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Suffrage Stories: Suffragettes And Their Dress

The apotheosis of suffragette dress

The term ‘suffragette’ was invented in 1906 by the Daily Mail, as a belittling epithet, and was then adopted as a badge of honour by the women it sought to demean. These women – the suffragettes –campaigning for the parliamentary vote –  were members of what are termed the ‘militant’ suffrage society – the Women’s Social and Political Union, led by Mrs Pankhurst and her daughters.

It would be possible to approach the subject of suffragettes and their dress chronologically because during what we think of as the Edwardian years, that is from 1901 to 1914, women’s dress did alter decisively, from the curvy, rather fussy outline, topped by a large hat, of the early years to the more tailored look in the year or so before the outbreak of war. It could be argued that this was not unconnected to the growing importance and popularity of the campaign for ‘votes for women’. However, I thought it would be interesting to approach the topic from a different angle – to see whether the suffragettes used dress as a weapon in their campaign and, if so, why and how.

The suffragettes were by no means the first women in Britain to campaign for the right to vote in parliamentary elections. That campaign had begun 40 years earlier, in 1866, when John Stuart Mill, then MP for Westminster, presented a petition to the House of Commons asking for the vote for women on the same terms as it was granted to men. Why were women barred from voting? The one reason – unarguable in its unreasonableness – was simply that in the mid 19th c the act of voting was gendered male – just as the army, the navy and the church were male. The ballot was not secret, votes were bought with beer, and the hustings were notorious for scenes of drunken brawling.  Women who claimed a right to enter this world were transgressing the gender divide. In consequence, such women were either regarded, negatively, as insufficiently womanly – the jibe was that they must want the vote to make up for their lack of charms – or as positively masculine – as women aping men. Either way the popular verdict was that these ‘women’s righters’ were embarrassments –  figures of fun.

As dress may be taken as the outer signifier of inner thought, the appearance of women who campaigned for the vote was always a matter to be given serious consideration.– both during the 19th century and then during the Edwardian campaign.

This is Punch’s view of the presentation of that first petition. The representation of the women – the ‘persons’ – whom Mill is leading – does reflect something in demeanour and dress of the women who organised the petition. They were, on the whole, self-confident, young middle-class women  – the wearers of muffs and fashionable bonnets. The more elderly woman with glasses represented the earnestness of the movement – while the image of the old woman with the umbrella – as depicted, a member of a class of women who would have no hope of gaining the vote, which was based on property holding – was the caricature that was to feature in both 19th and 20th c popular representations of the suffrage movement, particularly on comic postcards in the Edwardian period.

Agnes and Millicent Garrett

The petition had been put together very quickly – women went round their friends, relations and neighbours asking for signatures.Here are two young women who did just that – in Aldeburgh in Suffolk. They are Millicent Garrett, sitting down, and her sister, Agnes.  As you will note they are entirely conventionally attired as young women of the 1860s. Both were to be involved in the suffrage campaign all their long lives – Millicent Garrett, as Mrs Millicent Fawcett, was to negotiate women to the ballot box in 1918.

 

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, 1889 – doctor, founder of the New Hospital for Women, dean of the London School of Medicine for Women, wife and mother

Millicent and Agnes very much looked up to their elder sister, Elizabeth, who, in spite of many difficulties put in her way, had in 1866 managed to become the first woman to qualify in Britain as a doctor. She was one of those in London who were organizing the suffrage petition. Again, all her life she made no particular statement about her looks – but dressed in such a way that, within the bounds of conventional fashion, she could carry out her work as a doctor in the hospital she founded and as lecturer and eventually dean of the London School of Medicine for Women.  Like Millicent, she was, at this time, very much of the view that women would get the vote by proving themselves worthy – not by upsetting the establishment. One aspect of this was that from the very beginning of the campaign it was recognised that women were more likely to be taken seriously – or at least, not dismissed out of hand – if in outward appearance  – in dress and demeanour – they conformed to the general ‘look’ expected of women – that is, if they placed themselves firmly on the female side of the gender divide and  avoided looking either unwomanly or mannish.  For instance, when in 1870  public suffrage meetings was being planned in London, Elizabeth Garrett, who was something of a cynic, suggested that it would be a good idea to make sure that only pretty, well-dressed women filled the front row.

At a time when it was still exceptional for a well-brought up woman to speak on a public platform, suffrage speakers quickly made their mark and by 1874 Punch had already made up its mind on the subject of the dress of a typical suffrage campaigner. Here the cartoonist has elected to depict her as positively masculine. Now, just such a woman as Punch was referring to – a famous champion of women’s rights, although by all accounts very much more attractive in the flesh – was Rhoda Garrett – who was not only the cousin of Agnes, Elizabeth and Millicent, but also the partner, both in an interior design business and in life, of Agnes. 

An engraving of Rhoda speaking at a London public meeting in 1872, shows her wearing an outfit such as that in the Punch cartoon –  a loose jacket and skirt. She is hatless and her hair is loose and she certainly doesn’t look to be corseted. Rhoda was on the radical wing of the suffrage movement – her attire reflecting her freer approach   She was prepared, for instance, openly to support the campaign to repeal the Contagious Diseases Acts. Millicent Fawcett, on the other hand, believed that it was dangerous to the suffrage cause to mix it in the public mind with any mention of prostitution. You can see Millicent here on the left, with hair braided, shawl draped.

Rhoda Garrett died in 1882 – when barely 40 – and is now little remembered. If she had lived she might well have made a very interesting figurehead for the suffrage movement – both in terms of the substance of her speeches and in her idiosyncratic style of dress.

But by the beginning of the 20th century, despite the hundreds and hundreds of meetings, petitions presented and bills debated, women were still denied the vote – even though by then the act of voting only meant, as it does now, putting a piece of paper into a box, the electoral hustings no longer involved hard drinking and unseemly brawls and women had already won the right to vote for many local government bodies.

Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst

In October 1903 Emmeline Pankhurst decided to form her own pressure group – the Women’s Social and Political Union – to make a determined effort to move the campaign forward.  She had been involved with the suffrage movement since the 1880s when living with her husband and children in Manchester. Despite spending some years moving in London Arts and Crafts circles, Emmeline always remained more a figure rendered by Tissot than Burne-Jones. She preferred Parisian modes to Pre-Raphaelite drapery. By the time she founded the WSPU she was a widow, back living in Manchester.  It took a couple of years to gather steam and it was when the WSPU began to make itself seen and heard in London that the term ‘suffragette’ was coined. By 1906 the difference between the suffragettes and the original campaigners – the ‘suffragists’ – had become clear.

Emmeline Pankhurst arrested, 1908

The WSPU were prepared to demonstrate in an increasingly militant fashion, while the suffragists, members of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies – known as the NUWSS – led by Millicent Fawcett, remained ‘constitutional’ – that is they would not contemplate breaking any aspect of the law.  Even when under arrest Mrs Pankhurst contrived to look elegant and womanly.

Christabel Pankhurst

Emmeline Pankhurst was soon joined in the WSPU by her eldest daughter, Christabel. The photograph above dates from c 1908 – her dress is rather more ‘artistic’ than her mother’s – the brooch may have been designed by C.R. Ashbee.

Christabel Pankhurst, by ‘Spy’

In the Vanity Fair ‘Spy’ cartoon from a couple of years later she appears to be wearing the same gown – which we can now see is green, a favourite colour. Grace Roe, who was to become a life-long friend, has left a description of the first time she saw Emmeline and Christabel speaking – at a WSPU rally in Hyde Park in 1908. Although she was interested in the women’s suffrage movement she had been put off by the press reports and was afraid that Emmeline and Christabel might be ‘unwomanly women’. However, she was delighted to discover that, on the contrary, ‘There was Mrs Pankhurst, this magnificent figure, like a queen’ and Christabel who ‘had taken off her bonnet and cloak, and was wearing a green tussore silk dress. She was very graceful, had lovely hands and a wonderful way of using them.’

Christabel Pankhurst, 1909

And here is Christabel again, photographed  at the Women’s Exhibition – a WSPU bazaar that was both fund and image-raising – held in Knightsbridge in 1909. And that is a hat that is intended to disarm – to secure her as a ‘womanly woman ‘ and disprove any association with the Shrieking Sisterhood. The photographs of Emmeline and Christabel– as were many others of the leaders – were reproduced on postcards, which were sold by the WSPU. By doing so they not only advertised that they conformed to accepted views of womanhood, but raised money in the process.

Sylvia Pankhurst

Emmeline Pankhurst’s second daughter, Sylvia, was an artist, and had trained at Royal College of Art. She eventually broke away from Emmeline and Christabel to pursue the campaign for the vote from a base among the working women of the East End. She always appears conventionally, if carelessly, dressed and in 1911 the WSPU newspaper, Votes for Women, characterised her as too busy to be ‘bothered about her hair, or the hang of her skirt. Another suffragette described her as dressing ‘like a Quakeress in sober browns and greys’. But when the occasion demanded even she, radical that she was, was prepared to make an effort. During an American tour in 1911 a reporter in Des Moines described her arriving at a suffrage meeting, a ‘pink-cheeked slender girl clad in a trailing gown of creamy silk, [who] dropped modestly into a seat on the platform and raised her blue eyes to meet the hundreds in the audience.’

Emmeline Pethick Lawrence

Emmeline Pethick Lawrence and her husband, Frederick, were wealthy philanthropists –  working philanthropists- who brought both money and organisational skill to the WSPU, joining the Pankhursts as its leaders. Mrs Pethick Lawrence was particularly disturbed by the exploitation of girls working in the London dress trade and in the early years of the 20th century founded a club for them. In fact, in the mid-19th century, right at the very beginning of the suffrage campaign, it had been concern for what were then termed ‘needlewomen’ that had dominated much of the discourse. Although, of course, such women would not be emancipated under the terms for which the vote was being demanded, middle-class women thought that if they had the vote they would be able to improve the lives of their working-class sisters. The irony of women slaving to provide new fashions for other women was not lost on the campaigners. Emmeline Pethick Lawrence set up not only a club, but also a tailoring co-operative – ‘Maison Esperance’ – to free at least a few girls from exploitation. It was based first in Great Portland Street and then in Wigmore Street. As you see, Emmeline Pethick Lawrence favoured rather loose, flowing garments – richly embroidered, tasselled – floating scarves. I think they qualify as artistic; she was certainly rather fey and spiritual.

Annie Kenney with Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy

These women were, of course, all middle-class, but the WSPU also had its working-class icons – the most important of whom was Annie Kenney. Until swept up by the Pankhursts, she had been a mill girl in Lancashire – and for many of her early public appearances she was dressed in shawl and clogs – for effect, I may say. That is not how she would have chosen to dress. In the photograph on the left she appears in the mill girl guise, alongside Mrs Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy, who had been one of the earliest of the suffrage campaigners. Mrs Elmy was impoverished – what money she had was spent on campaigning – and totally unworldly – her ringletted hair was styled as it had been in her youth  – but was well aware that it would never do, as she said, to ‘look a scarecrow’ when appearing in public. So friends united in providing her with a new gown when necessary, ensuring that her appearance was commensurate with her importance in the movement.

Annie Kenney

Rather than shawl and clogs Annie Kenney much preferred the type of garments that those with whom she now associated wore – such as she wears in the above photo. Thus, in December 1906, for a dinner given at the Savoy by Mrs Fawcett and the NUWSS  to celebrate the  release of WSPU prisoners, Annie recorded that ‘Mrs Lawrence bought me a very pretty green silk Liberty dress for the occasion, and I wore a piece of real lace. I was so pleased with both.

Flora Drummond, Emmeline Pankhurst and Christabel Pankhurst arrested 1908

For by the autumn of 1906 WSPU militancy now involved arrest and imprisonment. This photograph was taken a couple of years later – at the WSPU office in Clement’s Inn in the Strand and shows the leaders being arrested by Inspector Jarvis of the Yard. From this we can get a good indication of their normal daywear. From left to right they are Mrs Flora Drummond – Mrs Pankhurst – and Christabel. Annie Kenney looks down from the poster on wall

Pageantry

But alongside militancy that led to arrest was militancy that merely involved making a peaceful, public demonstration. Although the WSPU’s first London march in 1906 comprised women from the East End, many carrying their babies, the WSPU did not pursue its involvement with working-class women. Wealthier women were more able to contribute not only funds but a more glamorous presence on the streets. It was they who were mustered for the spectacles of pageantry that the WSPU in successive years mounted in London – and in provincial cities. These displays gave the photographers material to record. Both still and moving cameras were used – for newsreel of the occasions was shown in cinemas.

Emmeline Pethick Lawrence, June 1908

The WSPU staged the first of their major pageants in Hyde Park in June 1908. It was estimated that a quarter of a million people attended. In order to make as dramatic an effect as possible Mrs Pethick Lawrence suggested that women should wear white –  and, of course, – as we see here – did so herself.  .One suffragette, Jessie Stephenson, has left a description of how ‘my milliner and dressmaker took endless pains with my attire. A white lacy muslin dress, white shoes and stockings and gloves and, like an order, across the breast, the broad band in purple, white and green emblazoned “Votes for Women”, a white shady hat trimmed with white’. The mother of another WSPU member, Mary Blathwayt from Bath, recorded in her diary that Mary was dressed ‘in white muslin with the scarf  crosswise over her shoulder’.– as the woman on the left wearing .

The scarf was a new piece of merchandise – a motoring scarf in the new WSPU colours of purple, white and green – a combination devised by  Emmeline Pethick Lawrence to represent the WSPU brand – and with which the WSPU is still associated. The colours were used on programmes, rosettes, flags and banners and on the sashes the women draped across themselves.

Even Mrs Wolstenholme Elmy wore a sash, standing alongside Mrs Pankhurst. She has left us details of the bouquet she was given to carry –advertising the WSPU’s colours in a composition of ‘ferns, huge purple lilies and lily of the valley’.

Christabel, 1910 – in THAT coat

The colours were not only employed in the course of the pageants. In Nov 1910 Christabel Pankhurst was one of the leaders of a deputation of all the women’s suffrage societies to Asquith and Lloyd George and for the occasion dressed in a coat with wide satin lapels in purple, white and green. The journalist Henry Nevinson commented in his diary that it was ‘fine – but a little overdone for the morning.’

WSPU Shop – Putney

In order to sell the merchandise, the local WSPU societies opened shops – taking short leases on high street properties, just as charity shops do today. This is the one run by the Putney society. They produced a wide-range of tempting goods  – from board and card games, to ‘Votes for Women’ tea and soap and ‘Emmeline’ and ‘Christabel’ bags. The Pankhursts were the Alexa Chungs of their day. But one of the most popular type of merchandise was what might be loosely termed ‘jewellery’. This ranged from mass-produced badges to hand-wrought items. One WSPU diarist recorded that the local society ‘had taken a shop in the central part of the town, and decorated it beautifully with purple, white and green flags. On a counter I saw piles of leaflets, pamphlets and Suffragette literature, also very pretty little brooches in the colours, one of which I bought and intend always to wear’

Jewish League for Women’s Suffrage – badge

The WSPU had very quickly developed the idea of creating such symbols to be worn to indicate support for their cause. Soon all the suffrage societies, ranging through the Women’s Freedom League, the Actresses’ Franchise League, the Church League for Women’s Suffrage, the NUWSS, the  Men’s League and, as here, the Jewish League all  had their own colours and badges.

Something of an irritating mythology has gathered around the concept of ‘suffragette jewellery’, fostered by dealers and auction houses who like to claim that any piece with stones approximating to the colours purple, white and green, must be of suffragette association. Although, at the height of the WSPU campaign, such pieces certainly were manufactured both by commercial and craft jewellers, it is now very difficult to identify them with any certainty as suffragette – amethysts, pearls and demantoid garnets or emeralds were very commonly used in Edwardian jewellery. We do know that some pieces were made with the WSPU in mind. For instance, in December 1909 Mappin and Webb issued a catalogue of ‘Suffragette jewellery’.

And this silver and enamel pendant using a design by Sylvia Pankhurst was certainly made and sold in WSPU shops. And in Votes for Women craft workers advertised jewellery made up in the colours and the numerous fund-raising bazaars provided ample opportunity for purchasing such items of jewellery associated with the movement.

Pendant made by Ernestine Mills

We also know that one-off pieces of suffragette jewellery were made.In 1909 Ernestine Mills, an enameller who was a WSPU supporter, was commissioned by the Chelsea WSPU to make a pendant for one of their members on her release from prison. In silver enamel, it depicted the winged figure of Hope singing outside the prison bars and was held by a chain made up of purple, white and green stones. Above is a pendant made by ernestine Mills for an Irish suffragette.

The symbolism of both jewellery and of military decoration is realized in a portrait of Flora Drummond, painted in 1936, that now hangs in the Scottish Portrait Gallery. She was a Scots woman living in Manchester who along with, or despite, her husband and young son, was swept into the WSPU in its very early days. As you can see, she took to it with a will –and was known as General Drummond. .For her portrait  she wore a large pendant of purple, white and green stones alongside the WSPU equivalent of the Victoria Cross – the hunger-strike medal.

As you can see from this photo, held by the Museum of London, the WSPU by 1908 or so had, alongside its desire for its members to be seen as womanly women, begun to embrace a more military ethos. Uniform – or at least uniformity – were important elements when producing pageantry and processions – in creating a spectacle. Here we see a suffragette acting as a standard bearer You will note how like a uniform she has made her outfit – although all the individual pieces are, I imagine, conventional

l-r Emmeline Pethick Lawrence, Christabel Pankhurst, Sylvia Pankhurst, and Emily Wilding Davison, Hyde Park, 1910

For the major suffragette demonstration in Hyde Park in 1910 the WSPU paper,Votes for Women, asked those taking part to march eyes front, like a soldier and ‘to remember you are just a unit in a great whole’. Hints were also given on how to dress.  ‘Don’t wear gowns that have to be held up. Don’t wear enormous hats that block the view. Do wear white if possible. Do in any case keep to the colours.’ .Emmeline Pethick Lawrence, who was probably responsible for this edict, took her own advice. She wore a lovely dress – with a hem that was perhaps weighted in someway, to bell out a little, clearing the ground. She wears a loose lacy long jacket over the dress – also white. Her hat may have been purple or green – although of course one cannot tell from the photograph – and is neat and close fitting. Her gloves are white and she carries a little bag – again probably in purple or green. Sylvia is holding one of the placards she had designed that were a feature of this procession –a  convict’s arrow was superimposed on the House of Commons portcullis – symbolising the lengths that women were prepared to go to gain the vote. Christabel is in academic dress – she had graduated in 1906 with a first-class degree in law from Manchester University. In all the major processions graduates marched as a group –   emphasising the fact that, although they had attained scholastic heights, they were still denied the vote.

Emily Wilding Davison

Emily Wilding Davison is the other figure in academic dress in the Hyde Park photo and on a separate occasion sat for a studio photographer in academic dress – she had gained her degree in the 1890’s. The photograph can be dated to some time after 1908 by the fact that she is wearing a particular brooch – the WSPU Holloway badge – given to women who had been imprisoned. This was the photograph that the WSPU chose to publish in the press and on postcards after her death at the Derby in 1913 – the image chosen to reinforce the idea of intellectual achievement – of noble womanhood sacrificed.

In 1911, Britain having badefarewell to King Edward the previous year, prepared to celebrate the coronation of the new king. The suffragettes, in a spirit of truce, held back on their militant campaign to stage perhaps their most spectacular procession – and demonstrate, in mass, their womanliness. 

For this procession the WSPU organized separate contingents representing different groups –their dress making specific statements.

This is the Indian contingent.

 Nurses – who always received a warm welcome from bystanders as they marched past

Members of Cymric Suffrage Society – the welsh suffrage society – dressed in their regional costume

Cicely Hamilton, seen here (3rd from left) carrying the Women Writers Suffrage League banner, was very much a lady who favoured the tailor rather than the dressmaker. In her autobiography she wrote: ‘A curious characteristic of the militant suffragette movement was the importance it attached to dress and appearance, and its insistence on the feminine note. In the WSPU all suggestion of the masculine was carefully avoided, and the outfit of a militant setting forth to smash windows would probably include a picture hat.’

But be that as it may, there were some women who were able within the WSPU to adopt a role that allowed them to wear clothing more masculine than was otherwise acceptable. Here we see Vera – also known as Jack –  Holme, the WSPU’s chauffeur.  Involvement with the WSPU allowed her very much more scope to lead the kind of life she wanted – previously she had been an actress in the D’Oyly Carte. As Mrs Pankhurst’s chauffeur she wore a striking uniform in the WSPU colours, with a smart peaked cap decorated with her RAC badge of efficiency – atop her decidedly short hair.

Advertisement from ‘Votes for Women’

She lived with the Hon Evelina Haverfield  who appeared in the pages of Votes for Women in 1912 giving her imprimatur to the Omne Tempus raincoat – an ideal coat for town, county and campaigning.

As the suffrage battle grew more ever more physical, so the imagery became more military – if of a feminised kind. This poster was used after 1912 to advertise the Suffragette,the successor paper to Votes for Women. By now, Joan of Arc was often invoked as a role model

And, paradoxically, it was the womanly skills of WSPU members that were used to make many of the banners, flags and pennants that were carried by the marchers into the suffrage battle. And to raise funds for what was actually called ‘The War Chest’, the WSPU held grand bazaars. Of these the grandest was the one held in Knightsbridge in 1909. Here, in this photograph held by the Museum of London, we see Mrs Pankhurst manning the hat stall there – she had appealed for hats, veils, scarves, hair ornaments etc’. Hats clearly had their part to play in the woman’s struggle – although hat ornamentation could arouse strong feelings. Some suffragettes, many of whom combined interests in anti-vivisection and vegetarianism with their support for votes for women, were involved in a campaign to prohibit the wearing of feathers in hats.

But hat-wearing was de rigueur – even when setting out to commit arson. To have been hatless would have been to attract attention. When Emily Wilding Davison ran in front of the King’s horse in 1913–  she was wearing a hat. Newsreel, that you can watch here, shows it bowling across the grass as she fell.

After Emily Wilding Davison’s death – the WSPU gave her a magnificent funeral. You can see the women dressed – very femininely -in white –  guarding the coffin, holding their lilies like swords. One rank and file member, Alice Singer,  recorded in her diary the day before the funeral that she had just bought a black armband to wear as she watched the procession from the pavement. And Kate Frye (who’s diary I have edited) bought a black hat specifically for the occasion.

This was the last big pageant –soon the WSPU was being harried by the police – it had to move out of its office, many of its leaders were in prison and Christabel had fled to France to avoid arrest. The society no longer had the resources to devote to pageantry

But whatever the suffragettes did to construct an image of co-ordinated determination, even if they might not always have achieved the ultimate goal of grace and nobility,  the popular view of them had changed little. The Edwardian era saw the flourishing of the postcard trade and suffragettes were a boon to illustrators.

Their stereotypical attributes were glasses, big feet, tailored clothes, collar and tie, a billycock hat and an umbrella.

Lady Constance Lytton as ‘Jane Wharton’

The image was even accepted as ‘authentic’ by the suffragettes themselves. When Lady Constance Lytton wished to ensure that she would be arrested – which, on account of her family connections, would not have happened if she had been recognised – she disguised herself as a stereotypical ‘suffragette’ – and was duly imprisoned.

Daily Life as suffragette supporter

[pic] But life as a suffragette was not all processions, marching and pageantry. It’s clear from a wide range of photographs that rank- and- file suffragettes came in all shapes and sizes and in daily life favoured a variety of ‘looks’. As I have noted, depending on the taste of the wearer, these ranged from the feminine and fancy, through the artistic, to the tailored. This range in style is reflected in the advertisements that appear in Votes for Women.

For instance, regular advertisers included Maud Barham, Artistic and original dresses, hand embroideries, djibbahs, coats and hats;

Amy Kotze, Artistic dresses and coats – for women and children –  and Miss Folkard, Artistic dress and mantle maker. One woman who did favour the artistic look was prepared to make a sacrifice for the cause. On 2 November 1911 Alice Singer wrote in her diary that ‘I sold my Liberty smock to Vera Wentworth [she was another WSPU member]– proceeds 5/- to WSPU’

 As for the tailored look, Alfred Day, ladies’ tailor, of Regent’s Park, was a regular advertiser, while the more conventional dresser was addressed by Madame Rebecca Gordon, court milliner and dressmaker.

This shop appealed directly to suffragettes in London to take part in the 1911 WSPU Coronation Procession

Major stores such as Debenham and Freebody, Whiteleys and Pontings clearly thought it worth their while to advertise a variety of styles  – tying in their advertising to current suffragette activities – whether  electioneering or processing.  Other advertisers included Regal Corset Parlor, whose slogan was – at least in Votes for Women – ‘Support the Women’.

However, whatever style was favoured, the wearing of the colours in everyday life was the sign of a committed suffragette. One writer mentions that in her experience a white costume, green straw hat and purple scarf was a very appropriate outfit for a WSPU member. In another, perhaps fictional, diary, when the suffragette heroine is persuading someone who is becoming interested in the WSPU, but does not want to fight with policemen, she tells her that ‘Derry and Toms have charming hats in the colours – they are really most becoming’ – thereby suggesting that she could participate in the fight for the vote by merely wearing the correct hat.

Other suffragettes were prepared to make a very much more public display of themselves. Many elderly suffragettes have recorded how, as gently-brought up girls, selling Votes for Women in the street took considerable courage. In the above photo we see that Vera Wentworth (to whom, as I mentioned, Alice Singer sold her Liberty smock) is the centre of attention as she advertises a WSPU procession.

Prison

 But, increasingly, being a suffragette required more than social courage  – it also involved the risk of being sent to prison. Before arrest, confrontations with the police could lead to physical manhandling and for one notorious scrum in Parliament square in November 1910 women altered their usual attire by stuffing cardboard down their fronts – armour indeed.

Mrs Pankhurst in a mocked-up prison cell, in prison dress

Many suffragettes have left memories of their time in gaol. The clothes are particularly remembered. One wrote ‘We wore a uniform – a green dress, thick serge, a little white cap on one’s head, an apron of blue and white check cotton and a round disc the colour of wash leather which had a number.’ Others remembered that in the early years underclothing was patched, stained and foul smelling – a particular horror.

But they put their prison dress to good use. Replica costumes were run up and were worn when campaigning at by elections, for  parades, to show solidarity when meeting released prisoners at Holloway or, as in the photo of Mrs Pankhurst (above), at bazaars.

In November 1911 members of the WSPU adopted a new tactic and organised a mass breaking of windows in the West End and Knightsbridge. It was now thought that conventional methods of campaigning had achieved nothing and that violence – of a sort – was the answer. They called it the argument of the broken glass. Kate Frye, who did not actually wield a hammer, wrote in her diary on 21 November 1911, ‘I went in to Lyons and had coffee and a sandwich. Who should I happen to sit next but Miss Ada Moore [a popular actress and suffragette] and 2 ladies – ready for the fray. I wonder I wasn’t arrested as one – for I soon realized I was dressed for the part to the life. Long cloth ulster or coat, light hat and veil was the correct costume – no bag purse – umbrella or any extra.’ Muffs were a fashionable accessory at the time and were useful for concealing the hammer used to smash the windows. Three months later some members of the Chelsea WSPU adapted their dress by sewing special pockets to hang down inside their skirts in which to conceal stones to throw at windows. The attack on the very stores of which they were the main customers began shortly before closing time.

Alice Singer wrote in her diary on 24 February 1912 – ‘Wrote to offer myself as window breaking for 4th March, if Mrs Pankhurst thinks I shan’t disgrace the Cause’. And on the 27th February wrote’ Walked about the Suburb [that is Hampstead Garden Suburb] trying to find someone to make me a new frock to wear when I return from Holloway Gaol’. That certainly demonstrates a certain insouciance.

Holloway brooch – as awarded to Alice Singer for her imprisonment. She did not go on hunger strike

Hunger-strike medal in its presentation box

But it was not only imprisonment that women were prepared to face. Many also adopted the hungerstrike. Women who had undergone imprisonment and forcible feeding received recognition from the WSPU. The Holloway badge was given for imprisonment – and the medal – a metal disc inscribed with name and date suspended from a military style ribbon – for those that went on hunger-strike.  These were awarded with some ceremony. For instance, on 15 June 1912, after the sentences incurred by the window breakers had been served, Alice Singer wrote in her diary, ‘rousing meeting at Albert Hall. All the 1st and 4 March prisoners released to date marched in two specially reserved places. I wore my prison-gate brooch for first time.’ These decorations were very much treasured. I’ve already mentioned that Flora Drummond is wearing her hunger-strike medal in her portrait – and many of the other leaders – Mrs Pankhurst, Lady Constance Lytton, and Mary Gawthorpe are ones that come immediately to mind – made sure that when they are photographed their Holloway badge and/or hunger-strike medal is prominently displayed.

Suffragettes photographed in prison

Interestingly, for all the significance given to prison uniform, many of the women who were imprisoned and on hunger-strike in 1912 and later – were able to wear their own clothes. This was after the government had passed a rule allowing them special treatment. These photographs were taken in the exercise yard at Holloway by a hidden photographer. They were wanted by Scotland Yard to send out to museums, galleries and other likely sites of suffragette attack. The photographs are interesting as in them we can see what women of the period looked like when not dressed up for the camera. I imagine that they may not have been very useful in identifying likely attackers  – as presumably when approaching a gallery or some such place the women would be rather more carefully dressed – and have regained some of their lost weight. Some WSPU members would allow nothing – not even prison – to interfere with their standards of dress. .Janie Allan, a wealthy Scot imprisoned in Holloway, was remembered as ‘always correctly dressed for Exercise in hat and lemon kid gloves’

Grace Roe, Christabel’s deputy, was arrested in 1914 – wearing this rather becoming tailored suit.

Mrs Pankhurst arrested outside Buckingham Palace, May 1914

Whereas Mrs Pankhurst, arrested a couple of months later while leading a violent protest outside Buckingham Palace, still retains something of her Parisian style. She took size 3½ in shoes – they look so dainty dangling there – belying all the crude postcard caricatures. In 1910 she had lost one in a scuffle with police – and it is now held by the Museum of London.

Christabel Pankhurst – relaxing in Paris

And it was to Paris that Christabel had escaped in March 1912 – just after the window-breaking campaign – to avoid arrest on a charge of criminal damage. She spent the final 2 and a half years of the campaign there – clearly very relaxed – while those who followed her militant policy were imprisoned and on hunger strike.

The WSPU campaign ended with the outbreak of war. It was the NUWSS, led by Millicent Fawcett, that in 1918 negotiated women – or at least women over 30 – to the ballot box – and to the opportunity of sitting in parliament.

So, to summarise, we have seen that the suffragettes did use dress as a weapon in their campaign.  They were encouraged to dress in such a way as to define themselves as womanly –  but united. To this end the WSPU attempted to impose its brand on its members – encouraging them to wear its merchandise and colours, both as they went about their daily life and when they took part in the society’s spectacular processions. The WSPU never sought to be at the avant-garde of fashion but the tailored look that became increasingly popular in the couple of years before the outbreak of war coincided with the increasingly physically-militant tactics of the suffragette campaign. Women could still be fashionable – and therefore womanly – yet present themselves in a more streamlined – less curvaceous – way than in the past. This more tailored silhouette echoed the increasingly masculine – physical force – argument that the WSPU was now professing.

I will end with an image we saw earlier – of the suffragette as a feminine warrior – a rather dainty Joan of Arc – as first depicted on the WSPU poster and here, to the right in the photograph, in the shape of a dress made by Leonora Cohen, a Leeds suffragette, to wear in 1914 to the Leeds Arts Club Ball. The paper designs, presumably cut from the poster, are pasted on the dress which is made of turquoise rayon. The dress, now preserved in Leeds City Museum, recently conserved – and rather more sophisticatedly displayed – is testament to the willingness of at least one suffragette to clothe herself in her cause.

This blog is based on a talk that I gave to the Costume Society in 2010.

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Suffrage Stories: Murder, Suicide, and Dancing: Or What Might Have Brought Mrs Pankhurst to 62 Nelson Street?

60 (on the right) and 62 Nelson Street, Manchester – The Pankhurst Centre

I hope those acquainted with my website will also be aware of the existence of the Pankhurst Centre in Manchester. If so, you will know that the Centre comprises two houses, 60 and 62 Nelson Street, the only buildings from the original early 19th-century street still standing, surrounded by the ever-expanding complex of Manchester Royal Infirmary. That the adjoining villas, built c 1840, are still there is due only to the fact that it was at number 62 in October 1903 that Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst founded the Women’s Social and Political Union. The buildings were listed Grade 2* in 1974 to save them from demolition.

Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst and her children, Christabel, Sylvia, Adela, and Harry moved into 62 Nelson Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester, in the autumn of 1898. Her husband, Dr Richard Pankhurst, had died in the summer, on 5 July, leaving very little money, and his family was forced to economise by moving from their home, 4 Buckingham Crescent, Daisy Bank Road, Victoria Park, into a property cheaper to rent.

Mrs Pankhurst could have moved to any area of Manchester, so why was 62 Nelson Street chosen as the new family home?

In 1894 Mrs Pankhurst had been elected to the Chorlton Board of Guardians as a Poor Law Guardian, an unpaid position. Now, in the summer of 1898, she had to earn enough to support herself and her family and so on 30 August she resigned and, instead, accepted the offer made by the Board of Guardians of the post of salaried registrar of births, marriages, and deaths for Chorlton-on-Medlock.

Chorlton had been urbanized in the early 19th c, when streets of terraced houses were built to house the workers required to operate the large mills newly erected alongside the River Irwell. It was an area very much less salubrious than Victoria Park, but Nelson Street, off Oxford Road, was more refined than most surrounding streets. It was also a street that was well-known to the two eldest Pankhurst daughters.

I have never seen any mention in Pankhurst biographies and autobiographies of this apparent coincidence, but it was at number 60 that Christabel and, I think, Sylvia, had been regular visitors, students at the dancing school run by Mrs W. Webster and her brother. Although the name of the dance teachers does appear in Sylvia Pankhurst’s The Suffragette Movement, she makes no mention of the school’s address. Sylvia wrote:

‘We learned dancing from the Websters, an old dancing family in Manchester, and Christabel, who hitherto had never cared much or long for anything, roused herself to unexpected efforts to excel everyone in the class’. Sylvia suggests that Christabel, whom her mother intended should be a dancer, had taken lessons for several years before becoming ‘suddenly tired of the project’ around the time she was 16, that is in 1896.

In the years between 1890 and 1896 the dancing academy was run by Mrs W. Webster and her brother. Until his early death in 1890 the dancing master had been William Hilton Webster and the school had then been continued by his widow. She was Ellen Marianne Webster (née Goodman), who had been a cousin to her husband. For reasons that are unclear, her brother, Archie, changed his name from Goodman to Webster, perhaps to capitalize on the ‘Webster’ name, which, as Sylvia suggests, had long been synonymous in Manchester with ‘dance’, as William Hilton Webster’s father had been a dance teacher there from the 1870s. William Webster had moved to 60 Nelson Street in 1884, taking over the premises and goodwill of another dancing master, ‘Monsieur Paris’.

Christabel would have been taught by either or both Ellen and Archie Webster. The lessons offered were not for ballet dancing, but general classes for ballroom dancing and private classes for waltz, skirt,and serpentine dancing. Although I have no evidence, it strikes me that it must have been the latter types of semi-burlesque dance that, according to Sylvia, Mrs Pankhurst hoped Christabel would – as’ a professional devotee of Terpsichore’ – perform in the great cities of the world. A studio photograph of Christabel posed, with pointed foot, holding up with both hands material from her long, flowing dress, is exactly illustrative of a skirt dance. It was taken in Geneva in the summer of 1898 and is reproduced in June Purvis’ biography of Christabel.

Widowed Ellen Webster had four young children, two boys and two girls, and in 1893 remarried, her second husband being Charles Joseph Rourke, a cotton waste merchant. It was presumably during the next couple of years or so that Christabel and, perhaps, Sylvia were attending classes. They may still have been doing so when, in October 1895, 60 Nelson Street hit the headlines in newspapers around the country. Ellen Webster had committed suicide, murdering the elder of her sons at the same time. She had poisoned herself and both sons, but the younger recovered. Her daughters were at a boarding school in Sale, Cheshire, and although she had sent a servant to bring them home, apparently with the idea of killing them as well, their arrival was delayed, and they were saved. The inquest returned a verdict of murder and suicide, due to temporary insanity. The funeral of poor Ellen Webster and her son was held at St Aloysius Church, Ardwick, where she had been married a couple of years earlier.

Thus, in 1898, when Emmeline Pankhurst was looking for a house to rent, she would have been well acquainted with Nelson Street, not only as the address of the dancing school that her daughters had attended but as the site of a very recent Manchester tragedy.   

Concert at Schiller Anstalt Institute, 1895 (courtesy of Manchester Central Library Collection)

Besides the dancing school Nelson Street contained another cultural centre at number 66 – the Schiller Anstalt Institute – a centre for the large Manchester German community. The Institute was housed in a building that had been converted from domestic use in 1886 and now offered a concert hall and gymnasium, holding a regular programme of lectures and musical activities [For more information about the Institute see here.] The Institute did not close until 1911 and it may well be that, as it was so close by, members of the Pankhurst family did occasionally attend an event there.

Between number 62 Nelson Street and the Schiller Anstalt Institute, number 64 was a large, detached house, once the home of a mayor of Manchester, but now, known as Nelson House, run as a private nursing home. This may explain why, when, previously, number 62 had been advertised for rent it was deemed ‘suitable for a medical man’.

Number 62 was described as offering ‘Three entertaining rooms, five bedrooms, dressing room, bath, w.c. and well-appointed domestic offices’, large enough for Emmeline to devote one room (presumably one of the ‘entertaining rooms’), as her registry office. The bedrooms were under pressure on the night of the 1901 census, for sleeping in the house were Emmeline and her four children, together with her two brothers, Walter and Herbert Goulden, the latter’s son, and the family’s two servants, the cook, Ellen Coyle (of whom Sylvia speaks very fondly) and Mary Leaver, the housemaid. I imagine that the Pankhurst children were made to share rooms, but presumably that was unusual and, now ranging in age from 20 to 11, they normally had a little more space to themselves. It’s difficult to imagine Christabel and Sylvia being happy to share, but doubtless on occasion they were forced to.

The situation only eased in the autumn 1904. Mrs Pankhurst placed an advertisement in the Daily News, ’Wanted, for art student. One or two Rooms, furnished or unfurnished. Near South Kensington Museum. Terms Moderate.’ The reply address was ‘Pankhurst, 62 Nelson Street, Manchester.’ Sylvia was off to London, to study at the Royal College of Art, freeing up a bed in the family home.

In October 1907 advertisements for 62 Nelson Street once more appeared in the press, in the Manchester Courier, indicating that the house was again to let. Emmeline Pankhurst, who had formed the Women’s Social and Political Union in the kitchen just four years earlier, had already left for London to join her daughters, Sylvia and Christabel, who had brought the fight for the vote to the capital.

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Suffrage Stories: Aileen Preston: Mrs Pankhurst’s first ‘lady chauffeuse’

Vera Holme, Mrs Pankhurst’s subsequent chauffeur, is behind the wheel in this photograph. But I think this is the car in which Aileen Preston drove Mrs Pankhurst in 1911

Aileen Chevallier Preston was born in 1889 in co. Armagh, one of the 6 children of John Preston, who had been a captain in 4th Royal Irish Rifles, and his wife Edith (nee Chevallier), whose family lived at Aspall Hall, Debenham, Suffolk. Of her 5 siblings, two of her brothers died in childhood and a sister in 1905.  Her father was for some years the resident magistrate in Athlone, co. Westmeath, before his death in 1907.  In 1903 Mrs Edith Preston, was the Irish Ladies Croquet Champion, in 1906 won the UK Ladies’ Croquet Championship, and as late as 1915 was the holder of the Ladies’Championship at her local club, Roehampton.

After the death of Capt. Preston his widow, Aileen and her brother and sister moved to England and by 1911 were living at 11 Kew Gardens Road, Richmond.  As head of the household Mrs Preston did complete the 1911 census form but wrote ‘Unenfranchised’ in the ‘Infirmity’ column against the entry for each female member, including the three young servants. Although we do not know whether Aileen Preston and her mother were at this time active members of any suffrage society, this amendment to the census form makes their attitude to women’s right to the vote quite evident.

As noted, Aileen’s mother was most definitely ‘sporty’, a star of the ladies’ croquet world; Aileen’s game was golf. I suspect that Mrs Preston encouraged a practical bent in her children. In 1914 Aileen’s younger brother was training as a civil engineer while, as she later explained in an interview in Votes for Women, she, too, had always taken an interest in machinery. In a delightful BBC radio interview (listen here), recorded in 1962, she explained how, to much derision, she entered a motor works in order to learn all about the workings of the internal combustion engine and the maintenance of a vehicle. It was only after she had acquired this knowledge that she took driving lessons, becoming the first woman to gain a Royal Automobile Certificate.

Now fully qualified, she placed an advertisement in the Morning Post, offering her services as a ‘Lady Chaffeuse’. The most appealing response came from’Mrs Pankhurst’s secretary (probably Mrs Mabel Tuke) and, after an interview, Aileen was hired to drive Mrs Pankhurst around the British Isles on a five-month-long campaign.

