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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

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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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
The question is – is the banner in the photo below that worked by Beatrice Gadsby or is it one, representing Joan of Arc, that is known to have been designed by Edith Craig and presented to the CWSS by Christopher St John.


My hunch is that this is Edith Craig’s banner which has, apparently, long since disappeared. For I do think, if it had been this one that was making the Pilgrimage to Walsingham, the 1939 newspaper report, when describing the banner, would have mentioned the central figure of Joan of Arc rather than merely its colours.

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.

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Suffrage Stories: The First Women General Election Candidates, 1918: Emily Phipps

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 fifteenth:

Miss Emily Phipps, who stood as an Independent in Chelsea.

Emily Phipps’ Election Address (courtesy of University of Bristol Special Collections)

Emily Phipps (1865-1943), headmistress of Swansea Girls’ Secondary School, was the founder of the Swansea branch of the Women’s Freedom League, and president of the Swansea branch of the National Union of Teachers. She was an active member of the National Union of Women Teachers (which lobbied for women’s suffrage and equal pay) and was the Union’s president from 1915 to 1917.

She stood as an Independent candidate, backed by the National Federation of Women Teachers, in Chelsea at the 1918 general election. In her election address she stated:

Although standing as a non-party candidate, I heartily support the policy of utterly defeating German militarism, believing that our glorious victory must be confirmed by such peace as will forr generations prevent a resumption of war.

  1. In Trade, on account of the special circumstances arising out of the war, I support a measure of Protection for our national industries, and Preference for our Colonies, but no Food Taxes.
  2. Other necessary reforms are Equal Pay for Equal Work, irrespective of sex
  3. the establishment of a Ministry of Health, with an adequate proportion of women representatives
  4. the presence of women on all Local bodies and all Reconstruction Committees, on Trade Boards, Education and Health committees, and on Watch Committees of Local Councils
  5. the opening of all Trades and Professions to Women on equal terms with men
  6. the appointment of Women Judges and Magistrates

I also advocate better housing, the provision of a pure milk supply, and adequate wages for all workers, since it is better to prevent disease than to spend millions in trying to cure it.

Illegitimate children should be better protected and should be legitimised on the subsequent marriage of their parents

Divorce laws should be equalised as between men and women and there should be an equal moral standard for the sexes.

Greater attention should be paid to Education, every child should have the opportunity of revealing aptitude for languages, science etc. It is only by utilising all available talents that we can develop the resources of our country. We want more teachers, and they should be well qualified.

Emily Phipps’ only opponent at the election was the sitting Conservative MP, who had the Coalition’s ‘coupon’. Although defeated, she did well to retain her deposit, polling 2419 votes against Sir Samuel Hoare’s 9159..

Emily Phipps qualified as a barrister in 1925, resigned her headship and went to London to act as standing counsel for the National Union of Women Teachers.

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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: Constance Markevicz

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 eleventh:

Constance Markevicz (courtesy of Glasnevin Trust)

Mme Constance Markevicz, standing as a Sinn Féin candidate in the St Patrick’s constituency in Dublin, the only woman – of the 17 that stood – to win her seat.

Constance Markevicz (née Gore-Booth) was a member of a landed Anglo-Irish family, with an estate at Lissadell House in Co Sligo. She studied art at the Académie Julien in Paris, where she shared a studio with Australian artist Dora Meeson (later Meeson Coates), who later, once she had settled in London,  became a founder member of the Artists’ Suffrage League. In Paris Constance met and married a Polish count, Casimir Markevicz, before returning to Ireland in 1903 and eventually joining the nationalist organisation, the Daughters of Erin.

Constance’s sister, Eva, moved to Manchester, where she worked with radical suffragists to campaign for the vote and improve the lot of working women, while Constance continued to campaign for Irish independence, took part in the Easter Rising in 1916 and, as a member of the Citizen Army, was condemned to death.  However, because she was a woman, the sentence was immediately commuted to one of life imprisonment and, under a general amnesty, she was released in 1917.

