As both historical researcher and book dealer I stumble across facts that, while delighting, do not fit into planned projects. ‘Woman and her Sphere’ provides a home for such orphans, rescued from the rubble of history.

Among these ‘orphans’ have been a few suffrage artists, details of whose lives I have already posted as articles on this website. As a result I was commissioned to produce a biographical dictionary of many more. Art and Suffrage: a biographical dictionary of suffrage artists – now published by Francis Boutle. It covers the lives of over 100 artists, men and women (although mainly women), who worked to promote the suffrage cause. In soft covers, with over 100 illustrations in colour and black and white. £20

If you would like to order a copy of Art and Suffrage email me (

cover e-book

Another of my ‘orphans’ was Kate Frye (1878-1959), who was resurrected by ITV and put (played by Romola Garai) in a series – The Great War: The People’s Story. ITV then commissioned me to write her life. This story of an ordinary Englishwoman will appeal to all those interested in a real life lived – from the palmy days of Victoria to  the New Elizabethan age. For more details read here.

Download the e-book  from iTunes – or from Amazon.

The Great War: The People’s Story was broadcast for 4 weeks in August 2014. You can watch Episode 2, in which Kate Frye appears, here.

Kate Frye coverKate Frye’s diaries had already been the source of another book – covering her years as a suffrage organiser – Campaigning for the Vote: Kate Parry Frye’s Suffrage Diary. For details see here

My most recent publication is Millicent Garrett Fawcett: Selected Writingsco-edited with Prof. Melissa Terras, pub. by UCL Press, 2022. It is free to download, as well as being available for purchase as a hardback or paperback.


Do consult the Links (on right) to see – and hear – the fruit of some of the research I have undertaken over the last few years – and to view the books and ephemera that I have for sale on Abebooks.

I specialise in selling second-hand books and ephemera by and about women and produce catalogues of items for sale. Do get in touch if you would like to be added to my mailing list. Lists are sent by email. For my latest catalogue – see Catalogue 203

Contact me at 

My Background

After graduating in history and politics, I worked for some years for Cambridge University Press and then J.M. Dent before combining work as a free-lance copy editor with caring for my three children.

I began selling second-hand books and ephemera by and about women in 1984. This area was then regarded by the trade as of little consequence. However, over time,  interest in women’s – and family – history has grown and been reflected in an awareness of the importance of primary source material – books and ephemera – in composing a picture of women’s lives in the past.

Intrigued by the material that was passing through my hands, I have, over the last 20 years or so researched and written several books. The first, The Women’s Suffrage Movement: a reference guide  (Routledge 1999) grew out of the necessity of researching items connected with the suffrage movement in order to be able to catalogue them for sale accurately. ‘What’, I thought, ‘is needed is a compendium containing full information on the people and societies involved.’  A publisher’s editor to whom I mentioned the idea agreed – and I set to work.

ref guide

 The Reference Guide  was followed by The Women’s Suffrage Movement in Britain and Ireland: a regional survey, published by Routledge in 2005, which explains how – from 1866 -the suffrage movement developed throughout the British Isles.

reg survey

In between these two books I wrote Enterprising Women: the Garretts and their circle, published by Francis Boutle in 2002. In this I discuss the lifetime’s work of a group of efficient, highly-motivated women who transformed women’s lives in Britain in the last quarter of the 19th century. The work of the Garretts and their circle opened for women entry to areas of work and study from which they had hitherto been barred – medicine, education,  and interior and landscape design – as well as, at the same time, campaigning for the vote.

ent women

In 2009-11 I had the pleasure of helping to create the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Gallery, generously funded by UNISON,  in what was the ground floor of the former Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital, now part of the UNISON Centre at 130 Euston Road, London NW1 2AY.

Campaigning for the Vote: Kate Parry Frye’s Suffrage Diary was published by Francis Boutle in 2013. For this I combined the two aspects of my work, turning a voluminous diary that I bought as a bookseller into another source of primary research material for those interested in the suffrage movement. The book is now out of print

Kate Parry Frye: the long life of an Edwardian actress and suffragette was commissioned by ITV and published as an e-book in 2014.

