Agnes Hardie lived from 6 September 1874 to 24 March 1951. She was a Labour Party politician who served as an MP for Glasgow Springburn from 1937-45. The wider picture in Scotland at the time is set out in our Historical Timeline.
Agnes Agnew Pettigrew first came to prominence when in the early 1890s, while working as a shop assistant, she became an organiser for the shop assistant's union: the first woman to hold such a position. As a member of the Independent Labour Party (ILP) she was by 1906 being seen as a powerful speaker able to put the party's case to a previously untapped female audience. By 1909 she had been elected to Glasgow's School Board and was the first female member of the Glasgow Trades Council.
Also in 1909 she married fellow political activist George Hardie, half brother to Keir Hardie. They had a son together. A lifelong pacifist, Agnes Hardie joined the Women's Peace Crusade during the First World War: and she opposed conscription during the Second World War.
Agnes was appointed to the post of Women's Organiser for the Labour Party in Scotland in 1919. She held the post until she moved to London in 1923, on the election of her husband as MP for the constituency of Glasgow Springburn. He retained his seat in the House of Commons until his death in 1937, and in the ensuing by-election, Agnes Hardie, by now aged 63, was herself elected to be MP for Glasgow Springburn. She held her seat until she retired at the 1945 General Election, making a name for herself as the "housewife's MP" through her speeches about food shortages. Although it has been argued that Agnes Hardie's victory in the 1937 by-election was as a result of her husband's previous occupation of the seat, as an early female MP she paved the way for many who have followed. She died in 1951.