In 1918 she was once again in prison, this time in Holloway, sentenced for taking part in anti-conscription activity, and it was while there that she stood for parliament in December 1918. As the Sinn Féin candidate she took 7835 votes, beating the Irish Parliamentary party candidate (3752 votes), however, like all Sinn Féin elected MPs, then as now, she refused to take her seat in the British House of Commons.

She was still in prison when the first Dail met, but, once released, served as minister of Labour from 1919 to January 1922., becoming the first Irish woman to be a member of the cabinet.

Constance Markievicz took part in the Irish Civil War, opposing the Anglo-Irish treaty. She was re-elected to the Dail in 1923, but, like other Republican members, did not take her seat. In 1926 she joined the new party, Fianna Fáil, and was re-elected as a Fianna Fáil candidate in 1927, but died a few weeks later, before she could take her seat.

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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: Margery Corbett Ashby

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 second:

Margery Corbett Ashby, photographed in 1923

Mrs M.C. Ashby who was standing in Birmingham’s Ladywood constituency as a Liberal candidate, with support from the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies.

Margery Corbett Ashby (1882-1981) was the daughter of a Liberal MP, Charles Corbett, and both her parents were strong supporters of women’s suffrage. She had a university education, trained as a teacher in Cambridge and from 1907 to 1909 was secretary of the NUWSS and in 1910, the year she married, she was an organizer for the Liberal party. She resigned from the NUWSS executive committee in 1914, too committed a Liberal to support the Election Fighting Fund policy, by which the NUWSS was backing Labour party candidates at elections.

After the First World War she took Mrs Fawcett’s place at the Versailles Peace Conference (Mrs Fawcett did not wish to attend) and helped advise Germany on the founding of its women’s police force.

Margery Corbett Ashby’s candidature at the 1918 general election caused some difficulty for the Birmingham Society for Women’s Suffrage which was criticized for supporting her, rather than the Labour candidate, as the latter party had, unlike the Liberals, traditionally supported the suffrage movement. She was also supported by the Society for Discharged Soldiers – who obviously liked point 7 of her Election Address.

In her lengthy Election Address Margery Corbett Ashby made her (Liberal) views clear:

  1. A League of Nations. To make another War impossible, to abolish conscription, to lighten the burden of taxation for armaments, to substitute open treaties, ratified by Parliament for secret diplomacy, to pool raw materials and food for the hungry peoples of the world. I welcome the practical beginnings of the idea in the International Council which will be established at the Peace Table to ration the nations.
  2. Free Trade and No Food Taxes.
  3. Rights of Little Peoples: Home Rule is imperative to give Ireland the same free choice of government we have demanded for Poland, Alsace-Lorraine and Serbia.
  4. Health and Housing: I believe the urgency of housing admits of no delay, and that there must be immediate provision of a) Houses with at least 3 bedrooms, bath room, water laid on, within the average wage-earner’s means. b) A garden or allotment with each house, for those who want it. c) State assistance to encourage municipal enterprise; the adequate taxation of land values; and the right of compulsory purchase of land for all public requirements at the rate-book valuation.
  5. Equal Citizenship: Real equality between men and women before the law in a) all questions of marriage, morals and the home. b) Opportunities of general and technical training. c) Equal pay for work of equal value above a sound minimum for all. d) All trades, industries and professions.
  6. Labour and Leisure. a) A shorter working day and adequate minimum wage, enforced by law if necessary. b) Regularity of income through universal non-contributory unemployed insurance. c) More freedom and consultation in the workshop. d) Public recreations of a wholesome kind
  7. Soldiers, Sailors and Mothers: I believe in Justice without Charity to secure: a) Adequate pensions for widows with dependent children. b) A real right of maintenance for wives. c) Fullest possible help of all kinds to disabled or discharged soldiers and sailors. d) Fair treatment for women war workers. I welcome Mr Asquith’s desire to improve the Old Age Pensions secured by the Liberal Party, and should like to see the pension raised the age limit lowered.
  8. Civil and Industrial Liberty: I support the immediate restoration of a) All British liberties of citizenship; and b) All essential trade union rights for men and women to enjoy the full use of collective bargaining, surrendered or lost during the war.
  9. Trade and Transit: I favour a) The removal of irksome Government control from private industries. b) The encouragement of production by science, canals and railways. c) The continued municipal ownership of electrical supply. In general I should like to see more Municipal Administration and less Whitehall Bureaucracy.