Over the years I have contributed to various radio – and television – programmes and given many talks – at academic conferences, to schools and to local history groups – on a range of topics associated with my researches. I was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2018 for ‘services to education’ – with particular reference to the history of the women’s suffrage movement.

  1. #1 by Gaby Weiner on July 27, 2012 - 11:17 am

    Very impressive Does this mean that you won’t be sending your catalogue out or is this an addition.


    • #2 by womanandhersphere on July 27, 2012 - 11:28 am

      Dear Gaby

      Yes, I shall still be sending out printed catalogues – this is just an addition. My hope is that the site will interest others; it rather entertains me.

      Best wishes

  2. #3 by Kenneth Florey on July 27, 2012 - 11:47 am

    A very impressive web site and one that was sorely needed. My only regret here is that it was not available before I sent off my manuscript on suffrage memorabilia to my publisher. Your background information on suffrage artifacts is invaluable, particularly for an American who is very interested in the British movement, but does not have ready access to some essential manuscript material. As usual, your analytical skills are impeccable.

    • #4 by womanandhersphere on July 27, 2012 - 12:06 pm

      Dear Ken

      Thanks for your comments. Do you have a publication date yet for your book?

      Best wishes

  3. #5 by Kenneth Florey on July 27, 2012 - 12:42 pm

    Not yet. I have been forewarned that this will be a slow process. Based on what the publisher has told me, my guess is 8-9 months, although I am trying to speed up the process on my end. Thanks for asking. Needless to say, your “The Women’s Suffrage Movement: a Reference Guide” was a very valuable resource for me.

  4. #6 by Jacki Becker on August 13, 2012 - 12:31 am

    I once was in the open university bookshop in Milton Keynes and found a book with a long chapter on the relationship between my aunt Lydia Becker and Jacob Bright MP and as this was around 1995 when I had just met my now husband also a Bright it was of particular interest! he knows of no MP in his family history indeed knows little of them in Victorian times and he did look remarkably like th pic of Jacob with a fair beard in black and white in my biography of Lydia by Blackburn
    Also I have been contacted by someone writing about the relationship correspondence between Lydia and Darwin as she was a botanist I am not a research student but do have an interest to col
    Ate this info as all our Papers and books relating to her were given to the Fawcett library by my grandfather in the 1960s

    • #7 by womanandhersphere on August 13, 2012 - 10:14 am

      I suspect the book you saw in the bookshop was Audrey Kelly, Lydia Becker and the cause, published in 1992.I don’t have a copy in stock at the moment, but copies are available on Amazon. Here is the link to the Lydia Becker Papers in the Women’s Library (formerly the Fawcett Library) –'lydia becker’)&dsqPos=14
      I have read her papers there – and am, therefore, very grateful to your grandfather for donating them!
      The Brights were, of course, a large Lancashire Quaker family – with 2 MPS in the 19th century – the more famous John Bright – as well as his brother, Jacob. Through intermarriage they created a powerful network – reaching through England and Scotland – supporting all the 19th-century radical causes. Bright women were prominent in the suffrage campaign. Because these families interested me so much, my book ‘The Women’s Suffrage Movement: a reference guide’ has an appendix showing the family trees of ‘The Radical Liberal Family network.’ ‘Bright’ is not, of course, an uncommon name, but your husband might find he was connected in some way to these radicals.

  5. #8 by artandarchitecturemainly on September 8, 2012 - 7:09 pm

    Thank you for the link.
    Yes, I would love to receive a list of books and catalogues by email.


  6. #9 by Joy Bounds on September 30, 2012 - 7:11 pm

    Hello Elizabeth, what a lovely website! I’m going to order a couple of things from No 175, but before doing so, wondered if you ever come across copies of Christopher St John’s Ethel Smyth, – a Biography? This is a book I would dearly like to own if I found one resonably priced.

