Rosa Hobhouse

Rosa Hobhouse (1882-1971) was one of the original members of the War and Social Order Committee. In 1916 she was arrested, together with fellow Quaker Clara Cole, for distributing anti-war pamphlets in contravention of the Defence of the Realm Act. She refused to allow others to pay the fine for her and was imprisoned. The “White Feather Diaries” online resource on conscientious objection includes an abridged account of her trial. Rosa was an artist, poet and author who was active in socialist politics and social reform for much of her life. She and her husband Stephen Hobhouse chose to live in the slum area of Hoxton in East London, and were close associates of the Quaker social activist Mary Hughes. Stephen was imprisoned as a conscientious objector, suffered serious damage to his health as a result of his treatment in prison, and worked after the war on a major report calling for prison reform.