At the December 1918 election Margery Corbett Ashby polled 1152 votes and lost her deposit. She then stood, again unsuccessfully, at every inter-war election except that of 1931. She succeeded Eleanor Rathbone as president of the National Union of Societies for Equal Citizenship and in the late 1920s was the co-founder of the Townswomen’s Guild. She also was president of the Women’s Freedom League. At various times she was also president of the British Commonwealth League, member of the executive committee of the Family Endowment Society and chairman of the Association of Moral and Social Hygiene. Margery Corbett Ashby was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1967.

 

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Suffrage Stories: The Prison Diary of Annie Cobden-Sanderson

One of the many new books I have enjoyed in this suffrage centenary year is The Prison Diary of Annie Cobden-Sanderson, edited by Dr Marianne Tidcombe.

This postcard is for sale – item 153 in my Catalogue 198 https://wp.me/p2AEiO-1qO. Item 154 is another, unusual, photographic card of Annie Cobden Sanderson, published by the Women’s Freedom League.

Annie Cobden-Sanderson, daughter of the eminent Liberal politician, Richard Cobden, and wife of Arts and Crafts bookbinder and printer, T.J. Sanderson, was one of the first suffragettes to go to prison in London. The diary covers her imprisonment, 1-23 November 1906. The fact that Cobden’s daughter was serving time in Holloway made the headlines and sent a frisson through the Liberal establishment.

The following year she went on a US speaking tour and her prison credentials engendered handsome publicity for her friend Harriot  Stanton Blatch’s Equality League.

The book contains both a facsimile of the diary (the original is held at LSE) and a transcription, together with extensive notes by Dr Tidcombe on the characters and events mentioned and a biographical introduction giving a full description of Annie’s life.

Annie Cobden-Sanderson was arrested again in 1909 – on the occasion shown in the photograph above – but that time her fine was paid without her knowledge, depriving her of another short prison term.

 

E2.8. The Prison Diary, with a Facsimile: Cobden-Sanderson (Annie)

This beautifully produced and illustrated book, published by Libanus Press, is available from all bookshops and from  Amazon – https://tinyurl.com/y7asmw8g

 ISBN 978-0-948021-11-4.

 

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Something A Little Different: Reviving Elizabeth Fair

Last autumn, under the title, Something A Little Different: Furrowed Middlebrow Books , I wrote about a commission I had been given to write forewords to several novels by Rachel Ferguson and Winifred Peck, reprinted by Dean Street Press.

It was a pleasure to be invited back by the publishers to write a foreword introducing six novels by Elizabeth Fair, an author who, after achieving a degree of popularity in the 1950s, had become all but unknown. I very much enjoyed uncovering something of the author and reading her novels, well-written, charming, and redolent of a world that has most certainly past.

I love the detective work involved and was very fortunate that, having read the author’s will, I was able to make contact with someone who had known her well. On a cold, wet day in January I went to Cambridge (fortuitously combining this research visit with taking possession of some items I had just bought at a Cambridge auction house) and had a most interesting conversation about Elizabeth Fair. Moreover, I was shown the author’s diary dating from around the time her first novel was first published which gave a brief glimpse into her life and, incidentally, revealed something of the way that tyro authors were treated by publishers in those days – rather well was my conclusion. The diary revealed that Hutchinson, her  publisher, had booked her a session with Angus McBean, a most highly regarded portrait photographer and it is his photograph that appears on the dustwrappers of the original editions of her books. My hostess had inherited furniture and pictures from Elizabeth Fair and these went some way to furnish in my mind the homes that she had lived in.

The novels have been given very stylish covers – five of them are based on Eric Ravilious illustrations, but one, The Native Heath, uses the artwork that appeared on the dustwrapper of the original edition – early work of a very young Shirley Hughes.

You can find details of all Elizabeth Fair’s novels, with my Introduction, here.

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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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