    I’m getting towards the first draft of my booklet about the Ipswich suffragettes. What great stories they are!

    Best wishes, Joy

  7. #10 by David Schuyler on December 10, 2012 - 9:22 pm

    Dear Elizabeth. I write as editor of the final volume of the Frederick Law Olmsted Papers project. We found your work on Fanny Wilkinson very helpful. In another letter of 1894, to his son John, then traveling in England, he suggests visiting “any of the revised church yard public gardens of Miss Carpenter’s designing.” In your work in the MGPA collection in the London Metropolitan Archives, did you come across a Miss Carpenter? We whall be grateful for any help you might be able to provide.
    Thanks very much.
    David Schuyer

    • #11 by womanandhersphere on December 11, 2012 - 9:55 am

      Dear David
      Good to make contact. I must confess, though, that I am baffled by the mention of a ‘Miss Carpenter’ laying out church yards etc c 1894. I do not recall coming across anybody of that name in the MPGA records – or in such records of the Kyrle Society as survive. Do you think Olmsted just might have got the name wrong – and really meant ‘Miss Wilkinson’? If there had been a Miss Carpenter mentioned anywhere I am sure I would have pounced on her to discover more about her. Emmeline Sieveking was, of course, FW’s assistant – but, again, hardly a name one could mishear or mistranscribe as ‘Carpenter’. Incidentally, the previous year Fanny Wilkinson did have some kind of plans exhibited at the World Fair – presumably in the Woman’s Exhibition. WOuld Olmsted – as designer of the site – have taken any interest in such a minor exhibit? Did Olmsted’s son make any report back on the state of English public gardens?
      Best wishes

      • #12 by David Schuyler on December 11, 2012 - 6:43 pm

        Dear Elizabeth,
        I agree. Olmsted surely must be mistaken. He was well aware of Fanny Wilkinson’s work with MPGA (at Lord Meath’s suggestion he was an honorary member) and expected to meet her when in London in June 1892. He was seriously ill for most of that visit, however, and I find no evidence that they did get together.
        One thing that Olmsted hoped to achieve was to have a separate exhibition for landscape architecture at the Columbian Exposition and he wanted Edouard Andre, William Robinson and other European friends to support that effort. He was not able to persuade the exposition’s planners to have such a dedicated exhibition, and so his firm’s work was a rather small display. I’m sure he knew of Fanny’s plans but he did not, so far as I can tell from surviving correspondence, comment upon it.
        I’ll keep you posted as I continue this odyssey.

        Thanks, and best wishes,

  8. #13 by Fight for the Right on February 11, 2013 - 9:29 am

    Dear Elizabeth,
    I just wanted to write and say thank you for this wonderful website and also for your publications The Woman’s Suffrage Movement and From Frederick Street to Winson Green. Both have been extremely useful for our project Fight for the Right: The Birmingham Suffragettes. We are particularly focusing on Hilda Burkitt, Bertha Ryland and Catherine Osler and are aiming to have our film finished by June this year.
    Best wishes,

    • #14 by womanandhersphere on February 15, 2013 - 6:19 pm

      Dear Nicola

      Your kind words are much appreciated – and encouraging. Coincidentally I have just completed an entry on Catherine Osler for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (which is doing a concentrated blitz on Birmingham personalities to coincide with the opening of the new library). Hilda Burkitt crops up briefly in my new book – to be published very soon. ‘Campaigning for the Vote’ is an edited version of a diary of a woman, Kate Frye, who worked as an organiser for one of the smaller suffrage societies – and who, when organising in Dover, stayed in digs with Hilda’s aunts, the Misses Burkitt.

      Best wishes

      • #15 by Fight for the Right on February 16, 2013 - 1:00 pm

        Dear Elizabeth,
        Thanks for this. I look forward to reading your DNB entry on Catherine, she’s a very interesting character, and your new book sounds fascinating.