Although her mother was, as we have seen, in favour of ‘Votes for Women’, Aileen later remembered that ‘My family were livid. They thought I was going straight into the dark arms of Hell – to be going to that dreadful woman, as her chauffeur. It was an awful blow, but I thought it was the most wonderful job. At a pound a week it was wealth’ [From Raeburn, The Militant Suffragettes]. In the radio interview Aileen mentioned that the pay was ‘all found’, so presumably she had her board-and-keep while on the road, as well as the £1 a week.

Her engagement began in April 1911, probably just after the Census. The WSPU had promised to put a hold on militant action in the run-up to discussion in Parliament of the Conciliation Bill; Mrs Pankhurst was using the time to spread the suffrage message throughout the country. in the radio interview Aileen gives a wonderful description of driving Mrs Pankhurst and her associates, together vast quantities of ‘literature’, over the un-tarmacked roads of Britain during that long, very hot summer. She tells just what it was like driving that car up and over the Kirkstall Pass.

For Aileen was driving a large, heavy Wolseley, given to the WSPU by Mary Dodge, an ardent suffrage supporter and heir to the American automobile fortune.  A ‘lady chauffeuse’ was every bit as responsible as a chauffeur for the very necessary running repairs and it was nothing to experience several punctures during the course of a day. There was always the danger that the low-slung petrol tank would rupture, caught by a stone on the rustic roads and, with the brakes working directly onto the tyres, there was always the danger of a blow-out while driving down a steep hill. Garages were few and far between; the ‘lady chauffeuse’ had to be resourceful, with nerves of steel.

Sometime after her engagement ended, Aileen Preston set up her own motor school. However, she maintained her link to the WSPU, and was the subject of an article in the 26 September 1913 issue of Votes for Women in which she mentioned that when setting out on her career she had had to overcome a good many difficulties and prejudices. It was for this reason that she thought other women would benefit from learning to drive and maintain a car at a school owned by a woman.

The school was based in St Mary Abbott’s Place, Kensington and, although giving lessons to what she termed ‘amateurs’ , Aileen was particularly keen to take pupils who wanted to take up motoring as a profession. As she told Votes for Women The modern girl is admirable suited for the life, and as a chauffeur should receive a salary of 30s to £2 a week – the same, of course, as that paid to a man,’ She advertised regularly in Votes for Women and Common Cause through 1913 and 1914, until the outbreak of war. Business was so good that she took a partner, a Miss Carver.

Aileen joined the Voluntary Aid Detachment and served from 23 October 1914 until 23 April 1915. She married John Graham-Jones (1880-1946), an army doctor, in July 1915 and was again advertising her motor school around this time. However from 25 April 1916 to 19 September 1916, she rejoined the VAD, hired as a ‘Chauffeuse”. She was put in charge of the first autonomous women’s ambulance unit, based at a hospital in northern France, in charge of 13 women drivers, and was mentioned in despatches.

Aileen’s daughter was born in July 1917 and a son in 1920. By 1939 she and her husband, now retired, were living at Lower Bockhampton, Dorset, and she was a member of the Dorchester ARP. She must have maintained contact with other erstwhile suffragettes and was interviewed by Antonia Raeburn for her book, The Militant Suffragettes (1973)

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BAME Research: Hidden Stories

I recently noticed that the London Metropolitan Archives has launched a new database – Switching the Lens – Rediscovering Londoners of African, Caribbean, Asian and Indigenous Heritage, 1561 to 1840. This is an aspect of history that captured my imagination some time ago [see, for instance, Suffrage Stories: Black And Minority Ethnic Women: Is There A ‘Hidden History’?]  and I was interested to see whether this new database would make the uncovering of individual histories any more possible. Through the centuries there have always been some men and women of BAME heritage living in Britain whose lives have, for one reason or another, been recorded in some degree of detail; the great majority, however, have hitherto remained untraceable.

The database has its inherent limitation in that the 2600 names listed are drawn, over a period of nearly three centuries, from Anglican parish registers. As such it deals only with those who were baptised, married or buried in a parish church in the London area. Nevertheless it contains a wealth of information.

Because I was particularly keen to see if information available on Switching the Lens could be amplified by that already held on genealogical sites such as Ancestry and Findmypast, I concentrating on reading entries in the later period covered by the database, running from 1801-1850. Would it be possible to follow up the lives of any of those people on the Switching the Lens database by, for instance, finding them on the census (from 1841) or identifying them on other national registers?

At a first glance the answer, briefly, is probably not. In general, names are too common or the information is too scanty  for it to be possible to identify individuals with any certainty in later official registers. But that is only my finding after a cursory scan. It may well be that keen application will bear fruit. And I shall certainly take a closer look.

However, I have had some success and the following posts are based on entries found in the Switching the Lens database. It is such a pleasure to uncover the lives of these individuals, all, so far, of mixed African or Indian heritage, and try to see them in the context of their times.

Switching the Lens – And Discovering Myra Jane Monk

Switching the Lens – And Discovering Eliza Catherine Herbert

Switching the Lens – And Discovering Elizabeth Purves

Switching the Lens – Beyond Elizabeth Purves

Switching the Lens – And Discovering William Antonio, A Black Butler

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Something A Little Different: Furrowed Middlebrow Books January 2021

It has been my Lockdown pleasure to write more forewords to novels reissued by Dean Street Press under the Furrowed Middlebrow imprint. The following 11 novels (6 by Margery Sharp and 5 by Stella Gibbons) were all released in January 2021. It was blissful escapism to read them all, delve into the lives of the authors, and demonstrate how elements in the novels related to Real Life.

When I began selling books by women, it was just these titles that I searched for in bookshops around the country. Isn’t it odd how life works out?

Here are the delicious Dean Street Press covers. Full details of all Furrowed Middlebrow titles can be found here.

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Lockdown Research: Switching The Lens – And Discovering William Antonio, A Black Butler

Original page containing the baptismal entry for William Antonio, 17 March 1833

I recently noticed that the London Metropolitan Archives has launched a new database – Switching the Lens – Rediscovering Londoners of African, Caribbean, Asian and Indigenous Heritage, 1561 to 1840. This is an aspect of history that captured my imagination some time ago [ see, for instance, Suffrage Stories: Black And Minority Ethnic Women: Is There A ‘Hidden History’?]  and I was interested to see whether this new database would make the uncovering of individual histories any more possible. Through the centuries there have always been some men and women of BAME heritage living in Britain whose lives have, for one reason or another, been recorded in some degree of detail; the great majority, however, have hitherto remained untraceable. I gave details of the Switching the Lens website in my previous post and can now tell something of another life I encountered there, represented by a single entry in the database.

This image at the head of this post is, in fact, the first record of William Antonio’s baptismal entry in the register of St Peter’s Church, Regent Square, in the northern section of Bloomsbury, London. For whatever reason, the whole page was amended and in the process the entry for William Antonio was slightly altered.

Amended page containing the baptismal entry for William Antonio, 17 March 1833

As you’ll notice, the original entry described William Antonio as ‘a slave’. That epithet was removed when the entry was finalised, although I doubt that was the reason for the page being rewritten.

At the time of his baptism William, who was born of unknown parents in Africa, though where we do not know, was reckoned to be about 27 years old, indicating a birth c. 1806. His age and, of course, that date varied a little in the censuses taken over subsequent years and when he died in 1868 his birth date was estimated as 1808.

As you will see, at the time of his baptism William Antonio was living as a servant in a house in Wellington Square, now demolished but then very close to the church in Regent Square. Although we don’t know for which family he was then working, in 1841 he can be found on the census as the only live-in manservant in the home of James Fordati in Upper Bedford Place, Bloomsbury. In the years between his baptism and the 1841 census he had married ,the wedding having taken place in 1834 at St Giles in the Fields. The bride was a widow, Mary McDonald, and the marriage register reveals that neither party could write. However, by the time of the next census in 1851 William Antonio is now a widower, although I cannot find a record of the death of his wife.

It would seem that for at least some of his marriage William Antonio lived in the home of his master and, presumably, his wife lived elsewhere as she is not recorded in the 1841 census for the Fordati household, However, the 1841 census gives no indication of marital status and it could, of course, be that she was already dead. James Fordati was a general merchant living, with his young family, in a Bloomsbury town house, close to Russell Square.

By 1851 William Antonio had moved households. On census night, however, he was not in post but was a visitor in the home of Robert Whurl, a tailor, at 2 Colbridge Place, which appears to have been a section of Westbourne Park Road, Paddington. William Antonio is described as a widower, aged 34, born in Africa, and by occupation a butler. My supposition is that he may at this time been butler in the household of Anselmo de Arroyave, a merchant living at ‘7 Palace Gardens, Paddington’, now known as 7 Kensington Palace Gardens. For, although on census night a manservant and a page were present in that house, no butler is recorded. It was most definitely a household that would require the services of a butler and my deduction is that this merely happened to be William’s night off.

I am making the suggestion that William Antonio was by 1851 a member of de Arroyave’s household based on a reading of his will, dated 21 September 1868, four days before his death. By this document William Antonio left a number of items he prized to Anselmo de Arroyave, his ‘old master’, and other members of the family. This, I feel, indicates a very close association with this particular family over a considerable period of time.

So, to recap, we know that in 1841 William Antonio was a manservant in a merchant’s household in Upper Bedford Place and that by 1851 his position had been elevated to ‘butler’, probably to the de Arroyave family. I know that in 1843 the de Arroyaves were living in Tavistock Square, Bloomsbury, and my guess is that it was around this time that William Antonio changed masters. I feel it would have been unlikely that he would otherwise have looked for a new situation outside the area of London with which he had, for at least ten years, been familiar.

6/7 Kensington Palace Gardens

The de Arroyaves moved to 7 Palace Gardens in 1847, as the first occupiers of the grand, stuccoed house that is now part of the Russian Embassy. And then in 1852/4 de Arroyave built 9 Palace Garden, a similarly imposing pile, into which the family moved. A butler would have played a very important part in running a house such as this; William Antonio was clearly a man o’parts. It might have been fashionable for an owner of a grand London house to employ a black page or footman, considering them a decorative asset, but I’m sure a butler would only have been appointed on his merits.

But it is clear that, however well-positioned he was as a butler in a wealthy household, William Antonio had a dream of becoming independent. For by 1861 he had left a life ‘in service’ and set himself up. the census tells us, as a ‘bath chairman’. He had moved only a very short walk away from Palace Gardens and was now living at 10 Royal Hill, the name then of the southernmost stretch of Queensway, leading down to Bayswater Road. William Antonio was now a lodger in the home of Charles Pendal (sometimes spelled Pendall), a trunk maker, and his wife, Matilda. He had, presumably, saved sufficient money to purchase at least one bath chair, offering his services to those sufficiently incapacitated as to require some vehicular assistance.

A 19th-century bath chair

William Antonio had picked a good position from which to carry out his new business – situated as he was just across the road from Kensington Gardens. One can imagine that a bath chairman would be much in demand with invalids (so plentiful in the mid-19th century) wishing to take a breath of fresh Kensington air. In fact, his business did prosper, enabling him to purchase a second bath chair and, presumably, employ another man as a chair pusher.

Until a few days before his death we know no more of William Antonio, other than at some point after 1861 he moved to 85 Moscow Road, a few minutes walk away from Kensington Gardens. The house was multi-tenanted and it is doubtful that he occupied more than one room. He did, however, value his few possessions and took great care, on his deathbed, to apportion them to those he esteemed.

The first few lines of his will deal with items he is leaving to members of the de Arroyave family. Just to give a little background: Anselmo de Arroyave (1778-1869) was a merchant, born in Spain and naturalised in Britain in 1833. By his second marriage (his first wife had died young) he had four daughters who survived infancy. One incident in his long life is particularly apposite in connection to William Antonio’s circumstances for in 1843 de Arroyave was one of several character witnesses for the defendant in the trial at the Old Bailey of another Spanish-born British merchant, Pedro de Zulueta, who was charged with slave-trading. Zulueta was, in the event, acquitted, but there was a general feeling that this was only because of the difficulty of proving his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. And the doubt seems to have most certainly been there in the minds of anti-slavery campaigners, such as Thomas Clarkson, who cross-examined de Arroyave as to the extent and nature of his support for Zulueta.

But, whatever the rights or wrongs of that trial, there is no doubt that de Arroyave was held in considerable regard by his one-time butler, himself a former slave. For in his will William Antonio left de Arroyave ‘my watch and appendages’ and to Mrs de Arroyave ‘one of my Bath Chairs’. To the former Inez de Arroyave, now Mrs Travers, the youngest daughter of the family, he left ‘one gold pin’, to Major Puget, the husband of another daughter, Florence, he left ‘one gold pin and two scarves‘, and to another daughter, Georgiana, he left a ‘silk umbrella’. I do hope these bequests were received in the spirit in which they were given. William Antonio’s estate was valued at under £100; when Anselmo de Arroyave died the following year he left the equivalent of £2 million.

William Antonio itemised many other of his possessions, for instance leaving his ‘pictures, window blind and wash stand’ to ‘Mr Casey’, who I think must be Henry Casey, gas fitter, who in 1871 was living at 85 Moscow Road. The executor of the will was William Jackson, a watchmaker, who lived at 2 Queens Road (that is, Queensway), and to him was left £10 and a ‘frock coat and plaid scarf‘, and to his daughter, ‘the cane armchair’. Other names are mentioned, but they are either too common or else the legal hand has rendered them too illegible for me to be able to identify them with any certainty. After all the bequests, William Antonio asked one of the women mentioned ‘to dispose of [the residue] in charitable purposes’. By the tone of the will it would appear that William Antonio took a quiet satisfaction in remembering his friends and patrons. The will, signed only with his mark, as he obviously never did learn to write, is a testament to the life of a survivor, a man who emerged out of slavery and then out of ‘service’ to lead an independent life.

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Lockdown Research: Switching the Lens:Beyond Elizabeth Purves

In my previous post, ‘Discovering Elizabeth Purves’, I described something of the life of the Anglo-Indian daughter of Richardson Purves, who, c. 1806, having made his fortune in India, had brought her with him when he returned to England. While undertaking this research I was intrigued to discover that he had left behind at his indigo plantation in Tirhoot a man named John Purves, who had been listed in the New East India Kalendars for 1801 and 1804 as being in his employ. I thought it might be interesting to see what I could find about this branch of the Purves family, for it really would be too extraordinary if John Purves, who records show had arrived in India in 1797 specifically to assist Richardson Purves at Tirhoot, were not related to him in some way.

What I do know is that John Purves did remain in Tirhoot as an indigo planter, dying there in 1820. In the accounts drawn up after his death there is note of a payment to be made to ‘Bebee Razoo’, ‘bebee’ or ‘bibi’ being the term for an indigenous female companion/mistress. This is the only entry for a payment to an Indian woman. As I noted in my previous post, the name of Elizabeth Purves’ mother was rendered on the entry in the St Giles Cripplegate baptismal register as ‘Rajoo’. I did just wonder if that could have been a mis-transcription and perhaps the name should have been ‘Razoo’ (the name in John Purves’ accounts is written with a long tail to the ‘z’). That is, could the woman who appears as a payee in the 1820 accounts of John Purves be the mother of Elizabeth, the payment an indication of long-term maintenance ? Or, after Richardson’s departure, could she have then become the ‘bebee’ of John Purves? Or was she, perhaps, ‘bebee’ to John Purves, but an entirely different woman? Well, as usual with these attempts to peer behind the curtain that separates us from a different time and a different culture, who knows?

However, digging into the digitized India Office records I did find further evidence of the continuing existence of members of the Purves family in Bengal. For there is an entry for the baptism in 1825 of Mary, ‘daughter of John Purves, indigo planter, and a native mother’. There is no other mention at this time in the records of any John Purves other than the indigo planter at Tirhoot and I think it is safe to assume that the father of Mary is the man who was in the employ of Richardson Purves twenty years earlier.

John Purves died intestate so an inventory of his goods, as compiled for auction after his death, is the only surviving record of his life, providing a fascinating insight into the goods with which an indigo planter was surrounded. His extensive library, in particular, interested me. How did one amuse oneself in Tirhoot in the first decades of the 19th c? Why, by reading the Spectator, Edinburgh Review, Blackstone’s Commentaries, Smollett’s Works, Godwin’s Political Justice, Sporting Magazine, Debrett’s Peerage, Poems of Ossian, Smith’s Wealth of the Nations, Swift’s works, Farley’s Cookery etc etc – and numerous Voyages, Gazetteers and atlases. The household inventory does not, however, make any reference to Mary or any other child.

Seven years later the accounts drawn up, in a similar fashion, after the death of another Tirhoot indigo planter, Edward Egerton, do reveal something further about members of the Purves Indian diaspora. The first thing to note is that an 1829 announcement in the London Gazette discloses that one of the two men nominated as Egerton’s next-of-kin was his uncle ‘in England’, Richardson Purves. And, secondly, Edward Egerton’s accounts mention sums paid for the board and tuition of Miss Mary Purves, Mr William Purves, Mr James Egerton, and Miss Fanny Egerton. Extrapolation leads me to surmise that Edward Egerton was a relation of the late John Purves and, since his death, had been charged with care of his children.

I have explained that I’m pretty certain of the parentage of Mary Purves, who must have been born sometime before the death of John Purves in 1820, but what of William Purves? I can find no record of his birth or baptism but from the record of his death at Allahabad in 1870 I think we was born c 1812/1813 and, because he is recorded in Egerton’s accounts alongside Mary Purves, I cannot help thinking he must be her brother, another child of John Purves and ‘a native mother’. There is no record of John Purves having been married to a European woman.

Edward Egerton’s accounts reveal that in the early months of 1828 Mary Purves and Fanny Egerton received board and tuition from a Mrs M. Moore, but that, after November 1828, their care was transferred to Theophilus Reichardt. A little research showed that he was the Rev Reichardt, who had been born in Wurttemberg, trained in Basle, and had arrived in Calcutta in 1822 as a missionary under the aegis of the Church Missionary Society for India and the East. This was the society to which Richardson Purves and his family were generous donors. However, just at the time when he undertook the tuition of Mary and Fanny, Reichardt had left the Mission after a disagreement. He and his wife had then, as his obituary in the Calcutta Christian Observer (1836) reported, ‘entered upon the conduct of a seminary for young ladies in the city [Calcutta] where ‘he spared no toil, no pains, no watchfulness, to promote the improvement and comfort of his young charges’. I was pleased to note that the obituarist particularly mentions that ‘his was no stinted board at which his pupils fed sparingly’. Reichardt clearly remained close to Fanny Egerton for in the records of her marriage in Calcutta Cathedral in 1835 he stood as her ‘Next Friend’.

In 1840 Mary Purves married Richard Thaddeus Rutter and had two daughters – Mary, 1844, and Ellen, 1848. James Egerton was born in 1821, the son of James Egerton, an indigo planter. This information comes from his baptismal record, a ceremony he undertook late in life, in 1862. For this record he chose to give his father’s name, but not his mother’s. I think this indicates that he was certainly illegitimate and I am assuming that, therefore, his mother was Indian. I can find no trace of Fanny Egerton’s birth or baptism, but suspect she was sister to James. Her husband, Edmund Watterton Johnson, died in 1839. She had one son, born in 1837 and named for his father. She never remarried and died in 1872.

Edward Egerton’s accounts show that c.1828 young William Purves and James Egerton were receiving board and tuition from ‘Messrs Drummond and Wilson’. David Drummond was a Scotsman whose Calcutta school, Dhurmotollah Academy, offered the best English education, open to both European and mixed-race boys. Equipped with this excellent education William Purves entered government service, rising to become Registrar of the Board of Revenue in Allahabad. He married Harriette Ereth and had a numerous family, among whom the names ‘Richardson’ and ‘Egerton’ are threaded. One son, Robert Egerton Purves (1859-1943) became a renowned hydraulic engineer in the Punjab. I suspect that an effort was made to eliminate knowledge of an Indian ancestor; in his ‘Who’s Who’ entry Robert Egerton Purves merely described his parentage as ‘European’. He retired to England in the mid-1920s, bringing his family ‘home’ and ending an involvement with India that had lasted c 120 years. Although accompanied by children, unlike Richardson Purves he had made no fortune.

I daresay this post seems a little pointless, a good deal being, if not guesswork, then informed conjecture. But I have found the research instructive; on the way I’ve read something about the place of indigo in the 18th and 19thc Indian economy, the way in which the indigo factories were managed, and gleaned something of the position of those then known as ‘Eurasians’ and now as ‘Anglo-Indians’. Although I have absolute proof of the mixed parentage of Mary Purves, I cannot be sure of that of William Purves, or of Fanny and James Egerton. But it has been interesting attempting to unravel the truth. I wonder if Elizabeth Purves, an illegitimate Anglo-Indian living in England, knew anything of relations in India? There is a fascination about lives lived on the cusp of two civilisations.

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Suffrage Walks

If you are interested in taking either a real or a virtual London ‘Suffragette Walk’, particularly around the Holborn/Strand area, you might find the following posts of interest.

Lincoln’s Inn House 2013, former headquarters of the WSPU

Where And What Was Clement’s Inn?

The St Clement’s Press

The Suffragette 1911 Census Boycott: Where And What Was The Aldwych Skating Rink?

Where And What Was The ‘Votes For Women Fellowship’?

The London Opera House, Kingsway

Suffragettes and Tea Rooms: The Gardenia Restaurant

Suffragettes and Tea Rooms: The Eustace Miles Restaurant And The Tea Cup Inn

The Raid On WSPU Headquarters, 1913

The International Suffrage Shop

What Would Bring Campaigning Women to Buckingham Street, Strand?

Mrs Ayres Purdie, Kingsway And (Alas) Covent Garden Tube Station

Millicent Fawcett and Queen Elizabeth I

The Suffragette Fellowship Memorial, Westminster

The Actresses’ Franchise League – And Kate Frye

Anne Cobden Sanderson And 15 Upper Mall, Hammersmith

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Lockdown Research: Switching The Lens – And Discovering Elizabeth Purves

Baptism of Elizabeth Purves at St Giles, Cripplegate, on 28 August 1807.

I recently noticed that the London Metropolitan Archives has launched a new database – Switching the Lens – Rediscovering Londoners of African, Caribbean, Asian and Indigenous Heritage, 1561 to 1840. This is an aspect of history that captured my imagination some time ago [ see, for instance, Suffrage Stories: Black And Minority Ethnic Women: Is There A ‘Hidden History’?]  and I was interested to see whether this new database would make the uncovering of individual histories any more possible. Through the centuries there have always been some men and women of BAME heritage living in Britain whose lives have, for one reason or another, been recorded in some degree of detail; the great majority, however, have hitherto remained untraceable. I gave details of the Switching the Lens website in my previous post and can now tell something of another life I encountered there, represented by a single entry in the database.

This entry in the St Giles baptism register tells us that Elizabeth Purves, born on 19 October 1799, was the daughter of ‘Richardson Purves, Merchant, and Rajoo, a Native of Hindostan’. But what is her story?

Richardson Purves, born c1764, perhaps in Scotland, was by 1789 an employee of the East India Company working in Bengal. By 1797 he was overseeing the Company’s indigo works at Patnah (now Patna, capital of Bihar province). Indigo was a very lucrative product and by 1801 Purves had established himself as an indigo planter at Tirhoot (450km from Patna). He remained there until about 1806 but then ‘retired to England with a considerable fortune derived from the indigo manufacturies’ (as quoted in a footnote in Singh, History of Tirhoot, 1922).

A view from ‘Middleton’s Complete System of Geography’, 1779

So it was as a nabob that, after c 17 years in the East, Purves returned, accompanied not only by a fortune but also by a 7-year-old daughter, Elizabeth. We know nothing of her mother other than the one name ‘Rajoo’, which was probably her surname. As in the case of Africa-born Eliza Herbert, we don’t know for certain whether Elizabeth Purves’ mother had died, or whether, when the child’s father decided to return to England, she had felt compelled to part with her daughter. However, in such cases it is obvious that the contest was unequal; the wealthy European father held all the cards. In my next post I will attempt to shine a tiny glimmer of light on the situation, over two hundred years ago, at Tirhoot after the departure of Richardson Purves. But I think it is incontestable, and is as poignant now as then, that Elizabeth was old enough when she sailed from India to carry with her clear memories of her mother, whom she would never again see.

It would appear that Richardson Purves was a diligent father, wasting little time after his arrival in England in arranging the baptism of his daughter. She could, of course, have been baptised in India but, for whatever reason, he had waited until the ceremony could be conducted in London. Because I have been unable to uncover reliable details of his parentage I cannot guess why he chose ‘Elizabeth’ as her name. It would have been interesting to know if it was a family name, his mother’s perhaps.

Three years later, on 24 October 1808, Richardson Purves married Jane Hyde (1781-1853) in St Margaret Pattens, Eastcheap. At the time he was a resident in the parish of St James, Clerkenwell, and it is to be presumed that young Elizabeth had been living with him since their return from India. Richardson Purves proceeded to father two legitimate daughters, Jane in 1810 and Frances in 1813. The latter was born in the family’s town house in Bedford Place, Bloomsbury, they moved later to Harley Street. With his Indian fortune Richardson Purves had also purchased a large estate, Sunbury Place, at Sunbury-on-Thames. That house, now known as Sunbury Court, still stands, owned for the last 100 years by the Salvation Army.

Sunbury Place, shortly before it was bought by Richardson Purves (courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum)

There were, of course, no censuses during the first third of the 19th century to give us proof that Elizabeth Purves was living with the rest of the family, but I believe she was. She certainly acted in concert with the other members, included, along with Mrs Jane Purves, Miss Jane Purves, and Miss Frances Purves, as a generous donor to a number of worthy causes, such as the Anti-Slavery Reporter (1831), to which she gave a two-year donation of four guineas, and to the Church Missionary Society to Africa and the East.

In 1841, when the first census was taken, Elizabeth Purves is listed at home with the rest of the family in their Harley Street house. However, when, in 1848, Richardson Purves died he made no mention of Elizabeth in his will, while going to considerable lengths to settle money on the unmarried daughters of another family, the Boldings. I have been unable to establish why this was but there must have been some underlying family or business connection that resists my attempts to tease it out. Provision must have been made for Elizabeth Purves in some arrangement that lay outside the terms of her father’s will because there is no suggestion whatsoever of anything other than that she was a completely integrated member of his family. When the 1851 census was taken Elizabeth is a ‘visitor’ at Sunbury Place, living there with the two Janes, her stepmother and half-sister. But yet again, when the senior Jane Purves died in 1853 there is no mention of Elizabeth in her will.

The mid-1850s saw the marriages of both Purves half-sisters. They were now in their mid-fifties and I had wondered if illegitimacy and her Indian heritage had hindered Elizabeth’s marriage prospects – but Jane, too, despite what I know to be her sizeable inheritance, had, for whatever reason, not married before now. Thus, on 4 July 1855 Jane Purves married a widower, Alexander Beattie, and on 31 July 1856 Elizabeth Purves married John Parker Bolding, widower of Mary* (nee Richardson). Mary’s brother, William Richardson, was the husband of Eleanor, John Bolding’s sister, at whose wedding Richardson Purves had been a witness. It is obvious that the Bolding, Richardson, and Purves families (very much including Elizabeth) had been closely entwined over a period of many years.

Elizabeth Purves was married in the parish church at Tunbridge Wells, the witnesses being Elizabeth Bolding (John’s sister) and Sidney Roper Curzon. Both Elizabeth Bolding and the Beatties lived in Tunbridge Wells, Elizabeth Bolding at Osborne House and the Beatties at Sunbury Place (presumably named in honour of Jane’s former home) and it was presumably with one or the other that Elizabeth Purves was staying at the time of her marriage. The Hon Sidney Roper Curzon, son of the 14th Baron Teynham, was the husband of the bride’s half-sister, Frances. I imagine that Richardson Purves, the nabob, was gratified that one of his daughters had married into the aristocracy, albeit into its lower echelons.

John Parker Bolding was a solicitor and the couple, with his three young children, lived for a time in Croydon, in a house named ‘Eversholt Lodge’. Eversholt in Bedfordshire was the parish in which John Bolding had been born and where his father had held an estate [see here for more about the Bolding family]. They later moved to 3 Bromfield Gardens, Richmond where, in 1888, John Parker Bolding died.

Sometime after Elizabeth moved to a house in Cambridge Road, Norbiton, a few minutes’ walk from the home, ‘Norbiton Place, London Road, of her widowed half-sister Frances. Elizabeth, supported by a cook and a parlour maid, lived alone, dying there in 1898. She left over £14,000, her executors being her stepson and the two stepsons of her half-sister Jane. Frances when she died shortly after, left only something over £200. Aristocratic connections had presumably proved expensive.

It was not, perhaps, unusual for a man in Richardson Purves’ position to choose to bring his child by an Indian woman back to England, but it would appear that the great majority of the offspring of such relationships did remain in India after the father’s departure. Moreover, a brief survey of the literature available to me (during a period when I cannot access a library) leads me to the conclusion that Elizabeth Purves was more fully integrated into her father’s subsequent family than many other mixed-race children. (See, for instance, here). This could have been a factor of wealth – Richardson Purves could certainly afford to support his illegitimate daughter – but it also must have been a matter of temperament.

Although Richardson Purves made his fortune in India and then returned ‘home’, there were certainly members of the East India Company connected to him wo continued to live and work in India in the second half of the 19th century and early years of the 20th. I wonder if Elizabeth Purves knew anything about them? I will do what I can in my next blog to follow the shadows they have cast, as revealed in documents created in India in the 19th century.

*UPDATE: Not that it’s particularly relevant to the life of Elizabeth Purves, but I’ve now worked out that Mary Richardson (her husband’s first wife) was a cousin of John Ruskin and from the age of 15, after her mother’s death, until her marriage to John Parker Bolding, lived with the Ruskin family in Herne Hill. Ruskin’s father, John James Ruskin, was brother to Jessie Richardson, Mary’s mother.

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Lockdown Research: Who Unfurled The Manchester ‘First In The Fight’ WSPU Banner?

Manchester WSPU Banner,, c. 1908

A reader of this blog has asked me to confirm who was the ‘Mrs Rachel Scott’ who unfurled the ‘First in the Fight’ Manchester WSPU banner in 1908.

You will remember that I wrote here about the discovery of the banner and the subsequent appeal that resulted in it being acquired by the People’s History Museum in Manchester. In that piece I wrote that I suspected that the woman given the honour of unfurling the banner was the Mrs Rachel Scott who had been the WSPU’s first honorary secretary, rather than Rachel Scott, wife of C.P. Scott of the Manchester Guardian. And, of course, the merest further investigation showed that it was indeed Mrs ‘Secretary’ Scott who had unfurled the banner – not least because Mrs C.P. Scott had died three years earlier, in 1905.

But my enquirer was still interested in finding out something of Mrs Rachel Scott, the ‘unfurler’….so I have done a little delving. For, although her name has often been mentioned in studies of the early days of the WSPU, she has not, as far as I can see, hitherto been credited with a real life.

I can report that she was born Rachel Lovett in Chorlton, Lancashire, in 1863, one of the many (at least 9) children of Thomas Lovett and his wife, Elizabeth. Her father was a labourer in the oilcloth industry and in 1871 the family was living next to the Marsden oilcloth factory at Canal Side, Newton Heath. Rachel’s older sisters became weavers or winders as soon as, aged 14, they left school. However, the 1881 census shows that Rachel had escaped this fate and, aged 17, was working as a pupil teacher. She presumably continued teaching until her marriage in 1890 to Henry (Harry) Charles David Scott, the son of a schoolmaster. Harry was at this time described as a ‘cashier’ but by 1901, when the family, now with four children, was living at 5 Duncan Street, Broughton, he was ‘managing director of an engineering firm’. In fact, he worked for the Manchester firm of Royles for most of his life, becoming chairman of the board of directors. At the turn of the 20th century he was a strong supporter of The Clarion, the socialist newspaper, and was a member of the Independent Labour party, paying the rent of the Party’s Manchester meeting room.

For we know it was through the Manchester ILP that Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst encountered Rachel Scott, who was one of the women she invited to the meeting at her house in Nelson Street, Manchester, on 10 October 1903, at which the Women’s Social and Political Union was founded. Mrs Scott was appointed the WSPU’s first secretary and had a letter published in the 30 October 1903 issue of The Clarion alerting fellow Socialists to the existence of this new organisation and appealing ‘to all women Socialists to join in this movement to press upon party and community the urgent need of giving to women the vote, that they may take their share of the vote for social emancipation’.

Rachel Scott maintained her involvement with the Manchester WSPU for some years, noted as present at various meetings and demonstrations, for instance appearing on Platform 12 at the WSPU Hyde Park demonstration of Sunday 21 June 1908 (described in Votes for Women, 18 June 1908, as ‘well-known as a capable speaker and hard worker in the Manchester district’) and, of course, was singled out to present the banner to the Manchester WSPU on 20 June 1908, the day before the Hyde Park meeting. The banner hadn’t been ready in time to be unfurled with others in the Queen’s Hall in London.

Rachel Scott was on the platform at a meeting in Manchester’s Free Trade Hall on 19 January 1909 when Christabel Pankhurst received a rapturous welcome but I get the impression that after this she rather fades from view, perhaps less interested as it became clear that the WSPU was no longer a supporter of the socialist movement with which, in 1909, she was still actively involved. Certainly, she did not boycott the 1911 census and was at home (‘Arrandale’, Crofts Bank Road, Urmston) on census night with her husband and by now five children. Her eldest son was a ‘student of chemistry’, another was an ‘engineering apprentice’, and a third was a clerk. The other two children were still at school.

One of Rachel’s sisters was living with the family in 1911, as she appears to have done all their married life. Another of Rachel’s sisters died that year but had previously worked as a superintendent in the ‘Imbecile Wards’ of the Crumpsall (Manchester) Workhouse. Yet another sister had for a time been employed as a nurse in the same workhouse. Presumably both positions had been an improvement on the sisters’ earliest employment in the cotton industry. Doubtless both from her own experience and that of her sisters Rachel Scott was well apprised of the state of the poor and afflicted and had hoped that the WSPU would be a means of improving their lot. She may have become disillusioned.

Rachel Scott died in 1925. Of her sons, one was killed during the First World War, one became an analytical chemist, another an engineer designer, and the fourth emigrated to Australia. Her daughter married, but died in 1935. Harry, still a director of Royles, was appointed a magistrate in 1931 and died in 1937.

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Lockdown Research: Stella Spencer, Suffragette: From Holloway To Montevideo

Tombstone of Stella Lavinia Spencer in the British Cemetery, Montevideo, Uruguay
(photo courtesy David Rennie)

The epitaph reads:

In Loving Memory of my dear wife STELLA LAVINIA SPENCER born in England March 9th 1884 died April 14th 1930 age 46. Her nobility of soul was shown as an an ideal wife and in her endeavours for the welfare of others. A pioneer and tireless worker for the social and political emancipation of women. Poetess and artist whose devotion to the good and the beautiful was the constant striving of her life. Even in adversity.

I recently had an enquiry, emanating from Uruguay, as to whether I knew of Stella Lavinia Spencer, who had died in Montevideo in 1930, was buried in the city’s British Cemetery, and had, perhaps, been a suffragette. Well, the short answer was ‘No’ – the name rang no bells – but a quick search showed that a Stella Lavinia Spencer was indeed listed in the Roll of Honour compiled by the Suffragette Fellowship. So the hare was ready to be chased.

Identifying her as a possible suffragette was the easy bit. The attempt to untangle the identity of Stella Lavinia Spencer has been a good deal more complicated. No-one of that name appears in the list of ‘Suffragettes Arrested’ compiled by the Home Office, nor does she appear on any census. It is obvious from the wording on the tombstone that ‘Spencer’ was her married name and the Probate Register revealed that her husband’s name was ‘Alberto John Spencer’. So the hunt was on to establish her maiden name.

One would have thought that, with the relatively unusual forenames of ‘Stella Lavinia’ and a firm birth date of 1884, this wouldn’t be difficult. But, in fact, no-one of those names appears to have been born in England (or anywhere else) in 1884. Was she perhaps a child registered before her parents had selected her name? It’s possible. Or could she have refashioned herself, selecting names more appealing than those with which she had been furnished by her parents? Again, a possibility. There’s probably a quite straightforward reason for her absence from the various registers, civil or ecclesiastical, but, if so, I haven’t found it.

However, thanks to a general Google search for ‘Stella Lavinia Spencer’ I encountered an article (‘You Are Not a White Woman’) by James Heartfield (The Journal of Pacific History, vol 38, no 1, 2003) which sketched something of my quarry’s biography – as well as telling a rather riveting story. The article concerns the trial in Fiji in 1915 of Stella Spencer, which makes clear that she was by now married. But it turns out that ‘Spencer’ was not her husband’s family name; ‘Alberto John Spencer’ was originally ‘Alberto John Sangorski’. This was a surname I knew very well, as Sangorski and Sutcliffe was the leading firm of ‘art’ bookbinders in England at the beginning of the 20th century. Research quickly revealed that Stella’s husband, Alberto Spencer, was the son of Alberto Sangorski, renowned as the firm’s illuminator and calligrapher.

Anyway, armed with this new knowledge, I was now able to search for the marriage of Alberto Sangorski and, sure enough, found that he had married in Kensington in the summer of 1910. But even now matters were complicated by a quirk in the listing on the register that didn’t make clear the name of his bride. I won’t bore you with the ramifications of my further searches but only say that I finally decided that a likely candidate was a ‘Stella L. Mahny’. Needless to say I could find no other record of a woman with that rather unlikely surname, but with this faint lead I returned to the ‘Suffragettes Arrested’ register and discovered that a ‘Stella O’Mahoney’ had been tried in Westminster on 1 July 1908. Without the tedious unravelling of the link to the Spencer surname I could not have been certain that I had the right ‘Stella’. But I am sure now that I have.

And what was it that she had done to merit arrest? Votes for Women (9 July 1908) reported that, on 30 June 1908, Miss Stella O’Mahoney had taken part in a demonstration organised by the Women’s Social and Political Union in the vicinity of the House of Commons and that, with 26 other WSPU members, had been arrested. She was ordered to give a surety of £20 not to take part in any other militant activity, but refused, and was instead sentenced to a month’s imprisonment in Holloway. At the trial she gave her address as that of the WSPU office, 4 Clement’s Inn, so, once again, I could get no closer to her.

There is no other record I can find of Stella O’Mahoney’s involvement with the WSPU but I would presume that she had been a member both before and after this incident. However, a couple of years later, soon after her marriage, she and Alberto set off for Australia, landing in Sydney on 17 November 1910.

The Heartfield article mentions that Stella Spencer had worked as a journalist, but I have been unable to find any articles written by her. The tombstone describes her as a poet and an artist, but, yet again, I can find no trace of her work in any medium.

So, Stella Spencer would remain something of an enigma were it not for the reasons behind her trial in Fiji in March 1915 that James Heartfield reveals in his article. She had arrived with her husband from Melbourne about seven months earlier because he had been employed in a new venture, the Fiji Produce Agency. This organisation had been set up as a means for Fijians to market their own produce, in competition with European traders. The background rivalry, both economic and political, was complicated, but the upshot was that Stella Spencer stood trial, accused of slapping a Fijian in the face. He was a henchman of the European faction and had accused her of being ‘a bad woman’, the implication being that she was sexually involved with a Fijian. The ensuing trial – of a white woman accused of assaulting a Fijian – was remarkable, motivated not from a desire to protect Fijians, but to punish those Europeans who failed to observe the policy of separation from the indigenous population.

Stella Spencer was found guilty but apparently, Heartfield reports, did not have sufficient funds to pay the fine levied and was, therefore, imprisoned. I have no evidence whatsoever for querying this, but did just wonder if, as in 1908, it was rather that she had refused to pay a fine. It seems very surprising that no funds could be mustered if she had been minded to pay. Stella then went on hunger strike, perhaps in emulation of the suffragette stratagem, adopted subsequent to her 1908 imprisonment. However, she abandoned the hunger strike after four days and wrote to the governor asking for passage to Melbourne for herself and her husband. This was granted at the end of April 1915. I don’t know when and why she and Alberto eventually made their home in Montevideo but he remained there for the rest of his life, dying in 1954, twenty years after Stella, and is buried in the same cemetery.

It is not difficult to detect a parallel between Stella Spencer’s interest in the emancipation of women and that of improving the lot of the native population of Fiji. Whatever her background, she was clearly imbued with a spirit of rebellion

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Lockdown Research: Switching The Lens – And Discovering Eliza Catherine Herbert

 

I recently noticed that the London Metropolitan Archives has launched a new database – Switching the Lens – Rediscovering Londoners of African, Caribbean, Asian and Indigenous Heritage, 1561 to 1840. This is an aspect of history that captured my imagination some time ago [ see, for instance, Suffrage Stories: Black And Minority Ethnic Women: Is There A ‘Hidden History’?]  and I was interested to see whether this new database would make the uncovering of individual histories any more possible. Through the centuries there have always been some men and women of BAME heritage living in Britain whose lives have, for one reason or another, been recorded in some degree of detail; the great majority, however, have hitherto remained untraceable. I gave details of the Switching the Lens website in my previous post and can now tell something of another life I encountered there, represented by a single entry in the database.

Above we see the entry for the baptism of:

‘Eliza Catherine Herbert, illegitimate daughter of Henry Bennett Herbert, Secretary to the Committee of Merchants trading to Africa, by a Woman of Colour passing under the name of Nance, and born 29 May 1798 at Cape Coast Castle, Africa.’  

This entry in the baptismal register of the church of St John, Wapping, made in, I think, August 1805, allows us a glimpse into the history of a London family involved in the African slave trade, a story that shuttles between Wapping and Cape Coast Castle, the ‘Grand Slave Emporium’ built on what was then known as the Gold Coast, now Ghana.

