Posts Tagged new constitutional society for women’s suffrage

Suffrage Stories/Collecting Suffrage: Countdown To 12 October And Release Of The Film ‘Suffragette’: Christina Broom Photographs The 1911 Suffrage Coronation Procession

To celebrate the release on 12 October of the film ‘Suffragette’  (for which I was an historical consultant) I will post each day an image of a suffrage item that has passed through my hands.

For my current catalogue – No 189 – which contains a good deal of suffrage material – as well as general books and ephemera by and about women – see here.

Today’s image:

Coronation Procession - NCS Banner

A close-up photograph by Mrs Albert Broom of a section of the 1911 suffrage Coronation Procession showing the tail-end of the ‘Pageant of Queens’.  Immediately behind, as decreed in the plan for the day, is the banner of the New Constitutional Society for Women’s Suffrage, one of only two images of it that I have ever seen.

The queens are, mainly, dressed in medieval costume and the photograph allows a clear image of faces, dresses and jewellery. At the head of the New Constitutional contingent can be seen a couple of figures in graduate dress – and I wonder if they are Alexandra and Gladys Wright – for more of whom see Campaigning for the Vote: Kate Parry Frye’s suffrage diary.

I am going this very day to visit the Museum of London Docklands exhibition ‘Suffragettes and Soldiers: The Photography of Christina Broom’. See here for details.

Suffragette Film Poster 2

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.
Advertisements

, ,

Leave a comment

Kate Frye’s Diary: The Lead-Up To War: 20 July 1914

On 7 August 2014 ITV will publish an e-book, Kate Parry Frye: The Long Life of an Edwardian Actress and Suffragette.  Based on her prodigious diary, this is my account of Kate Frye’s life and is a tie-in with the forthcoming ITV series ‘The Great War: The People’s Story’. For details of the TV series and its accompanying books see here.

KateAs a lead-up to publication I thought I’d share with you some entries from Kate’s diary from the month before the outbreak of war. Through her day-to-day experience we can see how the war stole up on one Everywoman.

Kate was at this time 36 years old, living in a room at 49 Claverton Street in Pimlico and working in the Knightsbridge headquarters of the New Constitutional Society for Women’s Suffrage. It was now nine years since she had become engaged to (minor) actor John Collins. Her father died in March 1914 and her mother and sister, Agnes, now all but penniless, are living in rented rooms in Worthing. John has a room along Claverton Street, at number 11.

Monday 20th July 1914

Woke up at 6 and thought of John and then went to sleep again. Called at 8. Breakfast at 9 and then slept on until 10.30 when I realised I had not breakfasted – so got up and recooked the egg and dressed and went out at 2 o’clock. Had some lunch and did some shopping – in at 3.30 – had a rest and went to sleep again.

Tea at 6 – and then off to Peckham for the open-air meeting. Self in Chair and Mrs Kerr as speaker. We finished at 10.15. Home soon after 11. We did not have quite such a big crowd as usual. I was bitterly tired.

Well, life certainly does seem dreary for Kate without John.

As yet Kate, who was a keen reader of newspapers, has not commented on events in Europe or in Ireland- and nor does she mention details of the increasingly militant WSPU campaign. For instance, on 14 July an attempt was made to burn down Cocken House, owned by Lord Durham, on 15 July the Secretary for Scotland was attacked with a dog whip, on this very Monday suffragettes interrupted a service in Perth Cathedral protesting against forcible feeding of suffragettes in Perth Prison, and on 17 July a WSPU member had attacked Thomas Carlyle’s portrait in the National Portrait Gallery (see my post about the current NPG exhibition commemorating this here). It was against this background that the New Constitutional Society for Women’s Suffrage continued with its strategy of holding open-air meetings in the hope of  converting the inhabitants of south London to the idea of ‘Votes for Women’.

See also  Campaigning for the Vote: Kate Parry Frye’s Suffrage Diary.

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.

,

Leave a comment

Kate Frye’s Diary: The Lead-Up To War: 16 July 1914

On 7 August 2014 ITV will publish an e-book, Kate Parry Frye: The Long Life of an Edwardian Actress and Suffragette.  Based on her prodigious diary, this is my account of Kate Frye’s life and is a tie-in with the forthcoming ITV series ‘The Great War: The People’s Story’. For details of the TV series and its accompanying books see here.

KateAs a lead-up to publication I thought I’d share with you some entries from Kate’s diary from the month before the outbreak of war. Through her day-to-day experience we can see how the war stole up on one Everywoman.

Kate was at this time 36 years old, living in a room at 49 Claverton Street in Pimlico and working in the Knightsbridge headquarters of the New Constitutional Society for Women’s Suffrage. It was now nine years since she had become engaged to (minor) actor John Collins. Her father died in March 1914 and her mother and sister, Agnes, now all but penniless, are living in rented rooms in Worthing. John has a room along Claverton Street, at number 11.

