Lucy Baldwin, Countess Baldwin of Bewdley


Lucy Baldwin, Countess Baldwin of Bewdley

Lucy Baldwin, Countess Baldwin of Bewdley ("née" Ridsdale; 1869 – 17 June 1945) was the wife of British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin. They were married on on 12 September 1892 and he always addressed her as 'Cissie'.

The daughter of Edward Lucas Jenks Ridsdale and Esther Lucy Thacker of 'The Dene', Rottingdean, Sussex [http://www.thepeerage.com/p3095.htm#i30946 The Peerage.com] ] [http://www.norfolkbc2.wanadoo.co.uk/bc_issues_2/bc_104_jun_05_2/e-mail_104_jun_05.htm The Britannia & Castle - Norfolk section] ] , she was a keen sportswoman, dancer and partygoer.

She was invested as a Dame of Grace, Order of St. John of Jerusalem (D.G.St.J.), and a Dame Grand Cross, Order of the British Empire (G.B.E.). She was styled as Countess Baldwin of Bewdley on 8 June 1937.

Apart from her home-making, raising of six children and tireless support of her husband, she was also a formidable personality in her own right. She was the founder of the Anæsthetics Appeal Fund of the National Birthday Trust Fund, and associated with the "Lucy Baldwin" machine for self-administration of nitrous-oxide / oxygen analgesia in obstetrics. She was involved in the Young Women’s Christian Association and other charitable bodies for women, especially those concerned to improve maternity care, after having herself suffered difficult pregnancies.

In 1928 she was vice-chairman of the newly established National Birthday Trust Fund to address the high incidence of maternal mortality. Its original aims were to support maternity hospitals and contribute to the development of midwifery practice.

In 1929 she helped found the Anaesthetics Fund with speeches, broadcasts and fund-raising.

One of her supporters and donors built the Lucy Baldwin Maternity Hospital in Stourport-on-Severn.

Her political lobbying was also key to the 1936 Midwives Act, which created a national midwifery service.

She also wrote valuable notes of two major episodes, the fall of the Lloyd George Coalition and the Abdication crisis.

The Baldwins had six surviving children (their first was stillborn).
Lady Diana Lucy Baldwin (b. 8 Apr 1895),
Lady Leonora Stanley Baldwin (b. 10 Jul 1896, d. 1989),
Lady Pamela Margaret Baldwin (b. 16 Sep 1897, d. 14 Aug 1976),
Major Oliver Ridsdale Baldwin, 2nd Earl Baldwin of Bewdley (b. 1 Mar 1899, d. 10 Aug 1958),
Lady Esther Louisa Baldwin (b. 16 Mar 1902),
Arthur Baldwin, 3rd Earl Baldwin of Bewdley (b. 22 Mar 1904, d. 5 Jul 1976).

She is buried in the grounds of Worcester Cathedral.

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