Barbara Castle, Baroness Castle of Blackburn Politician

Barbara Anne Castle, Baroness Castle of Blackburn (née Betts), PC, GCOT (6 October 1910 – 3 May 2002) was a British Labour Party politician. Elected to Parliament in 1945, she rose to become one of the most important Labour Party politicians of the twentieth century. Until her record was broken in 2007 by Gwyneth Dunwoody, Barbara Castle held the record as the female MP with the longest continuous service. She is the first, and to date the only, woman to have held the office of First Secretary of State. The youngest of three children, she was born at 67 Derby Road, Chesterfield to Frank and Annie Betts, and raised in Pontefract and Bradford. Castle was introduced to socialist politics and beliefs from a young age. She grew up in a politically active family home where there was "always someone sleeping on the sofa". Her older sister Marjorie later became a pioneer of the Inner London Education Authority, while her brother Jimmie engaged in field work with Oxfam in Nigeria. She joined the Labour Party at a young age. Her father was a tax inspector, exempted from military service in World War I due to his high rank in a valued occupation (known as a reserved occupation).

Personal details

Date of birth
October 6th, 1910
Place of birth
United Kingdom
Date of death
May 3rd, 2002 at age of 91
Place of death
Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom




1. University of Oxford Colleges/University

The University of Oxford (informally Oxford University or Oxford) is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096. The University grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. In post-nominals the University of Oxford was historically abbreviated as Oxon., from the Latin Universitas Oxoniensis, although Oxf is now used in official university publications.

Type University
2012. 855 mil. £
2011. 850 mil. £
Institution colors
Wellington Square, OX1 2JD - Oxford, Oxfordshire
2012. 11,832
2012. 9,857
Acceptance rate
2012. 20.5 %
2011. 18.37 %
2010. 18.4 %
2009. 20.9 %
Official web page
Wikipedia article
Social media

Institution social analysis

Notable alumni by career
Notable alumni by gender
Notable alumni by party membership

People attended University of Oxford connected by profession and/or age

b. 1911., Politician
b. 1909., Politician
b. 1905., Politician
b. 1905., Politician
b. 1909., Politician
b. 1910., Politician
b. 1907., Politician
b. 1905., Politician

2. St Hugh's College, Oxford Colleges/University

St Hugh's College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford. It is located on a fourteen and a half acre site on St Margaret's Road, to the North of the city centre. It was founded in 1886 as a women's college, and accepted its first male students in its centenary year in 1986. It enjoys a reputation as one of the more attractive colleges because of its extensive, pleasant gardens. The college celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2011.

St Margaret's Road, Oxford
Official web page
Wikipedia article

Institution social analysis

Notable alumni by career
Notable alumni by gender

People attended St Hugh's College, Oxford connected by profession and/or age

b. 1972., Politician
b. 1976., Politician
b. 1956., Politician
b. 1976., Politician
b. 1955., Politician
b. 1945., Politician
b. 1956., Politician
b. 1952., Politician

3. Bradford Girls' Grammar School Independent school

Founded in 1857, Bradford Girls' Grammar School is an independent senior school for girls aged 11 – 18 with co-educational preparatory school and nursery, called Lady Royd Preparatory School for boys and girls aged 2 – 11 years. The school is located on the outskirts of Bradford city centre in West Yorkshire. Recent public examination results put the school top in Bradford and among the top three in Yorkshire. Bradford Girls' Grammar School is described as a centre of excellence of the development of women leaders.

Type Free school
Squire Lane, BD9 6RB - Bradford, West Yorkshire
Official web page
Wikipedia article

People attended Bradford Girls' Grammar School connected by profession and/or age

b. 1986., Dance-pop Artist
b. 1899., Novelist
b. 1958., Historian
b. 1977., TV Host
b. 1961., TV Host

Political engagements

Labour Party

Geographic scope

United Kingdom


Social democracy
Social liberalism


Official web page

Wikipedia article

The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom. It grew out of the trade union movement and socialist political parties of the nineteenth century and has been described as a broad church; the party contains a diversity of ideological trends from strongly socialist, to more moderately social democratic. Founded in 1900, the Labour Party overtook the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s and formed minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929–31. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after which it formed a majority government under Clement Attlee. Labour was also in government from 1964 to 1970 under Harold Wilson and from 1974 to 1979, first under Wilson and then James Callaghan. The Labour Party was last in national government between 1997 and 2010 under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, beginning with a landslide majority of 179, reduced to 167 in 2001 and 66 in 2005. Having won 258 seats in the 2010 general election, the party currently forms the Official Opposition in the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

Written work

1.Castle diaries, 1974 76

Editions Subjects Co-authors
1980. at London (788 pages)
1984. at London

2.Sylvia and Christabel Pankhurst

Editions Subjects Co-authors
1987. by Viking Penguin at New York City (158 pages)

3.Fighting All the Way

Editions Subjects Co-authors
1993. at London


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