Henry Fawcett (1833-1884)

Henry Fawcett from Salisbury was appointed Postmaster General in 1880 and is described by Royal Mail historian Duncan Campbell-Smith as ‘by the far the most distinguished Postmaster General of the pre-modern era’.

Blinded by a shooting accident at 25, he introduced many innovations to the Post Office, including the savings stamp, parcel post, postal orders, and licensing changes to permit payphones and trunk lines. Fawcett was also an ardent supporter of women’s rights. He, with the support of his wife Millicent Fawcett who founded the Fawcett Society, campaigned for the employment of women.

The Fawcett Society, which was founded in 1871, still operates today. The charity campaigns for equality between women and men in the UK on pay, pensions, poverty, justice and politics.