  9. #16 by Martin Moseling on May 9, 2013 - 11:17 am

    Dear Elizabeth,
    I’m on the point of publishing a book which takes in the events of 1913 at Tunbridge Wells and I am trying to locate a high res photograph of the burnt out pavilion at TW Cricket Club. I see you have one on your pages and winder if you might be able to direct me to the source.
    Martin 07973834410

  10. #17 by Guy Jones on May 15, 2013 - 11:40 pm

    Interesting to read your letter in the recent edition of the antiques trade gazette.There was an intresting “Suffragette tea service” in an auction at Dreweatts of Bristol a few months back which might have been of interest to you (the items never made their reserve).I will contact you in the future if I come across similar pieces.

  11. #18 by Lucy Paquette, author of The Hammock: A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot on July 1, 2013 - 2:30 pm

    Dear Elizabeth,

    I recently discovered your fascinating blog while researching Algernon Moses Marsden for my blog on James Tissot. Sybil Marsden’s story was so compelling that I included it, citing your work and providing your link at

    Thank you for all your excellent research into lives that would otherwise remain unknown and uncelebrated.

    Lucy Paquette

    Author of The Hammock: A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot

    • #19 by womanandhersphere on July 1, 2013 - 4:38 pm

      Delighted to read your post on Algernon Moses Marsden. What a scoundrel – just the kind of chap to drive a woman into the suffrage movement. Happily, Sybil lived a good deal longer than you mention – dying in 1946 and leaving over £5000 – so her dressmaking business had clearly been reasonably successful.

  12. #20 by Lucy Paquette, author of The Hammock: A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot on July 1, 2013 - 5:04 pm

    Elizabeth, thanks for alerting me to that error. Would you be so kind as to direct me to your source for Sybil’s biographical details (especially if it’s online)? I relied on an ancestry website, and I’ll need to correct this.


    • #21 by womanandhersphere on July 1, 2013 - 6:05 pm

      Lucy ~ I found all her details on – ie censuses & birth, death – and the record of her will. If you’re a subscriber to ancestry you’ll have no trouble accessing all this info.

  13. #22 by Lucy Paquette, author of The Hammock: A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot on July 1, 2013 - 6:17 pm

    Elizabeth, I greatly appreciate your speedy help with this. Sybil’s apparent tragedy is thus averted!


  14. #23 by suffragefirst on August 14, 2014 - 5:25 pm

    Dear Elizabeth,
    I am delighted that my good friend Marguerite Kearns told me about this wonderful web site. I have a long-term interest in suffrage, and just last year had my book published, Long Island and the Woman Suffrage Movement. I look forward to reading your articles and accessing the stories.
    Thank you!
    Antonia Petrash

  15. #25 by Sally Wilson on September 7, 2014 - 5:56 pm

    My message of a few minutes ago accidentally was sent before I had finished it. What I would like to ask you is: is there any possible way of accessing the National Archives for information on Edward Johnson Wilson and his ownership of the Rinkeries Skating Rink in Aldwych in about 1911. This is purely for my own personal curiosity and family history. I an writing to you from my home in Spain.
    My most sincere thanks for any information you may be able to offer.
    Sally Wilson

  16. #26 by Eva Kendrick on February 16, 2015 - 12:52 am

    Hi Elizabeth, I wanted to let you know that I wrote a choral piece based on “To D.R. in Holloway” in 2009. I found the poem when i was commissioned to write a piece for a concert by a female a cappella group, Anthology, for their concert Songs of Protest and Civil Unrest. I greatly enjoyed reading your article on Joan Lavender Guthrie, and I wanted to invite you to take a listen to the piece. You can find it at on the media page.

