Catherine Duleep Singh

(1871-1942) – Suffrage activist

Catherine Duleep Singh grew up in India until her father was deposed as ruler of the Punjab. He was offered sanctuary in England, and Duleep Singh and her sisters lived in Buckinghamshire and then in London. Catherine Duleep Singh and her sister Bamba both came to Somerville in 1890.

Along with her younger sister, Princess Sophie, Duleep Singh was an active suffragette. She joined the Esher and Moseley branch of the WPSU and continued to support the women’s movement long after the vote had been gained in 1918. Between the wars, Duleep Singh lived in Germany with her former governess Lina Schäfer, but in 1938 they were forced to flee back to England.

Did you know? Catherine Duleep Singh and Lina Schäfer used their house in Penn, Buckinghamshire to offer sanctuary to German-Jewish refugees before and during the Second World War.

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