Annie Besant (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.
At age 20 she married 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 M.P. for Northampton in 1880.