    • #27 by womanandhersphere on February 16, 2015 - 4:36 pm

      Eva ~ I loved the piece – so atmospheric. May I add a link to the recording underneath my transcription of the poem?
      Best wishes

      • #28 by Eva kendrick on February 16, 2015 - 5:41 pm

        Elizabeth, thank you so much! Yes, please feel free to include the link under your article. I’m so happy this remarkable woman is getting some exposure and notice for her contributions.
        Best wishes,

  17. #29 by artandarchitecturemainly on May 24, 2015 - 4:32 am

    Years later I am back again 🙂

    I too have orphans and yet there is still space for new reading. I would loved to have read Kate Parry Frye by Elizabeth Crawford. As it happens, my next WW1 topic for reading and reviewing is the role of women doctors during the war. The first two women in the history of Australian universities graduated from Melbourne in 1891, so they were hardly a powerful group by 1914. But the story is a terrific one.

    • #30 by womanandhersphere on May 25, 2015 - 10:07 am

      Good to hear from you again, Hels. My biography of Kate Parry Frye is only a click away – if you want to read it. No print edition, alas, but if you use an e-reader it’s available from both Amazon and iTunes.
      Best wishes

  18. #31 by Isobel Dolan on December 6, 2015 - 3:50 pm

    Hi there,

    Are you still sending printed catalogues out by chance? If so, how do I sign up?



  19. #32 by artandarchitecturemainly on December 11, 2015 - 6:19 am

    Kate Parry Frye: the long life of an Edwardian Actress and Suffragette was deservedly commissioned by a tv station and published as an e-book. Well worth giving to feminist history buffs.

    • #33 by womanandhersphere on December 11, 2015 - 9:41 am

      Well, Helen, I’m so very grateful to you for the recommendation.
      Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year

  20. #34 by gina luria walker on December 13, 2015 - 4:37 pm

    Dear Elizabeth,

    You may remember me for my work on Mary Hays (1759-1843) who, I have just learned, was the aunt of Matilda Hays.

    Through the new evidence produced by Timothy Whelan as Editor of the Henry Crabb Robinson Project and shared with me, I am writing a “female biography” of Mary Hays for a special issue of Women’s Writing on Female Biography that Mary Spongberg and I are editing. I would appreciate any information about Matilda Hays that adds to that more widely available. I have just read your intriguing piece,

    It is inspiring to see your continuing superb work.

    Gina Luria Walker

    • #35 by womanandhersphere on December 14, 2015 - 6:43 pm

      Gina – good to hear from you. I’m delighted that you are going to tease out more about the mysterious ‘Max’ Hays. My knowledge, alas, is more or less confined to the contents of this post. I found ‘Adrienne Hope’ so interesting because of the picture it painted of the expat life in Rome in the mid-19thc.
      Let me know when you publish anything on Matilda Hays and her circle.
      Best wishes

  21. #36 by Yongjun Lee on April 1, 2016 - 6:15 pm

    Hello, this indeed is a very valuable source for women’s’ voting right in a historical aspect.
    As a a matter of fact, we are currently working on a documentary called ‘The Vote,’ which mainly revolves around the human’s voting right. And we deemed this source very valuable and found this photo of Emily Davison laying dead on the ground on the day she got run over by the horse.
    We are actually in a bit of rush and I should have told you this earlier but we are planning to use the following photo for our documentary. Our deadline is 4/4.
    Please do tell me if there is any procedure that we have to go through in order to use this photo.
    Anyways, thanks for sharing such valuable information for the public good. Below is the link to the photo I am talking about:

    Thank you!

    • #37 by womanandhersphere on April 1, 2016 - 7:12 pm

      Thank you for getting in touch. I must, however point out that, as I mention in the article you refer to, I now do not think that the photograph does show Emily Wilding Davison at the 1913 Derby but a man, Harold Hewitt, who did a ‘copy cat’ action the following month at Ascot. In the light of this I think you probably should not use the photograph simply because it is likely to be historically incorrect. I do know about your programme because I was asked if I would talk about EWD to you but I gather there was a mixup and someone else did it. It’s a small world! Elizabeth

  22. #38 by gina luria walker on May 15, 2016 - 5:32 pm

    Dear Elizabeth,

    Do you have a copy for sale of A. F. Wedd’s Love-Letters of Mary Hays?

