The Margaret Sanger Papers


Drysdale, Bessie Ingham Edwards (1871-1950)

British educator and Neo-Malthusian. Married Charles Vickery Drysdale (1898), one daughter, one adopted son. After teaching at Stockwell College, Drysdale joined her husband in working for the Malthusian League, an organization which promoted family limitation as a cure for social ills which with the Drysdale family had been closely associated since the 19th century. From 1907-1923 she assisted in editing the League's journal, The Malthusian (renamed The New Generation in 1922) . During Margaret Sanger's 1914-5 exile in England, Bessie Drysdale discussed the possibilities of opening a birth control clinic in London. In 1921 when Charles Drysdale succeeded his mother, Alice Vickery Drysdale, as president of the League, Bessie Drysdale took over as secretary. She also helped support the opening of the Walworth Women's Welfare Center which provided contraceptive advice as well as general medical advice and treatment for poor women, and in led a nation-wide tour to generate support for the provision of birth control information to poor mothers through the Ministry of Health. Bessie Drysdale was the author of War Babies (1915) and Labor Troubles and Birth Control (1920).
    Copyright for documents authored by Bessie Drysdale must be secured from: Alice Harris, 11 Bonbora Crescent, Mollymook, N.S.W. 2539 Australia.
References: Rosanna Ledbetter, A History of the Malthusian League, 1877-1927 (1976); Richard A. Soloway, Birth Control and the Population Question in England, 1877-1930 (1982).