Let’s start with Henry Bennett Herbert, the father of the girl who is being baptised. His position as stated, ‘Secretary to the Committee of Merchants trading with Africa’, suggests a man of authority. However, the reality was rather different. In fact, Henry Bennett was only 22 years old and was already dead by the time he was appointed Secretary to the Committee of Merchants trading with Africa’. He had been born in 1777, baptized in St John’s, the  Herberts’ family church, and had travelled out to Cape Coast Castle in 1795, aged 18.

Henry’s father, James Herbert (1735-1789) had been a cooper (a barrel maker) who ran his business from Brewhouse Lane, Wapping, and had been a freeman of the Committee of Merchants trading with Africa. Indeed, it is possible that the family connection may go back even further as various ‘Herberts’ are noted as serving with the Royal African Company in the early decades of the 18th century. Although, I haven’t found evidence that James Herbert had any direct investment in a slaving ship, the barrels his company made would most certainly have been the means by which goods were sent out to Africa on ships that, when they returned across the Atlantic, were carrying slaves. Brewhouse Lane, where the company remained until the 1830s, is very close to the Thames at Wapping, in an area then dominated by businesses supporting maritime trade.

After the death of James Herbert in 1789 the coopering business was inherited by Henry’s elder brother, another James (1764-1830). As the younger son, Henry had to seek his fortune elsewhere and doubtless felt himself fortunate to be able, through his family connection, to offer his services to the African trade.  When approaching the Governing Committee in the Africa House he had no difficulty in finding the necessary guarantors; his brother James and another Wapping merchant put up £500, to which he himself added the same amount.

It was only after I had begun this research and was thinking about Henry Herbert’s situation that I remembered that somewhere on my bookshelves was a copy of William St Clair’s The Grand Slave Emporium: Cape Coast Castle and the British slave trade, bought when it was published in 2007. Fortunately I was actually able to find it (not an occurrence that I necessarily take for granted). Re-reading it illuminated both Henry Herbert’s short life and the near-miracle, as it seems to me, of his daughter’s appearance at the Wapping baptismal font.

When he arrived at Cape Coast Castle in, I think, October 1795, Henry Herbert’s first position was as a ‘Writer’, that is, a clerk, but within a year he had been promoted to ‘Deputy Secretary to the Committee’. Promotion was swift in Cape Coast Castle; the death rate was very high among the young men who arrived full of hope. In fact, Henry Herbert was appointed secretary to the Governor and Council on 5 April 1800 but the news of this appointment arrived only after his death. He had ‘Drown’d in Bathing at Cape Coast Castle’ on 23 March 1800. Henry Herbert had weathered the ‘seasoning’, the period during which new arrivals succumbed to the multitude of diseases infesting Cape Coast Castle, only to be felled by the surf. In fact, I found that William St Clair, too, had noticed the cause of Henry’s death and in his book mentioned that ‘there are few records of officers swimming for pleasure – Mr Herbert, who defied the dangers, was duly drowned.’ 

Cape Coast Castle (mid-19th c)

Henry Herbert’s time at Cape Coast Castle coincided with the peak of the British slave trade and, to understand a little of what he would have seen and done, I would urge you to read The Grand Slave Emporium in which St Clair describes in quotidian detail both life there and the economy, more complicated than one might imagine, on which it was based. It is perfectly clear that Henry Herbert knew exactly what was happening in the dungeons hewn into the rock several stories below his airy officers’ quarters and was complicit in sending men, women and children out through the Door of No Return to the slavers’ ships waiting in the roads. However, the notice of his appointments and death can only furnish a very general picture of his years at Cape Coast Castle. The entry in the Wapping baptismal register adds a more personal dimension.

William St Clair describes how ‘It was part of the welcome for a young officer arriving in the Castle to be supplied with a local sexual partner, one of the ways in which the British embraced local laws and customs without attempting to change them.’  He stresses that the arrangements made with ‘wenches’, as such women were known, while not regarded as marriages were certainly not informal casual sexual encounters. ‘Wenches’ were free women, not slaves. So, ‘Nance’, the woman named as Eliza Catherine’s mother in the baptismal register entry, was very likely Henry Herbert’s ‘wench’ and may have remained so for most of his time at the Castle. I noticed that St Clair, quoting from the will of a Castle officer who died in May 1795, mentions that in his will the man left a bequest to ‘my wench Nance’ and I did just wonder if she had found a new protector in Henry Herbert after his arrival a few months later. It may be a coincidence that two ‘wenches’ were named ‘Nance’, although most whom St Clair cites have African names. The Europeanised name may suggest that ‘Nance’ was of mixed race, as, naturally, there were by now numerous offspring of officers and ‘wenches’ living in and around the Castle.’ 

The news of Eliza’s birth in May 1798 must have been relayed to Wapping, a letter then taking about three months to travel between Africa and London. It is to be supposed that Henry’s mother, Elizabeth Herbert (for whom Eliza was obviously named), took a very real interest in the welfare of her grand-daughter and on hearing, in mid-1800. of the death of her son planned to bring young Eliza to England. My research leads me to think that this was probably not a very common occurrence. The Monk children, of whom I wrote here, were brought from India by their father, but in the case of Eliza Herbert it would seem that her family would have had to negotiate at a distance with ‘Nance’, if she were still alive, or, if not, with the officials of Cape Coast Castle, in order to take custody of the child and had then to arrange for her to be accompanied on the long sea journey to London. We do not know when exactly she did arrive for, although her baptism took place in 1805, she shared the occasion with a cousin, Susanna, daughter of her uncle James. It may merely have been convenient to baptise the two girls at the same time. 

Detail of John Rocque’s Map of London (1746) showing Princes Square

 

Princes Square (now renamed Swedenborg Sq) in 1921 (London Metropolitan Archives) 

But we can say with certainty that by 1805 Eliza Catherine Herbert was a most welcome member of the Herbert family and remained so for the rest of her long life. When, in 1817, her grandmother wrote her will it was to Eliza (‘the natural daughter of my son Henry Bennett Herbert) that she left all her personal and household possessions, in addition to setting up a financial trust in her favour. She also appointed guardians for her,  because Eliza was at that time a minor. The will makes clear that Eliza was then living with her grandmother in her house in Princes Square (later renamed Swedenborg Square and now erased). As Land Tax Records show that at the time Eliza was baptised Elizabeth Herbert was living on the north-west side of Princes Square, in one of the early-18th-century houses built for prosperous merchants, we can assume that Eliza had been brought here when she first arrived in London 

 

Wapping, 1896, showing, to the left of the image, Brewhouse Lane and area marked ‘Cooperage’ (Reproduced with permission from the National Library of Scotland)

The Herbert coopering business continued to be successful under the management of Eliza’s Uncle James, who in the early 19th century owned three ships involved in the British South Seas Whaling trade. The firm also, of course, produced the containers necessary for transporting the fishing products. His son, James Henry Herbert, inherited the business, moved out of insalubrious Wapping to Tottenham, and had retired by 1851, dying 20 years later by no means a wealthy man. Such is the fate of family businesses; they rise and then they fall. The unmarried women of such families have little agency in creating wealth, relying on the investments made for them. However, with the money inherited from her grandmother Eliza Herbert was able to lead what would appear to have been a reasonably comfortable life.

I cannot discover where Eliza lived after her grandmother’s death in 1827. She was now 29 years old and may have been able to continue living in the Princes Square house for a while but I next found her in the 1841 census living at 10 Holland Place, in north Brixton. The street has now vanished, but was in the area between Clapham Road and Brixton Road, south of the Oval. The 1841 census does not produce much information and we learn from this only that Eliza was of ‘Independent’ means’ and had not been born in Lambeth. At first I assumed she was living in this house as a lonely boarder but further investigation into the ramifications of the Herbert family revealed to me that Arthur French, the 70-year-old head of the household, had been a Wapping cooper, whose aunt was mentioned as a friend in the will of Eliza’s grandmother and that Anna Maria Pillar, the other woman of independent means listed as living in the house, was actually one of Eliza’s many cousins. So, although it’s ridiculously sentimental, I was pleased that she was  living among friends and family.

Ten years later Eliza was still in the same house, although the head of household had changed. (In fact Arthur French had died barely a month after the 1851 census.) She is now described as ‘Fundholder’ and her place of birth is given as ‘Africa’. I have, however, been unable to find any link between Eliza and the other two women living as boarders in the house. Life may not have been quite so comfortable as it had been ten years earlier; there was now only one servant rather than the three who had previously waited on the household.

By 1861 Eliza Herbert had moved a short distance and was living at St Ives Cottage, St Anne’s Road, now obliterated, but it was just south of Holland Place. Once again she is a boarder, now described as ‘Lady’ and with her birthplace as ‘Africa’.  Besides the householder (a commercial traveller), his wife and daughter there was only one other boarder, a teenage  ‘shipbroker’, and one servant. Ten years later she had moved again, further west to 2 Grosvenor Place, a boarding house in a terrace on Camberwell Road (now demolished, but it was opposite Addington Square)  Here she gave the 1871 census enumerator her exact place of birth, ‘Cape Coast Castle’.

Thus it would seem that for about 40 years (between the 1840s until the late-1870s) Eliza Herbert lived alone, as a boarder, occupying a room or two in the homes of strangers. This, doubtless, was the lot of hundreds of thousands of unmarried women, but I don’t think the actuality was as forlorn as it might appear because my researches show that during this time Eliza Herbert was always living close to ‘family’. For it is likely that the reason she remained in the Brixton area for so much of her life was because she was still very much in touch with the descendants of the French family, friends of her grandmother.

You will remember that in 1841 Eliza Herbert was living in the Brixton home of the former Wapping cooper, Arthur French.  Also in the household was Arthur’s daughter, Grace, who by 1861 she was married to a successful building contractor, Benjamin Gammon, and living in Loughborough Park Road, in the northern part of Brixton. Interestingly, their house was named ‘Herbert Lodge’. Grace’s son, born c 1852, had been given ‘Herbert’ as a first name, suggesting to me there was a strong connection between Grace and Eliza. 

The bond was made manifest by 1881 when the census finds Eliza Herbert, now 82 years old, living in the home of a young couple, Johanna and Robert Pearce, at 8 Church Road, Brixton. For Johanna Pearce was the daughter of Grace Gammon (nee French) and, with ‘Elizabeth’ as her second name, was Eliza Herbert’s god-daughter.  Church Road is now St Matthews Road, running between Effra Road and Brixton Hill. No 8 was a charming early-19th century villa, long since demolished.

Josephine Avenue, Brixton, photographed c 40 years after Eliza’s death. It was noted on the Booth’s Poverty Map (c. 1898) as a ‘middle-class, well-to-do’ street

By 1886, when Eliza Herbert wrote her will, she had moved with Johanna and her husband to a new house, close by, in Josephine Avenue. It was here that, on 21 March 1890, she died. Her estate amounted to over £800 (roughly £100,000+ in 2020) – suggesting that the funds she had inherited had served her quite well during her extremely long life. She left her personal effects to be divided between Johanna Pearce and Herbert Gammon. Incidentally, I can’t help wondering what happened to all the household and personal possessions she inherited from her grandmother. Did she carry any Princes Square furniture and china with her from house to house or had everything been long since scattered?

And what, you might ask, is the point of all this? Well, I suppose it shows that a child, born in a far off country, out of wedlock, to an African mother, far from being repudiated by her British family, was welcomed and cherished. Knowledge of her unorthodox origin, which transgressed early 19th-century ideas of both morality and race, does not appear to have affected her family relationships. Her grandmother, referring to her as ‘the natural daughter of my son…’, was quite open about her status. Indeed, Elizabeth Herbert allocated far more care in her will to Eliza’s wellbeing than to those of her other grandchildren, the assumption being that they would be provided for by their fathers. And, as we have seen, care for Eliza continued down through the generations of the French/Gammon family. 

And what of Eliza’s appearance? Was her genetic inheritance obvious? We don’t know. She lives now only in official documents and that is not the kind of thing of which they speak. Nor do we know anything about Eliza’s attitude to her origins, other than she was quite happy to admit to having been born not only in Africa, but specifically in Cape Coast Castle. I am assuming that she left the Castle when too young to retain any memories, but she could not have escaped thinking about her mother. Was ‘Nance’ a name that Eliza knew? Was she talked of when, as a child, Eliza  lived with her grandmother in the house in Princes Square? Did Eliza subsequently take an interest in Africa, read books about it, or, perhaps, support missionary work?

As to her personality, we can only assume that Eliza was amiable, capable of maintaining family friendships throughout her long life. In her will she made bequests not only to Johanna Pearce and to Herbert Gammon, but to a number of cousins. Alas, it is the fate of single women that their memory disappears so entirely. If she had married and had children Eliza’s story might have been handed down, even surviving into the 21st century but, as it is, only an outline of her life can be resurrected, mapping a journey that brought her from Cape Coast Castle to Brixton, via Wapping.

And, of course, Brixton in the late 19th century being very different demographically, it is entirely a coincidence that this child of Africa, born above slave dungeons, should have spent her last years living a stone’s throw away from Windrush Square, now an implicit memorial to Britain’s involvement in the slave trade.

Apart from re-reading St Clair, The Grand Slave Emporium, research for this article has, of necessity, been drawn from online sources. I have, in particular, mined a plethora of records held by ancestry.co.uk and findmypast.co.uk. While doing so I realised that numerous family researchers have fatally muddled their Herbert family trees. The secret, I find, is to read all available wills. 

Copyright

All the articles on Woman and Her Sphere and are my copyright. An article may not be reproduced in any medium without my permission and full acknowledgement. You are welcome to cite or quote from an article provided you give full acknowledgement.

 

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Books And Ephemera By And About Women For Sale: Catalogue 203

 

Woman and her Sphere

Catalogue 203

See # 78

Elizabeth Crawford

5 Owen’s Row

London EC1V 4NP

elizabeth.crawford2017@outlook.com

This is my second catalogue of 2020, both, quite coincidentally, produced as the iron bars of ‘Lockdown’ descend. But I hope that a reading of it may provide a brief diversion from quotidian cares. As a salutation to suffrage collectors, I have reduced the price of some items. Although I have no intention to cease this business, launched over 36 years ago, it is not far from my mind that the time will come when needs must.

For a further 900 books from my stock, most of which are not included in this catalogue, see my store on ABE books – https://www.abebooks.co.uk/elizabeth-crawford-london/163202/sf

Index to Catalogue

Suffrage Non-fiction: Items 1-14

Suffrage Biography: Items 15-21

Suffrage Fiction: Items 22-25

Suffrage Ephemera: Items 26-78

Suffrage Ephemera from the Isabel Seymour Collection Items 79-93

Suffrage Postcards: Real Photographic: Items 94-137

Suffrage Postcards: Suffrage Artist: Items 138-139

Suffrage Postcards: Commercial Comic: Items 140-159

General Non-fiction: Items 160-193

General Biography: Items 194-278

General Ephemera: Items 279-291

General Fiction: 292-306

Women and the First World War: Items 307-313

Suffrage Non-fiction

1.  BARNSBY Votes for Women: the struggle for the vote in the Black Country 1900-1918  Integrated Publishing 1995

 Soft covers – 38pp – very good condition

[11082]                                                                                                                   SOLD

2.         BOUNDS, Joy A Song of Their Own: the fight for votes for women in Ipswich  The History Press 2014

A thorough suffrage history of the area. Soft covers – fine

[15061]                                                                                                                   SOLD

3.         CARTWRIGHT, Colin and CLARK, Andrew Walking with Buckinghamshire Suffragettes   Privately published 2012

Six heritage trails tracing the women’s suffrage movement around the Chilterns

[15063]                                                                                                                   SOLD

4.         KENT, Susan Sex and Suffrage in Britain, 1860-1914   Princeton University Press 1987

Fine in d/w (which has one slight nick)

[1361]                                                                                                                     SOLD

5.         LENEMAN, Leah The Scottish Suffragettes   NMS Publishing 2000

A handy study of the suffrage movement – constitutional and militant – in Scotland. Soft covers – very good

[15060]      SOLD                                                                                                              

6.         METCALFE, A.E. Woman’s Effort: a chronicle of British women’s fifty years’ struggle for citizenship (1865-1914)  B.H. Blackwell 1917

Essential for suffrage studies – the nearest thing there is to a contemporary study of the WSPU.  In very good condition – and very scarce. In very good condition – with the remains of the dustwrapper present…though in pieces. On the free front endpaper a previous owner has noted ‘St Cath burninng p 288’ – referring to the arson attack on St Catheriine’s Churcch, Hatcham

[14896]                                                                                                                  Sold

7.         MORGAN, David Suffragists and Liberals: the politics of woman suffrage in Britain  Basil Blackwell 1975

Fine in d/w

[12133]                                                                                                                   SOLD

8.         NOAKES, Aubrey The County Fire Office 1807-1957: a commemorative history  H.F. & G. Witherby Ltd 1957

Includes a section on the effect caused by suffragette arson on the insurance industry. Very good in chipped d/w

[7379]                                                                                                                     £10.00

9.         OVERTON, Jenny and MANT, Joan A Suffragette Nest: Peaslake, 1910 and after  Hazeltree Publishing 1998

Peaslake, a village in Surrey, attracted a number of ‘artistic’ members of the suffrage movement. Soft covers – fine condition – scarce

[15062]                                                                                                                   SOLD

10.       PAXTON, Naomi Stage Rights!: the Actresses’ Franchise League, Activism and Politics 1908-58  Manchester University Press 2018

Naomi Paxton has mined a wide range of sources to demonstrate the society’s many facets over its long life. Paxton analyses the networks that contributed to the cohesiveness of the AFL, noting that, with members of leading theatrical families, such as the Moores and the Forbes-Robertsons, prepared to take the lead, less well-established AFL members had the assurance of influential allies. An excellent contribution to ‘suffrage studies’. Mint

[14902]                                                                                                                   SOLD

11.       PROBERT, Laura Women of Kent Rally to the Cause@ a study of women’s suffrage in East Kent 1909-1918  Millicent Press 2008

Soft covers – fine

[15067]                                                                                                                   £10.00

12.       ROBINSON, Jane Hearts and Minds: the untold story of the Great Pilgrimage procession and how women won the vote  Transworld 2018

Centring on the 1913 Pilgrimage organised by the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies. Hardcovers – fine in fine d/w

[15081]                                                                                                                   SOLD

13.       STRACHEY, Ray The Cause: a short history of the women’s movement in Great Britain  G. Bell 1928

This copy belonged to Lord McGregor – author of ‘Divorce in England’, a book that includes a very useful bibliography of works on women’s rights. He has laid in the book a collection of newspaper cuttings, from the 1950s to 1970s, relating to the position of women. The copy of the book is in good condition – but he had bought it as an ex-library copy and has added a few pencilled notes on the back pastedown. An interesting association copy.

[12059]                                                                                                                   £55.00

14.       VAN HELMOND, Marij Votes for Women: events on Merseyside 1870-1928  National Museums & Galleries on Merseyside 1992

Soft covers – fine

[1745]                                                                                                                     £15.00

Suffrage Biography

15.       (BALFOUR) Joan Huffman Lady Frances: Frances Balfour, Aristocratic Suffragist   Matador 2018

Excellent biography of one of the leaders of the NUWSS. Fine in d/w

[15041]                                                                                                                   SOLD

16.       (DUNIWAY) Ruth Barnes Moynihan Rebel for Rights: Abigail Scott Duniway  Yale University Press 1983

Abigal Scott Duniway (1834-1915), American suffragist, journalist, and national leader.  Fine in d/w

[1205]                                                                                                              £5.00

17.       (HOCKIN) Simon Butler Land Girl Suffragette   Halstar 2016

Suffrage artist (see has an entry in my Suffrage ‘Reference Guide’ and in ‘Art and Suffrage’), imprisoned member of the WSPU and then, during World War One, worked on the land. Her book ‘Two Girls on the Land’, otherwise virtually unobtainable, is reprinted in this book. Illustrated. Fine in fine d/w

[15075]                                                                                                                   £18.00

18.       (MILL) John Stuart Mill Autobiography   Longmans, Green 1873

First edition in original green cloth. Internally very good – a little wear at top and bottom of spine

[14974]                                                                                                                   £75.00

19.       (PANKHURST) David Mitchell Queen Christabel: biography of Christabel Pankhurst   MacDonald and Jane’s 1977

Good in d/w – ex-library, free front end paper removed

[11623]                                                                                                                     £6.00

20.       (TYSON) Anne Ward No Stone Unturned: the story of Leonora Tyson, a Streatham suffragette  Local History Publications 2005

She was a very active member of the WSPU. Soft covers – 28pp. Scarce

[10921]                                                                                                                   £15.00

21.       (WEBB) Richard Harrison Richard Davis Webb:Dublin Quaker Printer (805-72)   Red Barn Publishing 1993

Webb was a committed anti-slavery campaigner, whose family were very involved in the Irish women’s suffrage campaign. A brief biography. Soft covers – very good condition

[15066]                                                                                                                     £8.00

Suffrage Fiction

22.       GRAY, LESLEY The King’s Jockey   Solis Press 2013

A novel centring on the life of the jockey who was riding the King’s Horse at the 1913 Derby, colliding with Emily Wilding Davison. Soft covers – fine condition

[15065]                                                                                                                     £5.00

23.       HAMILTON, Cicely William – an Englishman   Persephone 1999

The first novel published by Persephone. Mint in mint wrappers

[15076]                                                                                                                   SOLD

24.       LUCAS, E.V. Mr Ingleside   Methuen, 15th ed, no date 1910/1912?)

A novel with suffrage scenes.  Only a reading copy – cloth worn – backstrip loose

[14132]                                                                                                                     £4.00

25.       QUINN, Anthony Half the Human Race   Cape 2011

‘London. In the sweltering summer of 1911, the streets ring to the cheers of the new king’s coronation, and to the cries of suffragist women marching for the vote. One of them is the 21-year-old daughter of a middle-class Islington family fallen on hard times…Forced to abandon her dream of a medical career she is now faced with another hard choice – to maintain lawful protest against an intransigient government or to join the glass-breaking militants in the greatest cause…’ I was, I must admit, surprised to find it engaging and intelligent – rather more convincing than many of the early 20th-century suffragist novels. And there’s a man and cricket in there as well. A good read. Mint in mint d/w – signed by the author

[12485]                                                                                                                   £12.00

Suffrage Ephemera

26.       CAZALET, Thelma Mrs Pankhurst    

An article about Mrs Pankhurst by Thelma Cazalet (MP for Islington East) in ‘The Listener’ (6 Nov 1935) in a series ironically titled ‘I Knew A Man’. See also item ??. A 4-pp article – including photographs. The late-lamented ‘The Listener’ was a substantial journal in those days – this issue is 55 pages – in goodish condition – the front page is present but detached.

[14454]                                                                                                                   £20.00

27.       DYSON, Will Cartoons   The Daily Herald 1914

A Second Collection of cartoons drawn by the celebrated Australian cartoonist, Will Dyson (1880-1938), and published in ‘The Daily Herald’. Among the 40 are 6 directly related to the suffrage campaign. In fair condition  the middle 2pp have come loose from the staples and the edges are a little rubbed. Could be broken up and the prints framed individually. Large format – 36 x 26 cm – paper covers

[13801]                                                                                                                   £85.00

# 28

28.       ELMY, Elizabeth Wostenholme Woman’s Franchise: the need of the hour   ILP 2nd ed, no date [1907]

A campaigner for women’s suffrage since the mid-1860s, she had put aside a lifetime’s aversion to party politics and joined the Manchester ILP in 1904. This article was originally published in the ‘Westminster Review’. In her concise style she analyses the events of the previous 40 years and demands that Liberal MPs who profess to support women’s suffrage honour their pledges. Very good – withdrawn from the Women’s Library (duplicate)

[15002]                                                                                                                   £35.00

#29

29.       ‘HOLLOWAY PRISON’ BROOCH      

designed by Sylvia Pankhurst and was awarded to members of the WSPU who had been imprisoned. It was first mentioned in the WSPU paper, ‘Votes for Women’, on 16 April 1909 and was described as ‘the Victoria Cross of the Union’. [It pre-dated the Hunger-Strike medal]. The design of the brooch is of the portcullis symbol of the House of Commons, the gate and hanging chains are in silver, and the superimposed broad arrow (the convict symbol) is in purple, white and green enamel. The piece is marked ‘silver’ and carries the maker’s name – Toye & Co, London, who were also responsible for the hunger strike medals. The brooch is in fine condition. A very scarce item

[14881]                                                                                                            SOLD

30.       HOPE JOSEPH Sailing Boats in a Bay    

[Agnes] Hope Joseph was a co-founder of the Suffrage Atelier, worked all her life as a professional artist and has a comprehensive entry in my ‘Art and Suffrage: a biographical dictionary of suffrage artists’. She has a couple of works in public collections – and is known to have painted similar harbour scenes in Cornwall and Britanny. This is a pastel, 31 x 47cm, and is signed. In good condition in what I imagine is its original frame

[15026]                                                                                                                 £280.00

31.       INTERNATIONAL WOMAN SUFFRAGE CONGRESS      

Budapest June 15-20 1913. This is a small advertising paper label/stamp (it has a sticky back) for the Congress – showing two graceful women stretching their arms, to hold hands across the globe. The type-face is very 1913. A pretty and interesting memento of the last pre-war international women’s gathering. Fine -amazingly ephemeral – and  unusual. With the background printed in blue

[14505]                                                                                                                   £85.00

32.       MISS EMILY FAITHFULL      

studio photograph by W & D Downey, 57 & 61 Ebury Street, London, together with a printed brief biography.

[14029]                                                                                                                   £40.00

33.       MISS MORGAN, OF BRECON The Duties of Citizenship   Women’s Local Government Society c 1912

Extracts reprinted from a paper read at the Annual Conference of the National Union of Women Workers, Manchester, October 27th 1896. By the time this leafet was issued Miss Morgan had been Mayor of Brecon, 1911-12. 4-pp – good – withdrawn from the Women’s Library

[13833]                                                                                                                     SOLD

34.       NATIONAL LEAGUE FOR OPPOSING WOMAN SUFFRAGE Mr J.R. Tolmie’s Reply to Mr L. Housman’s Pamphlet   NLOWS no date (1913)

The pamphlet of Laurence Housman’s to which this refers is ‘The Physical Force Fallacy’. Pamphlet no 37 issued by the National League for Opposing Woman Suffrage. 4-pp – very good

[13145]                                                                                                                   £65.00

#35

35.       NATIONAL UNION OF WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE SOCIETIES BADGE      

circular, enamel. The upper half is red and carries the words ‘National Union Of”, the middle horizontal section is white with ‘Women’s Suffrage’ and the bottom half is green with ‘Societies’. The maker’s name is W.O. Lewis of Howard St, Birmingham. In very good condition – ready to wear

[14879]                                                                                                                 £750.00

#36

36.       NATIONAL UNION OF WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE SOCIETIES LARGE, HEAVY WOODEN SHIELD      

Aross the top of the shield a painted banner, in red on white, reads ‘NUWSS North-Eastern’ with the number ’25’ encircled in green on the right-hand side. Underneath is painted the well-known NUWSS ‘tree’ showing the branches of the NUWSS federations, each with a number attached, these relating to the number of societies that comprised each federation.The ’25’ indicates that at this time the North-Eastern Federation was composed of 25 societies. Eighteen federations are shown, suggesting to me that the shield dates from c 1913. ‘Founded 1867’ is painted at the base of the ‘tree’. The shield is 53.5cm  (21″) at its widest and is 49cm (19.5″) high – a substantial object. I wonder if every federation had a similar shield?The NUWSS paper, ‘Common Cause’, 22 March 1918, reveals that when decorating the Queen’s Hall for the ‘Victory’ celebrations, there were 21 federation sheilds available, ‘with heraldic devices’ -soquite different from this one with the NUWSS ‘tree’ image. A shield certainly unique to the North-Eastern Federation – in good condition.

[14890]                                                                                                              £2,500.00

37.       NATIONAL WOMEN’S SOCIAL AND POLITICAL UNION What Women Demand   WSPU no date [c 1908/1909]

Leaflet setting out simply the terms on which the WSPU was asking for the vote for women. Single-sided leaflet (22cm x 14) – very good condition

[14436]                                                                                                                   £75.0

38.       NO VOTE – NO CENSUS – CENSUS RESISTED BADGE      

Metal badge worn by suffragettes who boycotted the April 1911 census. Around the outside of the badge is ‘No Vote – No Census – Census Resisted and in the centre ‘A census for Gt Britain shall be taken in the year 1911 & the census day shall be Sunday the 2nd day of April in that year’. The round  black and grey badge still carries on its reverse the maker’s paper ‘Merchants Portrait Co.’. This badge is extremely scarce and is in fine condition

[15032]                                                                                                                   SOLD

39.       POLITICAL INFORMATION OFFICES FOR WOMEN Objects    

A one-sided leaflet setting out the Objects of the Political Information Offices for Women and describing how it was ‘ready to supply speakers to give short informative addresses on subjects connected with the local and parliamentary vote, and political procedure.’ Speakers would also be able available to give information on ‘reconstruction problems’.

I can find no record of anyone writing about this organisation. My research indicates that it was in existence by Nov 1918 (at the time of the first general election at which some women could vote)…and its aims were to provide women with a political education. The organisation appears to have been short-lived; the last notice I can find of it dates from mid-1920. Among the names of speakers that appear in newspaper notices, I recognise only one, Clementina Gordon, who had been an NUWSS organiser before the First World War.I can find no mention of who were the principals behind the organisation. Perhaps someone knows? The printer of the leaflet is J.E. Francis, a long-standing supporter of women’s suffrage. In very good condition, a little creased across one corner. Unusual

[15056]                                                                                                                   £45.00

40.       PUNCH CARTOON      

5 March 1913.’The Majesty of the Law’ is the caption. Blind Justice stands with the scales in one hand and her sword wrapped round with a cloth labelled ‘Hunger Strike’. A house is in flames in the background. Full-page -very good

[14319]                                                                                                                   £12.00

41.       PUNCH CARTOON      

21 January 1912 – full page – ‘The Suffrage Split’. Sir George Askwith (the charismatic industrial conciliator), as ‘Fairy Peacemaker’, has tamed the dragon of the Cotton Strike – and Asquith, wrestling to keep a seat on the Cabinet horse turns to him ‘Now that you’ve charmed yon dragon I shall need ye to stop the strike inside this fractious gee-gee.’

[14323]                                                                                                                   £12.00

42.       PUNCH CARTOON      

30 Nov 1910, scene is a suffragette demonstration, ‘Votes for Women’ flags flying. Two young street urchins observe and comment.  Caption is ‘Man of the World (lighting up), “Well ‘ave to give it ’em, I expect, Chorlie”‘. Half-page illustration

[14324]                                                                                                                   SOLD

43.       PUNCH CARTOON      

1 January 1908. ‘Leap-Year: or, the Irrepressible Ski’. A suffragette, attired in her winter furs and scarves, sails through the air on her skis (both labelled ‘Agitation’) and carrying her ‘Votes for Women’ pennant. Full page – good

[14332]                                                                                                                   £12.00

44.       PUNCH CARTOON      

18 April 1906. ‘A Temporary Entanglement’ – a scene from ‘Vanity Fair’. Sir Henry Campbell Bannerman as Josh Sedley holds the wool as The Suffragette (aka Becky Sharp) winds it into a ball. The allusion is to the news that ‘The Prime Minister has promised to receive a deputation on the subject of Female Suffrage after Easter’. Full-page cartoon by Bernard Partridge

[14333]                                                                                                                   £12.00

45.       PUNCH CARTOON      

5 October 1927. As a young woman takes her gun from the ghillie an elderly gentleman (the Conservative Party) looks concerned and remarks ‘I hope she’s got enough ‘intuition’ not to let it off in my direction’. The remark is explained: ‘The question of extended suffrage for women [ie for those between 21 and 30] [in whose ‘intuition’ Mr Baldwin reposes so much confidence will be raised in the approaching Conference of the Conservative Party]. Full page

[14334]                                                                                                                   £12.00

46.       PUNCH CARTOON      

23 May 1928. A gentleman identified as Lord Banbury kneels in a ring (it’s an allusion to the Royal Tournament which was doubtless on at the time) and opens his umbrella to defend himself against the horde of cloche-hatted women who are rushing towards him carrying their flag for the ‘Equal Franchise Bill’. In the debate on the Representation of the People Act on 21 May 1928 Lord Banbury had attempted to move its rejection. Full-page cartoon – good – one corner creased

[14335]                                                                                                                   £12.00

47.       PUNCH CARTOON      

18 June 1913. ‘Atmosphere of distrust at a garden party owing to rumour that a militant is present’. Love the stylish 1913 clothes – but all – men and women  and children – are all looking over their (literal and proverbial) shoulders. Half-page cartoon

[14341]                                                                                                                   £10.00

48.       PUNCH CARTOON      

26 March 1913. ‘Burglary Up-To-Date’. Burglar has taken his swag from a safe and now writes ‘Votes for Women’ across the jemmied door. Half-page cartoon – good condition

[14343]                                                                                                                   £10.00

49.       PUNCH CARTOON      

19 March 1913. At a railway wayside halt the stationmaster asks the signalman to keep an eye on ‘the ole gal on the platform’ while he has his dinner. The signalman doesn’t think she’ll come to any harm but the stationmaster explains ‘I’m not thinkin’ of ‘er ‘ealth. I’m thinkin’ about my station. She might want to burn it down.’ Half-page cartoon – very good

[14344]                                                                                                                   £10.00

50.       PUNCH CARTOON      

5 March 1913. ‘The child is daughter to the woman’ is the caption. Suffragette mother returns after a strenuous day and is expecting some important correspondence. Her daughter, however, reveals she has torn up the letters to provide a paperchase for her dolls. Mother expostulates: ‘..Haven’t I often told you that letters are sacred things?’ A comment on suffragette attacks on post-boxes. A half-page cartoon – very good

[14345]                                                                                                                   £10.00

51.       PUNCH CARTOON      

5 February 1913. ‘How Militant Suffragettes Are Made’. A cheeky caddie explains to a visiting golfer that the old green they are passsing gets flooded and ‘so they’ve give it up to the lydies.’ A half-page cartoon – very good

[14347]                                                                                                                   £10.00

52.       PUNCH CARTOON      

29 January 1913. ‘Rag-Time in the House’ is the caption. Members of the government are enjoying the ‘Suffrage Free & Easy Go As You Please’ dance.  Asquith, with an ‘Anti’ label, is keeping an eye on Lloyd George (wearing a ‘Pro’ armband) jitterbugs with Sir Edward. The sub-text is ‘Sir Edward Grey’s Woman Suffrage Amendment produces some curious partnerships’. Full-page cartoon – very good

[14349]                                                                                                                   £12.00

53.       PUNCH CARTOON      

23 June 1912. ‘Votes for Men and Women’ is the caption. John Bull is sitting comfortably and turns round as Nurse Asquith enters carrying a baby labelled ‘Franchise Bill’. In answer to JB’s query ‘she’ replies: ‘Well, Sir, it’s certainly not a girl, and I very much doubt if it’s a boy’. The government’s Franchise and Registration bill was given its first Reading on 18 June 1912. Full-page cartoon – very good

[14350]                                                                                                                   £12.00

54.       PUNCH CARTOON      

27 March 1912. A young suffragette is standing on a table addressing a crowd: ‘I defy anyone to name a field of endeavour in which men do not receive more consideration than women!’ A Voice from the Crowd retorts: ‘What about the bally ballet!’  A half-page cartoon – very good

[14351]                                                                                                                   £10.00

55.       PUNCH CARTOON      

7 December 1910. ‘Voter’s Vertigo’ is the caption. It is the second general election of 1910 and the voter is all in a tizz..muddling up all the campaign slogans..(e’g. ‘don’t tax the poor man’s dreadnought’ and ‘home rule for suffragettes’). A quarter of a page cartoon – very good

[14352]                                                                                                                     £8.00

56.       PUNCH CARTOON      

6 January 1909. ‘Hereditary Instinct’ is the caption. Suffragette mother, in her outdoor dress, takes time ‘from really important things’ to visit the nursery and finds her daughter distraught amidst a plethora of exciting-looking toys. When Mother asks what, with all these toys, can she possibly want she replies, ‘I want a vote!’ Half-page cartoon – very good

[14353]                                                                                                                   £10.00

57.       PUNCH CARTOON      

24 December 1908. Two male Anti-suffragists, perhaps lounging at the Club, are talking about the suffrage campaign. One says ‘The idea of their wantin’ to be like us!’ while the other agrees ‘Yes, makin’ themselves utterly ridiculous’. Half-page cartoon – very good

[14354]                                                                                                                   £10.00

58.       QUESTIONS TO LLOYD GEORGE ASKED BY THE WOMEN’S SOCIAL AND POLITICAL UNION      

11 questions concerning his behaviour re introducing a Government measure for Manhood Suffrage in 1913…Among the many other pertinent questions ‘Why do you expect us to accept your personal and unofficial advocacy of Woman Suffrage as a substitute for united and offiicial action on the part of the Government as a whole? In good condition – some creasing. 2-sided leaflet, printed in purple

[15006]                                                                                                                 £100.00

#59

#59

59.       SUFFRAGETTE BANNER – ‘VOTES FOR WOMEN IN 1912’      

AN AMAZING FIND – a banner bearing the legend ‘Votes for Women in 1912’ The banner was created for the 14 July 1912 demonstration organised by Sylvia Pankhurst in Hyde Park to mark Mrs Pankhurst’s birthday.Still  attached to it is a luggage-type label bearing the information ‘Platform 2′ Votes for Women 1912’. This, however, doesn’t refer to a railway platform but to the Hyde Park Platform 2, chaired by Georgina Brackenbury at which the speakers were Mrs Cameron Swan, Mrs Massy and Miss Amy Hicks. The banner is 193 cm (76 inches) at its widest x  111 cm (44 inches) high, with a machine-stiched pocket running down the right-hand side into whiich a stiffening rod was presumably inserted. Small rings have been hand-sewn to the top and the bottom of this pocket. The left -hand side of the banner is shaped as a sideways ‘V’ – all the better to flutter in the wind. The material is a cream cotton and the lettering is painted on in green.

‘Votes for Women’, 19 July 1912, p 686 gives details of those who worked on the banners for the demonstration. The main work was carried out in the studio in the garden of 2 Phillimore Terrace, Kensington, the home of Mrs Ferguson, mother of Rachel. Particular mention is made of Norah Smyth, who ‘was responsible for 100 flags wiith painted mottoes’ and of Olive Hockin, who took over when Norah was absent. Could either of them have painted this banner?

With another similar, the banner was discovered some years ago by a vintage clothes dealer at the bottom of a bag of garments she had purchased from a house in Old Brompton Road, Chelsea..In nearly 100 years they hadn’t moved far. I wonder who had taken them home from Hyde Park?

The banner is in surprisingly good condition – in that it is intact, no moth holes, the painted lettering is still quite bright. The marks that it does show are consonant with having been carried in a great demonstration – a little muddied  and marked..

[14921]                                                                                                              £8,400.00

#60

60.       SUFFRAGETTE CHINA – ‘ANGEL OF FREEDOM’ DESIGN      

Cup, saucer and small plate made by Williamsons of Longton for the WSPU in 1909, initially for use in the refreshment room of the Prince’s Skating Rink Exhibition and then sold in aid of funds. The white china has strikingly clean, straight lines and is rimmed in dark green with a green handle to the cup. Each piece carries the motif, designed by Sylvia Pankhurst, of the ‘angel of freedom’ blowing her trumpet and flying the banner of ‘Freedom. In the background are the initials ‘WSPU’ set against dark prison bars, surrounded by the thistle, shamrock and rose, and dangling chains. For more information on the WSPU china see my website – http://tinyurl.com/o4whadq. One each of cup, saucer and plate – a trio – together- in very good condition

[14894]                                                                                                              £2,000.00

#61

61.       SUFFRAGETTE CHINA – ‘ANGEL OF FREEDOM’ DESIGN      

Sugar bowl made by Williamsons of Longton for the WSPU in 1909, initially for use in the refreshment room of the Prince’s Skating Rink Exhibition and then sold in aid of funds. The sugar bowl is decorated with the motif, designed by Sylvia Pankhurst, of the ‘angel of freedom’ blowing her trumpet and flying the banner of ‘Freedom. In the background are the intitials ‘WSPU’ set against dark prison bars, surrounded by the thistle, shamrock and rose, and dangling chains. The china was sold as sets – several cups, saucers and plates accompanied by one teapot and one sugar bowl and so, naturally, sugar bowls are something of a rarity. For more information on the WSPU china see my website – http://tinyurl.com/o4whadq. In fine condition

[15042]                                                                                                              £1,400.00

#62

62.       SUFFRAGETTE CHINA – ‘ANGEL OF FREEDOM’ DESIGN      

Milk Jug from the tea set designed by Sylvia  Pankhurst, with the ‘Angel of Freedom’ device. Made by Williams of Longton, Staffordshire,  for use in the tea room at the WSPU Exhibition, 1909.  5″/12.7cm high. Vert rare – in fine condition

[15043]                                                                                                              £1,800.00

63.       SUFFRAGETTE CHINA – ‘ANGEL OF FREEDOM’ DESIGN      

Saucer (12.25cm) made by Williamsons of Longton for the WSPU in 1909, initially for use in the refreshment room of the Prince’s Skating Rink Exhibition and then sold in aid of funds. The white china has strikingly clean, straight lines and is rimmed in dark green. Each piece carries the motif, designed by Sylvia Pankhurst, of the ‘angel of freedom’ blowing her trumpet and flying the banner of ‘Freedom. In the background are the intitials ‘WSPU’ set against dark prison bars, surrounded by the thistle, shamrock and rose, and dangling chains. For more information on the WSPU china see my website – http://tinyurl.com/o4whadq. This piece originally belonged to a well-known suffragette Mrs Rose Lamartine Yates. In fine condition

[15058]                                                                                                                 £450.00

64.       THE CONCILIATION BILL EXPLAINED      

Leaflet headed ‘Votes for Women’, probably dating from 1910. settng out the contents of the Conciliation Bill, which had passed its Second Reading in July 1910, and explaining details,such as which groups of women would be enfranchised under tis terms. Printed by Baines and Scarsbrook, 75 Fairfax Road, South Hampstead and with the rubber stamp of the WFL [Women’s Freedom League] 1 Robert St, Adelphi. In pristine condition, having been found laid betwen the pages of a book.

