Sylvia Pankhurst, artist and suffragette

Guest post by Jacqueline Mulhallen Sylvia – a play about Sylvia Pankhurst written and performed by Jacqueline Mulhallen, directed by William Alderson, and produced by Lynx Theatre and Poetry Sylvia Pankhurst is perhaps less well-known than her mother Emmeline and sister Christabel who were the leaders of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU),but she did at least as much as they did, and perhaps more, to get votes for women. Sylvia was a very talented artist who won scholarships to Manchester School of Art and later to study in Venice and at the Royal College of Art, but she gave … Continue reading Sylvia Pankhurst, artist and suffragette

Suffrage in the Spotlight

Guest post by Naomi Paxton Here at Vote 100 we often get emails from performers and playwrights who want to write about the suffrage movement, and to share the stories and voices of suffragists and suffragettes and their campaign for the vote. This is particularly exciting for me, as my doctoral research was all about the support given to the movement by the professional theatre industry, and in particular the Actresses’ Franchise League (AFL), founded in 1908. The AFL were neutral regarding suffrage tactics and supported all other societies regardless of their stance on militancy, which meant that members appeared … Continue reading Suffrage in the Spotlight

‘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

EXCLUSIVE! Cover launch of ‘Things A Bright Girl Can Do’ by Sally Nicholls

Here at Vote 100 we were thrilled to hear that the acclaimed and award-winning author Sally Nicholls has written a new YA (young adult) novel about votes for women. Things A Bright Girl Can Do will be published in September 2017 and focuses on three young women, Evelyn, May and Nell, their experiences of taking part in the suffrage campaign and the impact of the First World War on their lives and families. We have all read the book, and are really delighted to see the depth and breadth of the research Nicholls has undertaken, research that gives readers a … Continue reading EXCLUSIVE! Cover launch of ‘Things A Bright Girl Can Do’ by Sally Nicholls

Votes for Women in India: the early female MPs and their lobbying for Indian suffrage

Guest post by Sumita Mukherjee The 1918 Representation of the People Act, which enfranchised some British women over 30, had a broader impact beyond the British Isles. In commemorating the centenary of this Act, it will be important to acknowledge some of the broader geographical legacies of this suffrage victory. Many British suffragettes and suffragists had, for example, invoked India during their campaigns and turned their attention more directly towards India after 1918. Until India gained independence from Britain in 1947, matters of the Indian women’s franchise were decided in the House of Commons. There were two significant Acts of … Continue reading Votes for Women in India: the early female MPs and their lobbying for Indian suffrage

And everywhere she is in chains!

Guest post by Robin Fell The Grille in the House of Commons Ladies’ Gallery, preventing as it did all but a distorted view of proceedings in The Chamber, had always been unpopular and during the ‘Suffragette Years’ was the focus of much anger. Two suffragettes became quite attached to it – but with chains rather than with affection! On 28 October 1908 several coordinated demonstrations took place, some men shouted slogans from the public gallery (women were not admitted to this gallery), several women demonstrated in St Stephen’s Hall, and up in their eyrie in the Ladies’ Gallery another group … Continue reading And everywhere she is in chains!

‘The Burning Question’

One hundred years ago, votes for women gained support in Parliament thanks to Speaker James Lowther.  ‘I endeavoured to push off the burning question of women’s suffrage as long as I could.’ (Speaker Lowther, ‘A Speaker’s Commentaries’) Speaker James W Lowther was remembering a Conference on electoral reform which discussed and then recommended votes for women on 10-11 January 1917. January 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of this important but little-remembered Parliamentary body, which was crucial in the history of votes for women. Speaker Lowther had been contending with suffragette agitation in the Palace of Westminster over a number of … Continue reading ‘The Burning Question’

Embroideries made by Suffragettes in Prison, 1905-1914

Guest post by Denise Jones Recently Lockdales the auctioneers in Suffolk, very kindly sent me an image of objects belonging to the suffragette Mary Aldham, which were sold at auction in September 2015. Included in the cache were a small sampler and bag, both embroidered in Holloway c. 1912. It is likely that the embroideries had been treasured as family possessions for over a hundred years. The find has given me fresh hope that other similar ‘cloths’ may have been saved in other family homes. Sadly, I have been unable to locate the Aldham embroideries and only have virtual images … Continue reading Embroideries made by Suffragettes in Prison, 1905-1914

A Rush on the House of Commons 13 October 1908

In September 1908 Emmeline Pankhurst together with Christabel Pankhurst and Flora Drummond decided the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) should organise a rush on the House of Commons.  The rush would be the first major protest of the new Parliament. They issued a leaflet encouraging members of the public to support the rush.  Printed on purple and green paper it read: In 8th October the leaflet came into the possession of the police and as a result they issued summonses to all three women for inciting the public to undertake an illegal act. On Sunday 11th October they held a large rally in … Continue reading A Rush on the House of Commons 13 October 1908