Thursday July 16th 1914

Jobs and writing. John in in the morning. Out together at 1.30 and lunch at Slaters. Bus to the Office and John went in with a message and then joined me at the Tube and we went to Hammersmith and then train to Isleworth and we bill distributed until 6. It was very hot and we both got so tired. John was quite exhausted – says he couldn’t do my work. We got the Townsfolk – the Brewery people and the Pears soap people so did it thoroughly – 1000 handbills.

Then train to Hammersmith and just caught a nonstop train to Victoria and rushed in to change. Got in 7.45 – and was out again at 8 in my best and we went as hard as we could to the Shaftesbury Theatre to see ‘The Cinema Star’. Had Dress Circle seats. We were about 10 minutes late, but really we had enough. It is rot and there is very little real fun. It is a long time since I saw a London Musical comedy. I don’t think they improve. Miss Ward and Miss Cicely Courtneidge were the stars.

Supper at the Corner House. I felt deadly tired. All the world is now mad over prize fighting – Gunboat Smith v Carpentier. It was a sort of Mafeking night. We caught the 12.10 train from Charing Cross. Had to walk from Victoria and got in at 12.45.

 

Image courtesy of London Borough of Hounslow website

Image courtesy of London Borough of Hounslow website

Kate and John presumably stood at the Pears Soap factory gates, handing out handbills advertising the ‘Votes for Women’ meeting the New Constitutional Society was holding the next day in  Upper Square, Isleworth. The brewery they also canvassed was probably the Isleworth Brewery in St John’s Road.

”The Cinema Star’ had opened on 4 June and starred Jack Hulbert and Fay Compton as well as Cicely Courtneidge and Dorothy Ward.  The Shaftesbury Theatre was owned by Cicely Courtneidge’s father. With Harry Graham, Jack Hulbert had adapted the play from a German comic opera, ‘Die Kino-Konigin’, and it played very successfully, despite Kate’s verdict of ‘rot’, until the outbreak when anti-German sentiment resulted in its abrupt closure. Cicely Courtneidge and Jack Hulbert married in 1916.

Carpentier and Gunboat Smith (image courtesy of boxingshots.tumblr.com)

Carpentier (left) and Gunboat Smith fighting on 16 July 1914 (image courtesy of boxingshots.tumblr.com)

The American boxer, Gunboat Smith, had that evening fought the French champion, Georges Carpentier, at Olympia for the ‘White World Heavyweight Championship’. Smith was disqualified in the sixth round. Kate had good reason to describe street celebrations as ‘a sort of Mafeking night’. She had been in the Criterion Theatre on 18 May 1900 – when the relief of Mafeking was announced during an interval. By the time she left the theatre the streets of London were, as she put it, ‘alive with revelry’. You will be able to read all about Kate’s early life in the forthcoming e-book.

See also  Campaigning for the Vote: Kate Parry Frye’s Suffrage Diary.

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.

, , , ,

Leave a comment

Kate Frye’s Diary: The Lead-Up To War: 15 July 1914

 



On 7 August 2014 ITV will publish an e-book, Kate Parry Frye: The Long Life of an Edwardian Actress and Suffragette.  Based on her prodigious diary, this is my account of Kate Frye’s life and is a tie-in with the forthcoming ITV series ‘The Great War: The People’s Story’. For details of the TV series and its accompanying books see here.

KateAs a lead-up to publication I thought I’d share with you some entries from Kate’s diary from the month before the outbreak of war. Through her day-to-day experience we can see how the war stole up on one Everywoman.

Kate was at this time 36 years old, living in a room at 49 Claverton Street in Pimlico and working in the Knightsbridge headquarters of the New Constitutional Society for Women’s Suffrage. It was now nine years since she had become engaged to (minor) actor John Collins. Her father died in March 1914 and her mother and sister, Agnes, now all but penniless, are living in rented rooms in Worthing. John has a room along Claverton Street, at number 11.

 Wednesday July 15th 1914

Writing in the morning. John in at 11.30. Jobs. Out 1. Lunch together at Slaters. Coming out we met one of John’s Brother Officers when he was in the Field Artillery – Mr Graham. I have not seen him since the day we met at Burnham but he remembered me instantly. ‘Why, we went yachting’, he said. He is very nice looking.

Then John saw me off at Victoria for Lordship Lane – and though we asked two officials the train dashed on and landed at Crystal Palace. I was mad. Had to wait some time to get back – then a long walk to find Mrs Melling 75 Underhill Road and the meeting was half over. Miss McGowan had organised it and I had asked some of my new Peckham People and wanted to go to see them and because the Rev Hugh [Chapman] was down to speak – but I felt I was not going to meet him and he was not there. Ill and has had to go away. Miss McGowan was in the Chair, Mrs Chapman speaking. A very fine meeting, about 50 people there, but very few would join.