[15036]                                                                                                                 £120.00

65.       ‘THE END OF THE HUNGER STRIKE. SHE COULDN’T RESIST THAT! PLASMON OATS’      

Advertisement for Plasmon Oats, showing the hunger striker in her cell, a bowl of oats – and its packet – on bench beside her. The vapour is steaming towards her spelling out the message ‘(V)Oats for Women’. The young woman is dressed in a white blouse with purple and green trim and a purple skirt trimmed in green, so the message that she is a suffragette is not missed. A prison guard looks through a barred window into the cell to view the effect of this hot, nourishing dish (round the rim of the bowl is written ‘70% more nourishment than any other oats’.  Plasmon was a proprietory dried milk that was added to various products including oats..hence, Plasmon Oats. The artist was Anita Reed, who was born in Finsbury Park in 1891 and in 1911 (around the time of this item) was still only 20. On the 1911 census she is described as an artist and was living at home in Twickenham with her parents and younger brother. There is not much information available about her..but by 1925, still an artist, she had emigrated to Canada, to where returned at the end of that year after a visit to the Twickenham home.

I think this version of the image dates from the 1960s, reproduced on a calendar, from which it has been removed and tben framed – the frame now very riickety. The poster is 30cm x 18cm and, with the wooden frame, the item measures 33cm x 22 cm. Another example of the adaptability of a suffragette trope. I note that the V & A holds an example of the image which is described as a ‘poster’, although their catalogue doesn’t give dimensions. In good condition – most unusual

[14909]                                                                                                                   £40.00

66.       THE FIGHTING SEX      

This issue of the part-work ‘History of the 20th Century’ includes a section on the suffrage campaign – written by Trevor Lloyd (author of ‘Suffragettes International’). Paper covers – large format

[14074]                                                                                                                     £5.00

67.       THE MARLBOROUGH THEATRE, Holloway Road, London      

Theatre programme for the Boxing Day 1910 performance of ‘The Musical, Mirthful, Spectacular Pantomime DICK WHITTINGTON’ – a most appropriate choice as Dick Whittington is very much a local hero in Holloway. In this production the cook to Alderman Fitzwarren is ‘Eliza, a Suffragette’, played by Dan Crawley (1872-1912), an Irish comedian who had considerable success as a pantomime dame.  Clearly at this time the idea of a ‘suffragette’ was a good fit for a cross-dressing humourous character. Incidentally, the Marlborough Theatre was designed by the renowned Frank Matcham and had opened in 1903. The programme is packed with advertisements for local businesses, including one for the Dimoline Piano Co whose owners were members of the WSPU and regular advertisers in ‘Votes for Women’. In good condition, with decorative cover

[14439]                                                                                                                   £35.00

68.       ‘THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN’      

supplement to ‘The Graphic’, 1885, heralding the supplements to be issued in Nov and Dec 1885 on ‘Parliamentary Elections and Electioneering in the Old Days’. As its advertisement for the series The Graphic has chosen to use George Cruickshank’s ”The Rights of Women; or a view of the hustings with female suffrage, 1853.’ We see on the hustings the two candidates –  ‘The Ladies’ Candidate’- Mr Darling’ and ‘The Gentleman’s Candidate – Mr Screwdriver – the great political economist’. Elegant Mr Darling is surrounded by ladies in bonnets and crinolines – Mr Screwdriver by ill-tempered-looking boors. The audience contains many women accompanied, presumably, by their husbands who are holding aloft a ‘Husband and Wife Voters’ banner. Another banner proclaims the existence of ‘Sweetheart Voters’ and riding in their midst is a knight in armour holding a ‘Vote for the Ladies’ Champion’ pennant. There do not appear to be many supporters of the opposition.

Single sheet 28 cm x 20.5 cm – a little foxed around the edges of the paper but barely afffecting the good, clear image of Crucikshank’s cartoon.

[13690]                                                                                                                 £160.00

69.       VOTES FOR WOMEN 3 DECEMBER 1908      

The paper of the Women’s Social and Political Union. This issue contains, among a host of other interesting items and information, a photograph of WSPU members, dressed in prison uniform, campaigning from the top of a bus at the Chelmsford by-election. ‘From the roof of the omnibus, whenever houses showed by the road, came the shout: Votes for Women and keep the Liberal out’. In very good condition (slight rusting around the staples).

[15018]                                                                                                                   SOLD

70.       VOTES FOR WOMEN CHRISTMAS DOUBLE NUMBER      

issue for 5 Dec 1913. This comes after the Pank-Peth split and ‘Votes for Women’, edited by Frederick and Emmeline Pethick Lawrence is now associated with their new society, the Votes for Women Fellowship. The colours of the Fellowship were purple, red and white and, as a special Christmas treat, the 4 front and back pages of the issue are printed in red and purple, on white paper, holly garlanding the cover. One full page is devoted to a rhyme by Laurence Housman (‘The Political Situation in 1913’) delightfully illustrated by Honor C. Appleton. There are also stories by Gertrude Colmore and Evelyn Sharp, a piece by Israel Zangwill on ‘Actresses and the Vote’, a review of a production by the Pioneer Players, and an editorial by Emmeline Pethick Lawrence – as well as masses of advertisements. Large format -20pp in good condition for its age. Extremely scarce

[15057]                                                                                                                   SOLD

#71

71.       WOMEN’S SOCIAL AND POLITICAL UNION SILVER AND ENAMEL BADGE/BROOCH      

comprising the WSPU ‘colours’ of purple, white and green – shown in horizontal strips on this elegant badge. It was made by the badge-making firm Toye of Clerkenwell Road, London, who also made the hunger-strike medals for the WSPU. In fact, badges such as this were on occasion added to the ribbon of the hunger-strike medal to indicate that the recipient had undergone a series of hungerstrikes. The badge is in very good condition – very scarce – dating from c 1908-1914 – and yet ready to wear now

[15033]                                                                                                                 £900.00

#72

72.       WSPU BADGE      

– circular – celluloid – in purple, white and green – showing Sylvia Pankhurst’s design of the woman breaking free from her prison cell – enwrapped in a Votes for Women’ ribbon. The badge is in fine condition and still has on the reverse the paper bearing the maker’s details – Pellett Ltd, 62 High Holborn. The Pellett family had businesses at that address since at least the 1860s. In fine condition – very scarce – I don’t think I have had one of these badges for sale before.

[15039]                                                                                                              £1,000.00

73.       WSPU CORONATION PROCESSION – 17 JUNE 1911      

Souvenir tissue printed by Mrs Sarah Burgess, 18 York Place, Strand, to commemorate the WSPU’s Coronation Procession. It reproduces images of many of the speakers and gives details of the contingents taking part – including the Historical Pageant of Women – and gives details of the route. The border is a blaze of brightly coloured patriotic flags linked by now rather faded floral devices. The tissue is in good condition and has already been framed. I don’t think I have ever previously had such a commemoration of the Coronation Procession for sale.

[15023]                                                                                                                 £800.00

74.       WSPU PROGRAMME AND SOUVENIR      

commemorative WSPU crepe paper souvenir  – ‘ ‘Official Programme for the Great Demonstration’ in Hyde Park’ on 21 June 1908 – reproducing portraits of the speakers -including Mary Gawthorpe, Annie Kenney, Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, Emmeline Pankhurst, Adela Pankhurst, and Nellie Kenney. At the centre of the piece is a map of Hyde Park, showing the positions of the 20 platforms for the speakers. Printed by Mrs S. Burgess, Buckingham Street, Strand. The border is of purple violets and green leaves – fitting in with the WSPU’s new colour scheme, first revealed on this occasion. A supremely ephemeral piece- in very good condition – colours bright – slight crease down thc centre where it was once folded. Would look great framed

[14891]                                                                                                                 £950.00

75.       WSPU PROGRAMME AND SOUVENIR      

commemorative WSPU paper tissue souvenir for the demonstration in Hyde Park on 21 June 1908 – reproducing portraits of the speakers -including Mary Gawthorpe, Annie Kenney, Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, Emmeline Pankhurst, Adela Pankhurst, and Nellie Kenney. At the centre of the piece is a map of Hyde Park, showing the positions of the 20 platforms for the speakers. Interestingly this tissue souvenir differs from the one, printed by Mrs S Burgess, that we more usually see. The edges of this paper souvenir are deckled and the images of the speakers are reproductions of real photographs (rather than Mrs Burgess’ line-drawings). It was this design that was used on posters advertising the demonstration. See also item ??. It’s interesting that there were two different souvenir programmes issued.. A supremely ephemeral annd scarce piece- already framed, protecting its fragility

[15022]                                                                                                                 £800.00

76.       WSPU SCOTTISH BRANCH CHINA – PLATE      

Plate designed by Sylvia Pankhurst for use at the refreshment stall at the Scottish WSPU Exhibition held in Glasgow at the end of April 1910. Here Sylvia’s ‘angel of freedom’, used on the china for the 1909 WSPU London exhibition,  is allied, on white china, with the Scottish thistle, handpainted, in purple and green, inside transfer outlines.The Scottish version was commissioned from the Diamond China Co, a Longton (staffordshire) pottery. After the exhibition the china was sold  – Votes for Women, 18 May 1910, noting that ‘a breakfast set for two, 11s; small tea set 15s, whole tea set £2, or pieces may be had singly’. This Scottish WSPU china is extremely rare – and would make a wonderful addition to any suffrage collection.

[15095]                                                                                                                   SOLD

#77

77.       WSPU SCOTTISH BRANCH CHINA – SAUCER      

Saucer designed by Sylvia Pankhurst for use at the refreshment stall at the Scottish WSPU Exhibition held in Glasgow at the end of April 1910. Here Sylvia’s ‘angel of freedom’, used on the china for the 1909 WSPU London exhibition,  is allied, on white china, with the Scottish thistle, handpainted, in purple and green, inside transfer outlines.The Scottish version was commissioned from the Diamond China Co, a Longton (Staffordshire) pottery. After the exhibition the china was sold  – Votes for Women, 18 May 1910, noting that ‘a breakfast set for two, 11s; small tea set 15s, whole tea set £2, or pieces may be had singly’. This saucer has, as you can see in the picture, a slight crack, which allows me to allocate it a rather lower price than it would otherwise command. This Scottish WSPU china is extremely rare.

[15096]                                                                                                                 £300.00

78.       WSPU SCOTTISH BRANCH CHINA TRIO      

Cup, saucer and plate (a trio) designed by Sylvia Pankhurst for use at the refreshment stall at the Scottish WSPU Exhibition held in Glasgow at the end of April 1910. Here Sylvia’s ‘angel of freedom’, used on the china for the 1909 WSPU London exhibition,  is allied, on white china, with the Scottish thistle, handpainted, in purple and green, inside transfer outlines.The Scottish version was commissioned from the Diamond China Co, a Longton (staffordshire) pottery. After the exhibition the china was sold  – Votes for Women, 18 May 1910, noting that ‘a breakfast set for two, 11s; small tea set 15s, whole tea set £2, or pieces may be had singly’. This Scottish WSPU china is extremely rare – and would make a wonderful addition to any suffrage collection. For image, see the front page of this catalogue.

[15059]                                                                                                             SOLD

Suffrage Ephemera from the Isabel Seymour Collection

Marion Isabella Seymour [known as Isabel Seymour] (1882-1968) was born in Mayfair, London, the eldest child of Charles Read Seymour (1855-1935), a barrister, and Marion Frances Violet Seymour [née Luxford] (1855-1900). In 1891 the Seymour family lived at The Elms, Hartley Wintney, Hampshire. Isabel now had two younger brothers and a sister and the household was attended by a governess, six servants, and a coachman. Another sister was born in 1893. Charles Seymour was a Justice of the Peace and chairman of the parish council. 

At the beginning of the 20th century the family moved to a new house, Inholmes Court, Hartley Wintney, designed for them in 1899 by an architect friend, Robert Weir Schulz. The move may have taken place just after the death of Isabel’s mother on 21 October 1900.

In 1902 Charles Seymour remarried. His new wife, Adelaide Bentinck, the daughter of a Hampshire neighbour, was 28 years old, only about eight years older than Isabel. There were to be two more children of this second marriage. 

We know nothing of Isabel’s education other than she was fluent in German and that her spelling in English could be a little erratic. She was probably educated at home for a time by a series of governesses – of which one may perhaps have been German? Her slightly younger sister, Elinor, was a pupil at a girls’ boarding school at Southbourne, Hampshire, in 1901 and it may be that Isabel did attend that school, or a similar establishment, for the final years of her education. 

There is no trace of Isabel in the 1901 census; it may be that she was abroad.  It is likely that at this stage of her life Isabel was supported by her father but that, later, as his finances grew more precarious (he only left c £600 when he died in 1934), she did have to provide something towards her own living costs. Certainly, by the time Isabel Seymour became involved with the WSPU she was living In London, at an address, 36 Chenies Street Chambers [address sourced from a letter from her in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 29 November 1907] that was just the place for a young woman such as her. For these ‘Ladies’ Residential Chambers’, the brainchild of Millicent Fawcett’s sister, Agnes Garrett, were intended for ‘educated working women’, a place where they could have their own room(s) away from the indignities of the boarding house. [I write extensively about the ‘Ladies’ Residential Chambers’ in my Enterprising Women: the Garretts and their circle ­– and there is one rather idiosyncratic article about the establishment on my website – see https://wp.me/p2AEiO-g2.] So Isabel was among others similarly minded, who, although most probably pro-suffrage, were less likely to be sympathisers of the WSPU but, rather, to be in favour of the constitutional methods of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies.

Items in Isabel Seymour’s collection suggest that she had joined the WSPU no later than mid-1906, probably earlier. Isabel Seymour was interviewed by Antonia Raeburn for The Militant Suffragettes, a book she had begun working on in 1964, although it was not published until 1973, five years after Isabel Seymour’s death. Raeburn described her as ‘a young friend of the Pethick Lawrences [who] came to work in the office [at Clement’s Inn] when it first opened. The fact that she was friendly with the Pethick Lawrences might suggest that Isabel Seymour had been involved in some kind of ‘mission’ or ‘social’ work. Certainly in 1904, when still living at home in Hampshire, she had been appointed as an assistant visitor to the children of the local Workhouse.

Interviewed by Antonia Raeburn, for her book, The Militant Suffragettes (1973), Isabel Seymour described the early days in Clement’s Inn:

‘It was very happy-go-lucky – envelope addressing, and the almost daily tea party. Mrs Pankhurst used to descend but she wasn’t permanently there. I remember the sort of feeling that she was still a bit of an outsider. But of course Christabel was always at Clement’s Inn. The Pethick Lawrences had put the spare room of their flat at her disposal. They really were like overshadowing guardian angels.’ 

As a full-time worker for the WSPU Isabel Seymour would have been paid; the general rate seems to have been £2 a week. By 1907 her skill as a suffrage speaker had been recognised and, as well as speaking at London meetings, she went on tours around the country, visiting Scotland on several occasions, where she was always particularly well received. In 1909 she was congratulated on her excellent German when on a WSPU speaking-tour of Germany, which she followed up with a speech in Brussels. In 1910 she took her suffrage tour to Austria and Hungary. In a reported speech in her home village of Winchfield in Hampshire she particularly mentioned ‘the benefits derived by women who had the franchise in New Zealand and Australia and she conclude by appealing to all to think over this question in their minds seriously, and ask themselves whether as women they did not wish to leave the world better than they found it, so that the next generation should have to enter the arena of the labour market handicapped and with little or no protection as was the case now. Many of them had given up ease, money, and even their lives for this great cause, because they saw the great wrongs under which many of their sisters laboured. Their cause was going forward, and truth, justice, liberty, and progress would certainly win.’ [Votes for Women, 14 April 1911 p 462]

From her earliest days with the WSPU Isabel Seymour was ‘Hospitality Secretary’, which involved finding accommodation for country members who came to London to attend meetings and demonstrations. As WSPU militancy increased in 1909 and more and more women were imprisoned and then went on hunger strike, she handed over this post to another WSPU activist and instead became ‘Prisoners’ Secretary’. Thus more onerous task involved dealing with all aspects of WSPU imprisonment – attempts to get bail, the treatment of prisoners once incarcerated, dealing with enquiries from prisoners’ families, keeping track of prisoners and their sentences, informing readers of Votes for Women of the prisoners still held in any one week, and helping organise the ‘release’ demonstrations.

It is not known when she left England but in September 1916 Isabel Seymour was living in Canada, her address being the Okangan Gate Ranch, Enderby, British Columbia. Other than that she was living there with a friend, it is not clear what had brought her to Enderby, a very small town, with a population of 700+ in 1921, However, on 15 September 1916 Isabel Seymour wrote a letter to the Woman’s Dreadnought ( a paper edited by Sylvia Pankhurst) revealing that ‘yesterday I became a voter’. She explained how the British Columbia had ‘decided to have a Referendum on “Women’s Suffrage and Prohibition” – the first Referendum ever held here. There has been but little time to carry propaganda out, and therefore this vote has come as the result of the genuine conviction on men’s part that we have earned our vote I may say that the work the women have done in England since the war had a great effect on the result here. Personally I have been speaking on the platforms of both candidates in our constituency, and they were only pleased to have me. There has been no opposition at all and I never met any man who was going to vote against the suffrage. We have had encouragement and help all the time.

I never thought to get a vote here; when we came it was so far away and no one cared. How is the W.S.F.? If I ever come back to England I shall come and work for you, but now I feel as if my work were starting out here…’

However Isabel Seymour did not remain in Canada but returned to England after the death of the friend with whom she lived. She sailed into Southampton from New York, on 27 December 1920 and by March 1922 was elected a member of the Hampshire County Council, as representative of the St Paul and St Thomas ward in Winchester. She was now living in the town, with her father and step-mother in Bereweeke House, a large Edwardian house standing in spacious grounds. She remained a councillor for many years, serving for some time on the Education Committee, taking a special interest in trying to achieve equality for women head-teachers.

Isabel’s father died in 1934 and it is likely that the Bereweeke household then broke up. Certainly by 1939 Isabel, still a county councillor, was living with Dorothy Pearce, an old friend from Hartley Wintney, at Littlemount, 7 Bassett Row, Southampton. Emmeline Pethick Lawrence remained a friend all her life, leaving Isabel Seymour a bequest in her will.

The following items all once belonged to Isabel Seymour.

79.       [1906] SUFFRAGE DECLARATION      

A form asking for the recipient to sign the Declaration – ‘I am desirous that women should vote in Parliamentary elections on the same terms as men’ -that was drawn up by Clementina Black in 1906. ‘Ever woman signing must either be or have been engaged in: Work for money; work for a philanthropic, social, or eductional kind; artistic, scientific or literary work. In the event it was signed by 257,000 professional and other women. This is a rare survivor – 1 sheet rather marked

[14855]                                                                                                                 £150.00

80.       [1906] WSPU VOTES FOR WOMEN LEAFLETS NO 4 A CAMPAIGN FUND      

Leaflet printing a letter sent by the London Central Committee of the WSPU to the editor of ‘The Tribune’, noting that the WSPU were raising a ‘propaganda fund of £1000’ and explaining that ‘our organization consists of women of all classes working shoulder to shoudler to secure the enfranchsement of their sex’. ‘In the Canning town branch alone 150 women are pledged to go to prison if need be, and the same spirit prevails in all the branches.’ This must have been one of the first WSPU appeals for money – because Sylvia Pankhurst has put her name to the letter as hon sec. and, although Emmeline Pethick Lawrence is treasurer, the WSPU office has not yet been opened in Clement’s Inn. In good conditon – a little creasing around the edges

[14861]                                                                                                                 £250.00

81.       [1907 12 FEBRUARY] WSPU CONVERSAZIONE AT THE ROOMS OF THE SOCIETY OF ARTISTS      

8.30 to 11.30. Long 4-page white card with deckle edges, printed in green, the front giving the names of the WSPU Committee, with Edith How Martyn as hon sec, and names of the Reception Committee – who included Viscountess harberton, Mrs Cobden Unwiin, Mrs Cobden Sanderson, Mrs Pankhurst, Elizabeth Robins, and Mary Neal. Page 2 gives the programme for the evening – with addresses by Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney (‘formerly of the Lancashire Cotton Operators’ Union’). Page 3 gives Announcements of Forthcoming Events – which were to conclude with a Public Meeting on the Sunday evenin in the Caxton Hall. Page 4 is a rhyming alphabet – beginning ‘A stands for Asquith who sought the back door!/B is for Banner he cowered before/C is for Constables, ‘stalwart’ and strong/D Deputation they hustled along/ etc etc. A most unusul and attractive card dating from the early days of the WSPU. In very good condition

[14826]                                                                                                                 £350.00

82.       [1908 13 OCTOBER] PHOTOGRAPH OF POLICEMEN IN CLEMENTS INN      

A glossy press photoraph of a policeman in uniform with two other men, possibly plain-clothes police, standing in front of Clement’s Inn. The sign for the Fabian Society is clearly shown – and the basement Fabian Society was next door to the basement WSPU office. On the reverse is the date Oct 13th 1908. The police were searching for Christabel and Emmeline Pankhurst after they had urged the public to ‘Rush the House of Commons’.

[14815]                                                                                                                   £50.00

83.       [1909 OCTOBER] TO THE ELECTORS OF BERMONDSEY FOR THE HONOUR OF ENGLAND    

Single printed sheet issued at the time of the 1909 Bermondsey by-election by 9 male supporters of women’s suffrage, including H.N. Brailsford, Laurence Housman and Dr Hector Munro. In view of the treatment that women suffrage prisoners were receiving at the hands of the Liberal government, they appealed to voters ‘to see to it that whatever else may happen at this particular bye-election, the Government candidate is left at the bottom of the pile.’ In fact it was the Labour candidate that took that position, though the Liberal was beaten into second place by the Conservative candidate. In good contion, a little creased and nicked around the edges. Unusual – and very scarce

[14875]                                                                                                                SOLD

#84

84.       [1909] WSPU POLITICAL PEEPSHOWS (POLITICAL CARTOONS IN MODEL)      

WOMEN’S EXHIBITION AND SALE OF WORK AT THE PRINCE’S SKATING RINK, KNIGHTSBRIDGE, May 13th to 26th (inclusive) 2.30pm to 10pm each day’ 4-ppleaflet, printed in purple, white and green, describing the 12 Political Peepshows – from No 1 Legal Robbery ‘Taxation without Representation is Robbery’ – set in Downing Street where the Right Hon Ll…G..Chancellor of the Exchequer is picking the woman’s pocket. Policeman: Stop, thief. ll…G..Why? It is only a woman.’…to No 12 The Winner This represents the Suffragette yacht, steered by Christabel, just passing the winning post,, while the Government boat is far in the rear.’ So interesting to see the description of each of these models, which otherwise can seem rather mysterious. In very good  condition – extremely scarce

[14865]                                                                                                                 £350.00

#85

85.       [1910 15 JANUARY]  DRUMMERS’ UNION      

At the Rehearsal Theatre, Maiden Lane, Strand, WC on Saturday January 15 at 7.45 An Entertainment given by the Drummers’ Union Proceeds to be given to the WSPU A Fairy Play entitled ‘The Dream Lady; by Netta Syrett. A new Suffrage Play ‘The Reforming of Augustus’ – also a Cockney Dialogue. Those taking part were Miss Rachel Ferguson, Irene and Janet McLeod, Hzel Roberts and Walter Cross  and others. Irene McLeod was 18 at the time and her sister Janet, and Rachel Ferguson (whose entry I wrote for the ODNB) were 17. Single sheet, in good condition except for small tear at bottom edge. Any material related to the Drummers Union is extremely scarce

[14871]                                                                                                                 £200.00

86.       [1911] WSPU OLD LONDON CRIES SUNG AT THE CHRISTMAS FAIR AND FETE HELD BY THE WOMEN’S SOCIAL AND POLITICAL UNIION AT THE PORTMAN ROOMS, DECEMBER 4TH TO 9TH 1911      

8-pp pamphlet printing the ‘Old London Cries to be sung at the Opening Ceremony every day, For this fund-raising fair Sylvia Pankhurst had designed 18th-c costumes for the stall-holders – but I hadn’t realised there was a vocal dimension to the scene. Here are set out the stallholders’ cries, taken from a range of ballads, nursery rhymes and rounds -someone had been busy researching. A wonderful find – in fine condition (slight rusting on the staples) – extremely scarce

[14868]                                                                                                                 £400.00

87.       [1913 9 JANUARY] CYCLOSTYLED LETTER FROM FLORA DRUMMOND TO LLOYD GEORGE      

writing ‘on behalf of a large number of working women to ask that you will give us an interview before the discussion on Votes for Women takes place in the House of Commons…..etc’ In fair condition – wth nicks around the edges and one slight tear with no loss of text

[14857]                                                                                                                   £80.00

88.       [1946 19 MARCH] SUFFRAGETTE FELLOWSHIP AT HOME      

The meeting was held at 3 St George’s Court, Gloucester Road, London SW7 (‘By kind permission of Mrs Goulden Bach’). The speaker was Adeline Bourne. Ada Goulden Bach was Emmeline Pankhurst’s sister. Plain white card in fine condition- an unusual survivor

[14828]                                                                                                                 £100.00

89.       LADY CONSTANCE LYTTON      

cyclostyled notes, perhaps produced by Isabel Seymour as the WSPU’s Prison Secretary, detailing the arrests and punishment meted out on Lady Constance both as herself and as,, in disguise, as Jane Warton. It’s not clear what was the purpose of the document – it may have been intended for newspaper editors

[14850]                                                                                                                 £100.00

90.       PANKHURST, Christabel Broken Windows   WSPU 

Leaflet in which Christabel Pankhurst justified the actions taken by the ‘militant suffragists’ on 1 March 1912 – when they took part in a mass window-smashing demonstration. An extremely interesting and important statement. Double-sided leaflet (26cm high x 19cm wide) – in very good condition – with and c a few nicks

[14863]                                                                                                                 £150.00

91.       PANKHURST, Christabel A Challenge   Woman’s Press 

‘Miss Pankhurst’s unpublished Article in this week’s ‘Votes for Women’, 8 March 1912. This was the week that Christabel eluded the police and escaped to Paris – and ‘Votes for Women’ was censored. The article that was to have been included was, instead, issued by the WSPU as a leaflet. It ends by promising ‘Repression will make the fire of rebellion burn brighter. Harsher punishment will be a direct invitation to more drastic acts of militancy.Two-sided leaflet issued by the WSPU (28cm high x 20cm wide) – very good – a little creasing – very scarce

[14859]                                                                                                                 £150.00

#92

92.       ROYAL COURT THEATRE PROGRAMME ‘VOTES FOR WOMEN! A DRAMATC TRACT IN THREE ACTS BY ELIZABETH ROBINS      

4-page programme for one of the 8 matinée performances in April and May 1907 of this so-popular play, staged at the Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, under the joint management of John Vedrenne and Harley Granville Barker,. The programme includes the cast list, of course, and a notice that ‘At these Matinées, Ladies are earnestl requested to remove Hats, Bonnets, or any kind of head dress. This rule is framed for the benefit of the audience…’   Kate Frye (suffrage diarist) saw the play on 16 April and wrote in her diary ‘I loved the piece – it is quite fine – most cleverly written and the characters are so well drawn. Needless to say the acting was perfection as it generally is at the Court Theatre and the second act – the meeting in Trafalgar Square – ought to draw the whole of London. I was besides myself with excitement over it ‘  This is presumably Isabel Seymour’s own programme, folded into her pocket or handbag and then kept for the rest of her life.In good condition – exteremely scarce

[14864]                                                                                                            £350.00

93.       ‘THE SPEAKERS’ CLASSES UNDER THE DIRECTION OF MISS ROSA LEO      

will be resumed on Friday the 26th inst at 4 Clement’s Inn, at 7.45 sharp – short cyclostyled notice – to which Winfred Mayo has added a comment ‘Will you enlarge on this & say how necessaryy it is for us to get new speakers etc.’ A glimpse behind the WSPU scenes. 1 sheet – a little creased

[14852]                                                                                                                   £80.00

End of Isabel Seymour section

Suffrage Postcards – Real Photographic

94.       CHRISTABEL PANKHURST      

photographed by Lambert Weston and Son, 27 New Bond St. I think the card dates from c 1907/8. Fine – unposted

[13616]                                                                                                                   £45.00

95.       CHRISTABEL PANKHURST      

photographed by Lizzie Caswell Smith, 309 Oxford Street, London W. Head and shoulders oval portrait, The caption is ‘Miss Christabel Pankhurst The Women’s Social and Political Union 4 Clement’s Inn, London WC. It was published by Sandle Bros. The card has been pinned up at its four corners and then roughly removed leaving holes – but in no way affecting the image

[14217]                                                                                                             £30.00

96.       HENRY FAWCETT, FRS, MP AND MRS FAWCETT      

black and white photograph of the double portrait by Ford Madox Brown, from the National Portrait Gallery collection. This particular card dates from before the First World War, having once formed part of Mrs Louisa Thomson Price’s suffragette postcard collection. Good – with a couple of creases at the top corners where it has been held in the album.

[13280]                                                                                                                     £5.00

97.       LADY CONSTANCE LYTTON      

real photographic postcard- issued by the ‘Women’s Social and Political Union’. She is sitting at her desk looking at a book.  Glossy photograph by Lafayette. This card was purchased in the International Suffrage Shop at 15 Adam St, just off the Strand and was sent to France by Helene Putz, who lived at 10a Belsize Parade, Haverstock Hill, London NW. The 1911 census finds her living there, aged 60, and working as a foreign correspondent – dealing with patent medicines. The message, written in French, tells the recipient that Lady Con is another of the important women working ‘pour la franchise’.

[14694]                                                                                                 £120.00

98.       MISS ALICE SCHOFIELD (Organiser) Women’s Freedom League    WFL 

An early WFL card – the address printed on the card is 18 Buckingham Street, Strand (ie before the move to 1 Robert St in 1908). Alice Schofield, influenced by Teresa Billington, had been a very early member of the WSPU, but with Teresa left the WSPU in 1907 and by 1908 was a paid WFL organizer.  A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson.. A scarce card – in fine unposted condition

[14554]                                                                                                                 £150.00

99.       MISS GLADICE KEEVIL      

Portrait photograph of Gladys Keevil ‘National Women’s Social and Political Union, 4 Clement’s Inn, WC’. The photographer was Lena Connell, who, in an interview in the Women’s Freedom League paper, ‘The Vote’, dated her involvement with the suffrage movement to this commission – photographing Gladice Keevil soon after her release from prison in 1908. Gladice was considered one of the prettiest of the WSPU organisers. You can read about her in my ‘Reference Guide’.  In fine conition – unposted. Unusual

[14918]                                                                                                                 £120.00

100.     MISS TERESA BILLINGTON      

Real photographic postcard – full-length studio portrait. The card is headed ‘Votes for Women’ and underneath her name captioned ‘The Women’s Social and Political Union, 4 Clement’s Inn, Strand, London WC.’ It must date from before October 1907 which was when, with Mrs Despard, she broke from the WSPU to found the Women’s Freedom League. She married in February 1907, becoming Mrs Billington-Greig, so it is likely that the card predates her wedding, making it a very early WSPU card. Fine – Unposted

[14277]                                                                                                                 £100.00

101.     MRS BORRMANN WELLS    WFL 

Headed ‘Votes for Women’ and captioned ‘Women’s Freedom League. Offices: 1 Robert Street, Adelphi, London WC’. Bettina Borrmann Wells was born in Bavaria c 1875 and in 1900 married an Englishman, Clement Wells. She joined the WSPU in 1906- but by 1908 had left to join the WFL. She was imprisoned for 3 weeks in Oct 1908 after demonstrating at Westminster.  The Hodgson Collection contains a (different) postcard from Bettina Borrmann Wells to ‘Miss Hodgson’ asking for help with ‘special work’, which may be the picketing  She later spent much of her life in the US. A striking photo- she’s rather magnificently dressed.  A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson. In fine condition -unusual –  unposted

[15004]                                                                                                                 £180.00

102.     MRS BORRMANN WELLS    WFL 

Headed ‘Votes for Women’ and captioned ‘Women’s Freedom League. Offices: 1 Robert Street, Adelphi, London WC’. Bettina Borrmann Wells was born in Bavaria c 1875 and in 1900 married an Englishman, Clement Wells. She joined the WSPU in 1906- but by 1908 had left to join the WFL. She was imprisoned for 3 weeks in Oct 1908 after demonstrating at Westminster.  The Hodgson Collection contains a (different) postcard from Bettina Borrmann Wells to ‘Miss Hodgson’ asking for help with ‘special work’, which may be the picketing  She later spent much of her life in the US. A striking photo- she’s rather magnificently dressed.  A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson. In fine condition -unusual –  unposted

[15005]                                                                                                                 £180.00

103.     MRS COBDEN SANDERSON    WFL 

Mrs Cobden Sanderson is shown, head and shoulders, in profile on this most unusual card. The photo is by Max Parker and the caption is: ‘Mrs Cobden Sanderson. Women’s Freedom League’. I would imagine that this is quite an early card -c 1908. Fine – unposted

[14942]                                                                                                                 £180.00

104.     MRS COBDEN SANDERSON    WFL 

Mrs Cobden Sanderson is shown, head and shoulders, in profile on this most unusual card. The photo is by Max Parker and the caption is: ‘Mrs Cobden Sanderson. Women’s Freedom League’. I would imagine that this is quite an early card -c 1908. Fine – unposted

[14965]                                                                                                                 £180.00

105.     MRS EMMELINE PANKHURST      

photograph by F. Kehrhahn & Co, Bexleyheath. She is wearing one of the WSPU shield-shaped badges – and looks very beautiful. The sitter isn’t identified, but Mrs Pankhurst is unmistakable.  The photograph had been taken at the same time – or had been cropped from and reproduced as a separate image – as a full length portrait (#14536). The card was published by Kehrhahn – about whom you can find out more here https://wp.me/p2AEiO-ge. Unusual – probably dates from c 1909. In fine condition

[14534]                                                                                                                 £100.00

106.     MRS LILIAN M. HICKS      

– photographed by Lena Connell – an official Women’s Freedom League photographic postcard. Mrs Hicks had been an early member of the WSPU, but left to join the WFL in the 1907 split, returning in 1910 to the WSPU. Fine – unposted

[14533]                                                                                                                   £35.00

107.     MRS PANKHURST      

‘Founder and Hon sec, National Women’s Social and Political Union, 4, Clement’s Inn, Strand, WC’ – photograph of Mrs Pankhurst by Schmidt, Manchester – probably dating from c 1908- certainly after the Women’s Freedom League broke away from the WSPU in the autumn of 1907.  Mrs P may be wearing a circular ‘Votes for Women’-type badge – but it is pale in colour and merges into her embroidered blouse. The card is captioned ‘Votes for Women’. Good – unusual – unposted but a a little rubbed and marked around the edges

[14535]                                                                                                                   £40.00

108.     MRS PANKHURST      

Full-lenth portrait by F. Kehrhahn of Bexleyheath.- captioned ‘Mrs Pankhurst’ She is wearing a WSPU badge and holds a dangling lorngnette in one hand while the other rests on an open book, is wearing a WSPU badge. Very good – unposted

[14536]                                                                                                                 £100.00

109.     MRS WOLSTENHOLME ELMY      

real photographic postcard of one of the suffrage campaigns most earnest workers and one of the WSPU’s earliest supporters. The photograph was taken in May 1907 when the WSPU-nominated photographer called at her home.  A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson.. Fine – unposted – scarce

[14932]                                                                                                                 £120.00

110.     WHITEKIRK CHURCH (Lothian)      

A photograph of the church before it was burned down by Fanny Parker on 26 Feb 1914 – in retaliation for the forcibly feeding of Ethel Moorhead

[11067]                                                                                                                     £6.00

Suffrage Postcards: Real Photographic Postcards from the Collection of Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson for details of whom see an article on my website – https://wp.me/p2AEiO-1qJ

111.     CHRISTABEL PANKHURST      

Head and shoulders photographic portrait – wearing a square-necked dress and with her hair up in her characteristic knot. Captioned ‘Miss Christabel Pankhurst. The National Women’s Social and Political Union. 4 Clement’s Inn, WC’. Published by Sandle Bros. Fine – unposted

[14572]                                                                                                                   £40.00

112.     CHRISTABEL PANKHURST      

photographed in the flower-bedecked straw bonnet given to her by Frederick Pethick Lawrence. The bonnet trails long ribbon ties – very romantic. I always thought this choice of bonnet very interesting. Christabel certainly looks very young and pretty in it – but the look in her eyes is pretty steely. Pethick Lawrence selected this image to be used as the frontispiece for Christabel’s posthumous autobiography, ‘Unshackled’. I think the image dates from 1909.  A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson. Fine – unposted – scarce

[14617]                                                                                                                 £150.00

113.     COUNTESS RUSSELL      

real photographic postcard – headed ‘Votes for Women’ of ‘Countess Russell Member of National Executive Committee Women’s Freedom League’. The card depicts Mollie Russell photographed in a studio setting.. She was the second wife of Frank Russell, 2nd Earl Russell, the elder brother of Bertrand. Mollie was described by George Santyana as ‘a fat, florid Irishwoman, with black curls, friendly manners and emotional opinions: a political agitator and reformer.’ The photograph in no way belies the physical description. She and Russell were divorced in 1915.  A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson. Fine – unposted – scarce

[14612]                                                                                                                   £40.00

114.     EMMELINE PETHICK LAWRENCE      

Captioned ‘Mrs Pethick Lawrence. The National Women’s Social and Political Union, 4 Clements Inn, WC’ – she is wearing a coat with a heavy fur collar and lapels and is standing with her hands in her pockets. Published by Sandle Bros. A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson. In fine condition – unposted

[14571]                                                                                                                   £60.00

115.     EMMELINE PETHICK LAWRENCE      

The photo is captioned ‘Mrs Pethick Lawrence Joint Editor of ‘Votes for Women’, Honorary Treasurer, National Women’s Social and Political Union. 4 Clement’s Inn.’ The photographer, F. Kehrhahn, has an entry in my ‘Art and Suffrage: a biographical dictionary of suffrage artists’. Fine – unposted

[14574]                                                                                                                   £50.00

#116

116.     MISS ALISON NEILANS    WFL 

Alison Neilans was an organizer for the Women’s Freedom League. In this photograph she is wearing the WFL’s Holloway badge. She served several terms of imprisonment and during one in 1909 went on hunger strike. Issued by the Women’s Freedom League, this is a very scarce card.  A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson. Fine – unposted

[14561]                                                                                                                 £150.00

117.     MISS CHRISTABEL PANKHURST, LLB      

Captioned ‘National Union of Women’s Social and Political Union, 4 Clement’s Inn, WC’. She is wearing a brooch that may have been designed by   C.R. Ashbee.  A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson. Fine – unposted

[14599]                                                                                                                   £60.00

118.     MISS CICELY HAMILTON      

‘Member of the Executive Committee of the Women’s Freedom League, 1 Robert St, Adelphi, London WC’. The photograph is by Elliot and Fry – published by the London Council of the Women’s Freedom League.  A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson. Fine – unposted

[14600]                                                                                                                 £150.00

119.     MISS CICELY HAMILTON      

member of the National Executive Committee, WFL. office 18 Buckingham Street, Strand, London. 30 Gordon Street, Glasgow.’ An early card – published by the Women’s Freedom League not long after their break with the WSPU and before they moved into their Robert Street office. Cicely Hamilton faces straight on to the camera.  A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson.. Fine – unposted – scarce

[14633]                                                                                                                 £150.00

#120

120.     MISS MARGUERITE SIDLEY      

Photograph by Foulsham and Banfield, headed ‘Votes for Women’ and captioned ‘Women’s Freedom League’ 1 Robert St, Adelphi, London W.C.,’ She wears, I think, the WFL ‘Holloway’ badge at ther throat and, certainly, a WFL flag brooch on her bosom. She had joined the WSPU in London in 1907, working for some time in the London office and then as a peripatetic organizer  before leaving the WSPU to do the same kind of work for the Women’s Freedom League.  A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson. Fine – scarce – unposted

[14643]                                                                                                                 £130.00

121.     MISS SARAH BENETT      

photographed by Lena Connell. In this studio photograph Sarah Benett is wearing her WFL Holloway brooch; she was for a time the WFL treasurer. She was also a member of the WSPU and of the Tax Resistance League. The card was published by the WFL and is from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson.

