Annie Besant (/ˈbɛsənt/; née Wood, 1 October 1847 – 20 September 1933) was a prominent British socialist, Theosophist, women's rights activist, writer and orator and supporter of Irish and Indian self rule.
She was married at 19 to Frank Besant but separated from him over religious differences. She then became a prominent speaker for the National Secular Society (NSS) and writer and a close friend of Charles Bradlaugh. In 1877 they were prosecuted for publishing a book by birth control campaigner Charles Knowlton. The scandal made them famous and Bradlaugh was elected Member of Parliament for Northampton in 1880.