Clementina Black


Born in Brighton in 1854 to the David Black, a successful solicitor, and Maria Patten a talented portrait painter.

In 1886 Clementina became acquainted with Eleanor Marx, daughter of Karl Marx, and this was to form the basis of her political beliefs and activism.

She quickly became involved in the Women’s Trade Union League and, that same year, was elevated to the position of honorary secretary.

Clementina was instrumental in persuading many women to join trade unions and she became deeply involved in Woman’s issues and fighting for equal rights.

Despite her hard work in this field she still found time to write and her best known contribution to the literary world is Married Women’s Work which was published in 1915.

She never married.

Black was one of the first advocates of a national minimum wage and wrote numerous books on the issue, including Sweated Industry and the Minimum Wage (1907) and A Case for Trade Boards in 1909.

She died in 1922 at her home in Brighton, 4 years after the Representation of the People Act which allowed woman to vote. She is remembered as one of the most important people involved in Woman’s issues in Britain.

Clementina Black is buried in East Sheen Cemetery, London.

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