[14631]                                                                                                                 £120.00

122.     MR AND MRS PETHICK LAWRENCE AND MISS CHRISTABEL PANKHURST GOING TO BOW STREET, OCTOBER 14 1908      

Christabel was on trial, charged with inciting crowds to ‘rush’ the House of Commons – but she and the Pethick Lawrences look very cheerful. Published by Sandle Bros for the National Women’s Social and Political Union.  A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson. Fine – unposted – scarce

[14646]                                                                                                                 £180.00

123.     MRS AMY SANDERSON      

Women’s Freedom League, 1 Robert Street, Adelphi, London WC. She had been a member of the WSPU, and, as such had endured one term of :imprisonment, before helping to found the WFL in 1907. She is, I think, wearing her  WFL Holloway brooch in the photograph. Card, published by WFL, is from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson..Fine – unusual – unposted

[14636]                                                                                                                 £150.00

124.     MRS CHARLOTTE DESPARD      

photographed in profile  -seated. A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson. Fine – unposted

[14580]                                                                                                                   £50.00

125.     MRS CHARLOTTE DESPARD      

studio photograph. She is seated and facing the camera, looking wry. No photographer, publisher or suffrage affiliation given. A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson. Fine – unposted

[14591]                                                                                                                   £50.00

126.     MRS DESPARD      

Photograph of her in profile.  The card is headed ‘Votes for Women’ and underneath her name is the caption ‘Hon. Treas. Women’s Freedom League Offices: 18 Buckingham St., Strand. 20 Gordon St, Glasgow’ The card dates from after 1910, when she took over the treasureship of the WFL. Very good – unposted

[14569]                                                                                                                   £60.00

127.     MRS DESPARD      

photographed by Alice Barker of Kentish Town Road and published by the Women’s Freedom League. A head and shoulders portrait in profile. A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson. Fine – unposted

[14592]                                                                                                                   £60.00

128.     MRS DESPARD      

photographed by M.P. Co (Merchant’s Portrait Co). ‘President, The Women’s Freedom League, 1 Robert Street, Adelphi, London W.C.). She is sitting in an armless chair – with her left arm leaning on a table.  A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson. Fine – unposted

[14616]                                                                                                                   £50.00

129.     MRS DESPARD      

head and shoulders portrait by Merchants Portrait Co. She is facing straight at the camera and would appear to be wearing a length of WFL ribbon at her neck. Published by the WFL.   A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson. Fine – unposted

[14632]                                                                                                                   £60.00

130.     MRS E. HOW-MARTYN      

photographed by M.P.Co (Merchant’s Portrait Co) as ‘Hon. Sec Women’s Freedom League’. It seems to me that for this photograph she wearing the ‘Holloway’ badges issued to erstwhile prisoners by both the WSPU and the WFL.  A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson. Fine – unposted

[14609]                                                                                                                 £150.00

131.     MRS EDITH HOW-MARTYN      

Hon Sec Women’s Freedom League, ARCS, BSc – photographic postcard headed ‘Votes for Women’. Photographed by Ridsdale Cleare of Lower Clapton Road. A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson. Fine – unposted

[14594]                                                                                                                 £150.00

132.     MRS EMMELINE PANKHURST      

is standiing on the pavement – under a striped awning – about to enter a cab. This photograph was taken on same occasion as #14619 – and Mrs Pethick Lawrence and Christabel have probably preceded her into the cab. I have the idea that they have just left a suffrage meeting – perhaps at the Queen’s Hall.  A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson. Fine – unposted – scarce

[14620]                                                                                                                 £150.00

133.     MRS EMMELINE PANKHURST      

no photographer or publisher given. She sites in a high-backed chair wearing a dress with heavily embroidered sleeves and bodice. Her right hand rests on her cheek.  A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson. Fine – unposted

[14640]                                                                                                                 £120.00

134.     MRS PANKHURST      

photograph by Jacolette.  Her ‘Holloway Prison’ brooch is pinned to her artistic blouse. A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson. Fine – unposted

[14595]                                                                                                                   £45.00

#135

135.     MRS T BILLINGTON-GREIG    WFL 

A lovely photographic head and shoulders portrait of her – captioned ‘Mrs T Billington-Greig Hon Organising Sec Women’s Freedom League 1 Robert St, London WC’. The photo is by Brinkley and Son, Glasgow. Fine – unposted – unusual

[14573]                                                                                                                 £100.00

136.     REV R.J CAMPBELL      

published in Rotary Photographic Series. A rather angelic-looking muscular Christian – and fervent supporter of women’s suffrage. He spoke out against the White Slave Trade.  A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson.. Fine – unposted

[14652]                                                                                                                   £65.00

137.     WOMEN’S FREEDOM LEAGUE Mrs DESPARD AND MRS COBDEN SANDERSON WAITING FOR MR ASQUITH   WFL 

‘Arrested August 19th, 1909’ They are shown wating outside 10 Downing Street as part of the campaign to picket the Prime Minister in a vain attempt to force him to accept a petition. Fine condition – scarce – unposted

[14567]                                                                                                                 £150.00

Suffrage Artists’ Cards

138.     MRS POYSER AGAIN      

‘I’m not dnyin’ the women are foolish. The Almighty made ’em to match the men.’ Mrs Poyser is a character from ‘Adam Bede’ – a woman with a rough exterior and a heart of gold. Here is is indicating the House of Commons (‘the men’) as she holds up her ‘No Taxation without Representation’ standard. The card was published by the Artists’ Suffrage League and was posted in, I think, June 1909 to Miss Allwood at the Dairy College, Kingston, Derby, and the sender notes ‘Bought this at a Woman’s Suffrage Garden Fete.’ Fair – a little creased – unusual

[14024]                                                                                                                   £65.00

139.     THE CRY OF THE CHILDREN      

Postcard by C. Hedley Charlton, printed and published by the Artists’ Suffrage League. For information on C(harlotte) Hedley Charlton see my ‘Art and Suffrage: a biographical dictionary of suffrage artists.A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson. Fine – unposted

[14655]                                                                                                                 £120.00

Suffrage Postcards: Commmercial Comic

140.     ‘AT THE SUFFRAGETTE MEETINGS      

you can hear some plain things – and see them too!’ – is the caption to a card showing depictions of suffragettes as buck-toothed old maids. Very good – unposted

[13612]                                                                                                                   SOLD

141.     BUT SURELY MY GOOD WOMAN DON’T YOU YEARN FOR SOMETHING…      

The suffragettes are canvassing on the doorstep.  The artist is Arthur Moreland; the publisher is C.W. Faulkner. Very good – unposted

[13649]                                                                                                                   SOLD

142.     I PROTEST AGAINST MAN-MADE LAWS      

The suffragette is in the dock. Artist is Arthur Moreland; publisher C.W. Faulkner. Very good – unposted

[13648]                                                                                                                   SOLD

143.     I’M A SUFFERYET      

Battered cat…showing that here was no limit to how the idea/word’suffragette’ could be interpreted by commercial postcards artist in the pre-1914 period. Good condition – unposted

[14893]                                                                                                                   £10.00

144.     NOW MADAM – WILL YOU GO QUIETLY OR SHALL I HAVE TO USE FORCE?      

The suffragette is interrupting a meeting. Artist is Arthur Moreland; publisher is C.W. Faulkner. Fair – unposted

[13650]                                                                                                                   SOLD

145.     ONCE I GET MY LIBERTY, NO MORE WEDDING BELLS FOR ME!      

says harrassed dad as his wife walks out the door, leaving him to care for the babies. On the wall is a ‘Votes for Women’ poster. This is an American card sent from Washington to Illinois – but the message carried in the picture is very similar to those of British cards

[13999]                                                                                                                   £25.00

146.     PETTICOAT GOVERNMENT      

presumably the result of enfranchising women – Wife wields poker as her husband crawls out from under the tea table. She says, ‘Come along, come along, come along do, I’ve been waiting here for you’. Good – posted from London to Wincanton on 24 June 1911

[14096]                                                                                                                   £10.00

147.     THE SIMPLE LIFE      

A Wet Day in Camp – a stream runs through the sodden tent – as the suffragette pair sit on fence reading ‘Why we women want votes’. One in a series pub by C.W. Faulkner.Good – a little foxing around the margins not affecting the image. The card is typewritten from Rhodes on 10 Oct 1913 and the jokey message is congratulatng the recipient on impending nuptials. But how odd to take a suffragette card such as this to Rhodes with you. I suppose it’s just possible ‘Rhodes’ could have been a house name – but I’m not convinced. It must have been sent inside an envelope as their is no postmark

[14691]                                                                                                                   SOLD

148.     THE SUFFRAGETTE Addresses a meeting of Citizens    

A card from a Raphael Tuck series. ‘the Suffragette’ – masculinized, wild-eyed, and wearing a boater and tie harangues a few snotty-nosed childrenIn Raphael Tuck ‘The Suffragette’ Good – posted in 1908

[13620]                                                                                                                   SOLD

149.     THEM PESKY SUFFRAGETTES WANTS EVERYTHING FOR THEMSELVES      

says old man confronted with a door labelled ‘For Ladies Only’. A US postcard. Fine – unposted

[14000]                                                                                                                   £20.00

150.     THIS IS THE HOUSE THAT MAN BUILT      

‘And this is the home of the poor suffragette/And there’s room for a great many more of them in it yet…’ Burly suffragette being taken in hand by a policeman – with the towers of Holloway in the background. In BB London series. Very good- unposted

[13552]                                                                                                             SOLD

151.     THIS IS ‘THE HOUSE’ THAT MAN BUILT      

And this is the Minister weary and worn/Who treated the Suffragette with scorn,/Who wanted a Vote, and (a saying to quote),/ Dared him to tread on the tail of the coat/Of the bold Suffragette determined to get,/Into ‘THE HOUSE’ that man built.’ The Minister is surrounded by elegant suffragettes – with the House of Commons in the background. A postcard from the Postcard Album compiled by Women’s Freedom League members Edith, Florence and Grace Hodgson. Fine – unposted

[14657]                                                                                                                   SOLD

152.     VALENTINE SERIES:COMPARISONS The Attitude of Politicians towards Women’s Suffrage    

1) At Election Time (when the politician willingly accepts a petition) 2) At Westminster (when a policeman holds the suffragette back as she tries to present a petition to an MP). Staged photographic scenes in colour. Very good -uncommon – unposted

[13808]                                                                                                                   SOLD

153.     VALENTINE SUFFRAGETTE SERIES Gimme a Vote You Cowards    

Printed in red and balck on white – policemen have a suffragette flat on the ground – while other comrades demosntrate around. Good – has been posted, but stamp removed

[13605]                                                                                                                   SOLD

154.     VALENTINE SUFFRAGETTE SERIES Give Us a Vote Ducky! Oh do, There’s a Dear    

wheedle three women as they make up to an aging gent. The caption reads ‘Why not try the Good Old Way?’ The sender has added little ink comments of her own (at least I think the sender was a woman). Good. Posted on 17 August 1907.

[13606]                                                                                                                   £40.00

155.     VALENTINE SUFFRAGETTE SERIES Safe in the Arms of a Policeman    

Printed in red and black on white – dishevelled viragos are carried away by red-faced policemen. Good

[13604]                                                                                                                   SOLD

156.     VALENTINE’S SERIES The Visiting Magistrate (Scene, In Holloway Prison)    

Magistrate: ‘What can I do for you? Have you any complaints to make?’ Suffragette: ‘Yes, I have one demand – Votes for Women’. Staged photographic scene in colour. Very good – unposted

[13813]                                                                                                                   SOLD

157.     VALENTINE’S SERIES:COMPARISONS Comparisons are Odious    

1) The male political prisoner (sits in his cell equipped with bookcase, wine and cigar) 2) The female political prisoner (the suffragette sits in her bare cell holding her duster and skilly).Staged photographic scenes in colour. Very good – uncommon – unposted

[13809]                                                                                                                   SOLD

158.     WHEN WOMEN VOTE: Washing Day      

Father is in the kitchen bathing baby, while his wife and her friends sit in the parlour playing cards and eating chocolates – commenting ‘Yes, my old man is a lazy old wretch’. And that’s what will happen when women have the vote. Mitchell and Watkins series. Posted in 1908

[13636]                                                                                                                   SOLD

159.     ‘WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO, MY PRETTY MAID?’      

‘I’m going a-voting Sir,’ she saud. ‘And who shall you vote for, my pretty?’ ‘That Duck in plus fours, kind sir’, she said’. The Flapper Vote. Young lady in short skirt and cloche hat has singled out the best-looking of the candidates as her choice. The artist is Donald McGill. Unposted – but probably dates from 1928 – around the time of the election at which women under 30 could vote for the first time. Very good

[14531]                                                                                                                   SOLD

General Non-fiction

160.     BURMAN, Sandra (ed) Fit Work for Women   St Martin’s Press (NY) 1979

Presents a collection of papers which discuss the origins of the domestic ideal and its effects on activities usually undertaken by women. Fine in d/w

[12111]                                                                                                                   £12.00

161.     BURSTALL, Sara A. The Story of the Manchester High School for Girls 1871-1911   Manchester University Press 1911

Very good internally – slightly marked cover

[9606]                                                                                                                     £15.00

162.     BYRNE, Katherine Tuberculosis and the Victorian Literary Imagination   CUP 2010

Explores the representations of tuberculosis in 19th-century literature and culture. fears about gender roles, degeneration, national efficiency and sexual transgression all play their part in the portrayal of ‘consumption’, a disease which encompassed a variety of cultural associations. Mint in d/w (pub price £55)

[13430]                                                                                                                   £20.00

163.     CLARK, Alice Working Life of Women in the Seventeenth Century   Routledge 1982

First published in 1919. Soft covers – very good

[15082]                                                                                                                   SOLD

164.     CLARKE, Norma Dr Johnson’s Women   Hambledon and London 2000

investigates lives of Elizabeth Carter, Charlotte Lennox, Elizabeth Montagu, Hester Thrale and Fanny Burney – exploring their relationship with Dr Johnson, with each other and with the world of letters. Excellent reading. Mint in d/w

[9736]                                                                                                                      £8.00

165.     CLARKE, Patricia The Governesses: letters from the colonies 1862-1882  Hutchinson 1985

Fine in fine d/w

[12463]                                                                                                                     £7.00

166.     COHEN, Monica Professional Domesticity in the Victorian Novel: women, work and home  CUP 1998

Offers new readings of narratives by Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Dickens, George Eliot, Emily Eden etc to show how domestic work, the most feminine of all activities, gained much of its social credibility by positioning itself in relation to the emergent professions. Soft cover – fine

[12419]                                                                                                                   £25.00

167.     CUNNINGTON, C. Willett Feminine Attitudes in the Nineteenth Century   William Heinemann 1935

Good

[2558]                                                                                                                     £15.00

168.     DAVIN, Anna Growing Up Poor: home, school and street in London 1870-1914  Rivers Oram Press 1996

Fine in fine d/w

SOLD

[15069]                                                                                                                   

169.     ELLIS, Mrs Sarah Stickney The Select Works   Henry G. Langley (New York) 1844

Includes ‘The Poetry of Life’, ‘Pictures of Private Life’, ‘A Voice From the Vintage, on the force of example addressed to those who think and feel’

Good in original decorative cloth

[11234]                                                                                                                   £48.00

170.     FADERMAN, Lillian Surpassing the Love of Men: romantic friendship and love between women from the Renaissance to the present  The Women’s Press 1991 (r/p)

Paper covers – fine

[15049]                                                                                                                     £8.00

171.     FINDLAY, J.J. (ed) The Young Wage-Earner and the Problem of His Education: essays and reports  Sigwick and Jackson 1918

For ‘His Education’ read also ‘Hers’. The essays include: ‘From Home Life to Industrial Life: with special reference to adolescent girls, by James Shelley, prof of education, University College, Southampton; ‘The Young Factory Girl’ by Emily Matthias, superintendent of women employees, the Phoenix Dynamo Manufacturing Co, Bradford and the reports include: ‘Working Girls and Trade Schools (London)’ by Theodora Pugh and ‘The Sons and Daughters of Farming Folk’ by J.J. Findlay. Very good

[8026]                                                                                                                     £25.00

172.     FRYE, Susan And ROBERTSON, Karen (Eds) Maids and Mistresses, Cousins and Queens: women’s alliances in early modern England  OUP 1999

A collection of essays exploring how early modern women associated with other women in a variety of roles, from alewives to midwives, prostitutes to pleasure seekers, slaves to queens, serving maids to ladies in waiting…’. Fine

[7435]                                                                                                                     £28.00

173.     FULLER, Margaret ‘These Sad But Glorious Days’: dispatches from Europe, 1846-1850  Yale University Press 1991

Fine in d/w

[8887]                                                                                                                     £18.00

174.     GATTY, H.K.F (ed) Aunt Judy’s Christmas Volume for 1877   George Bell 1877

762 pages of entertainment – stories, poetry, songs, botany, travel etc. Very good

[1246]                                                                                                                     £10.00

175.     HESSELGRAVE, Ruth Avaline Lady Miller and the Batheaston Literary Circle   Yale University Press 1927

An 18th-century Bath literary salon. Lady Miller was the first English woman to describe her travels in Italy. Fine

[3020]                                                                                                                     £30.00

176.     HOLT, Anne A Ministry To The Poor: being a history of the Liverpool Domestic Mission Society, 1836-1936  Henry Young (Liverpool) 1936

Very good – scarce

[9243]                                                                                                                     £45.00

177.     HOUSMAN, Laurence Ploughshare and Pruning-Hook: ten lectures on social subjects  Swarthmore Press 1919

A collection of papers, originally given as lectures – including ‘What is Womanly?’ (1911) and ‘Art and Citizenship’ (1910).  Very good in d/w

[1322]                                                                                                                     £10.00

178.     KENEALY, Arabella Feminism and Sex-Extinction   E.P. Dutton & Co (NY) 1920

Anti-feminist eugenicist polemic. US edition is scarce. Very good internally – cloth cover a little bumped and rubbed

[12107]                                                                                                                   £25.00

179.     LARSEN, Timothy A People of One Book: the Bible and the Victorians  OUP 2011

Case studies of representative figures, from Elizabeth Fry to Florence Nightingale, from C.H. Spurgeon to Grace Aguilar to demonstrate the scripture-saturated culture of 19th-century England. Mint in d/w (pub price £76)

[13407]                                                                                                                   £25.00

180.     LEE, Julia Sun-Joo The American Slave Narrative and the Victorian Novel   OUP 2010

Investigates the shaping influence of the American slave narrative on the Victorian novel in the years between the British Abolition Act and the American Emancipation Proclamation – and argues that Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell, Thackeray and Dickens integrated into their works generic elements of the slave narrative. Mint in d/w (pub price £40)

[13436]                                                                                                                   £15.00

181.     LOANE, M. The Queen’s Poor: life as they find it in town and country  Edward Arnold (new and cheaper edition0 1906

Martha Loane, a Queen’s Nurse in Portsmouth, wrote as a social investigator among the ‘respectable poor’. This was her first study. Good in decorative boards

[7995]                                                                                                                     £35.00

182.     MCKILLOP, A.B. The Spinster and the Prophet: a tale of H.G. Wells, plagiarism and the history of the world  Aurum Press 2000

In 1925 a Canadian, Florence Deeks, launched a lawsuit against H.G. Wells, claiming that he had plagiarised her manuscript in the writing of ‘i The Outline of History’.  Mint.in d/w

[9420]                                                                                                                     £10.00

183.     MALMGREEN, Gail Neither Bread nor Roses: utopian feminists and the English working class, 1800-1850  John L. Noyce (Brighton). 1978 (r/p)

A ‘Studies in Labour’ pamphlet – 44pp. Soft covers – very good

[9147]                                                                                                                     £15.00

184.     MARKS, Lara Metropolitan Maternity maternity and infant welfare services in early 20th century London  Rodopi 1996

Soft covers – fine

[11624]                                                                                                                   £22.00

185.     MUMM, Susan (ed) All Saints Sisters of the Poor: an Anglican Sisterhood in the 19th century  Boydel Press/Church of England Record Society 2001

A history of the Sisterhood that was founded by Harriet Brownlow Byron in 1850 to work in the slums of Marylebone – but then spread its net much wider. This volume comprises material drawn from the Sisterhood’s archives. V. interesting. Mint

[10964]                                                                                                                   £15.00

186.     NORWICH HIGH SCHOOL 1875-1950    privately printed, no date [1950]

A GPDST school. Very good internally – green cloth covers sunned – ex-university library

[9612]                                                                                                                     £15.00

187.     RENDALL, Jane The Origins of Modern Feminism: women in Britain, France and the United States 1780-1860  Macmillan 1985

Soft covers – very good

[9461]                                                                                                                     £15.00

188.     ROBINSON, Annabel, PURKIS, John, MASSING, Ann A Florentine Procession: a painting by Jane Benham Hay at Homerton College, Cambridge  Homestead Press (Cambridge) 1997

A study of the Pre-raphaelite style painting and its artist – who was a friend of Bessie Rayner Parkes. With colour reproduction of the large painting. Paper covers – mint

[2465]                                                                                                                      £8.00

189.     RUBENHOLD, Hallie The Five: untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper  Black Swan 2019

Soft covers – fine

[15094]                                                                                                                     £3.00

190.     SHATTOCK, Joanne And WOLFF, Michael (eds) The Victorian Periodical Press: samplings and soundings  Leicester University Press 1992

A collection of essays. Fine in d/w

[3501]                                                                                                                     £28.00

191.     SMITH, Joan Misogynies   Faber 1990

Reprint, paper covers – mint

[15064]                                                                                                                     £4.00

192.     VINCE, Mrs Millicent Decoration and Care of the Home   W. Collins 1923

Mrs Vince had been a pupil of the pioneer ‘House Decorator’, Agnes Garrett. Very good in rubbed d/w

[12870]                                                                                                                   £18.00

193.     WOOD, Ethel M. The Pilgrimage of Perseverance   National Council of Social Service 1949

A rather negelected but I think rather good short history of feminist campaigns. Good – though ex-library

[2312]                                                                                                                      £3.00

General Biography

194.     (ALLEN) John C. Hirsh Hope Emily Allen: medieval scholarship and feminism  Pilgrim Books (Oklahoma) 1988

Biography of an American medieval scholar, born in 1883 – who spent time at Newnham. Fine

[11995]                                                                                                                   £15.00

195.     (AMBERLEY) Bertrand and Patricia Russell (eds) The Amberley Papers: the letters and diaries of Lord and Lady Amberley   Hogarth Press 1937

The epitome of radical liberalism in the mid-19th-century. Both died tragically young. Good

[11044]                                                                                                                   £45.00

196.     ANON (Agnes Maud Davies) A Book with Seven Seals   Cayme Press 1928

First edition of a classic of Victorian childhood – I think perhaps it is a ‘faction’ – am not sure that it is actually a memoir. If I said that it strikes me as having a hint of Rachel Ferguson about it, those that are familiar with her work will know what I mean. The author’s name was withheld for this first edition. An elegant book – cover a little blotched

[8552]                                                                                                                     £15.00

197.     (ARNOLD-FOSTER) T.W. Moody and R.A.J. Hawkins (eds) Florence Arnold-Foster’s Irish Journal   OUP 1988

She was the niece and adopted daughter of W.E. Foster.  The journals covers the years 1880-1882 when he was chief secretary for Ireland.  Fine in slightly rubbed d/w

[1043]                                                                                                                     £10.00

198.     (ASHBURTON) Virginia Surtees The Ludovisi Goddess: the life of Louisa Lady Ashburton  Michael Russell 1984

She was possibly proposed to by Browning – and was the patroness (and perhaps lover) of Harriet Hosmer. Fine in d/w

[8886]                                                                                                                     £18.00

199.     (BAIRD) Elizabeth Nussbaum Dear Miss Baird: a portrait of a 19th-century family  Longstone Books 2008

Traces the fortunes of a 19th-century family over 60 years, shedding light on issues such as the status of women, education and changing attitudes to religion, love and death. Some pencil lines in margins. Young Gertrude Baird was a talented artist, who died too young. Soft covers -some pencil lines in margins – otherwise fine

[15068]                                                                                                                     £3.00

200.     (BEETON) Kathryn Hughes The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs Beeton   Harper 2006

Excellent biography. Soft covers – fine

[10918]                                                                                                                     £6.00

201.     BELL, Alan (ed and with an introduction by) Sir Leslie Stephen’s ‘Mausoleum Book’   OUP 1977

Intimate autobiography written for Stephen’s immediate family after the death of his wife, Julia, the mother of Vanessa and Virginia. Very good in d/w

[13199]                                                                                                                   £12.00

202.     BHATTACHARYA, Rinki (ed) Janani: mothers, daughters, motherhood  Sage 2006

Autobiographical writings of Indian women from all walks of life, sharing their experience of being mothers, daughters or both. Soft covers – mint

[10391]                                                                                                                     £8.00

203.     (BRANDIS), Marianne Brandis Frontiers and Sanctuaries: a woman’s life in Holland and Canada  McGill-Queen’s University Press 2006

The life of Madzy Brender a Brandis (1910-1984) – her experiences in war, as an immigrant and pioneer, wife and mother, writer and painter, and an invalid. Mint in slightly nicked d/w

[9966]                                                                                                                     £10.00

204.     (BRETTEL) Caroline Brettell Writing Against the Wind: a mother’s life history  SR Books 1999

Biography of the author’s mother, a Canadian journalist, who worked from the 1930s to the 1980s. Interesting. Mint

[10009]                                                                                                                     £8.00

205.     (BURNEY) Janice Farrar Thaddeus Frances Burney: a literary life  St Martin’s Press 2000

Soft covers – very good

[10546]                                                                                                                     £8.00

206.     (BURNEY) Joyce Hemlow (ed) Fanny Burney: selected letters and journals  OUP 1986

Follows her career from her romantic marriage to the impoverished French émigré General d’Arblay to her death 46 years later. Fine in fine d/w

[12030]                                                                                                                   £12.00

207.     (BUTLER) Jane Jordan Josephine Butler   John Murray 2001

Excellent, thorough biography of Josephine Butler. Fine in very good d/w

[15070]                                                                                                                   SOLD

208.     (CAMERON) Victoria Olsen From Life: Julia Margaret Cameron and Victorian photography  Aurum Press 2003

Fine in d/w

[9345]                                                                                                                     £15.00

209.     CHAPMAN, Barbara Boxing Day Baby   QueenSpark Market Books 1994

She was born in Brighton on Boxing Day in 1927. Soft covers – 34pp – very good

[10402]                                                                                                                     £4.00

210.     CLAYTON, Ellen English Female Artists   Tinsley Brothers 1876

Biographical essays on English women artists – from the 16th century until 1876. Particularly interesting for the information on 19th-century artists. Two volumes – bumped, rubbed and back board of vol 2 detached, but present. Scarce

[15078]                                                                                                             £50.00

210A   (CLEARY) Susanne George Kate M. Cleary: a literary biography with selected works  University of Nebraska Press 1997

Study of woman who wrote stories, poems and articles about life in the American west. Mint in d/w

[5413]                                                                                                                      £5.00

211.     (CLIVE) Mary Clive (ed) Caroline Clive: from the diary and family papers of Mrs Archer Clive (1801-1873)  Bodley Head 

Life among the ‘Landed Gentry’ – beautifully edited by Mary Clive – who had the knack. Good in rubbed d/w

[11101]                                                                                                                   SOLD

212.     CRAWFORD, Anne et al (eds) Europa Biographical Dictionary of British Women: over 1000 notable women from Britain’s Past  Europa 1983

Soft covers – 536pp – fine

[12408]                                                                                                                   £10.00

213.     (DE STAEL/CONSTANT) Renee Winegarten Germaine de Stael and Benjamin Constant: a dual biography  Yale University Press 2008

Hardcovers – fine in fine d/w

[11963]                                                                                                                   £12.00

214.     (DISRAELI) Janet Hindersley Mr Disraeli’s ‘Rattle’   JHA Publications 2004

Biography of Mrs Disraeli. Soft covers – mint

[8524]                                                                                                                      £5.00

215.     (EDEN) Violet Dickinson (Ed) Miss Eden’s Letters   Macmillan 1919

Born, a Whig, in 1797. Her letters are full of social detail. In 1835 she went to India with her brother when he became governor-general. Very good

[9339]                                                                                                                     £28.00

216.     (ELIZABETH) Philip Yorke (ed)  Letters of Princess Elizabeth of England, daughter of King George III, and Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg written for the most part to Miss Louisa Swinburne  T. Fisher Unwin 1898

Full of social details – letters written both from England and Germany. Good

[8520]                                                                                                                     £38.00

217.     (EUGENIE) Joyce Cartlidge Empress Eugénie: her secret revealed   Magnum Opus Press 2008

The mystery of an illegitimate child…Soft covers – fine

[13468]                                                                                                                     £5.00

218.     EWAN, Elizabeth, PIPES, Rosie etc (eds ) The New Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women   Edinburgh University Press 2018

Soft covers – 496pp – mint

[15072]                                                                                                                   £16.00

219.     (GAUTIER) Joanna Richardson Judith Gautier: a biography  Quartet 1986

Biography of French woman of letters – and muse. Soft covers – fine

[12432]                                                                                                                     £6.00

220.     (GLADSTONE) Lucy Masterman (ed) Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew): her diaries and letters  Methuen 1930

Daughter of Gladstone, born in 1847, excellent diary and letters, 1858-to her death (1927). Very good in d/w

[8409]                                                                                                                     £18.00

221.     (GOODINGS) Lennie Goodings A Bite of the Apple: a life with books, writers and Virago  OUP 2020

Autobiography of Lennie Goodings, one of the founders of Virago. Mint in mint d/w

[15091]                                                                                                                     £6.00

222.     (HAMMOND) Mrs John Hays Hammond A Woman’s Part in a Revolution   Longmans, Green 1987

The ‘Revolution’ was the Boer War – her husband was imprisoned by the Boers. Good

[6083]                                                                                                                     £30.00

223.     (HARRISON) Amy Greener A Lover of Books: the life and literary papers of Lucy Harrison  J.M. Dent 1916

Lucy Harrison (a niece of Mary Howitt) studied at Bedford College, then taught for 20 years at a school in Gower St (Charlotte Mew was a pupil at the school and v. attached to Miss Harrison) and then became headmistress of the Mount School, York. Good – pasted onto the free front end paper is a presentation slip from the editor, Amy Greener, to Mary Cotterell

[11054]                                                                                                                   £18.00

224.     HAYS, Frances Women of the Day: a biographical dictionary of notable contemporaries  J.B. Lipincott (Philadelphia) 1885

A superb biographical source on interesting British women. Good in original binding – with library shelf mark in ink on spine- scarce

[12594]                                                                                                                   £75.00

225.     HEJMADI, Padma Room To Fly: a transcultural memoir  University of California Press 1999

Part autobiography, part travelogue, moving from Bombay to the Bahamas, from Japan to New England, the Greek Isles to New Mexico, tracing the elusive contours of cultural perceptions East and West. Mint in d/w

[10010]                                                                                                                   £10.00

226.     (HOWE) Valarie Ziegler Diva Julia: the public romance and private agony of Julia Ward Howe  Trinity Press International 2003

Hardcover – fine in fine d/w

[11892]                                                                                                                   £10.00

227.     (HUNT) Swanee Hunt Half-Life of a Zealot   Duke University Press 2006

Her life ‘reads like a novel. Born into a powerful, conservative, and patriarchal American family, a young girl grows up to use her part of that power to support the powerless and to encourage peace and women’s leadership around the world.’ Mint in d/w. Heavy

[9962]                                                                                                                      £8.00

228.     (JAMESON) Clara Thomas Love and Work Enough: the life of Anna Jameson  Macdonald 1967

Good

[12070]                                                                                                                   £10.00

229.     (JAMESON) G.H. Needler (ed) Letters of Anna Jameson to Ottilie von Goethe   OUP 1939

Very good internally – cover marked

[12451]                                                                                                                   £20.00

230.     (JEBB)  Alice Salomon Eglantyne Jebb   Union Internationale de Secours Aux Enfants 1936

Short study in French. Paper covers – 53pp – very good

[13170]                                                                                                                     £5.00

231.     (KATERI) Margaret Thornton Kateri: the maid of the Mohawks  Alexander Ouseley no date (1934)

Hagiography of A 17th-century Indian Catholic ‘holy girl’.  Good

[10849]                                                                                                                     £3.00

232.     (KNIGHT) Roger Fulford (ed) The Autobiography of Miss Knight: lady companion to Princess Charlotte   William Kimber 1960

Born in 1757, Ellis Cornelia Knight was appointed to the household of Queen Charlotte in 1805. Very good in torn dustwrapper

[8543]                                                                                                                     £12.00

233.     (LEIGH) Michael and Melissa Bakewell Augusta Leigh: Byron’s half-sister – a biography  Chatto & Windus 2000

Hardcovers – fine in fine d/w

[12012]                                                                                                                     £8.00

234.     MARTINDALE, Hilda Some Victorian Portraits and Others   Allen & Unwin 1948

Biographical essays of members of her circle – including Adelaide Anderson, factory inspector. Very good in d/w

[6071]                                                                                                                     £18.00

235.     (MARTYN) Christopher Hodgson (compiler) Carrie: Lincoln’s Lost Heroine   privately published 2010

A biographical anthology of works relating to Caroline Eliza Derecourt Martyn, socialist. Soft covers – fine

[14222]                                                                                                                   £10.00

236.     (MARY) Hugo Vickers (ed) The Quest for Queen Mary   Hodder 2018

The story behind James Pope-Hennessy’s official biography of Queen Mary, consort of Goerge V. ‘The series of candid observations, secrets and indiscretions contained in his [Pope-Hennesy’s] notes were to be kept private for 50 years.’ A very good read

[15090]                                                                                                                     £4.00

237.     MAVINGA, Isha McKenzie And PERKINS, Thelma In Search of Mr McKenzie: two sisters’ quest for an unknown father  Women’s Press 1991

An intriguing search to find their black father – their mother was white and Jewish. Soft covers – good

[10418]                                                                                                                     £5.00

238.     (MAYNARD) Catherine B. Firth Constance Louisa Maynard: mistress of Westfield College  Allen & Unwin 1949

Very good  – scarce

[11033]                                                                                                                   £15.00

239.     (MONTGOMERY) Mary Rubio and Elizbeth Waterston (eds) The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery: vol 1 1889-1910  OUP 1985

Fine in very good d/w -424pp – heavy

[12426]                                                                                                                   £15.00

240.     (MORGAN) Sydney Lady Morgan Passage From My Autobiography   Richard Bentley 1859

‘The following pages are the simple records of a transition existence, socially enjoyed, and pelasantly and profitably occupied, during a journey of a few months from Ireland to Italy.’ Good – in original decorative mauve cloth

[13675]                                                                                                                   £18.00

241.     MOULTON, Mo Mutual Admiration Society   Corsair 2020

Group biography of the circle of women around Dorothy L Sayers, who met at Oxford University c 1912. Soft covers – mint

[15085]                                                                                                                     £4.00

242.     NEWNHAM COLLEGE REGISTER 1871-1950    privately printed 

packed with biographical information on students and staff.   Soft covers – 2 vols – good – although backing on vol 1 is coming unstuck and outermost cover of vol II is missing- internally very good – scarce

[11776]                                                                                                                   £40.00

243.     (NICE) Miranda Seymour The Bugatti Queen: in search of a motor-racing legend  Simon & Schuster 2004

Romantic life of Helle Nice, who set land-speed records for Bugatti in the 1930s. Fine in d/w

[10532]                                                                                                                     £8.00

244.     (NIGHTINGALE) Lynn McDonald (ed) Florence Nightingale’s European Travels   Wilfrid Laurier Press 2004

Her correspondence, and a few short published articles, from her youthful European travels. She is an excellent observer and reporter. Fine in d/w – 802pp

[11112]                                                                                                             £45.00

245.     (OAKLEY) Ann Oakley Taking it Like a Woman   Cape 1984

Fine in d/w

[5442]                                                                                                                      £3.00

246.     PARRY, Melanie (ed) Chambers Biographical Dictionary of Women   Chambers 1996

Soft covers – fine – 741pp – heavy

[12421]                                                                                                                   £10.00

247.     (PASTON) Helen Castor Blood and Roses   Faber 2004

A family biography tracing the Pastons’ story across three generations. Mint in mint d/w

[11981]                                                                                                                     £8.00

248.     (PINZER) Ruth Rosen & Sue Davidson The Maimie Papers   Virago 1979

Correspondence, beginning in 1910, between Fanny Quincy Howe, a distinguished Bostonian, and Mainie Pinzer, a Jewish prostitute. Fascinating. Paper covers – very good

[5444]                                                                                                                      £5.00

249.     (PLATH/HUGHES) Diane Middlebrook Her Husband: Hughes and Plath: a marriage  Little,Brown 2004

Fine in fine d/w

[12020]                                                                                                                     £8.00

250.     (PORTER) Pamily Petro The Slow Breath of Stone: a Romanesque love story  Fourth Estate 2005

Extremely interesting biography of Kingsley and Lucy Porter who in the 1920s documented the Romanesque abbeys of south-west France. Using these photographs and Lucy’s journal the author retraces their steps and their lives. Fine in d/w

[10461]                                                                                                                     £8.00

251.     (PUREFOY) G. Eland (ed) Purefoy Letters 1735-1753   Sidgwick & Jackson 1931

The letters of Elizabeth Purefoy (1672-1765), whose husband died in 1704, and her son, Henry Purefoy.  Elizabeth Purefoy was, as her epitaph recorded, ‘a woman of excellent understanding, prudent and frugal’ and her letters are full of domestic detail.  Very good – two volumes

[9338]                                                                                                                     £40.00

252.     (RUSKIN) Mary Lutyens (ed) Young Mrs Ruskin in Venice: the picture of society and life with John Ruskin 1849-1852  Vanguard Press (NY) 1965

Very good in d/w

[13200]                                                                                                                   £12.00

253.     (SHAN) Sharan-Jeet Shan In My Own Name: an autobiography  Women’s Press 1985

Life of an Indian woman living a complicated life in India and in Britain. Soft covers – mint

[6761]                                                                                                                      £4.00

254.     SICHERMAN, Barbara et al (eds) Notable American Women: The Modern Period  Belknap Press of Harvard University Press 1980

Soft covers – 773pp – heavy – very good

[12418]                                                                                                                   £12.00

255.     (SMITH) Dodie Smith Look Back With Astonishment   W.H. Allen 1979

A volume of autobiography – from the early 1930s and the beginning of her success as a playwright. Good reading copy – ex-public library

[10642]                                                                                                                     £3.00

256.     (SMITH) Dodie Smith Look Back With Gratitude   Muller, Blond & White 1985

Follows on from ‘Look Back With Atonishment’. Reading copy – ex-public library

[10643]                                                                                                                     £3.00

257.     (SOWERBY) Patricia Riley Looking for Githa   Stairwell Books 2018

Excellent biography of Githa Sowerby, playwright. Her ‘Rutherford & Son’ was a tremendous success but details of her life were obscure until researched by Patricia Riley. A good read. Soft covers – mint

[15092]                                                                                                                  SOLD

258.     (SOYER) Ruth Cowen Relish: the extraordinary life of Alexis Soyer, Victorian celebrity chef  Weidenfeld 2006

Chef and kitchen designer to the Reform Club and reformer of army catering. Mint in d/w

[9824]                                                                                                                      £8.00

259.     (SPENCE) Susan Magarey etc (eds) Every Yours, C.H. Spence   Wakefield Press 2005

Catherine Helen Spence was an Australian novelist, journalist and campaigner. This is her Autobiography (1825-1910), Diary (1894) and some correspondence (1894-1910). Fine in fine d/w

[15071]                                                                                                                   £12.00

260.     (SPRING RICE) Lucy Pollard Margery Spring Rice: pioneer of women’s health in the early 20th century  Open Book 2020

Excellent biography of yet another enterprising member of the Garrett family, author of ‘Working Class Wives’. Soft covers – mint

[15074]                                                                                                                   £12.00

261.     (ST TERESA OF AVILA) St Teresa of Avila by Herself   Penguin Classics 1957 (r/p)

Soft covers – fine

[11950]                                                                                                                     £6.00

262.     STARK, Freya The Coast of Incense: autobiography 1933-1939  John Murray 1953

Covers her travels in Egypt, the Middle East and South Arabia. Good in chipped d/w

[10564]                                                                                                                     £6.00

263.     (STEAD) Chris Williams Christina Stead: a life of letters  Virago 1989

Soft covers – fine

[11891]                                                                                                                     £8.00

264.     (STOWE) Joan Hedrick Harriet Beecher Stowe   OUP 1994

Soft covers – fine

[11991]                                                                                                                     £9.00

265.     (STUART) Hon. James A. Home (ed) Letters of Lady Louisa Stuart to Miss Louisa Clinton   David Douglas (Edinburgh) 1901 & 1903

Two volumes – complete set. The first volume covers the period 1817 to 1825 and the second volume (called ‘Second Series’) that from1826 to 1834. Society observed. Very good – two volumes together

[13335]                                                                                                                   £38.00

266.     (TAYLOR) Nicola Beauman The Other Elizabeth Taylor   Persephone 2009

Biography of the novelist. Soft covers – mint

[15089]                                                                                                                     £8.00

267.     (TENNYSON) James O. Hoge Lady Tennyson’s Journal   University Press of Virginia 1981

Fine in d/w

[9675]                                                                                                                     £18.00

268.     (TREMAIN) Rosie: scenes from a vanished life   Vintage 2018

Autobiography of the novelist. Soft covers – mint

[15093]                                                                                                                     £4.00

269.     (TROUBRIDGE) Jaqueline Hope-Nicholson (ed) Life Amongst the Troubridges: journals of a young Victorian 1873-1884 by Laura Troubridge  John Murray 1966

Very good in rubbed d/w

[9324]                                                                                                                     £10.00

270.     (TUCKER) Agnes Giberne A Lady of England: the life and letters of Charlotte Maria Tucker  Hodder & Stoughton 1895

The standard biography of a popular children’s and religious writer – who spent the later years of her life as a missionary in India.  Good – though ex-university library

[9599]                                                                                                                     £28.00

271.     (TUDOR) Maria Perry Sisters to the King   deutsch 2002

Lives of the sisters of Henry VIII – Queen Margaret of Scotland and Queen Mary of France. Soft covers – fine

[12024]                                                                                                                     £4.00

272.     (VICTORIA) Agatha Ramm (ed) Beloved and Darling Child: last letters between Queen Victoria and her eldest daughter 1886-1901  Alan Sutton 1990

Mint in d/w

[6509]                                                                                                                     £10.00

273.     (VICTORIA) Dorothy Marshall The Life and Times of Victoria   Weidenfeld & Nicolson 1992 (r/p)

Lavishly illustrated. Mint in d/w

[6510]                                                                                                                     £10.00

274.     WALLER, Maureen Sovereign Ladies: the six reigning queens of England  John Murray 2007

Soft covers – mint

[11023]                                                                                                                     £6.00

275.     (WARWICK) Charlotte Fell-Smith Mary Rich, Countess of Warwick (1625-1678), her family and friends   Longmans, Green 1901

Very good

[1754]                                                                                                                     £15.00

276.     (WRIGHT) Margaret Lane Frances Wright and the ‘Great Experiment’   Manchester University Press 1972

An Owenite – the ‘Great Experiment’ was Nashoba, a utopian community in America. Very good

[6081]                                                                                                                     £18.00

277.     (WYNNE) Anne Fremantle (ed) The Wynne Diaries Vol II (1794-1798   OUP 1937

I’ve loved Betsey and Eugenia Wynne ever since I encountered them about 50 years ago in the condensed, one volume, Oxford Classics edition of the Wynne diaries – and then followed them through the three full published volumes. They are rattling around Europe, on land and sea, during the war with France. Very good in very good d/w

[9609]                                                                                                                     £35.00

278.     (WYNNE) Anne Fremantle (ed) The Wynne Diaries Vol III (1798-1820)   OUP 1940

I’ve loved Betsey and Eugenia Wynne ever since I encountered them about 50 years ago in the condensed, one volume, Oxford Classics edition of the Wynne diaries – and then followed them through the three full published volumes. In this vol Betsey is married to Capt Fremantle, who becomes an admiral in the course of fighting Napoleon at sea. Betsey is at home in England and the letters and diary give a wonderful picture of civilian life at all levels of society. Very good in very good d/w

[15077]                                                                                                                   £35.00

General Ephemera

279.     CITIZEN HOUSE, CHANDOS BUILDINGS, BATH      

First Report on the running of Citizen House, which opened in Sept 1913 as an educational and social centre. The Report, dated March 1915, gives details of the societies, such as the National Union of Women Workers, the Workers Educational Association, Girl Guides – and, since the beginning of the war, the Committee of Women Patrols and the Aid  Coordination Committee. The Wardens were Helen Hope and Mary de Reyes. Packed full of information about the good works being done in Bath. In very good condition – 16pp – card covers

[14978]                                                                                                                   £18.00

280.     EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK    Equal Pay Campaign Committee 1944

‘The question of Equal Pay for Equal Work will shortly come up for discussion in Parliament…’Small 4pp leaflet

[14999]                                                                                                                     £2.00

281.     EVERYWOMAN      

founded in 1985, aa news and current affairs magazine aimed at ‘real women’. Issues:

1991 July/Aug

1992 Oct, Nov, Dec/Jan 1993;1993, Feb, April, March, May, June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov Dec/Jan 1994; 1994, Feb, March, April, May, June, July, Aug, Sept,  Oct, Nov, Dec/Jan 1995;1995 Feb, March, April, May, June, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec/Jan 1996;1996 May

In good condition. Each

[14923]                                                                                                                     £8.00

282.     FAREWELL FROM THE WOMEN’S BRANCH OF THE BOMBAY PRESIDENCY WAR AND RELIEF FUND  1914 1918      

Small metal Vesta case with a map of India shown in relief..to hold a small box of matches. During World War I, Lord Willingdon, the governor of Bombay, created the India War & Relief Fund (Bombay Branch) two which all the native and princely states neighbouring the Bombay Presidency contributed, along with the people of the Bombay Presidency. Lady Willingdon was president of the Women’s Branch. it is thought these little vesta cases were given to soldiers leaving India on their way back to Britain. In good condition – unusual

[14979]                                                                                                                   £25.00

283.     HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS BOLTON      

Page from ‘The Buiilding News’ (18 March 1892) showing the new building for the school, at Park Road, Bolton, opened by Millicent Fawcett on 8 May 1891. The building, now, I think, demolished was in an ‘olde Englishe’ style, with half-timbering  and an oriel window to the assembly hall. The page includes plans for the Ground and First floors, showing the disposition of classrooms, wcs etc. Very good

[14898]                                                                                                                   £25.00

284.     MRS SARAH BURGESS – PRINTER Souvenir and Programme of the Opening of the Festival of Empire by their Majesties the King and Queen at the Crystal Palace, May 12th 1911.    

