The Midwives' Institute, London, founded 1881]
Publication details: 
[London, 1891.]
SKU: 15490

1p., foolscap 8vo. In good conditiion, on lightly-aged paper, with ancient price on blank reverse. The printed text reads: 'Whereas, the Lives of Mothers are daily sacrificed by the action of ignorant persons, who can at present undertake the duties of a Midwife without let or hindrance, although this calling requires careful training and guarantees of efficiency: | The Midwives' Institute has been constituted to deal effectively with this matter by procuring the introduction and passing of an Act, which the British Medical Journal states is the only remedy against the existing evils. The Bill, of which Mr. Henry Fell Pease, M.P., will give notice shortly, will only affect those women who use the title of Midwife, and thus proclaim themselves competent to fulfil the duties entailed. Care will be taken not to prevent neighbourly offices; whilst both the public and the qualified Midwife will be protected against the ignorant and untrained women who at present prey on both alike. | Funds are necessary to secure the passing of this Act, and a Gentleman interested in the Registration of Midwives and the work of the Institute having offered to guarantee £50, and to obtain eight friends to guarantee a like sum, if £1000 is guaranteed within one month from this date (July 15): | We, the undersigned, have much pleasure in guaranteeing the sums placed after our names, on the understanding that not more than 10 per cent of the sum promised is payable until the Bill is before Parliament: -'. Beneath this, all in the same hand, are listed twelve pledges, by eleven individuals, from 'H. C. Burdett Esqre | The Lodge, Porchester Square W.' (£50 and £400) to 'Mrs. S B Brown | 18 Grosvenor Gardens S.W.' (£25). Printed at the foot of the page: 'When signed, please return this List to Lady Fitzwygram, 7, Grosvenor Crescent, S.W. [address amended in manuscript to 'Leigh Park, Havant, Hants']'. For the background to this item, see The Times, 2 March 1891, 'The Registration of Midwives'. ('Miss Smith (Provident Midwives' Institute) contended that a system of compulsory registration was demanded by the midwives themselves, as was shown by the fact that the Bill now before the House of Commons originated in the Midwives' Institute.')