lucia Foster Welch

Lucia Foster Welch was born in Liverpool in 1864 and moved to Southampton in 1903. She lived at 61 Oxford Street, in a seven bedroom semi-detached residence – now grade II listed.

In 1927, Lucia was elected and became Southampton’s mayor. Lucia Foster Welch was, in fact, Southampton’s first Lady Mayor, first woman councillor, first woman alderman and first woman sheriff. As in Southampton the Mayor also holds the title of Admiral of the Port, Lucia was England’s first Lady Admiral.

On a national level, Lucia was an extremely active (early) suffragette (a woman seeking the right to vote through organized protest). She was a member of the Women’s Social and Political Union, as well as the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies.

A portrait in oils of Lucia Foster Welch by Frank Brooks, 1928, can be seen at Southampton City Council. She passed away in 1940.