    Gina Luria Walker

  23. #39 by Hilary McCollum on May 27, 2016 - 9:30 pm

    Dear Elizabeth

    Do you have a copy of the pamphlet, A Suffragette Story by Grace Roe, referred to in the bibliography for the entry on Grace Roe in your reference guide to the Women’s Suffrage Movement.

    Best wishes


    • #40 by womanandhersphere on May 28, 2016 - 7:56 am

      Hilary – Alas, no. If only! It is v v scarce…
      Best wishes

  24. #41 by Katherine Kornblau on May 6, 2017 - 1:25 pm

    Dear Elizabeth,
    I am thrilled that I have found your site. It is such a wealth of information. Thank you for keeping this history alive and demanding that it be accurately relayed and portrayed. To that end, I am a jewelry designer in the USA setting out to create a meaningful, intelligent and beautiful group of jewelry that will represent the movement, the women and the struggle. I design for museum stores and it is very important to me that both my imagery, and my educational inserts that accompany it, are correct. I would very much appreciate your thoughts and guidance to visual materials I might want to consider while designing. I found your site when reading your rebuke of considering all green, purple and white jewelry of the period “suffragette jewelry”. I completely agree with your stance.
    I thank you in advance for any time and attention you can give to my request. I am very excited about this collection. It has been forming in my head for almost a year and I need to start to create it. It would be wonderful to bring it to life in honor of the centennial of the 19th amendment.

    Best Wishes,

  25. #42 by Helen Tierney on March 27, 2018 - 9:11 am

    Dear Elizabeth
    I know you are terribly busy this year so please don’t bother with this if so.
    Just a query about Mary Leigh’s presence at the Crematorium at Shaw’funeral-I was talking about this last night with Sue Morgan from Shaw’s Corner. I am convinced I have seen a rather grainy photo of her with her banner there but cannot locate it. Do you know about this image and where I might find it
    Best wishes
    Helen Tierney

    • #43 by womanandhersphere on April 4, 2018 - 12:41 pm

      Dear Helen
      I’m orry that I missed this message – until now. But I’m afraid I can yhrow no light on that Mary Leigh photo…

  26. #44 by Sharon Leyland on October 17, 2018 - 9:27 am

    My great grandmother elsie glover knight was adopted by Elizabeth knight , do you have any information on her.


    • #45 by womanandhersphere on October 25, 2018 - 2:34 pm

      I think we may have been in touch before…at least I do remember a previous enquiry about Elsie Knight. But, alas, I have no further info

  27. #46 by graham osborne on August 21, 2019 - 1:28 am

    Hello Mrs Crawford I think you might have Volume 3 of Votes for is described as a hefty bound volume 3 by Emmeline Pethick Lawrence and Frederick.this item should you still have it is £ you still have this?

  28. #48 by Lynda Magee on November 5, 2019 - 10:27 am

    Hello Elizabeth
    Congratulations on your OBE. and the work you have put in writing your books to inform women and help them understand how important the history of the many people who joined theThe Cause.
    I had not heard of more than a few names you mentioned.
    Best wishes
    Ps could i have a catalogue of your books please

  29. #49 by Karen Squire on April 26, 2020 - 8:38 pm

    Hi my name is karen Squire – my daughter is Hannah Squire who works for the National Trust and absolutely adores you! It is her 30th Birthday in June and I would love to buy her a piece of suffragette history to mark this special occasion. Could I possible purchase the plate you have for sale.
    My email address is
    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Many thanks

  30. #50 by Ian McCracken on August 7, 2020 - 6:51 am

    Dear Mrs Crawford
    I am a member of a local history group which looks into the “hidden history” of women’s role in various aspects of Scottish lives. We started by looking at those involved in the 1915 Rent Strike, but this year have started to focus on suffragettes. You can see more about this on

    Our intention is to research suffragettes from all over Scotland, many of whose contribution is unknown, and produce a card game to be widely distributed so as to raise awareness of them. This was an idea that we previously did very successfully about Govan -you can see more here

    As a retired librarian, I do most of the research for the group. I started by finding suffragettes for all the regions of Scotland- e g Barbara Steel for Dumfries/Galloway, Georgiana Solomon for Borders and so on.

