Rebels and Friends, Constance Markievicz and Eva Gore-Booth

Guest post by Jacqueline Mulhallen  Rebels and Friends – a play about Constance Markievicz and Eva Gore-Booth, written by Jacqueline Mulhallen, directed by William Alderson, and produced by Lynx Theatre and Poetry In 1918 Constance Markievicz was the first woman elected to the British Parliament.  Because she was a a member of Sinn Fein, she did not take her seat, and there is some doubt whether she would have been eligible, though that question was not raised at the time! Instead, she became Ireland’s first minister of Labour under the illegal Sinn Fein Parliament in Ireland and the only female Cabinet Minister at … Continue reading Rebels and Friends, Constance Markievicz and Eva Gore-Booth

Robes and Ritual: Preparations for Women’s Arrival in the House of Lords

Guest post by Duncan Sutherland Background  Prior to a debate on a motion to admit women to the House of Lords in 1930, the newly-created Lord Noel-Buxton was introduced. The introduction ceremony involved the new peer and his two supporters (current members of the House) wearing bicorn hats and scarlet robes trimmed with gold and miniver, processing behind Garter King of Arms and the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod. He presented his Letters Patent (creating his peerage) and the Writ of Summons summoning him to parliament, which were read aloud. After taking the oath and signing the Roll, Lord … Continue reading Robes and Ritual: Preparations for Women’s Arrival in the House of Lords

ALL CHANGE! Women and the 1945 General Election

Guest post by Oonagh Gay The general election of July 1945 was the first held for a decade. The Second World War had led to the suspension of elections. So the results were awaited with more than common interest. The contest was held on 5 July, (with some constituencies delaying until 12 and 19 July) but the polls were not counted and declared until 3 weeks later on 26 July. This was to allow those serving abroad in the armed forces to have their votes included. The landslide victory of the Labour Party was unexpected, and had a profound impact … Continue reading ALL CHANGE! Women and the 1945 General Election

‘Neither fair, nor desirable, nor wise’: the Representation of the People Bill

A century ago, on 19 June 1917, the House of Commons voted in favour of votes for women during committee stage of the Representation of the People Bill.   Guest post with timeline by Grace Bell  Countless pieces of legislation have passed through the Houses of Parliament since its existence making it easy to overlook numerous Acts – even those which greatly altered society. The Vote 100 Project is aiming to ensure our memory of significant legislation relating to votes for women are not forgotten. This blog post highlights research plotting the passage of the Representation of the People Bill, … Continue reading ‘Neither fair, nor desirable, nor wise’: the Representation of the People Bill

Out of ‘site’, out of mind? The Hidden Ladies of the Ventilator

Guest post by Amy Galvin-Elliott Historically, women have had a contentious relationship with the Houses of Parliament, and their access to and interaction with the spaces of Parliament provides an illuminating co-narrative to their journey towards enfranchisement. The Vote 100 project is a really exciting opportunity to recreate and try to imagine some of the spatial experiences of the women who, for example, observed Commons debates from the ventilator, were concealed behind the grille of the Ladies’ Cage, or who stormed Westminster Hall and St Stephen’s Hall to fight for their political rights. This post focuses on the early space … Continue reading Out of ‘site’, out of mind? The Hidden Ladies of the Ventilator

WE CAN’T BREATHE

We are grateful to Dr Dana Mills for this interesting blog reflecting on Mary Wollstonecraft’s ideas on political equality and their continuing relevance. She discusses a Vote100 favourite ‘the ventilator’ an area we would love to know more about, particularly first-hand accounts by women who visited it, so please do let us know if you come across any. WE CAN’T BREATHE Equality of political rights is inextricably linked to equality in access to political and public spaces. But Mary Wollstonecraft already said that in 1790. By Dana Mills (1) The Ventilation Room “We can’t breathe”, said the women huddled in the … Continue reading WE CAN’T BREATHE