Mrs Burgess was the printer of souvenir tissue napkins, sold from her shop (which at this time was in Artillery Lane, Bishopsgate) to street hawkers and then bought from them by those  viewing the great events of the day.In this case the 1911 Festival of Empire – with portraits of King George V, Queen Alexandra and, I assume,the young Prince Edward. For more about Sarah Burgess see a post on my website – https://wp.me/p2AEiO-1vs. This tissue has a tear in the bottom right-hand corner, which doesn’t affect text but does split one of the numerous union flags that frame the piece

[14985]                                                                                                                   £15.00

285.     MRS SARAH BURGESS – PRINTER Souvenir in Commemoration of Queen Alexandra’s Inspection of the Great Boy Scout Rally on the Horse Guards’ Parade, Saturday June 13th 1914    

Mrs Burgess was the printer of souvenir tissue napkins, sold from her shop just off the Strand to street hawkers and then bought from them by those  viewing the great events of the day.In this case a 1914 Boy Scout Rally. For more about Sarah Burgess see a post on my website – https://wp.me/p2AEiO-1vs. In good condition – one nick on the right-hand margin.

[14981]                                                                                                                   £20.00

286.     MRS SARAH BURGESS – PRINTER Souvenir in Commemoration of the Anniversary of Armistice Day and President Poincare Visit to London, 11 November 1919    

Mrs Burgess was the printer of souvenir tissue napkins, sold from her shop just off the Strand to street hawkers and then bought from them by those  viewing the great events of the day.In this case the first anniversary of the Armistice – with full details of Poincare’s visit and of the Armistice Day procession to the Cenotaph and then to Westminster Abbey. For more about Sarah Burgess see a post on my website – https://wp.me/p2AEiO-1vs. This tissue is in very good condition.

[14983]                                                                                                                   £35.00

287.     MRS SARAH BURGESS – PRINTER Souvenir in Commemoration of the Inspection of the Indian Troops by their Emperor King at Buckingham Palace, 2nd August 1919    

Mrs Burgess was the printer of souvenir tissue napkins, sold from her shop just off the Strand to street hawkers and then bought from them by those  viewing the great events of the day.In this case the 1919 Inspection of Indian troops – with portraits of the King and Queen and details of the Indian troops’ movements through London. For more about Sarah Burgess see a post on my website – https://wp.me/p2AEiO-1vs. This tissue is in very good condition.

[14984]                                                                                                                   £30.00

288.     NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE CONTRIBUTION BOOK      

for Ethel Leach, a member of the Amalgamated Association of Card, Blowing and Ring room Operatives c1912. Ethel Leach lwas born in 1898 and lived at

2 Alder Street, Bolton, with her parents (her father was a basketmaker) and her brother and sister. When the 1911 census was taken she was 13 and still at school – but by the time this Contribution Book was issued she was a ‘Cardroom Operative;. The 8 printed pages of the book detail the Table of Weeklly Contributions, Contributions Paid, and the Benefits that will accrue.- as well as much detail about the operation of the National Health Insurance at that time. An unusual item. Card covers – very good

[14975]                                                                                                                   £12.00

289.     THE DAWN: the official organ of the Women’s Service Guild of Western Australia, League of Women Voters, and the Australian Federation of Women Voters    

This feminist paper was founded in 1918. Issue for 21 Dec 1938. 8-pp -in fair condition  – withdrawn from the Women’s Library. The copy is inscribed in ink ‘from Mrs Rischbeith’ – the paper’s editor.

[15000]                                                                                                                   £18.00

290.     WOMEN: A CULTURAL REVIEW    OUP 

1994 Spring, vol 5, no 1; Autumn vol 5, no 2; Winter vol 5, no 3

1995 Summer vol 6, no1; Autumn vol 6, no 2; Winter, vol 6, no 3

1996  Spring vol 7, issue 1; Autumn vol 7, no 2; Winter vol 7, no 3

1997 Sprng vol 8, no 1; Autumn vol 8. no 3

In very good condition – each

[14929]                                                                                                                     £8.00

291.     WOMEN’S PRINTING SOCIETY (LIMITED)      

Advertising card for this very interesting business, founded in 1876. Coincidentally, I was commissioned to write an article on the WPS to accompany the BL’s ‘Unfinished Business’ exhibition. You can find it here https://www.bl.uk/womens-rights/articles/the-womens-printing-society. This trade card dates from the early years of the WPS, before 1893,  when it was in Great College St, Westminster.

[15080]                                                                                                                   £35.00

General Fiction

292.     AITKEN, David Sleeping with Jane Austen   No Exit Press 2000

Facetious crime novel. Soft covers – very good

[12417]                                                                                                                     £4.00

293.     BULKIN, Elly (ed) Lesbian Fiction: an anthology   Persephone Press (Massachusetts) 1981

Soft covers – very good

[15079]                                                                                                                     £8.00

294.     CLIFT, Charmian Walk to the Paradise Gardens   Harper & Bros (NY) 1960

First US edition of this Australian novel. Very good in very good d/w, which is slightly chipped at top and bottom of spine

[12458]                                                                                                                   £25.00

295.     DUNSFORD, Cathie Ao Toa: Earth Warriors  Spinifex 2004

A New Zealand eco-thriller. Soft covers – mint

[10137]                                                                                                                     £5.00

296.     FLETCHER, Beryl The Blood Wood Gain   Spinifex 1999

An Australian novel. Soft covers – fine

[10053]                                                                                                                     £4.00

297.     FLETCHER, Beryl The House at Karamu   Spinifex 2003

A New Zealand novel. Soft covers – mint

[10136]                                                                                                                     £5.00

298.     GASKELL, Elizabeth Cranford   OUP 2011

With introduction by Dinah Birch. Soft covers – mint

[13428]                                                                                                                     £4.00

299.     GRENVILLE, Kate One Life: my mother’s story  Canongate 2016

This is actually a biography but it slots more easily under Fiction – simply because Kate Grenville is such a good novelist that she spins the story of her mother’s life to tell us so much about life for a young Australian woman with ambition in the first half of the 20thc. A very good read. Soft covers – mint

[15087]                                                                                                                    SOLD

300.     GRENVILLE, Kate A Room Made of Leaves   Canongate 2020

Set in Sydney Town, New South Wales, in the late 18thc. An excellent novel. Mint in mint d/w

[15084]                                                                                                                    SOLD

301.     LEVERSON, Ada Love’s Shadow   Chapman & Hall 1950

Reprint of the 1908 edition. Good

[3086]                                                                                                                      £4.00

302.     LINGARD, Joan Encarnita’s Journey   Allison & Busby 2005

A novel interweaving the life of the writer Gerard Brenan – who arrives in Yegen, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, in 1920 –  with that of Encarnita, a young Spanish woman. Other Bloomsberries, Lytton Strachey, Dora Carrington, the Woolfs and Lytton Strachey, pass in and out. Soft covers – fine

[10465]                                                                                                                     £4.00

303.     MARTIN, Valerie The Unfinished Novel and Other Stories   Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2006

Soft covers – fine

[10469]                                                                                                                     £4.00

304.     SHEPHERD-ROBINSON, Laura Blood and Sugar   Pan 2019

Crime thriller set in late-18thc Deptford – involving the grim slavery trade. Atmospheric. Soft covers – mint

[15088]                                                                                                                     £3.00

305.     TAYLOR, Kate Madame Proust and the Kosher Kitchen   Vintage 2004

Enjoyable novel, Canadian literary researcher in Paris – parallel portraits of old and new worlds. Soft covers – fine

[10470]                                                                                                                     £4.00

306.     WELSH, Kate The Wages of Sin   Tinder Press 2017

Murder mystery in 19thc Edinburgh with Sarah Gilchrist, who is training to be a doctor, as the heroine. Soft covers – mint

[15083]                                                                                                                     £3.00

Women and the First World War

307.     DOUGLAS-PENNANT, Violet Under the Search-Light: the record of a great scandal   Allen & Unwin 1922

In June 1918 Violet Douglas-Pennant was appointed Commandant, Women’s Royal Air Force – only to be dismissed two months later ‘by direction of Lord Weir and Sir Auckland Geddes on the advice of Lady Rhondda, who acted without enquiry on secret information supplied to her, as well as to Mr Tyson Wilson MP, and Miss P. Strachey, by Mrs Beatty and others’. How intriguing. The book takes 463 pp to cover the ‘scandal’. Douglas-Pennant wrote it as her self-justificatory account of events “so that my name & honour may at last be vindicated.” Includes recollections of her ten weeks’ in charge, a Who’s Who of the personalities involved & full details of the House of Lords Inquiry into her dismissal. Good

[14129]                                                                                                                   £85.00

308.     MOORE, Wendy Endell Street: the trailblazing women who ran World War One’s most remarkable military hospital  Atlantic Books 2020

History of the military hospital founded in London by Louisa Garrett Anderson and Flora Murray. Mint in mint d/w

[15073]                                                                                                                   SOLD

309.     MUNITION WORKERS      

– mainly women  -pose for the photographer. They are wearing their caps and the triangular-shaped munition workers badge can be seen pinned to many of the overall dresses. Young men sit at the front – displaying the fruits of their labours – shells.There were a number of munitions factories in Bradford, including the Low Moor munitions factory that suffered a large explosion in 1916. There’s no clue as to the name of the factory in the photograph. The card bears the imprint of the Belle Vue Studios, Bradford – which was one of the best-known in the city and was in business until 1985. Good condition – appears to have been cut down by about 1 cm at some time

[14442]                                                                                                                   £35.00

310.     WOMEN’S HOSPITAL CORPS MEDAL      

Medal issued to doctors working for the Women’s Hospital Corps, which was set up by Drs Louisa Garrett Anderson and Flora Murray in September 1914 and operated in France until January 1915. They then, in London, opened the only woman-run hospital treating soldiers. The medal is in fine condition and is extremely rare.

[15015]                                                                                                                   SOLD

311.     YOUR KING & COUNTRY WANT YOU  a woman’s recruiting song  Chappell & Co 1914

Sheet music – words & music by Paul A. Rubens. The cover is illustrated by John Hassall. ‘The entire profits from the sale of this song will be devoted to Queen Mary’s “Work for Women” Fund’. ‘Oh! we don’t want to lose you but we think you ought to go. For your King and your Country both need you so; We shall want you and miss you but with all our might and main. We shall cheer you, thank you, kiss you when you come back again’. Makes the spine creep. 6-pp – very good

[14390]                                                                                                                   £38.00

#312

312.     DENNYS, Joyce And GORDON, Hampden, and TINDALL, M.C. Our Hospitals A.B.C.   John Lane no date (c. 1916)

VAD’s alphabet – by one of them.  Joyce Dennys did the delightful illustrations to match the humourous verses. Very good – grey paper boards – with two small marks (tea/coffee??)  on the cover- internally the images are fresh and sharp

[14899]                                                                                                                   £70.00

313.     MARCHANT, Bessie A Girl Munition Worker: a story of a girl’s work during the Great War  Blackie [no date -1st ed 1916?]

Novel of the First World War. May be first edition, as no publishing details are given, but has gift inscription for Christmas 1919 from ‘Mother’ to ‘Miss N. Goodwin’. The lovely pictorial cover is clean and bright – in very goo condition – very scarce

[14913]                                                                                                                   £60.00