    Having found your “women and her sphere” an invaluable resource I have taken the liberty of contacting you, as I thought you might be interested in our own project. I woukld be glad to tell you more about our ambitious plans

    Best wishes


    • #51 by womanandhersphere on August 18, 2020 - 10:12 am

      Ian ~ I do apologise for the delay in replying…and very many thanks for alerting me to your Scottish suffragette project. The idea of a card game sounds an excellent method of raising awareness. I’m sure you’ll have Ethel Moorhead on the list…she’s one of my favourites. But there are plenty to choose from. Have you looked at my Women’s Suffrage Movement: a regional survey? That would seem to be a useful source for your regional approach to the subject.
      Good luck,

  31. #52 by Don Anderson on November 25, 2022 - 1:18 pm

    Hello Elizabeth
    I have recently encountered your website and the rich seam of information about suffragettes.
    I am looking for detail of the identity of the suffragette Emma Bowen who, being arrested in March 1912 and charged for breaking windows by Bow St magistrates, was then held with 24 others in Birmingham Prison.
    Apart from suffragette Emma Bowen’s name, in press reports and magistrates or prison records, and a reference to her being a signatory in the Suffragette Autograph Album, there appears to be little more information about her.
    Many indications suggest that my Great Aunt Emma, who married Henry Albert Bowen in 1892, was in fact the suffragette Emma Bowen.

    Could you suggest any contacts, resources or publications which might confirm or broaden my research?

    Briefly, ‘Aunt’ Emma’s Black Country upbringing and life experiences would suggest that she would have been attracted to the Suffragette Movement(s). She is recorded as having been born Emma Anderson, in 1864 and baptised in 1865, in Dudley.
    After her father’s death just after the 1871 census, the 1881 census records her living with her mother and brother at Court 17, Wolverhampton St., Dudley. They would have been in abject poverty.
    Shortly after her mother’s death, Emma married Henry Albert Bowen in July 1892. Neither Emma nor Henry appear in any of the Census records for 1901, 1911 or 1921. However, I have a letter, written in 1918 by Emma’s brother Daniel with reference to visiting Emma, in Dudley, at that time.
    By 1939, Emma was in New Cross Institution, Wolverhampton and died there in 1941, age 76 years. She is recorded as being ‘formally of 35 Swan St. Dudley’, for which address there was no census record in 1911.

    • #53 by womanandhersphere on November 25, 2022 - 3:31 pm

      Dear Don
      Thanks for your message…I always enjoy a research query. However, in this case, I don’t think I can come to any firm conclusion. I have looked at the relevant newspapers and Home Office papers ..but it does seem impossible to identify the Emma Bowen arrested in March 1912 with any certainty. In one report she is ‘Miss’ and in another ‘Mrs’. Her age is given in a Home Office doc as ’45’, which would make her around the same age as your Emma Bowen – and it did appear that she was in the company that day in March 1912 with other women from the Birmingham area, and signed the prison autograph book of Adeline Redfern Wilde, a WSPU organiser (as you will have seen) But, for me, this is not really enough to conclude that she is definitely ‘Aunt’ Emma….It would have been helpful if there had been some passing mention of her in one of the suffragette newspapers – but poorer women are disproportionally not mentioned – unlikely to be recorded as giving donations, speaking at meetings etc. I’m sorry not to have been more help…Elizabeth

      • #54 by Don Anderson on November 26, 2022 - 11:39 am

        Thank you Elizabeth for your interest, investigation and reply about Emma Bowen.
        That there is not really enough information to conclude that she is definitely my ‘Aunt’ Emma, matches my current understanding. . . . Don

  1. Who was Algernon Moses Marsden? | The Hammock

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