Lady Nancy Astor

Nancy Astor by John Singer SargentLady Nancy Astor, (1879-1964), the first woman to sit in the British House of Commons, was a famous socialite of the day, extremely rich and influential. She sometimes rode on the "flapper bracket" of the Brough Superior motorcycle belonging to T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) and was the author of many quotable quips, among them:

I married beneath me. All women do.

The only thing I like about rich people is their money.

"In passing, also, I would like to say that the first time Adam had a chance, he laid the blame on a woman."

"We are not asking for superiority for we have always had that; all we ask is equality."

One reason I don't drink is because I wish to know when I'm having a good time.

Lady Astor: Why Winston, you are drunk!
Churchill: And you are ugly, but I shall be sober in the morning!

Lady Astor was giving a costume ball and Winston Churchill asked her what disguise she would recommend for him. She said, "Why don't you come sober, Mr. Prime Minister?"

Lady Astor: "Winston, if I were married to you, I'd put poison in your coffee.".
Sir Winston Churchill: "Nancy, if you were my wife, I'd drink it."

"Am I dying or is is this my birthday?" (attributed last words)

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Virginian born Nancy, Viscountess Astor was not the first woman member of Parliament in England - but she was the first to sit, in 1919. The laurel belongs to Constance, Countess Markiewicz who fought in the 1916 Easter rising in Dublin when she led 120 Republican soldiers, for which act she was subsequently imprisoned and sentenced to death. After the amnesty, in 1918 she was elected to Westminster but did not take her seat in protest.