You can pay me by cheque or (if from overseas) at www.Paypal.com, using my email address as the payee account, or by direct bank transfer

~~~~~~~~~

In case you are interested in books I have written (that are still in print) they are ~

 

Art and Suffrage: a biographical dictionary of suffrage artists discusses the lives and work of over 100 artists, each of whom made a positive contribution to the women’s suffrage campaign. Most, but not all, the artists were women, many belonging to the two suffrage artists’ societies – the Artists’ Suffrage League and the Suffrage Atelier. Working in a variety of media –producing cartoons, posters, banners, postcards, china, and jewellery – the artists promoted the suffrage message in such a way as to make the campaign the most visual of all those conducted by contemporary pressure groups.

In the hundred plus years since it was created, the artwork of the suffrage movement has never been so widely disseminated and accessible as it is today, the designs as appealing as they were during the years before the First World War when the suffrage campaign was at its height. Yet hitherto little has been known about most of the artists who produced such popular images. Art and Suffrage remedies this lack and sets their artistic contribution to the suffrage cause within the context of their reanimated lives, giving biographical details, including addresses, together with information on where their work may be seen.

With over 100 illustrations, in black-and-white and in colour.

Published by Francis Boutle     Soft cover                                                £20

Kate Parry Frye: the long life of an Edwardian actress and suffragette

Published by ITV Ventures as a tie-in with the series: ‘The Great War: The People’s Story’ this e-book tells Kate’s life story from her Victorian childhood to her brave engagement with the Elizabethan New Age. For details see here (and many more posts on my website).

Available to download from iTunes or Amazon

The Women’s Suffrage Movement 1866-1928: A reference guide

Elizabeth Crawford

‘It is no exaggeration to describe Elizabeth Crawford’s Guide as a landmark in the history of the women’s movement…’  History Today

Routledge, 2000 785pp paperback £74.99 – Ebook £70

The Women’s Suffrage Movement in Britain and Ireland: a regional survey

Elizabeth Crawford

Crawford provides meticulous accounts of the activists, petitions, organisations, and major events pertaining to each county.’ Victorian Studies

Routledge, 2008 320pp paperback £30, Ebook £26

Enterprising Women: the Garretts and their circle

Elizabeth Crawford

‘Crawford’s scholarship is admirable and Enterprising Women offers increasingly compelling reading’ Journal of William Morris Studies

For further details see here Francis Boutle, 2002 338pp 75 illus paperback £25

Copies of all of these books may be bought direct from the publishers or ordered from any bookshop – online only at the moment.

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Lockdown Research: Switching The Lens – And Discovering Myra Jane Monk

 

 

 

I recently noticed that the London Metropolitan Archives has launched a new database – Switching the Lens – Rediscovering Londoners of African, Caribbean, Asian and Indigenous Heritage, 1561 to 1840. This is an aspect of history that captured my imagination some time ago [ see, for instance, Suffrage Stories: Black And Minority Ethnic Women: Is There A ‘Hidden History’?]  and I was interested to see whether this new database would make the uncovering of individual histories any more possible. Through the centuries there have always been some men and women of BAME heritage living in Britain whose lives have, for one reason or another, been recorded in some degree of detail; the great majority, however, have hitherto remained untraceable.

The database has its inherent limitation in that the 2600 names listed are drawn, over a period of nearly three centuries, from Anglican parish registers. As such it deals only with those who were baptised, married or buried in a parish church in the London area. Nevertheless it contains a wealth of information.

Because I was particularly keen to see if information available on Switching the Lens could be amplified by that already held on genealogical sites such as Ancestry and Findmypast, I concentrating on reading entries in the later period covered by the database, running from 1801-1850. Would it be possible to follow up the lives of any of those people on the Switching the Lens database by, for instance, finding them on the census (from 1841) or identifying them on other national registers?

At a first glance the answer, briefly, is probably not. In general, names are too common or the information is too scanty  for it to be possible to identify individuals with any certainty in later official registers. But that is only my finding after a cursory scan. It may well be that keen application will bear fruit. And I shall certainly take a closer look.

As a result of my first venture into the database one entry did attract my attention and I have taken pleasure in unravelling a little of the lives thereby revealed.

The entry is a baptism that took place on 26 June 1828 at St Pancras Church in the Euston Road, of ‘Miya Jane, illegitimate daughter of William Garrow Monk and Coopoo, a native of the East Indies’. In fact I quickly realised that the girl’s name had been mis-transcribed and she was ‘Myra Jane Monk’, born in India on 3 August 1826. The baptismal register identifies William Garrow Monk (1785-1859) as a ‘Judge’, living in Enfield. Born in Hertfordshire, Monk had been an employee of the East India Company from the age of 20, rising to become a judge in the Madras Presidency.  It would seem that he finally returned to England c 1828. If it had not been for the fact that the British Library is closed at the moment I would have enjoyed spending time in the East India Company archive finding our more about William Garrow Monk. 

However, the online research that I could do revealed that Myra was not Monk’s only illegitimate child –  because William Garrow Monk’s aunt, Elizabeth Monk (d 1832), in her will left money in trust ‘for the benefit of George Monk, Charles Monk and Myra Jane Monk, being the children brought from India by my nephew William Garrow Monk.‘ 

The inclusion, by name, in their great-aunt’s will, suggests that ‘the children brought from India’ were embraced by the wider family. It is not known whether or not all three children had the same mother, although I would think it right to assume that they did. But of her all that we know is that her surname was Coopoo. We do not know what position she held in Indian society, although it is likely that she was a bibi, living with William Garrow Monk in a marriage in all but name. Nor do we know if she was still alive when her three children sailed for England with their father. There is little possibility that, even if she were still living, she ever saw her children again. In his excellent book, The White Mughals, William Dalrymple relates the fascinating histories of some of the Indian wives and bibis whose lives were intertwined with those of employees of the East India Company. 

The names ‘Myra’, ‘George’, and ‘Charles’ were Monk family names – in fact, all three were the names of William Garrow Monk’s siblings. Myra’s second name, ‘Jane’, was that of William Garrow Monk’s mother, born Jane Garrow. The Garrow family had a long association with India.  It is notable that neither of the boys was named for their father. As we shall see, that name was reserved for his legitimate first-born son.

George and Charles were older than Myra, but I have not been able to trace entries for them on London baptismal registers. They may have been baptised in India or at an English church, the register of which has not been digitised. The 1891 census does reveal a Charles Monk, born in Madras in 1823,  whom I am certain was Myra’s brother. In 1841 he was living in the Chelsea home of a surgeon, apprenticed as a medical assistant. When, now a ‘chemist’, in 1846 at St Paul’s, Deptford, he married, his father’s name is given on the marriage register as ‘William Monk, Gentleman’. However, as William Monk was not one of the witnesses it is impossible to know whether or not he attended the wedding. Charles and his wife had several children and he continued to live in Deptford until his death in 1899. In the 1891 census he is described as ‘retired medical assistant’.

Of George Monk I have been unable to find any convincing trace.

In the year before the death of Great-Aunt Eliza, William Garrow Monk had married, on 26 April 1831, Eliza Ann Archer, 20 years old to his 46  She was the daughter of Thomas Archer, principal clerk to the Treasury. Barely three months later. Archer, a widower, married Myra Charlotte Monk, sister to William Garrow Monk. 

William Garrow Monk and his wife were to have at least 6 children, the eldest being William, born in 1832. Some time after his birth the family moved to Hersham, Surrey,, to Hersham Lodge, on the south-east side of Hersham Green. It is not known whether Myra and her brothers spent any time living with their father’s new family. In the 1841 census Myra, aged 14, was boarding at a ladies’ school run by a Miss Chownes in Holly Road, Twickenham.

It is unsurprising to discover that, after her schooling ended, Myra earned her living as a governess. This was just the employment I had imagined would be her lot and was, therefore, satisfied to find her on the 1851 census with the occupation as ‘governess’, a visitor in a house in Camden Terrace, Peckham. She was still living in the area (in Camberwell New Road) in the following year (1 July 1852) when she married Arthur Turley in the church of St Giles, Camberwell,  Arthur, living in nearby Champion Grove,  was described as a ‘brewer’, although he later worked, perhaps not very successfully, as an architect and surveyor. Myra admits to no occupation. Interestingly the box on the marriage register for her father’s name has no writing – merely a line through it – although in the ‘Occupation’ column he is described as ‘Gentleman’ However her father was there in the church, signing himself ‘W.G. Monk’ as one of the witnesses. I was ridiculously pleased to know that this father appears in no way to have rejected his illegitimate, half-Indian, daughter.

Arthur Turley was originally from Yorkshire and after their marriage the couple moved north to Bradford where the eldest of their seven children was born in 1854. Their family eventually comprised four daughters and three sons. Arthur’s business appears to have been precarious and certainly in 1870, when they were living in Sowerby Bridge, Myra was supplementing their income by running a school, presumably in their house. A year later the 1871 census shows that the family had moved to Halifax and the older three children were already in employment. Myra, the eldest (17), was a weaver, Evelyn (15) a boot stitcher, and Arthur (12) a telegraph messenger boy.

By this time Myra’s father, William Monk, had been dead for 12 years and I wondered how his legitimate family was faring without him. He had left under £1000 and by 1861, two years after his death, Eliza, his widow, and three of her now adult children had moved to a Brixton villa, The sons were all then described as ‘unemployed’ but by 1871 one was a stockbroker and his brother and sister were both ‘music professors’. The fact that the daughter, Mary, had an employment perhaps indicates a degree of financial necessity and makes her class position not much different from that of her illegitimate half-sister, who  worked occasionally as a teacher. Nevertheless Mary’s life was made more comfortable for her by the cook and housemaid whom her mother was able to employ. Myra had no live-in help.

After Arthur Turley’s death, Myra, now living in Leeds, once more became a schoolmistress, the 1881 census showing that two of her daughters were also now teachers. It is probable that she had again resorted to setting up a school in her home, with two of her daughters, Evelyne and Agnes, to help her. In the next census, in 1891, still living in Leeds but with only Evelyne now at home, Myra is described as a ‘boarding-house keeper’. Her one boarder is, however, a professor at the Yorkshire College (later University of Leeds) so one imagines she ran a house that had a slight social cachet. Her eldest son, Arthur, followed in his father’s footsteps as a land surveyor, eventually achieving the position of surveyor to the city of Canterbury.

Three of Myra’s daughters, Myra, Evelyne and Laura, married and emigrated to the USA, although Evelyne and Laura returned eventually to live in north Wales.  The US census in the early 20th century took note of race/colour and, interestingly, in all the censuses in which they feature the grand-daughters of Coopoo are classified as ‘white’.

I have found a photograph of Laura Garrow Cullmann (nee Turley), taken, with her husband, in 1920, nearly 100 years after the birth of her grandmother in India.

I am not sure if this brief research tells anything other than an interesting story. But it would seem to me that, looking from the outside, being both illegitimate and mixed race caused Myra Jane Monk (1826-1915) no specific difficulties in 19th-century Britain. One can never, of course, know what the circumstances of her birth meant to her. That would be a story I would very much like to hear.

Copyright

All the articles on Woman and Her Sphere and are my copyright. An article may not be reproduced in any medium without my permission and full acknowledgement. You are welcome to cite or quote from an article provided you give full acknowledgement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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First World War: My Family’s First World War Story

My mother, Christmas 1914. On the reverse of this postcard is written 'With Best Wishes for a Merry Xmas From Meg, Tom and the 'Wee Un'.
My mother, Christmas 1914. On the reverse of this postcard is written ‘With Best Wishes for a Merry Xmas From Meg, Tom and the ‘Wee Un’.

On 4 August 1914 my mother, Margaret Wallace, was living with her parents in Edinburgh where her father, Thomas Wallace, was a cashier in a brewery. On 2 December 1915 he joined up, aged 27.  He qualified as a signaller and telephonist (First class signalling certificate )with the Royal Garrison Artillery, was mobilized on 17 August 1916, setting sail from Plymouth for France.

Thomas Livingston Wallace
Thomas Livingston Wallace

He served in France  until November 1917 when the 289th Siege Battery was redeployed  to northern Italy. I have read 289 Siege Battery’s War Diary (held in the National Archives -WO 95/4205 289) which covers the period from Dec 1917 to May 1918 and gives a very interesting picture of army life up in the mountains above Vicenza. The officers seem to have enjoyed reasonably regular short breaks, allowing them visits to Rome.

Thomas Wallace’s army record seems uneventful. On 22 March 1918 he was admonished by the C.O. for turning up 85 minutes late to 9pm Roll Call, so I hope he had been having some fun. I doubt he ever got to Rome. On 19 April he was awarded First Class Proficiency Pay of ‘6d per diem’ and on 17 May was sent on a ‘Pigeon Course’ at General Headquarters, rejoining his Battery a week later. Three weeks later,  on 15 June, during the first day of the battle of Asiago he was killed. Army records show that his effects – comprising photos, 21shillings, metal wrist watch (broken) and signaller’s certificate – were returned to his widow, my grandmother.

The story handed down in the family ran something along the lines that, as a signaller, Thomas Wallace had been alerted to the fact that the Austrians were about to make a surprise attack, that communications had been disrupted and that he was relaying this information by travelling down the Line in person when he was killed. One is naturally very wary of ‘family’ stories, knowing full well how they get corrupted in the telling  but in records held in the National Archives, I did read, in a report of the battle of 15 June,

“289 Siege battery detached and section from them to engage suitable targets among the enemy’s advancing infantry

10.15 Runner and motor cyclists used because lines cut to brigade headquarters

Casualties in Brigade: 1 officer and 4 other ranks killed.’

The report of course doesn’t name the ‘other ranks’ but I wondered if Gunner Thomas Wallace was not one of those men.

He is buried at Magnaboschi Cemetery, a lovely tranquil spot, which when we visited some years ago we approached on foot through meadows. A fair proportion of the men buried in this small cemetery were also killed on 15 June 1918. The War Graves Commission information for Thomas Wallace is correct, whereas that created by the War Office is careless enough to have him killed in France. It just shows that one should never trust even the most official of records without corroborating evidence. Some years ago I did manage to get his entry corrected in the Roll of Honour of the Royal Garrison Artillery, contained in Scottish National War Memorial in Edinburgh Castle. Wasn’t it just typical, I thought, when you know something about anything ‘They’ would get it wrong.

Thomas Wallace

That cemetery was a world away from the life my grandmother knew – the villages and small towns of Fife. I doubt she ever saw a photograph of his grave. She never seemed to recover from his death. Life on a war widow’s pension was a struggle. She kept all the letters he sent from the War – and when I was about 12 years old I was allowed to read one or two. I particularly remember one that described his crossing of the Lombardy Plain on the way to Italy. Alas, those letters disappeared around the time of her death in a nursing home in the early 1960s.

My widowed grandmother, with my mother and her brother, in the doorway of their Falkland cottage
My widowed grandmother, with my mother and her brother, in the doorway of their Falkland cottage

Like so many other children of their generation my mother and her brother, who was born in December 1917, grew up without a father. That was all they had ever known.

My mother in her University of St Andrews graduation gown
My mother in her University of St Andrews graduation gown

What were that young couple, my grandparents, saying to each other as they discussed the news of War on 4 August 1914 in their Edinburgh tenement? Did they sense the cataclysm awaiting them? Probably not.

Copyright. All the articles on Woman and Her Sphere are my copyright. An article may not be reproduced in any medium without my permission and full acknowledgement. You are welcome to cite or quote from an article provided you give full acknowledgement.

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Collecting Suffrage: Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy, The Need Of The Hour

Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy (1833-1918) is one of my heroes of the women’s suffrage movement. She began campaigning in the north of England in the mid-1860s and proved to be one of the movement’s most ‘earnest workers’, to use her terminology.

In 1904, putting aside a lifetime’s aversion to party politics, she joined the Manchester ILP. and it was the ILP that published this pamphlet. The content was originally published as an article in the Westminster Review, and in it she analyses in her concise style the events of the previous 40 years and demands that Liberal MPs who profess to support women’s suffrage honour their pledges.

The pamphlet was published by the Independent Labour Party, and on the back lists pamphlets, books, postcards, badges and leaflets issued by the Women’s Social and Political Union.

Very good – 2nd edition – no date, but, from the evidence of the publications listed on the back cover, this edition c 1908. With markings from the Women’s Library from which it has been withdrawn (duplicate) £35

I can also offer a real photographic postcard Mrs Elmy, taken in May 1907 when the WSPU-nominated photographer called at her Congleton home for that very purpose.

In fine condition – unposted – £100 +VAT in the UK and EU.

If you are interested in buying either – or both – of them items, email me

elizabeth.crawford2017@outlook.com                                                                                                        

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Collecting Suffrage: The ‘Census Resisted’ Badge

NO VOTE – NO CENSUS – CENSUS RESISTED BADGE

Metal badge worn by suffragettes who boycotted the April 1911 census. Around the outside of the badge is ‘No Vote – No Census – Census Resisted and in the centre ‘A census for Gt Britain shall be taken in the year 1911 & the census day shall be Sunday the 2nd day of April in that year’.

The census boycott was an important act of civil disobedience and you can find many posts on this website about the suffragette resisters. Just key ‘census’ into the Search Box.

The round black and grey badge still carries on its reverse the maker’s paper ‘Merchants Portrait Co.’. This badge is extremely scarce and is in fine condition £1100

If interested in buying, email elizabeth.crawford2017@outlook.com

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Collecting Suffrage: Gladice Keevil Photographed by Lena Connell

 

Portrait photograph of Miss Gladice Keevil, The ‘National Women’s Social and Political Union, 4 Clement’s Inn, WC’.

The photographer was Lena Connell, who, in an interview in the Women’s Freedom League paper, The Vote, dated her involvement with the suffrage movement to this commission. When she arrived at Lena Connell’s St John’s Wood studio in 1908 Gladice Keevil had not long been released from prison and was soon appointed National Organizer for the WSPU in the Midlands.

She was a speaker in the WSPU’s summer campaign in Ireland in 1910 and was described by a member of one of her open-air meetings in Belfast as ‘Clever speaker and knows her subject’. She was also one of the WSPU’s prettiest activists.

Postcard in fine condition – unposted £120 + VAT in UK and EU. Email me if interested in buying. elizabeth.crawford2017@outlook.com

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Collecting Suffrage: Mrs Amy Sanderson, Scottish Speaker For The Women’s Freedom League

 Mrs Amy Sanderson, born in Bellshill, Lanarkshire, joined the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1906 and took part in the deputation in February 1907 from the first Women’s Parliament in Caxton Hall to the House of Commons, was arrested and served a Holloway prison term.

She actively campaigned in Scotland for the WSPU before, in October 1907, joining those who broke away to form the Women’s Freedom League. becoming for 3 years a member of the WFL executive committee. In 1908 she served another prison term.

She was a very popular speaker for the WFL and, in 1912, for the ‘Women’s March’ from Edinburgh to London.

In this photograph she is wearing her ‘Holloway brooch’, given by the WFL in recognition of her imprisonment.

The card, issued by the WFL no later than November 1909, after which date the Scottish Glasgow headquarters moved from Gordon Street to Sauchiehall Street, is in fine, unposted condition. £130 + VAT in UK and the EU.

Email me if interested in buying. elizabeth.crawford2017@outlook.com

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Collecting Suffrage: Anna Munro, Organizer For The Scottish Council Of The Women’s Freedom League

 

Full-length portrait photograph of Anna Munro (1881-1962) Scottish organiser for the Women’s Freedom League. The address is that of the WFL Scottish headquarters.

Anna Munro had joined the WSPU in 1906, becoming its organizer in Dunfermline. The following year she followed Teresa Billington-Greig into the WFL, becoming her private secretary. She was imprisoned in Holloway in early 1908 before being appointed organizing secretary of the Scottish Council of the WFL.

After the First World War Anna Munro (now Mrs Ashman) became a magistrate in England and was later president of the WFL in which she remained active until its disbanding in 1961.

Photographic postcards of Scottish suffragettes are relatively uncommon. This one is in fine, unposted condition. £130 + VAT in UK and EU. Email me if interested in buying. elizabeth.crawford2017@outlook.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Collecting Suffrage: Photograph Of Cicely Hamilton By Lena Connell For The Suffrage Shop

Photograph of a luminous Cicely Hamilton, writer, actor and suffrage activist, taken by Lena Connell, the renowned photographer.

The close-up photograph is mounted on stiff card, which carries the logo of The Suffrage Shop, 15 Adam Street, Strand, London. Hamilton was closely associated with the Suffrage Shop, which in 1910 published her Pageant of Great Women.

The photograph was probably taken c 1910/1911. Hamilton’s name has been scratched on the emulsion, presumably by the photographer, and it is signed by Cicely Hamilton.  SOLD

If interested in buying, do email me. elizabeth.crawford2017@outlook.com

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Collecting Suffrage: Mrs Charlotte Despard Photographed by Christina Broom

 

A lovely photograph of Mrs Charlotte Despard, leader of the Women’s Freedom League. It was taken on a rooftop, possibly at the time of the WFL’s White, Gold and Green Fair in 1909.

The photographer and publisher of the resultant postcard was Mrs Albert Broom (Christina Broom), who photographed several groups of those participating in that WFL Fair.

In fine, unposted, condition. A scarce image. Sold

Email me if interested in buying. elizabeth.crawford2017@outlook.com

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Collecting Suffrage: This Is The House That Man Built

And this is the Minister weary and worn/Who treated the Suffragette with scorn,/Who wanted a Vote, and (a saying to quote),/ Dared him to tread on the tail of the coat/Of the bold Suffragette determined to get,/Into ‘THE HOUSE’ that man built.’

The Minister is surrounded by elegant suffragettes – with the House of Commons in the background. 

One in the BB Series of 6 postcards showing suffragettes in a dignified light.

Fine – unposted £30 + VAT in UK and EU

Email me if interested in buying. elizabeth.crawford2017@outlook.com

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Collecting Suffrage: Portrait Postcard Of Christabel Pankhurst, c. 1908

Head and shoulders photographic portrait of Christabel Pankhurst, probably dating from c. 1908.

She is  wearing a rather attractive loose, square-necked dress, with her hair up in her characteristic knot. When Kate Frye attended a meeting of the Actresses’ Franchise League addressed by Christabel in February 1910 she commented, ‘Her hair was very untidy and I think would suit her so much better done low than on top in an ugly little knob.’ But I always think the hint of dishevelment is rather endearing.

The postcard is captioned ‘Miss Christabel Pankhurst. The National Women’s Social and Political Union. 4 Clement’s Inn, WC’, indicating that it was issued after some members, led by Mrs Charlotte Despard, broke away to form the Women’s Freedom League in the autumn of 1907. For a time they hoped to keep the ‘WSPU’ name, which led the Pankhursts to rename their faction ‘The National WSPU’.

The card was published by Sandle Bros. and would have been for sale in WSPU shops. This copy came from a collection put together by three suffragette sisters.  Fine – unposted – £40 + VAT in UK and EU. Email me if interested in purchasing. elizabeth.crawford2017@outlook.com

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Lock-Down Research: ‘Elena Shayne’, The Intriguing Author Of ‘Everyday’

Elena Shayne in her dancing years, With her husband, Paul Barel (image courtesy of Louise Baghurst)

Even though ‘lockdown’ has officially been eased, my physical freedom is not as it was but, as compensation, and fuelled by an insatiable curiosity and the wonders of the internet, I’ve had no shortage of time and opportunity to wander through time and space in pursuit of  various chimera.

One such is a young woman known as ‘Elena Shayne’, author of a single published work, a roman à clef entitled Everyday (Jonathan Cape,1935). As she explained at the outset, ‘Elena’ planned to write about ‘the things that happen to me for a year’. And that, simply, is what she did. Everyday is the book of that year.

(image courtesy of Scott Thompson)

But, to begin at the beginning, I knew nothing of Everyday when I first encountered it, described in a post on the ‘Furrowed Middlebrow’ website. I am not sure what exactly caught my attention, probably the author’s rather unusual name for I began idly to research Elena Shayne on Ancestry.com and quickly realised that she had a rather slippery attitude to names. This was rather intriguing. The name she had used as an author she had also used in Real Life, but it was not the name with which she had been born, and was by no means the only one she was to adopt during her lifetime.

I was sufficiently amused by my genealogical research to pass on an outline to Scott, the owner of the ‘Furrowed Middlebrow’ website, and was delighted when he offered to send me a scan of Everyday.  It was only then, on reading the novel, that my research took wings, transporting me back to 1931-1932, and embedding me in the life of a north Devon village.

‘Elena Shayne’ was born Louise Crawshay Parker in September 1909 in Plymouth, Devon. Her mother was Mrs Gertrude Hermione Thomas (née Crawshay), who had been separated from her husband, William Morlais Thomas, a civil engineer, since c 1901. They had married in 1892 and a daughter, Grace Morlais Thomas, had been born in 1893. Gertrude’s father, a member of the Crawshay family of wealthy Welsh ironmasters, had not approved of her marriage and had lived just long enough to see it fail.

At some point Mrs Thomas met, and then lived in Plymouth with, John Thomas Parker, the father of Louise. The family story is that they met on Plymouth Hoe, while each speaking for their Cause – he for Socialism and she for Suffrage. Gertrude Thomas died in January 1911 and when the census was taken three months later baby Louise was living in Plymouth with John Parker, his elderly mother, his sister, and his brother, a house decorator. Parker was described as a ‘commission agent’, but at the age of 13 in 1881 had worked as a box maker. The Parkers clearly belonged to a class very different from that of the Crawshays.

The 1911 census shows that Louise’s half-sister, Grace Thomas, was then living with Gertrude Thomas’ sister, Louise Crawshay, at Batheaston Cottage, Batheaston (on the outskirts of Bath). Poor Grace died in June 1911, aged 18, a couple of months after the census. At this time Grace’s father, William Morlais Thomas, was living in the seaside town of Paignton, Devon, attended by a nurse. He died there in 1914. I have not ordered death certificates for the sad trio (Mr and Mrs Thomas and Grace) but curiosity might yet get the better of me. I’m pretty certain, though, that TB was the culprit.

These are all facts I established in the course of my genealogical research and I was then delighted to find the details vindicated in Everyday where, in a few paragraphs, Elena Shayne relates much of the story of her birth and parentage, telling how she was rescued from the backstreets of ‘Rymouth’, as she calls Plymouth, by her great-aunt Louise, and taken to live with her at ‘Westwater’ (Batheaston).

Elena was five years old, when, after the death of William Morlais Thomas, a court case established that, although she was now known as ‘Louise Crawshay Thomas’, she was not, in fact, his daughter, but that of John Parker. The court case, at the root of which lay a dispute over an inheritance, was widely reported and my supposition that her illegitimacy – or, at least, the widespread knowledge of it – shaped Elena’s life has been borne out in conversation with her daughter. In Everyday Elena certainly blames it for the ostracization she believed she experienced from some sections of ‘society’.

Although she did not inherit from William Thomas’ estate, Elena was subsequently left money by a Crawshay uncle and her aunt Louise, on her death in 1943, left Elena her entire estate, which amounted to something over £4000. So, she was not, I think, without means in her younger years. I only mention finances because in Everyday Elena evinces a delightfully vagabond spirit, something we all know is only possible if the basics of life are covered.

Other than a mention in the press that Elena Shayne had attended school in Bristol, I don’t know anything of her life between the ages of 5 and 22 when, in December 1931, described as ‘Writer’ and with her aunt Louise, she sailed, second-class, to Marseilles. It was the information in the Ranpura’s manifest that was the key to unravelling the roman à clef – for the address supplied by the two women was ‘Lundy House, Croyde Bay, north Devon’. This was the lightbulb moment (to mix the metaphors) which unlocked Everyday, for the address of the author – and central character – as it appears on the opening page of Everyday, accompanying the date of her first diary entry, 23 June 1931, is ‘Hartland House’, Grebe Bay, North Devon’.

I had now anchored Everyday in time and place. For ‘Grebe’ read ‘Croyde’. Lundy is an island in the Bristol Channel; Hartland Point is a rocky outcrop sticking out into the Channel, some miles south of Croyde. By studying online maps and photographs I have become closely acquainted with this north Devon coastal village as it developed through the course of the 20th century, and, with Google Earth, have explored the neighbourhood as it is today. In Everyday the local towns and villages are given pseudonyms, thus, for example, ‘Barum’ is Barnstaple, ‘Barnham’ is ‘Georgeham’, ‘Brandon’ is Braunton, ‘Sandon’ is ‘Saunton, and ‘Hutley’ is ‘Putsborough. Moreover, judicious study of the 1939 Register (a census taken in England at the outbreak of the Second World War) has enabled me to identify many of the people whom Elena encounters. She uses pseudonyms, but her code is easily broken.

Why had Aunt Louise and ‘Elena’ chosen to move from Batheaston to Croyde? In Everyday the move appears permanent, but was not so in Real Life, for Aunt Louise retained Batheaston Cottage and left it to Elena on her death. In Everyday Elena implies that the move had been made because knowledge of her illegitimacy was causing her harm in Batheaston – ‘at last I could hardly bear to go out because of the slights and insults I received’.  Croyde was familiar territory to Aunt Louise Crawshay, whose maternal grandfather and an uncle had, in succession during the second half of the 19th century, been rectors of Georgeham, the adjacent village. This family association, it was hoped, would provide protective cachet.

Lundy House 2020

Lundy House, where Elena and Aunt Louise were living, is situated on Moor Lane, a minor road running north out of Croyde and was rented from a farmer who lived in an adjacent house. In Everyday the farmer was ‘James Fisher’, in reality, George Bertram Fowler, who lived there with his aged mother and ran the farm with help from one of his sisters, Mrs Ivy Reed (aka ‘Mrs Rush’ in Everyday). Elena describes the Fisher/Fowler family and its history in some detail, all borne out by my research in genealogical records and newspaper reports. She even mentions that ‘James’ was unlikely to marry while his mother was alive and, sure enough, I see that it was only in 1937, a few months after her death, that he made it to the altar. Remember that Everyday was written some years earlier; Elena could read a situation. Moreover, George Fowler lost no time in selling his farm. His mother died on 30 January 1937 and the 27 March 1937 issue of the North Devon Journal carried an advertisement for the sale of all the livestock and agricultural implements of Lundy House Farm on the instructions of Mr George Fowler (‘giving up farming’).

Looking out of her ‘abode-in-attic’ window in Lundy House, Elena describes her uninterrupted view over bracken and stream to the bay, rejoicing in her solitude. The sea is still there and Lundy House still stands, but over the past 90 years Elena’s world has vanished. The house, available to rent, is now at the centre of Ruda Holiday Park, a sprawling collection of chalets, caravans, and camping pitches, where holiday makers are serviced by all the entertainments thought necessary in the 21st century. Where there was farmyard there is now the Cascades Tropical Adventure Pool, complete with flumes.  Everyday describes a landscape and a society on the cusp of change.

In the early 1930s Croyde was already attracting holidaymakers. Elena refers to the ‘Season’, noting that cottagers were keen to let rooms to summer visitors. When describing the great flood that engulfed Georgeham and Croyde in June 1931 she mentions that the damage done was of real consequence to cottagers hoping to profit by the ‘Season’. She, naturally, found the drama of the situation irresistible. Somewhere a postcard may exist of Elena, her dress rolled to her waist, wading, with a friend, through the waters. She describes how ‘some thirty or forty people on the far side of the bridge greeted us with cameras and cheers, and picture-postcards of us were on sale in Grebe and Barum soon afterwards’. I think the postcards were published by Arthur Gammon, who ran the Croyde post office. Wouldn’t it be a coup to unearth this image?

At the time that Elena was writing, Croyde had just, in 1930, become the site of a permanent holiday camp run for its members by NALGO (National Association of Local Government Officers). This was an indication of how holidaying would transform the village after the Second World War. But in 1931 there were only two shops in Croyde (‘three if you count the butcher’s hut’), the local economy was based around farming, and the ‘Devon bus’ ran from Barnstable ‘four times a day in winter and four or five times an hour in the “Season”’.

Croyde Village in the Interwar Years

St Mary’s Road, the main street through Croyde, did not yet have a name; Elena merely refers to ‘the village’. Several of the farms she mentions fronted onto this street. Many of them, still there, retain their original names but have turned themselves into B & Bs, their back lands now filled with holiday lodges. I was amused to note that the carpenter, ‘Mr Flower’,  whom Aunt Louise employed to do work in ‘Hartland House’ was undoubtedly William Budd, after whom a restaurant, ‘Billy Budd’s’ (formerly the Carpenter’s Arms), is now named. This seemed a very satisfying conjunction of local history, fact and fiction.

Croyde Village – a postcard posted in 1933

Everyday is packed with details of the lives of both local cottagers and farmers and of those who felt themselves to inhabit a higher echelon. I have deduced that ‘Miss Hunter’, prominent in local society, was Miss Constance Hyde, who lived with her brother and sister in a large Victorian house (‘Mole Manor’, notable for its ‘crude colours’) on the cliff north of Lundy House. ‘Miss Hunter’ comes in for some particularly scathing comment, Elena recounting that she was one of those who ‘would not recognize me’. If she had lived to have known it, I think Elena might have taken some satisfaction in the fact that the Hydes’ ancestral home, built a couple of generations back by the founder of the Birmingham Post, has been swept away, demolished to make way for ‘Baggy Point’, one of the more remarkable of Britain’s modernist houses.

Among others who attract her ire are ‘Cuthbert Fitz-Potter’, in Real Life George Pitts-Tucker, a retired businessman and general manager of the Saunton Golf Club. He organised the Ladies’ Championship, held at Saunton in 1932 and mentioned in Everyday. Elena makes clear she thinks that Pitts-Tuckers, who lived a little further up Moor Lane in Middleborough House, with three unmarried Pitts-Tucker sisters living opposite in Middleborough Cottage, had forgotten that it was only two generations back that, as leather drapers, they were mere Tuckers.

Elena was well-acquainted with Saunton and its golf links, for in a house opposite the entrance to the club lived her dearest friend, ‘Lilian’. In Everyday the Saunton house is ‘Inverary’, in Real Life, ’Knockbeg’. ‘Lilian’ was Margaret (Peggy) Lilian Longfield, daughter of an Anglo-Irish family whose home, Kilcolman House in Co Cork, had been burned down in 1921 during the ‘War of Independence’.  Everyday is threaded through with mentions of ‘Lilian’, although we never really get close to her. The two young women seem to have periods of unexplained estrangements, one certainly being when ‘Lilian’ became entangled with a young man, ‘Philip’. But at the close of the book Elena came to the conclusion that ‘…whatever she might do or leave undone, Lilian would always be Lilian to me, to be helped and comforted should she need help and comfort.’ And this turned out to be true, although, from what I have been told, it was ‘Lilian’ who was more often the one who provided the help and comfort.  For I have been in contact with Elena’s daughter and grand-daughter and with Peggy Longfield’s niece, all of whom tell me that the two women remained close friends for the rest of Elena’s life and that, after her death, the relationship was continued by her daughter. Indeed, Elena’s daughter stressed her own love for Peggy, who helped bring her up, working as a secretary to support her and Elena.

Knowing how closely Elena’s account of her life in Devon appears to be related to Real Life it would seem wilful to doubt the accuracy of the middle section of Everyday, describing the holiday she spent with Aunt Louise, voyaging  to Marseilles and then on to Majorca. As I mentioned at the beginning of this piece, the two can be spotted disembarking from the Ranpura at Marseilles in December 1931. Elena recounts that this was where they transferred for the onward journey to Majorca. Needless to say, on that island and on the return journey by train via Paris she had no end of romantic adventures – adventures that led the Western Press and Bristol Mirror (30 March 1935) to describe her as a ‘modern girl’ [who] ‘obviously knows the art of living as well as the art of writing’. Other reviewers compared her style to that of E.M. Delafield  (‘without the coruscation of arrows’) and  Beverley Nichols (‘without the mawkishness’). A.G. MacDonnel (The Observer, 17 March 1935) acknowledged her charm and sense of humour, and, presumably rather satisfying to a young writer, The Morning Post applauded her ‘aptitude for pithy, picturesque English’. In fact, Everyday was well and quite extensively reviewed, with hope being expressed for future works. Alas, it was not to be. Her daughter has stressed to me how very prolific Elena was as a writer throughout her life, producing vast quantities of poems and novels, including an updated treatment of Pilgrim’s Progress, and was mortified that, despite being on the books of the Hope Leresche Literary Agency, she never again achieved publication. And this leads me to consider how it was that Everyday ever, as it were, saw the light of day.

Well, among the characters Elena encounters in Devon was one Cocbarlie Bilfather who, living in ‘Torr Cottage’ in the neighbouring village of ‘Barnum,’ she describes as ‘our Novelist, who came to Barnham sixteen years ago, penniless, obscure, and twenty-two, and is now perched upon the rail of fame – chiefly by studies of our local ways’. It was instant recognition – ‘Bilfather’ is, of course, Henry Williamson, of Skirr Cottage, Georgeham. I do have a copy of Patriot’s Progress on my bookshelf but have not yet read The Village Book (1930) and The Labouring Life (1932), which tell of Georgeham life. If it had not been for Covid-19 I would most certainly have already hastened to the British Library and devoured them, as well as other local histories of the area, but such a treat has not yet been possible.

In a few paragraphs Elena paints a seductive picture of Williamson, the man of letters, and his sanctuary, ‘a curious room which smelt of musk and mould’. Thus, it is perhaps no coincidence that Everyday was published by Jonathan Cape, publisher of Williamson’s two Georgeham books. Although I have no proof, I would be amazed if, at the very least, Williamson was not prayed in aid when Elena was looking for a publisher.

However, although Elena Shayne had no further success as an author, she did shine in another sphere. For from 1939, having returned with Aunt Louise to Batheaston and after an interlude in London, she became a leading light of the Bath ballroom-dancing scene. A holder of a Gold Medal from the Imperial Society of the Teachers of Dancing, throughout the war she organised a dance club for soldiers on leave in Bath. She married in 1944, soon after Aunt Louise’s death, but the marriage was short-lived (her daughter tells me that the young man in question, to whom she remained close throughout her life, was gay) and then married again in 1947.

Her second husband, a Bristolian, Paul Barel (1917-2007), was a conscientious objector during the Second World War and had transformed himself from costing clerk to dancer. In 1946, at Elena’s insistence, he changed his name by deed poll from William Cyril Barrell. For a few years the couple ran a health club, ‘Rhythm Therapy’, from Batheaston Cottage and in 1948 had a daughter, Pauline Louise Crawshay Barel. The birth notice in a local north Devon paper made special mention of the fact that the baby was a great-niece of ‘the late Miss Louise Crawshay of Batheaston’. Elena had dedicated Everyday to her great-aunt and there is no doubt of the love between them. However, this second marriage, too, did not last; there was a divorce and in 1957 Paul Barel remarried. Elena Shayne Barel died in 1984 and is buried in Georgeham Cemetery on Incledon Hill.

In my pursuit of Elena Shayne I have, as I’ve mentioned, been in contact with two or three people who remember her very well, each having a special name for her to add to all the others she accumulated in her earlier years. All confirm that she was a very interesting woman, by no means easy, but most definitely memorable. Certainly, her joie de vivre  and carefree vagabonding have enlivened my lock-down summer as I accompanied her along country lanes, over the dunes and reefs, up on the cliffs, into dimly lit cottages, on country buses, in tea rooms, on horseback, on ships, in trains, not to mention on a short but lively visit to a Parisian bordello. And for all this entertainment, I offer my appreciative thanks to Furrowed Middlebrow without whom ….

 

Copyright

All the articles on Woman and Her Sphere and are my copyright. An article may not be reproduced in any medium without my permission and full acknowledgement. You are welcome to cite or quote from an article provided you give full acknowledgement.

 

 

 

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Collecting Suffrage: Photograph of Mrs Fawcett, 1890

 

Today I offer you a studio photograph of Millicent Garrett Fawcett by W & D Downey. Published by Cassell & Co, 1890. She was 43 years old and had already been a leading light of the women’s suffrage movement for over 20 years.

A very good image – mounted. Suitable for framing. £40 + VAT in UK & EU.

In the past I have been concerned about the low profile afforded popularly to Mrs Fawcett. Indeed, in 2013 I wrote a post on the subject: Make Millicent Fawcett Visible. 

And in 2016 when there was a suggestion that there should be a statue of a ‘suffragette’ in Parliament Square I did point out that there was already one nearby to Mrs Pankhurst (which I was also determined would not be moved) and one, so often forgotten, to the suffragette movement in general, just down Victoria Street in Christchurch Gardens. That resulted in another post – on Suffragette Statues.

As we all know, the idea of a ‘suffragette’ statue in Parliament Square morphed, thanks to input from Sam Smethers and the Fawcett Society, into the already well-loved statue of Mrs Fawcett. So that she is now indeed publicly visible.

Yesterday’s photograph of Mrs Pankhurst proved very popular, but if you would like demonstrate your loyalty to Mrs Fawcett, here is an excellent opportunity to acquire a photograph of her with which to adorn your desk or wall.

Do email me if you’re interested in buying. elizabeth.crawford2017@outlook.com

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Collecting Suffrage: Photograph Of Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst c 1907

This photograph of Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst probably dates from c 1907, taken at her desk in Clement’s Inn, headquarters of the Women’s Social and Political Union.

The photograph comes from the collection of Isabel Seymour, who was an early WSPU supporter working in the WSPU office.

The photograph is mounted and is 15 x 20 cm (6″ x 8″) and is in good condition for its age. SOLD

Do email me if interested in buying. elizabeth.crawford2017@outlook.com

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Something A Little Different: Furrowed Middlebrow Books: Summer 2020

It has been my pleasure to write forewords to a few of the novels reissued in August 2020 by Dean Street Press under their ‘Furrowed Middlebrow’ imprint. The theme this summer is ‘The Village’.

A major part of my commission is to uncover something of the lives of authors who, often very popular in their heyday, have subsequently disappeared beneath the waves of the rolling literary tide. One such is Celia Buckmaster – whose life has something of a novel quality. She would have made a good heroine.

Although the other two novelists I’ve ‘resurrected’ are both named ‘Dorothy’, their backgrounds were very different.  The novels of both were well-received by critics and well-loved by readers during the interwar period and well into the 1950s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Needless to say, reading these novels, all quite delightful, and pondering on the lives of their authors, provided a welcome escape from our national predicament. One is never quite ‘locked-down’ when the imagination can roam freely.

 

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Collecting Suffrage: Questions To Lloyd George Asked By The Women’s Social And Political Union

A leaflet on which the WSPU set out eleven questions concerning Lloyd George’s behaviour in introducing a Government measure for Manhood Suffrage in 1913.

Among the many other pertinent questions: ‘Why do you expect us to accept your personal and unofficial advocacy of Woman Suffrage as a substitute for united and official action on the part of the Government as a whole?

Two-sided leaflet, printed in purple. In good condition – some creasing.  £100

If interested in buying – email me – elizabeth.crawford2017@outlook.com

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Collecting Suffrage: 1907 Programme For ‘Votes for Women’, Play By Elizabeth Robins

 

4-page programme for one of the 8 matinée performances of this so-popular play, staged in April and May 1907 at the Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, under the joint management of John Vedrenne and Harley Granville Barker.

The programme includes the cast list, of course, and a notice that ‘At these Matinées, Ladies are earnestly requested to remove Hats, Bonnets, or any kind of head dress. This rule is framed for the benefit of the audience…’

Kate Frye (suffrage diarist) saw the play on 16 April and wrote a long entry that night in her diary where, including, amongst other comments,  ‘I loved the piece – it is quite fine – most cleverly written and the characters are so well drawn. Needless to say the acting was perfection as it generally is at the Court Theatre and the second act – the meeting in Trafalgar Square – ought to draw the whole of London. I was besides myself with excitement over it ‘

This programme belonged to Isabel Seymour, an early worker in the WSPU Clement’s Inn office, She folded the programme into her pocket or handbag and then kept it for the rest of her life.

In good condition – extremely scarce £500

Email me if interested in buying – elizabeth.crawford2017@outlook.com

 

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Women And The First World War: Munition Workers

Munition workers – mainly women -pose for the photographer. They are wearing their caps and the triangular-shaped munition workers badge can be seen pinned to many of the overall dresses. Young men sit at the front – displaying the fruits of their labours – shells.

The card bears the imprint of the Belle Vue Studios, Bradford – which was one of the best-known in the city and was in business until 1985. There’s no clue as to the name of the factory in the photograph but there were a number of munitions factories in Bradford, including the Low Moor munitions factory that suffered a large explosion in 1916.

In very good condition – appears to have been cut down by about 1 cm at some time – unposted £35 +VAT (UK and EU)

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Collecting Suffrage: The WSPU Holloway Prison Brooch

The Holloway Prison brooch was designed by Sylvia Pankhurst and awarded to members of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) who had been imprisoned. It was first mentioned in the WSPU paper, ‘Votes for Women’, on 16 April 1909 and was described as ‘the Victoria Cross of the Union’. [It pre-dated the Hunger-Strike medal]. The design of the brooch is of the portcullis symbol of the House of Commons, the gate and hanging chains are in silver, and the superimposed broad arrow (the convict symbol) is in purple, white and green enamel. The piece is marked ‘silver’ and carries the maker’s name – Toye & Co, London, who were also responsible for the hunger strike medals. This brooch is for sale. Such treasures of the suffrage movement are now very scarce. It is in fine condition.

£5000 + VAT (in UK and EU)

Email me if you are interesting in buying. elizabeth.crawford2017@outlook.com

 

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Collecting Suffrage: The Women’s Guild Of Empire

The Women’s Guild of Empire organised a demonstration at a critical time just before the General Strike in April 1926. Here we see Flora Drummond supervising the making of the banners that were to be paraded on the Day. The march brought together ‘wives of working men who have had personal experience of strikes’ (as Elsie Bowerman wrote to the editor of ‘The Spectator‘) from all regions of the country, culminating in an Albert Hall meeting, chaired by Mrs Drummond.

A scarce and unusual image – a postcard In fine, unposted, condition SOLD

email me if interested in buying elizabeth.crawford2017@outlook.com

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Collecting Suffrage: ‘Punch’ Cartoon, 17 January 1906

 

Punch cartoon from the issue for 17 January 1906. ‘The Shrieking Sister’. The Sensible Woman (with her fur stole around her neck) addresses the dishevelled ‘suffragette’ (with a ‘Female Suffrage’ flag tied to her umbrella) – ‘You – help our cause? Why, you’re its worst enemy!’ They are standing outside a hall that advertises ‘Great Liberal Meeting’.

Mrs Pankhurst’s Women’s Social and Political Union had recently appeared on the national scene. Just over two months previously Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney had been imprisoned after interrupting a Liberal party meeting – and this is how the WSPU is now personified. The General Election, which resulted in a Liberal landslide, was in full swing when the cartoon was published.

A full-page Bernard Partridge cartoon. SOLD

If interested in buying, do email me elizabeth.crawford2017@outlook.com

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Collecting Suffrage: Photographs Of The Equal Rights Rally, 3 July 1926

 

Two snapshots – taken at the rally by John Collins, Kate Frye’s husband.

Here’s an excerpt from Kate’s diary entry for the day, as reproduced in Campaigning for the Vote: Kate Parry Frye’s suffrage diary (now out of print).

Saturday July 3rd 1926 [London: Flat C, 57 Leinster Square]

[After lunch] changed, off with J[ohn] – bus to Marble Arch and walked to Hyde Park Corner. Sat a little then saw the procession of women for Equal franchise rights and to the various meetings and groups. Heard Mrs Pankhurst and she was quite delightful. Also saw Ada Moore – getting very old. Saw Mrs Despard 82 and walked all the way. And the Actresses’ Franchise League.

The tiny snapshots show women and men walking into Hyde Park, with banners. If anyone else was taking photos that day, they do not seem to have made their way into public collections. Very good – very scarce. £20 the two together.

Do email me if you’re interested in buying these shadows of the past. elizabeth.crawford2017@outlook.com

SOLD

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Collecting Suffrage: Women’s Social And Political Union Brooch

A silver and enamel Women’s Social and Political Union brooch. It was Sold to raise funds for the WSPU and was made by Toye and Co of Clerkenwell Road, London, the firm that made the WSPU’s hunger-strike medal. There is so much spurious material sold as ‘suffragette jewellery’; this is the Real Thing.

The brooch dates from between 1908 and 1914 and is in fine condition. It’s very scarce – and ready to wear.

For sale: £900 + VAT (in Uk and EU).

Email me if interested: Elizabeth.crawford2017@outlook.com

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Collecting Suffrage: ‘Punch’ Cartoon, 21 October 1908

Punch cartoon, 21 October, 1908. Two burglars on their way to ‘suburban night-work’ watch a line of policemen marching the opposite way, into Town, to deal with the Votes for Women demonstration advertised on the poster.

The burglars agree that the ‘sufferajits’ are a good thing, keeping the police occupied as they do. This was the time of the ‘Rush the House of Commons’ demo.

FOR SALE – Full page cartoon by Bernard Partridge. Fine condition £12 SOLD

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Collecting Suffrage: The Church League For Women’s Suffrage Paper

 

The paper of the Church League for Women’s Suffrage was published monthly from January 1912. This is the issue for 9 September 1912. Issues of the paper are scarce and this one is in good condition for its age – packed with information. For sale – SOLD

If interested email me: elizabeth.crawford2017@outlook.com

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Lock-Down Research: A Hull Mystery. What Do You Think You Are Seeing Here?

I have had this postcard in stock for about 20 years but, because I couldn’t identify either the women or the occasion, I have never catalogued it. Now, however, ‘Lock-Down’ has given me plenty of time to puzzle and ponder.

The only clue is on the reverse, where the photographer’s name, ‘Duncan, 15 Anlaby Road, Hull’, is printed. William Harper Duncan photographed the people of Hull in the early 20th century, advertising that he specialised in ‘outdoor photography’. He was clearly the obvious man for this commission.

But who are the women? Where are they massed? And why?

When I bought the card I had no magnifying glass with me and had to rely on my eyesight to decipher the partial lettering on the poster on the left of the photo. The one very clear word is ‘Women’s’, while another looked as though it might be ‘Demonstration’. Anyway, the combination caught my attention and was sufficient to entice me to make a purchase, thinking I’d be able to puzzle out the story behind the picture.

Well, as I say, that was 20 years ago and it is only now that I’ve arrived at a partial answer. I’ve spent ages with the British Newspaper Archive trying to figure out what possible Hull Women’s Demonstration I was seeing.

From the weight of the costumes the women are wearing I deduced that it was taken in autumn/winter and from the style that it could be dated to c 1902-1908.

It was clearly an occasion that meant enough to the organisers for them to arrange for Mr Duncan to attend with his camera. However, although I investigated every women’s meeting in the period I couldn’t marry the season and time of day – for it was obviously not taken in  the evening – to any significant occasion. Of course I was hoping that I was looking at a suffrage demonstration but could not find evidence of any gathering that fitted into either the suffragist or suffragette campaigns. Nor was there any figure I recognised in the gathering – such as a visiting speaker sent to rouse the local society.

However, I had scanned the photo and blown it up to study the poster’s few visible letters and was once more wrestling with this puzzle when, yesterday, my eye strayed back to the figures wrapped in their winter coats and muffs and was suddenly caught by little dots of white that appeared on a fair number of breasts and lapels.

And there it was. The mystery was solved.

Those white ‘dots’ are in fact white badges – white ribbon badges – the insignia of the British Women’s Temperance Association. So this is a gathering – perhaps a Demonstration – of Hull Temperance women. Many of them may well have been supporters of the suffrage movement, but I think I can be fairly safe in assuming that they were gathered that day in Hull in a temperance capacity.

I have to confess that I’ve not been able to identify the building in front of which the women are standing. The obvious candidate would be the former Assembly Rooms, later rebuilt as the New Theatre, but the arrangement of pillars and steps doesn’t really fit. In the early years of the 20th c women’s groups met in a wide variety of halls and institutes around Hull, but this would appear to be grander and more municipal than most. Perhaps some Hull reader will be able to identify it?

And perhaps a reader, either from Hull or from anywhere else, might be interested in purchasing the card (£20 in fine condition, unposted) and carrying on the research. If so,  email me: elizabeth.crawford2017@outlook.com.

Copyright

All the articles on Woman and Her Sphere and are my copyright. An article may not be reproduced in any medium without my permission and full acknowledgement. You are welcome to cite or quote from an article provided you give full acknowledgement.

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Lock-Down Research: The Case Of The Mysterious Suffrage Banner

I find it so satisfying when I am able to bring a photograph such as this to life. I acquired it two years ago but have not yet catalogued it because I could identify neither the banner nor the occasion. However, a little tenacity, a few idle lock-down hours and – EUREKA – I have found the answer.

The card came, with many others, in the collection of suffrage postcards compiled by the Hodgson Sisters . From this context I assumed the card had a suffrage connection, but I had never seen or heard of the banner. The photographer, as you will see from the imprint, was A. Dron of Brondesbury – so, as the Hodgsons were living in West Hampstead, I assumed the occasion pictured occurred in the area.

Even with a magnifying glass I couldn’t make out much more detail and it was only when I scanned the card and blew up the image that I found at the bottom right of the banner what seemed to be the artist’s monogram and a date – W E G S 1910.  I felt I was making progress, but I’d never come across those initials when compiling my Art and Suffrage: a biographical dictionary of suffrage artists  –  and so was not much further forward.

I had tried searching for variations of ‘The Old Order Changeth’ in the British Newspaper Archive, but nothing relating to a banner had emerged. It was only when I searched for ‘banner’ in what I thought might be the local paper for Brondesbury in 1910, that the answer emerged. And it all seems so easy now.

The newspaper report in the Kilburn Times, 17 June 1910, revealed that the banner, a present to the North West London Union of the Women’s Social and Political Union, had been unfurled by Mrs Saul Solomon and was to be carried in the WSPU ‘Prison to Citizenship’ procession on Saturday 18 June. The artist was William Ewart Glasdstone Solomon [WEGS] (1880-1965), Mrs Solomon’s son.

Mrs Georgiana Solomon (1844-1933) was the widow of the governor-general of Cape Colony and had for many years been active in social reform and suffrage movements. By 1910 she was living in West Hampstead and had already been arrested once. Five months after the photograph was taken she was assaulted in the course of the notorious ‘Black Friday’ debacle in Parliament Square and in March 1912 was imprisoned after taking part in the WSPU window-smashing campaign. Her daughter, Daisy, who was also an active WSPU member, featured in one of their publicity stunts, sent in 1909 as a ‘human letter to 10 Downing Street. She also served a prison term and by 1912 was organizing secretary of the Hampstead branch of the WSPU.

Given the family association, it is not surprising that Mrs Solomon’s son, who had been a student at the Royal Academy Schools, should have put his art to the service of the Cause. He later became director of the Sir J.J. School of Art in Bombay (Mumbai) before eventually returning to South Africa, the land of his birth. He is classed as a ‘South African artist’ but we can now appreciate that one of his earlier works was in support of the British women’s suffrage movement.

The newspaper article includes the information that the banner depicts ‘two life-size figures, a man and a woman, and the idea which the artist apparently means to convey is the dawn of a new era of political sex equality. The lettering ‘Political equality’ and ‘The old order changeth, giving place to new’ is conspicuous on the canvas’. I haven’t been able to spot the words ‘Political equality’, but perhaps they are on the reverse.

The Kilburn Times report tells us that the unfurling of the ‘Old Order Changeth’ banner took place at ‘Plympton House’, 154 Willesden Lane, which was the home of Mr and Mrs A.A. Jones, and that speeches were made by Helen Ogston and Flora Drummond. Mrs Eleanor Penn Gaskell was also present. Alas, I cannot identify the two young women holding the banner. Possible candidates that spring to mind are Daisy Solomon and Helen Ogston, but neither look quite like the women in the photograph. Nor are they, I think, any of the Hodgson Sisters.

I now see that the report for the WSPU N.W. London branch carried in the issue of Votes for Women for17 June 1910 declares ‘Let no local women miss the chance of walking in the great Procession under Mr W. E. Gladstone Solomon’s most beautiful banner’.

And there I rest my case…so pleased to have retrieved the story behind this most intriguing of photographs.

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The Garretts And Their Circle: A Talk on Fanny Wilkinson

In January 2020 I gave a talk on Fanny Wilkinson, Britain’s first professional woman landscape gardener, to FOLAR (Friends of the Landscape Archive at Reading Unviersity).

The talk is now available to view online here.

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Kate Frye’s Diary: VE Day 1945

Kate as writer – at home in Berghers HIll

Kate Frye (or, rather Mrs Kate Collins), one-time actress and suffragist activist – and an excellent diarist – spent the Second World War at her home, ‘Hill Top’, in the tiny hamlet of Berghers Hill, perched on the ridge above Wooburn Green, Buckinghamshire. Even in this remote spot they were not spared bombing.

On 1 September 1940 Kate noted in her diary ‘German planes – hour after hour – that nasty heavy jerky drone.’ 8 September ‘German planes droning over head – terrific search lights – a great red glow over London – flashes of gunfire and bombs. About 3am things seemed to get quieter and I went to sleep. London had its biggest raid from 5am till daylight – fires, killings and maiming and making people homeless. Most of it down by docks and East End.’ 26 September ‘The sirens went about 12 midnight. German planes have been going round and round for an hour and I heard bombs and gunfire in the distance.’

15 October 1940 ‘Had my bath before 9.30. A raid warning. I could not help thinking of the change from a year ago, when no bombs and a warning put one all in a flutter and now I got into a bath and took no notice.’ 16 October 1940 ‘Evening. Germans had been circling and dropping bombs and then three crumps. I thought our end had come. Folks came from next door and John went out with them to put out paraffin incendiary bomb in The Heights garden. One in our garden by the Woodman’s Hut. I started sweeping up glass and nailing up dust sheet to keep rain out.’ Next day ‘I saw the trees down round the bomb crater. The miracle is we are alive and as far as we can tell the house, except for one window, safe. A great deal of damage to the cottages and to the Kennels [this was a large house owned by Kate’s much richer relations, the Gilbey family].

The Woodman’s Hut Theatre was the local entertainment centre, for it was here that Kate and John staged short community plays. One was ‘a war-time German scene which I am at present calling “Heil Hitler” It is really Brenda Gilbey’s plight visiting in Bavaria.’ Kate had not been impressed by Brenda’s discipleship of Hitler. ‘Heil Hitler’ was staged in the Woodman’s Hut Theatre in January 1940, together with ‘Recalled to Life’, a sketch John had carved from A Tale of Two Cities.

The manuscripts for these sketches haven’t survived, but others have, all designed, in one way or other, to raise morale. One, ‘Go To Pot: a sketch of silly people for silly people’, alludes to wartime conditions, such as paper shortages, as well as to local Wooburn places and people. Another, ‘Babes in the Wood with the Blessed Gerard’, was written for performance by the St John’s Ambulance Brigade cadets, Blessed Gerard being the founder of the Knight’s Hospitallers. The manuscript indicates that over a number of performances lines were updated so that, early in the war, gas was cited as Hitler’s secret weapon but, by 1944, that had been changed by hand to read ‘the pilotless aircraft.’

A third sketch, ‘Time Is with Us’, has as its protagonists two wandering masons whom Kate based on the wooden figures on the front of an ancient building that was once Wooburn’s Royal Oak pub. Through these characters she tells a tale of a witch burned at the top of Windsor Hill, which leads up from Wooburn Green to Berghers Hill. That witch had cursed, ‘As I go up in flames – down shall I come one day in flames to punish you. Bombs – Bombs that’s what ‘twill be.’ ‘If any mother son of you shall be alive until that day or any of the kith and kin of you who stand and laugh shall be on Beggars Hill when Bombs are falling down – then woe to them.’

While John manned an Observation Post and ran the local St John’s Ambulance group, Kate entered, of necessity, into the wartime spirit of ‘make-do-and-men’.For instance, before the war they had often eaten rabbit, a cheap meat, bought from the butcher. But during the war John set out to catch rabbits himself. As Kate wrote: ‘It’s really dreadful work and John has had to kill them’. But she was able to spread the largesse so that ‘all around have all had pies.’ She was remarkably stoical in playing her part in the process, writing in her diary ‘John found he’d snared two bunnies. One dead the other he had to kill. However he was awfully good – got the jackets off beautifully and disembowelled them. I then washed them, cut them up and left them to soak. Cold work.’

Finally, after five and a half years of life such as this, came her diary entry for 8 May 1945 – ‘VE Day and it’s All Over. The wireless has been on and it is so wonderful one is not utterly cut off. John at decoration – what we have in stock and bits of wire and string and a great do and the getting ready to hear the Prime Minister at 3 o’clock.’

Later Kate was ‘on Wooburn Common to see John set light to the Bonfire and try and get some bangs going.’

Back at Hill Top, they heard the ‘relay of King’s Speech at 9pm. He got along well – here and there some terrible pauses. Then the news and description of all the seething masses of people cheering and it’s just fine. What we have always looked forward to and knew must happen one day – even in our darkest hour, but that it has happened is just a miracle. Then to light flood lamp and all walk round and admire and the house did look pretty. John has worked on it. Then cocoa and biscuits and more wireless at midnight and afterwards.’

You can read the story of Kate’s life here. It will make good lock-down reading. Kate’s diaries, recounting her experience of the Second World War day by day, are now held in the Archives of Royal Holloway, University of London.

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Lock-Down Reviews: The Lives And Work Of Two Garrett Cousins: ‘Endell Street’ and ‘Margery Spring Rice’

Serendipitously, lock-down has given me the opportunity of making closer acquaintance with two cousins, products of that ever-interesting family – the Garretts.

Louisa Garrett Anderson and Margery Spring Rice, members of the generation that came after the pioneering Garrett sisters Elizabeth, Millicent and Agnes, are each the central figure in new books spotlighting aspects of ‘women’s work’ that, although not forgotten, have hitherto not received detailed attention. The books differ in concept in that one is a study of an enterprise and the other is a straight biography, but central to both is evidence of a steely Garrett determination.

Endell Street by Wendy Moore is a study of the military hospital opened in London during the First World War by Dr Louisa Garrett Anderson and her companion, Dr Flora Murray. The hospital was exceptional in that it was the first in which women doctors were able to treat male patients. In fact, the entire staff (with the exception of a few orderlies) consisted entirely of women. Although Dr Murray recounted the work of the hospital in Women as Army Surgeons, published in the immediate aftermath of the war, it is certainly time, a hundred years later, to look at it with fresh eyes.

Louisa Garrett Anderson (1873-1943), daughter of Britain’s pioneer doctor, Elizabeth Garrett, and Flora Murray (1869-1923), daughter of a retired Scottish naval commander, had both studied at the London School of Medicine for Women, with Murray finalising her degree at Durham University. At the turn of the 20th century women doctors still faced considerable difficulty in advancing their careers and Garrett Anderson and Murray, denied positions in general hospitals, were restricted to treating women and children. The professional difficulties with which they had to contend forced them away from the constitutional suffrage movement, led by Louisa’s aunt Millicent, and into Mrs Pankhurst’s  militant WSPU. Garrett Anderson even spent time in prison after taking part in a 1912 protest.

Medal issued by the Women’s Hospital Corps. For sale 0 see item 512 in my Catalogue 202 Part 2 

The outbreak of war in August 1914 offered an opportunity to escape the medical cage, an opportunity seized by Garrett Anderson and Murray with both hands. Their offer to help in the war effort having been repudiated by the authorities, they struck out on their own. travelling to France in September 1914 to tend wounded soldiers in hospitals they set up themselves, first in Paris and then in Wimereux. They named their outfit the Women’s Hospital Corps and It was the success of these first, small, French-based operations that led them in 1915 to be invited by the War Office to run a military hospital in London. They opened it in an old workhouse in Endell Street, Covent Garden, convenient for the trains bringing the wounded back from France. All involved with the Endell Street hospital were aware that they were operating on sufferance and that any lapse of standards would damage the professional chances of future women doctors

The author has researched diligently, enlisting the aid of diaries, letters and family memories of both staff and patients to paint a more inclusive picture of the hospital and its occupants than that depicted by Dr Murray. These reveal how demanding the work was of all the women. Stretcher bearers and surgeons alike tackled situations they had never previously encountered. Louisa Garrett Anderson was the hospital’s main surgeon and Flora Murray its anaesthetist. Obviously neither they, nor the other women doctors on the staff, had any previous experience of the types of wounds – and patients – they were now treating, but proved very competent in developing the necessary skills. From mid-1916 the hospital trialled  the use of a new antiseptic paste, known as BIPP, which proved very successful when used on men sent back to them from the Somme battlefield.

As neither Garrett Anderson nor Murray left direct descendants or private papers it is difficult to get close to them. The image they presented is the one that survives and suggests that both were reserved, with Murray the more resolutely aloof and Garrett Anderson slightly more approachable. These characteristics, while perhaps natural, were also necessary in giving the women the credibility with which to operate such an establishment. Yet it is clear they were greatly appreciated by both staff and patients. Endell Street appears to have been comfortable and sociable, the male patients soon becoming entirely at ease with the idea of being treated by women.

Although it is perhaps difficult to bring the principals to life, Endell Street is characterised by the more personal stories of young women who, travelling from all parts of Britain, Australia, Canada and the US, had the foresight to record their experiences. These are enlivened by the revelations of all-too-human work-centred discontents. The novelists Beatrice Harraden and Elizabeth Robins clearly managed to wring a good deal of drama out of running the hospital library.

Endell Street was decommissioned in the autumn of 1919. During its final year the hospital treated victims of the three waves of the ‘flu pandemic, in February 1919 experiencing more deaths than it had in any month during the war. These deaths included a significant number of staff members.

But, as the author comments, as far as women in medicine were concerned, ‘The war had changed everything, and nothing’. After the war, while some professions were opened up to women for the first time, it was once again made very difficult for women doctors to build a hospital career and young women were again barred from many medical schools. Sadly, after a brief effort, Murray and Garrett Anderson were unable to continue running the hospital for children that they had founded before the war. In the final chapter the author assuages our curiosity and details the ‘afterlives’ of Garrett Anderson and the other women with whom we’ve kept company during the war years in Endell Street.

In the summer of 2017 I very much enjoyed taking part in a a performance of ‘Deeds Not Words’, an immersive drama staged by Digital Drama in the Swiss Church in Endell Street, opposite the site of the hospital. Belief was suspended, and I really felt myself walking through the hospital wards, encountering staff and patients. You can watch a Digital Drama film about the Endell Street hospital here. This is based on some of the material used by Wendy Moore in Endell Street.

See also a post on this website  Women and the First World War: the work of women doctors


Apparently Louisa Garrett Anderson’s one venture into print, a biography of her mother, was prompted by learning  that a cousin, Margery Spring Rice (1887-1970), was considering Elizabeth Garrett Anderson as a suitable subject for just such a work. Now Margery, in her turn, has had her life placed under the spotlight-  by Lucy Pollard, a grand-daughter. And what a rewarding subject she is. Here all is drama – love, death, affairs, court cases, divorce, blighted lives – set alongside the achievements of a life spent working to improve the lot of working-class women.

Margery Garrett was the daughter of Sam Garrett, a favourite brother of Elizabeth and Millicent. He seems to have been easy going; his daughter was rather more volatile. She was educated at Girton, married in 1911 and had three children before her husband was killed on the Somme in 1916. A disastrous second marriage produced two more children. Equipped with an abundance of energy Margery Spring Rice, as she now was, chanced on the cause of birth control as the subject of her life’s work. This was a subject shunned by the medical profession but one which she recognised as an imperative if poor women were to retain their health and any ability to care properly for the children they did bear.

In 1924, with two friends, she founded a ‘contraception clinic’ in north Kensington, a notoriously impoverished area, retiring only in 1957. It proved very successful with Margery ‘wholeheartedly encouraging and supporting the liberal attitude prevalent among its staff’. In 1939 she wrote Working-Class Wives: their health and conditions (Penguin) which has become a classic, re-published by Virago in 1981.

Margery Spring Rice is a delight to read. Well-written and Impeccably referenced, this is no hagiography, Lucy Pollard making clear that Margery Spring Rice was a difficult woman ‘not much given to self-reflection or self-doubt’, ‘full of contradictions’, and, to my mind, all the more interesting for it. She spent much of her life in Suffolk and for a time was close to Benjamin Britten, although, rather poignantly did find herself dropped in later years. I love the cover illustration showing ‘Margery pushing a young friend along the Crag Path in Aldeburgh, New Year 1968’ (Christopher Ellis).

Wendy Moore, Endell Street: the trailblazing women who ran World War One’s most remarkable military hospital, Atlantic Books, 2020, £17.99.

Lucy Pollard, Margery Spring Rice: pioneer of women’s health in the early twentieth century, Open Books Publishers, 2020.

Free download: https://www.openbookpublishers.com//download/book/1204 

Hardback: £29.95

Paperback: £19.95

For full details see here

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Lock-Down Research: Winifred Hartley and ‘Housewives’ Choice’

‘Housewives’ Choice’

I bought this painting about 30 years ago – on an impulse – from a pavement stall in Islington’s Camden Passage market. It hangs in the hallway and I’ve passed it umpteen times a day ever since but it was only at the beginning of this week that I paused on the way to bed to see if it carried a signature . I suppose, back c. 1990, I must have noticed the artist’s name but, if so, I hadn’t given it much thought, it then being a near impossibility to research the ‘unknown’.

There, In the bottom right-hand corner, is, indeed, a very clear and neat signature – ‘Winifred Hartley 1956’.  So, rather than going to sleep, I then spent an hour or so with ancestry.co.uk searching for a likely Winifred Hartley, only to realise that not only was the name fairly common but I didn’t even know whether she was married or single.

Frustrated by this apparent brick wall, the next morning I made the bold (but entirely obvious) decision to take down the picture, which had hung undisturbed for at least 20 years (that being, I have to admit, the last time the wall was painted). And, there on the reverse were the two labels that are the key to the identification of the artist.

One gives her address: Mrs Winifred Hartley, ‘Oakfield’, Woodmansterne Lane, Banstead, Surrey’ and the other, with the heading ‘Banstead Arts Group’, the painting’s title, ‘Housewives’ Choice’. There had also been a handwritten note of the price but this has been torn off, presumably by the dealer who sold it on. But its presence did indicate that the painting had originally been included in a selling exhibition.

It was then, thanks to Ancestry, only the work of a moment to uncover an agreeable depth of information about Winifred Hartley.

She was born Winifred Amy Castle on 29 June 1907 and by 1911, an only child, was living with her parents and maternal grandmother in a pleasant end-of-terrace house, 15 Bourne Road, Crouch End. Her father was clerk to a firm of hardware exporters. By the late 1920s the family had moved to 61 Park Avenue North, close to Alexandra Palace.

I don’t know where Winifred Castle was educated but it is likely that she stayed on at school until she was 17 or 18, for by 1925 she was working as a bank clerk for the National Provincial Bank, banks at this time tending to recruit young women only if they had received a thorough education. She was employed at the Bank’s headquarters, 15 Bishopsgate, and clearly took her work seriously, in 1929 passing the examination to become an Associate of the Institute of Bankers. The Institute’s examinations had been open to women since 1919, but I think ten years later it was still relatively rare for a woman to take the Part 2 to qualify as an Associate.

Former headquarters of the National Provincial Bank, 15 Bishopsgate

However, Winifred Castle’s banking career ended on 8 October 1932 when she married Richard Crozier Hartley (1901-1967), a fellow bank employee. At that time women were required to resign on marriage. The couple set up home in Banstead, at the address on the back of the painting, ‘Oakfield’, Woodmansterne Lane.  On the outbreak of war in 1939 Winifred was contributing to the war effort by working for the Women’s Voluntary Services in the canteen set up for Banstead’s Air Raid Post, while her husband was an air raid warden for the bank in Bishopsgate. Their only son was born in 1943.

Winifred Hartley was probably a founder member of the Banstead Arts Group c. 1949. Certainly by 1950 she was the group’s treasurer, a former banker being an eminently sensible appointee. I don’t know whether she had taken any professional art training but in the 1950s the Banstead Arts Group held classes in painting and drawing several times a week and in the summer organized outdoor sketching expeditions. The Group’s first exhibition, held in October 1949, attracted over 500 visitors and I assume that ‘Housewives’ Choice’ was on display and probably bought at a similar exhibition, c 1956.

In 1982, fifteen years after the death of her husband, Winifred Hartley emigrated to South Africa, to be near her son and his family. She died there in January 1994. A descendant has produced a family tree on Ancestry, which even includes photographs of Winifred. However, although I sent out a message I’ve so far had no response, so cannot include any of the images here.

I am very fond of the painting which, to my untutored, eye, strikes me as very well executed. I like the composition and the sense of movement. I love the colours and the costumes, particularly the duster coat. I like the idea of gossiping housewives, especially, I must confess, if they’re safely situated in the 1950s. I don’t know Banstead at all, so have no idea if this streetscape is based on reality. Certainly it seems to bear no relation to Banstead High Street as it is now, as shown on Street View. Does anybody recognise this corner (if it is a corner)? Does anybody else have a Winifred Hartley hanging on their wall?

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All the articles on Woman and Her Sphere and are my copyright. An article may not be reproduced in any medium without my permission and full acknowledgement. You are welcome to cite or quote from an article provided you give full acknowledgement.

 

 

 

 

 

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Lock-Down Research: From Owen’s Row To Van Diemen’s Land: A Sad Story

The New River running beside Sadler’s Wells, 1792.  Owen’s Row can be seen in the background – at the right-hand side. The grating at this side of the St John’s Road bridge is visible. It was against the equivalent at the other side of the road that in 1841 the drowned baby was found. Credit: Wellcome Images

While researching my previous ‘Lock-Down’ post (see here ) I came across a story that is haunting me. Looking through mid-19th-century newspapers for mentions of Owen’s Row, Islington, I noticed a flurry of articles in 1841 – both in London and in national papers – concerning the sad story of Harriet Longley, on trial at the Old Bailey on a charge of infanticide.

The trial revealed that at about 8 o’clock in the evening of 19 March 1841 Harriet had arrived at Islington Green police station saying ‘she had murdered her child’ ‘by throwing it into the river’. A policeman had then gone with her to Owen’s Row. Once there she had pointed to the spot where she had thrown the baby into the New River, which at that time ran in front of the houses.

She said she had been sitting on the doorstep of no 19 ‘and the child had been crying the whole time she had been sitting there, and had been crying all the afternoon – she said she had no food for herself, and no milk to give to the child.’ 

A witness described seeing Harriet nearby at sometime just before 7 o’clock. In March it would by then have been dark, and, doubtless, chilly. I cannot imagine that that stretch of Owen’s Row, half-way between St John’s Street and Goswell Road, was well lit. Presumably that is why Harriet had chosen to sit there. She was noticed by a woman who was visiting number 14 and was still there when the visitor left. But, naturally, that woman didn’t think to speak to her. [Incidentally number 14 Owen’s Row reappears 40 years later in another of my posts, see here. Although totally unrelated that story, too, ended in tragedy.]

Harriet’s was the usual sad story. She was about 22 years old and was herself illegitimate. It would seem she had been brought up by her mother in Clerkenwell but was working as a house maid in Marylebone when she became pregnant. Around 6 months into the pregnancy had left, under what circumstances isn’t revealed, and, for whatever reason, had travelled to Kent. There she had been picked up for vagrancy and imprisoned in Maidstone Jail  as a ‘rogue and vagabond’. It was in the prison that, towards the end of February, she had given birth to a girl, whom she named ‘Eliza Harris’. Leaving prison with 18 pence and her baby she had returned to London. She had not seen her mother as she was worried about being ‘scolded’.

By the time she arrived at the Islington police station Harriet had neither money nor baby. All she possessed was ‘a small parcel in her hand, containing a small quantity of bread’. The policeman went on to describe how ‘I offered her some food, some meat, which she had, she appeared to swallow it all whole, without chewing it, till she could swallow no more, and she had some coffee.’

Earlier in the day Harriet had been to the Marylebone workhouse but was refused entry and ‘referred to another parish’.

During the trial the wife of one of the sergeants at the police station told how ‘I was sent for when the prisoner came there – I undressed her, and examined her – I asked her how she came to do it – she said poverty had made her – I thought she had milk – I found her breast in a painful state – she said the child would suck a little, but not much.’ 

The policeman who went with Harriet to Owen’s Row found the baby ‘between fifty and sixty yards from the place where she pointed out as having thrown it in – the child was on the surface of the water, stopped by the iron grating that goes across the bridge, near St John-street-road – it was dressed in the clothes which I now produce – it was a female child.’

As I explained in my previous post, the New River, bringing water to London from Hertfordshire, used to run right in front of Owen’s Row and wasn’t covered in until 1862. There are no extant images of that precise stretch of the river but the scene was probably similar, if less bucolic, to that depicted in the engraving at the head of this post. There certainly could have been little to separate the path in front of the Owen’s Row houses from the river. In the 1830s the death was reported of a young boy who had drowned after falling into the river while playing there. So, dreadful as it is, we can imagine that it was the work of a moment for poor Harriet, in despair at her situation and tormented by the cries of her starving child, to drop the bundle into the water. By going straight to the police station she made no attempt to avoid the punishment that she must have known would follow.

And so it was that, at the Central Criminal Court, on 5 April 1841 Harriet Longley was sentenced to death. The jury, however, ‘recommended [her] to mercy in consequence of her distressed state’. The plea was accepted by the judge, who was indeed sympathetic to her plight and ‘in an affecting addresss to the prisoner, told her that he and his learned brother (Mr Justice Patteson) would attend to the humane recommendation of the jury, and represent her unhappy case to her Majesty, for the purpose of saving her life’. ‘Oh’ [he said] ‘that young women would take warning by your unhappy fate when listening to the voice of seduction, and remember to what dreadful and fatal consequences the first false step but too often leads!’ [Bell’s Messenger, 11 April, 1841.]

That ‘first false step’ was to take Harriet Longley half way round the world – to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania). Her sentence was commuted to transportation for 10 years, a comparatively light sentence. One of 180 women convicts, she set sail from London on 14 June 1841 on the Garland Grove, bound for Australia’s prime penal colony. Coincidentally, just 10 days earlier a group of my own ancestors had embarked on the journey to Australia – to Melbourne – from Glasgow. You can read about their perilous adventure here.

Cascades Female Factory, Hobart, 1844

Harriet Longley arrived at Hobart on 10 October 1841. Tasmania’s online records (utterly fascinating) now conjure her up for us. She was 5 feet and 1 inch tall, with a fair complexion, brown hair, a high forehead, grey eyes, a straight nose, a small mouth….and 2 moles on her stomach.  She was, I think, based at the main women’s prison, the Cascades Female Factory, but was probably allowed (‘assigned’) to work outside. Her conduct record tells us that in general she appears to have behaved well and that in 1846 she was recommended for a pardon, which was approved on 23 November 1847. For details of life at the Cascades Female Factory see here.

The convict records also show that in May 1843 Harriet Longley was given permission to marry another convict, Thomas Jarvis. He had arrived in Van Diemen’s Land in 1833, transported for stealing a handkerchief from a clerk as he walked across London Bridge. For that Jarvis, who was then 19, had been given a sentence of transportation for life. When one sets this sentence against that meted out to Harriet Longley, we can, perhaps, recognise that mid-19th-century justice, while harsh in so many ways, had taken into account the dire straits in which that young woman had found herself. And had had some pity.

The granting of her pardon is the last glimpse I have of Harriet Longley. Now free, she fades once more into the past.I wish I could see for her a happy future.

The Female Convicts Research Centre, Inc is packed with interesting information about transported prisoners and Libraries Tasmania is a model provider of freely-accessible online records.

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All the articles on Woman and Her Sphere and are my copyright. An article may not be reproduced in any medium without my permission and full acknowledgement. You are welcome to cite or quote from an article provided you give full acknowledgement.

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Lock-Down Research: The Sitting Room, 7 Owen’s Row, Islington, 1855

Drawing, Sitting Room, 7 Owen’s Row, Islington; Richard Parminter Cuff (British, 1819 – 1883); brush and watercolour and gray wash over graphite; 2007-27-57. Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

I have a memory of this watercolour coming up for auction in the early 1990s, although I can no longer identify the sale. It caught my attention then because it is showed the interior of a house that once stood next-door-but-one to my own. At that time I was unable to contemplate buying it, even though it was so decorative and apposite, but the memory of it stayed with me and yesterday, now in lock-down, I idly searched the internet and with pleasure found that the image was now in the public domain, part of a Smithsonian collection.

The caption to the water colour gives some information but I thought I would see what I could do to amplify it now that so much material is available on the internet and I have plenty of time to indulge in idle research.

In fact, I was pleasantly surprised how easily I uncovered the reason why the artist had painted the scene. For in the 1851 census I found the artist, Richard Parminter Cuff, living in that house, 7 Owen’s Row in Clerkenwell, a short distance south of the Angel, Islington.

This is the earliest photograph I have found of Owen’s Row, showing it in 1946 after the ravages of war had taken their toll. 7 Owen’s Row is the 5th house from the right, the second in the row of lower houses. Built in 1775, it comprised a basement, ground floor, first floor, second floor and attic, with two rooms to each floor. The photograph shows the damage done to the row during the 1940 Blitz. In fact, by then three houses (numbers 11 to 13) had been demolished – you can see the wooden buttress supporting the end wall of the terrace. To the far left of the photograph had stood Dame Alice Owen’s Girls’ School, opened in 1886.

Dame Alice Owen’s Girls’ School at the beginning of the 20th century. No 7 Owen’s Row will be on the far right of the photo

The basement of the school was being used as a public air raid shelter when, in the evening of 15 October 1940, it received a direct hit. The building collapsed, killing about 150 people.

Until 1959 numbers 6-10 Owen’s Row remained standing but were then demolished because a new building for Dame Alice Owen’s Girls’ School was to be built on land immediately opposite.

Although in the late-18th century the Owen’s Row houses do seem to have been in single occupation, by the second decade of the 19th century most contained at least two households. This remained so until towards the end of the 20th century.  At the time when Richard Cuff was living at number 7 the local papers frequently advertised rooms – or floors – to let in Owen’s Row. In the mid-1850s the weekly rent for one room on the second floor of an Owen’s Row house was 5 shillings. This is now my bedroom.

The majority of the male occupants of the houses were printers, jewellers, clockmakers, or workers in allied trades. The women were lodging house keepers, dressmakers and milliners. The households at no 7 might, in 1851, have been considered slightly more genteel than most. For when that census was taken Richard Cuff, described as ‘artist, engraver (architectural etc)’, was living at number 7 with his younger brother,William, a ‘bookseller -collector’. They constituted one household. The other was headed by John Peacock, ‘Baptist minister at Spencer Place Chapel’, and comprised his wife, son (a printer) and an 18-year-old ‘house servant’. The Chapel was small and situated in a very poor, densely populated area a little to the south of Owen’s Row. That the Cuff brothers should be sharing a house with a non-conformist minister may not have been entirely fortuitous their father, John Harcombe Cuff (c.1790-1852) being a dissenting minister back home in Wellington, Somerset.

Thus, we know that when he painted the watercolour in 1855 Richard Cuff had been living in 7 Owen’s Row for at least four years. However, sometime between 1855 and the next census in 1861 he moved, becoming a lodger in a house in Cumming Street, off the Pentonville Road. By this time his brother William had gone into business as a bookseller with another of their brothers, first in Preston and then in Dover. This could have been a factor in Richard Cuff’s decision to move.

From my knowledge of the proportions of the houses I would suggest that the watercolour is of the front first-floor room of number 7, showing just one of the room’s two windows. Although It is impossible to tell from the 1851 census how the two households were deployed around the house, I suppose we must assume that this room was most likely to have been one of those rented by the artist and his brother. In a search through the local paper, The Clerkenwell News, I found, dated 5 June 1858, an advertisement, headed ‘Unfurnished Apartments’ –  ‘To be let, at 7 Owen’s Row, near the Angel, a First Floor and another Room, with use of Kitchen; healthily and cheerfully situated; good references given and required. No other lodgers’. Could this have been inserted at the time when Richard Cuff left the house? Were these his rooms?

Now that we know a little more about the background of the house and its inhabitants let’s look more closely at the decoration of that room in August 1855. Here’s the watercolour again.

Note the plaster moulding frieze, with dentilling, around the ceiling edge, and the marble fire surround. These look entirely typical of the late 18th century but, alas, the originals have long since vanished from the remaining houses so I’m unable to make a direct comparison.

I suspect that there would originally have been a wooden dado rail running round the room but that, considered dated, had already been removed, allowing the wallpaper to flow from ceiling to skirting board.

The wallpaper looks fairly typical of that fashionable in the 1840s/1850s, at a time when printing machines had brought the use of wallpaper within the reach of all but the poorest.

The window we see is hung with light curtains – perhaps those reserved specially for the summer -and are of printed chintz or muslin.  They fall generously, as was fashionable, held back by metal (brass?) tiebacks. As I mentioned, the room has two windows, so the volume of the material in that area would have seemed generous as it pooled to the floor. We can see one shutter in the embrasure; these would, of course, have been pulled across in the evening.

The furniture dates from the earlier part of the 19th century, falling under the general heading of ‘Regency’. The 1858 advertisement that I quote above indicates that the first floor of 7 Owen’s Row was let unfurnished so perhaps we are reasonably safe in concluding that the furniture belongs to the Cuff brothers. In which case to my mind they show rather good taste in matching the style and simplicity of the furniture to the proportions of the room. I’m a little intrigued that one of the pieces, that standing under the window, is a work – or sewing – table. Was it merely decorative? The feet both of it and of the central table end in neat brass castors, facilitating easy movement.

The floor appears to be covered, right close to the skirting board, by a carpet – doubtless of English make – light in colouring. The drugget, rather oddly placed between the worktable and the central table is, of course, lying in front of the artist as he works and is, perhaps, there to protect the carpet from his paints. More usually one might expect to find it under a dining table, catching stray crumbs. A patterned hearth rug with a green border lies in front of the metal fender.

Because it is summer the grate is covered with a chimney board, to provide decoration and give some protection against the intrusion of falling birds and insects at a time when the chimney was not in use.

Among the ornaments on the mantle piece are, at each end, a pair of hand-held fire screens, probably made of papier-mache. Tasselled bell pulls hang at each side. Did the Cuffs ring and young Eliza, the ‘house servant’, answer?

As to the room’s decoration as it relates to the Cuff brothers’ trades – were the books lying on the central table part of William’s stock or collection? And was the picture hanging over the mantle piece one of Richard’s engravings, for it certainly appears to be in black and white. And are the other two, more colourful, pictures examples of his painting?

I do wish I could exercise a Street View-type camera and swivel the room around to look out of the window. For the view in 1855 would have been so very different from that of the present day. For then, running along the other side of the narrow Owen’s Row street, was  the New River,  bringing water from Hertfordshire to its final destination, the New River Company reservoirs just across the road, behind Sadler’s Wells. It was only in 1862 that the New River outside Owen’s Row was covered in. So, looking out of that window, Richard Cuff’s gaze would have travelled over that narrow width of running water and onto the gardens of houses fronting St John’s Street, which led up to the Angel.

And what of the rest of Richard Cuff’s life? I can see that by 1871 he was living at 101 Englefield Road, still in Islington, but to the east of Owen’s Row. He and two of his sisters were the only occupants, apart from a servant, of a comparatively large house. And then by 1880 he had moved again and was now the sole lodger at 5 Thornhill Square, Barnsbury, the house of a ‘commercial agent’and his family. There Richard Cuff occupied two rooms on the first floor and one on the second. All were unfurnished, so perhaps we can picture his elegant Regency furniture, his pictures and his matching papier-mache handheld fire-screens decorating those rooms. It was here that he died on 11 October 1883. He left well over £6000 and, to the British Museum, two letters he had received from John Ruskin, together with many proofs of engravings he’d made for Ruskin. The latter being an exacting master we can assume that Cuff’s engravings were of a high quality.

We’ve caught the merest glimpse into the life of Richard Parminter Cuff and, along with everything else that we will never know, I am left wondering about the woman standing in the sitting room of 7 Owen’s Row in August 1855? On the reverse of the watercolour is a study of the head of a young woman. The information given here – https://tinyurl.com/w3ofoaz – gives the date ‘1885’, but that must be a typo for 1855 – the artist died in 1883. Was the head intended for the figure of the woman? Who was she? and why was she left unfinished? There is a novel to be teased from this picture.

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Kate Frye’s Diary: The Influenza Pandemic, 1919

 

Part of Kate’s diary entry for 9 January 1915, in which she describes her wedding day. It was she who attached the photographs of herself and John.

Kate Frye’s diary, which she kept from the late 1890s until 1958 is very much the diary of a middle-class, albeit impoverished, ‘Everywoman’ of that period. Her experiences, although so particular to her, were shared by millions of others. Thus it was that, in 1919, she had a first-hand encounter with the Influenza – ‘Spanish ‘Flu’ – Pandemic, which, because it could prove quickly lethal, was rightly feared.

John Collins, husband of Kate (nee Frye) had come through the First World War, collecting a Military Cross on the way, and they were about to settle back into civilian life in a small rented flat in Notting Hill when, in February 1919, disaster struck.

On 12 February, to Kate’s horror, John was rushed to hospital – ‘The Prince of Wales Hospital in Marylebone. The old Great Central Hotel where our brief honeymoon was spent.’ The hotel (now the Landmark Hotel,  had been taken over in 1916 by the War Office and turned into a military hospital for officers. ‘I had heard the doctor -“Influenza and pneumonia – both lungs”. ‘He is very ill, it is a toss-up if he pulls through.’

The Winter Garden, Great Central Hotel, Marylebone – a postcard kept by Kate all her life as a memento of her one-day honeymoon

So, rather than home-making, Kate’s first days back in London revolved around visits to the hospital.

Thursday 13 February 1919 [London: Notting Hill]

To Hospital 1.45 up to day sister’s room as she had promised the doctor’s report. But she was frightfully cross and rude to me. Sat with John 2 till 4 then was turned out. He looks very bad and is lying propped up by a back rest and in a pneumonia jacket. He is quite sensible but I would not let him talk much. They are frightfully rushed and not enough sisters – 800 patients and many dying of pneumonia.

A ‘pneumonia jacket’ was used to warm the patient’s chest, then one of the few treatments available.

Friday 14 February 1919 [London: Notting Hill]

No one can ever know but those who go through it what these hours of waiting are like and then the Hospital with its inhospitable airs and snubbing attendants. They are bound to answer enquiries concerning the ‘serious’ cases but that is as much as they will do. I stayed until I was driven away. He hates me to go and to leave him like that was so distressing.

Anecdotally, the hospital was not a happy place and, following the ‘flu outbreak, complaints were made in Parliament that patients with flu were being nursed in the same rooms as those recovering from wounds, thus causing a serious possibility of the infection spreading.

John remained in this Marylebone hospital for a month and then, having more or less recovered, was sent to a military convalescent home in Bournemouth. It was housed in the former Mont Dore Hotel (now Bournemouth Town Hall). Kate followed him, staying in digs.

Saturday 12 April 1919 [Bournemouth]

John had been before a Board and been granted 3 weeks sick leave, so that is alright – he is due to leave the Mont Dore today but can arrange to stay until Monday.

Monday 14 April 1919 [London: 12a Colville Terrace]

[Back to London flat] It is very wonderful to be home in our dear little flat and with John practically well again.

Kate’s diary is now housed in the Archives of Royal Holloway College, University of London. I only transcribed a few of the Influenza entries when writing her biography – Kate Frye: the long life of an Edwardian Actress and Suffragette – published as an ebook by ITV – see https://tinyurl.com/qn7rhxq. More useful information can be found in the diary if anyone is writing a study of the Post World War One influenza pandemic.

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Suffrage Stories: Jennifer Godfrey: Suffragettes of Kent

I have long advocated the necessity for researching local histories of the women’s suffrage movement and, over the years, a number have appeared, varying in scope and depth of research.

Jennifer Godfrey’s Suffragettes of Kent (for details see https://tinyurl.com/y65pew3w) takes us through Kent’s involvement in the suffrage movement in a series of chapters that pick out elements of the campaign – such as a caravan tour, forcible feeding, the census boycott, arson attacks, and the 1913 NUWSS Pilgrimage – and relate them to the county and its inhabitants. I enjoyed this approach rather more than a conventional chronological narrative as it gave the author the flexibility to research particular ‘stories’ more effectively. She has assiduously mined local papers and introduces us to suffragettes/suffragists who have not previously received much attention.

I mention both ‘suffragettes’ and ‘suffragists’ because the title of the book is something of a misnomer – it is not only ‘Suffragettes of Kent’ that are the subject, but suffragists also. As ever, I imagine, it was thought a mention of ‘Suffragettes’ was better for sales. It is, however, only the suffragists of the NUWSS that are included and mention is only made in passing (p 151) of the activities in Kent of the New Constitutional Society for Women’s Suffrage. What a pity that all the hard work of Kate Frye in her efforts to convert Kent to suffrage are overlooked. My edition of Kate Frye’s suffrage diary, Campaigning for the Vote, is now out of print but you can read something of her work here https://wp.me/p2AEiO-ky.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Suffragettes of Kent, which is lavishly illustrated, and imagine that it will win readers and stimulate yet further suffrage research in that county

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Family Photography

If you live in the Swindon area do check out a new exhibition at the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery. Your ancestors may be represented in:

Auto Memento: Stickyback Photography in Swindon, 1900-1919

Date: 23rd October 2019 – 4th January 2020

Every day

Location: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, Bath Road
Swindon
SN1 4BA

Time: 11:00 – 16:00

In the early 20th century, a photographic studio in Regent Street, Swindon, offered a unique way of having your picture taken. Stickyback photos were quick, casual, fun and cheap.

Stickyback photoThe Family Museum acquired its collection of 72 ‘Stickyback’ photographs in September 2016. This exhibition shows the entire set of images and explores this little-documented style of Edwardian popular photography. It offers a unique glimpse of everyday life and ordinary people in Swindon in the last century.

The exhibition also explores the advent and rise of amateur photography during the 20th century through The Family Museum’s extensive archive of family photographs and albums, cameras and photographic ephemera.

This exhibition is a collaboration between The Family Museum and Swindon Museum and Art Gallery.

Cost: Free

And, if interested in the history of family photography, do read The Family Museum’s first issue of its Famzine

Famzine Issue 1 Winter 2019

 

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Ephemera: Mrs Sarah Burgess, Printer

Souvenir tissue napkin for Emily Wilding Davison’s funeral: Mrs Sarah Burgess, printer SOLD

Over the years several tissue paper napkins, souvenirs of suffrage events in London, have passed through my hands and I’ve wondered what manner of woman was Mrs Sarah Burgess, whose name appears as their printer at, until 1911, 14 Artillery Lane, Bishopsgate, and then at 4 York Place, off the Strand. A 1908 Street Directory tells me that, trading from the Artillery Lane address, between a horsemeat salesman and a greengrocer,  she is ‘Mrs Sarah Burgess, manufacturer of paper switches, cut tissues, lace paper and shelf trimmings & confetti, and stationer, wholesale and export’.

An item in a newspaper titled Good Morning, 5 June 1945, tells a little more about Sarah Burgess. ‘The men who stand on the kerb in some of London’s principal streets and sell anything from a hairpin to a clock-work toy, all know “Auntie”. They have known her for a good many years, but none of them remembers the day she set up business.

She is Mrs Sarah Burgess, who in her shop behind the Strand (the street used to be called Of Alley, but is now York Place), supplies them with the novelties they sell to the passers-by. And she is eighty years old.

It is over 50 years since “Auntie” opened her ”swag” shop, and sold her first balloon to a street vendor. Since then she has been the friend of thousands of kerb-sellers and costers who havecome to her for toys, song-books, street guides, joke books, confetti….

Coronations, royal weddings and Peace Days are the high-spots of “Auntie’s” life.’

 

Tissue souvenir napkin for King George V’s Coronation £30

For, of course it was not just suffrage events that were commemorated by “Auntie” in her tissue napkins, but coronations, visits from foreign statesmen, the opening of Parliament etc etc. It is clear that, to mark a new event, the souvenir tissues could be issued very quickly.  I will have several of these (non-suffrage) tissues for sale in my forthcoming catalogue.

It has, however, been well nigh impossible to find out details of the life of Sarah Burgess. I believe, but cannot prove, that she was born c.1864 in the parish of St Luke’s, just of Old Street, and married a Charles Burgess, who had probably died by the time she set up shop. Charles and Sarah Burgess appear in the 1891 census living at 8 Ironmonger Row; she has no given occupation and his is indecipherable. At the turn of the century, when her sister- in-law was convicted of the manslaughter of her infant son, the Old Bailey record tells us that Sarah’s brother-in-law was a lithographic printer – and there were many other printers living nearby. . The Ironmonger Row area was home to at least one ‘novelty’ manufacturer,   Sparagapane, maker of Christmas crackers, the family business of Maud Arncliffe Sennett, a notable suffrage activist. I don’t know whether the proximity of this type of commercial activity had any bearing on Sarah Burgess’s chosen trade.

Tissue napkin commemorating the inspection by the King Emperor of Dominion troops, August 1919 £30

 

Souvenir tissue commemorating the march of Dominion troops through London, May 1919 £20

Tissue commemorating a  Royal Pageant on the Thames, 1919 £30

If you are interested in buying any of the tissues illustrated, or would like to be added to the mailing list for my forthcoming catalogue which will contain others, email me elizabeth.crawford2017outlook.com

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Suffrage Stories: Is This Edith Craig’s Banner For The Catholic Women’s Suffrage Society?

 

 

I was very interested to see this image when it appeared on an internet site the other day because I’m not sure I’ve ever before seen a banner of the Catholic Women’s Suffrage Society.

The Catholic Women’s Suffrage Society was formed in June 1911 and in 1912 Beatrice Anna Augusta Gadsby BA (1878-1973) worked a banner for the society. The fact that she was responsible for the embroidery is mentioned in a 15 May 1939 Nottingham Evening Post report of a pilgrimage by the St Joan Alliance (as the CWSS was now called) to Walsingham. ‘The society’s banner of white, blue and gold headed the procession’, carried by Beatrice Gadsby and Gabrielle Jeffery, the society’s founder.

However, there are no further details of the design of this ‘blue, white and gold banner’. It might be thought that the ‘Joan of Arc’ banner held in the Women’s Library@LSE fitted the bill – its colouring and subject matter certainly do – but this was created, by the Artists’ Suffrage League, in 1908, three years before the founding of the CWSS.

Joan of Arc banner

In my opinion, the banner that was carried in the Walsingham Pilgrimage  is more likely to be that in the photo below. I think it is the one, representing Joan of Arc, that is known to have been designed by Edith Craig and presented to the CWSS by Christopher St John.


And that Beatrice Gadsby was responsible for the embroidery. It’s location – and fate – is now unknown

Besides St Joan, the banner bears the names of ‘Iesus’ and ‘Marie’ down the sides of the banner, the name of the society across the bottom.

I think the occasion on which the photograph was taken was probably the women’s ‘Peace with Ireland Demonstration’, organized by the Women’s Freedom League. It was held on 2 July 1921  and the CWSS, with their banner, are noted as comprising ‘Section C’ of the procession.

The banner was present at the ‘Equal Franchise’ rally in Hyde Park on 3 July 1926, alongside a new banner designed by the artist Gladys Hynes, which bore the society’s new name, The St Joan’s Social and Political Alliance.

 

 

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Suffrage Stories: Unveiling A Plaque to Rhoda And Agnes Garrett

Here we see Rhoda Garrett, cousin to Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Millicent Garrett Fawcett and Agnes Garrett, speaking at an important women’s suffrage meeting in 1872. She was the suffrage movement’s star speaker until her early death ten years later.

In addition to their involvement in the suffrage campaign, Rhoda and Agnes Garrett were the first women in Britain to become professionally-trained interior decorators, a career that brought an income and status rather more rewarding than the life of ‘governessing’  or of ‘a daughter-at-home’ that had seemed their respective lots.

Early pioneers are easily forgotten – but today, on the 100th anniversary of women first casting a parliamentary vote, I am honoured to have been invited to unveil a plaque to Rhoda and Agnes Garrett. It is placed on the house in Rustington in Sussex which they rented and where, together with Rhoda’s half-siblings and Millicent and Philippa Fawcett, they went to relax, away from London’s cares and responsibilities. Close by, in a now unmarked grave, Rhoda lies in Rustington churchyard.

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Suffrage Stories: The First Women General Election Candidates, 1918: Alice Lucas

21 November 2018 marked the 100th anniversary of the passing of the Parliament(Qualification of Women) Act, by which women were for the first time able to stand for election as members of Parliament.

It was only earlier in the year, on 6 February, that some women (over 30 and fulfilling a small property qualification) had at long last been granted the parliamentary vote and now, as the Great War had come to an end, women actually had the prospect of sitting in the House of Commons.

The short bill, passing rapidly through all stages of the parliamentary process with little opposition, granted the right to stand for election to all women over the age of 21, although any woman of that age would have been unable to vote. A curious situation.

With a general election called for 14 December, there was little time for women to organize election campaigns, but in the event 17 women took to the hustings. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll tell you something about each one of these pioneers, taking them alphabetically.

This is the seventeenth – and last:

Mrs Alice Lucas, who stood as a Conservative candidate for the Kennington constituency in London. In fact she was the only woman candidate to stand as a Conservative, having taken over the nomination at the last minute from her husband, who died suddenly in the ‘flu epidemic three days before the election. Lucas had been MP for Lowestoft from 1900 until 1906 and had unsuccessfully contested Kennington in the two 1910 elections. In 1918 neither he nor Mrs Lucas received the Coalition government’s ‘coupon’, which went to the Liberal candidate. Alice Lucas was known in the area, having been chairman of the Lambeth Auxiliary Hospital during the war

Alice Lucas (1853-1924) was a member of a Jewish family and after her nomination a false rumour circulated that she was an enemy alien, born in Germany. This was vigorously denied by her agent. In fact her election address was vehemently anti-German, stating that she wished:

to bring the Kaiser and his associates to trial

to make Germany pay the full cost of the war

to deal most generously with returning soldiers and sailors

and for ‘imprisoned conscientious objectors to remain under government control until it was impossible for them to snatch jobs from returning heroes’ (South London Press, 20 December 1918)

Because she took over the nomination so close to polling day, voting in Kennington was postponed until 20 December when Alice Lucas came second to the Liberal candidate. In fact, by polling 3573 votes she gained 63 more votes for the Conservatives than her husband had polled in December 1910. In 1918 the Liberal winner took 4705 votes and the Labour candidate 2817.

Although Alice Lucas was unsuccessful, it was to be in similar circumstances – that of a woman standing in a seat in which her husband had an interest – that the first woman MP – and several others who closely followed – was to be elected. It was not until 1923, with the election of Margaret Bondfield, that a woman became an MP solely through her own effort.

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Suffrage Stories: The First Women General Election Candidates, 1918: Ray Strachey

21 November 2018 marked the 100th anniversary of the passing of the Parliament(Qualification of Women) Act, by which women were for the first time able to stand for election as members of Parliament.

It was only earlier in the year, on 6 February, that some women (over 30 and fulfilling a small property qualification) had at long last been granted the parliamentary vote and now, as the Great War had come to an end, women actually had the prospect of sitting in the House of Commons.

The short bill, passing rapidly through all stages of the parliamentary process with little opposition, granted the right to stand for election to all women over the age of 21, although any woman of that age would have been unable to vote. A curious situation.

With a general election called for 14 December, there was little time for women to organize election campaigns, but in the event 17 women took to the hustings. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll tell you something about each one of these pioneers, taking them alphabetically.

This is the sixteenth:

 

Ray Strachey

Mrs Oliver Strachey, who was standing as an Independent for the Brentford and Chiswick constituency in Middlesex, supported by the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies.

Ray Strachey (1887-1940) (née Costelloe) was educated at Newnham College, where she was an active member of the Cambridge University Women’s Suffrage Society. In 1911 she married Oliver Strachey and by 1913 was chairman of the London Society for Women’s Suffrage, of which her sister-in-law, Philippa, was secretary. From 1916 until 1921 Ray was honorary parliamentary secretary to the NUWSS, responsible for supervising the passage of the 1918 Representation of the People Act.

Common Cause (20 December 1918) reported that she was asked to stand by ‘a large section of the electors, who were dissatisfied with Col Grant Morden [the candidate backed by the Coalition ‘coupon’]. Her meetings are always crowded. One of the things most widely resented was the sayin gof Col Grant Morden ‘the lady candidate ought to stay at home and look after her kiddies’. Mrs Strachey replied “She wants to go to Parliament in order to look after the kiddies. They need mothers there”; and Mrs Henry Fawcett, speaking on her behalf, has said it would be well to have among the 707 members of the House of Commons someone who knew one end of a baby from the other. The candidate herself, however, is not appealing for support on account of her sex. She is asking the elector for their votes, not because she is a woman, but because “she is a good candidate, and will represent them well.”

In her election address Ray Strachey declared:

I stand as a supporter of the Coalition Government. We have kept a united front during the war, and we must keep that unity until a good and lasting peace shall be established abroad, and until we have built up a t home those measures of reconstruction for which the whole nation waits.

It falls to us now to see that the victory is not in vain. This war must be the last war. I therefore support the establishment of a League of Nations, with such immediate mutual disarmament as is safe, and I trust that the question of the future economic policies and tariffs of the whole world will be settled through the agency of the League itself.

With regard to domestic reforms, I believe that housing is the most urgent and important question before us. In it I see the solution of many pressing social evils.

I attach the greatest importance to the question of the pensions to be paid to those brave men who have won our safety for us, and to the widows of those who have laid down their lives. Their well-being must be a first charge upon the State.

I care also, very particularly for the drastic improvement of industrial conditions, for education, and the care of public health and infant welfare,, and for all those public matters which affect the domestic life of the community.

I make no apology for asking you to vote for a woman. Women have their contribution to make to public thought and public service. I believe, with a profound conviction, that men and women should work together for the progress and good government of the Nation as they must for that of their homes. I hold the interests of men and women are so closely bound up together that they cannot be divided, and that what is for the good of one sex, must certainly be for the good of the other. It is for this reason that I support the perfect equality of men and women in the eyes of the law and the state.

The 20 December issue of Common Cause mentioned that Col Morden, in a bid to undermine her candidature, issued a large poster stating in ‘bold scarlet letters that “A Vote for Strachey is a Vote for the League of Nations”. Mrs Strachey naturally displayed this poster with pride, and explained that the League of Nations was what she did stand for before anything else.’ ..Mrs Strachey’s Committee Rooms were said by impartial witnesses to be the liveliest Committee Rooms in London. Many old friends met there, members of the London Society for Women’s Suffrage came forward gallantly to the fray. Much devoted voluntary work was done by members of the Chiswick branch of the LSWS, some of whom came from distant constituencies in order to have the pleasure of doing voluntary work for Mrs Strachey.’

Alas, despite this effort, Ray Strachey came last in the contest, polling 1263 votes to Col Morden’s 9077, with a Labour candidate taking 2620 votes. She stood again at Chiswick in 1922 and this time in a straight fight with Morden (now a Unionist) polled 7804 votes against his 10,150.  In 1923, standing again at Chiswick as an Independent, she took 4828 votes, coming second to Morden, with the Labour candidate polling 3216 votes. She did not stand again for Parliament, but in 1931 became private political secretary to the first woman MP, Lady Astor.

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All the articles on Woman and Her Sphere and are my copyright. An article may not be reproduced in any medium without my permission and full acknowledgement. You are welcome to cite or quote from an article provided you give full acknowledgement.

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Suffrage Stories: The First Women General Election Candidates, 1918: Emily Phipps