It started to pour with rain, but I had my coat and flew for a train and when I got out near home it was stopping a bit.

John was watching for me and came in with me while I tidied myself. He had changed. Then bus to Charing Cross – walked to the Popular had dinner and then to the St James’s Theatre to see ‘An Ideal Husband’. George Alexander not in it, and some one else playing Phyllis Neilson Terry’s part. It was a most cruel and awful performance – vilely and atrociously produced and most of them were in fits of laughter.

As for the play I could hardly sit it out – such Anti-suffrage old fashioned twaddle – as for the last act – tosh. I rose up and tramped out before the curtain fell. If I had paid for my seat I should have fussed. We were simply prancing with disgust. I never did like Oscar Wilde, but this play is the limit. Back by bus from the usual spot.

 

John Collins had, as a very young man, fought in the Boer War and ever since, as well as being an actor, had been a member of the Territorial Army – hence Kate’s mention of a ‘Brother Officer’. It was now not long before he would be involved in another war.

The New Constitutional Society for Women’s Suffrage was clearly concentrating a good deal of its effort at this time on wooing the inhabitants of Peckham and East Dulwich. Kate had organized an open-air meeting in the centre of Peckham a couple of days ago – today’s was what was termed a ‘drawing-room meeting’ – in the home of a sympathiser. The Rev Hugh Chapman, whom Kate was keen not to miss, was the brother-in-law of the NCS president and was the vicar of the Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy. Kate was somewhat enamoured of him. For full details of her past – somewhat surreal – encounters with him see Campaigning for the Vote: Kate Parry Frye’s Suffrage Diary.

Programme for the 1914 production of 'The Ideal Husband' (courtesy of oscarwildesociety,co.uk)

Programme for the 1914 production of ‘The Ideal Husband’ (courtesy of oscarwildesociety,co.uk)

The St James’s Theatre was in King Street, off St James’s Square, and in 1914 was owned and managed by Sir George Alexander. ‘An Ideal Husband’opened on 14 May 1914 and  closed on 24 July. The critics were rather more sympathetic to the production than was Kate. But then most were probably not suffragists! As Kate remarked, at least she – and, presumably, John – had not had to pay for their tickets. As members of the Profession they usually received complimentary tickets whenever they asked for them which, given that they were both addicted to theatre-going and  relatively impecunious, was just as well.

 

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.

, ,

Leave a comment

Kate Frye’s Diary: The Lead-Up To War: 14 July 1914

 


On 7 August 2014 ITV will publish an e-book, Kate Parry Frye: The Long Life of an Edwardian Actress and Suffragette.  Based on her prodigious diary, this is my account of Kate Frye’s life and is a tie-in with the forthcoming ITV series ‘The Great War: The People’s Story’. For details of the TV series and its accompanying books see here.

KateAs a lead-up to publication I thought I’d share with you some entries from Kate’s diary from the month before the outbreak of war. Through her day-to-day experience we can see how the war stole up on one Everywoman.

Kate was at this time 36 years old, living in a room at 49 Claverton Street in Pimlico and working in the Knightsbridge headquarters of the New Constitutional Society for Women’s Suffrage. It was now nine years since she had become engaged to (minor) actor John Collins. Her father died in March 1914 and her mother and sister, Agnes, now all but penniless, are living in rented rooms in Worthing. John has a room along Claverton Street, at number 11.

Tuesday July 14th 1914

Felt much better. what a relief – I was bubbling over with the joy of life. John came in before I  had finished dressing but as I had to go out I left him at work on his Typewriter finishing something for the afternoon, and I went off to the Office, taking my dress for the afternoon with me.

Helped arrange things for the afternoon – and John came and he helped. Then when I could get away I changed and he and I went out to lunch and then back at 2.15 for the Summer Sale and Tea at the [ew].C[onstitutional] Hall. His work was to raffle signed photographs and mine to tie up parcels. But I never tied up one – the Palmist failed and I had to Palm – I hated it, but I really had quite a good time. Miss Lena Ashwell opened the Sale and though there did not seem many people we made quite a lot of money.

Mr Grein came straight from the Haymarket Theatre and the first Public Performance of ‘Ghosts’ as it has now been Licensed and had his hand read. But it was really very funny as he seemed to want to talk more about me – told me to go and see him – gave me his card, and said he liked my ‘eye’.

Gladys [Wright] was quite put about, ‘of course you will be leaving us now’ etc. She is quaint. But I do think the vain little man took rather a fancy to me and I imagine he is always on the look out for people likely to do him credit. I played up rather a game with him, but he quite took it all in. John was awfully upset.

John and I had tea together, and I think he enjoyed himself – he wore a new suit which was quite a success. We left soon as we could – rushed home and just tidied ourselves but no time for much – then out – no time for dinner – but straight to the Haymarket Theatre – Balcony stalls to see ‘Driven’. I enjoyed it immensely – beautifully produced and Alexandra Carlisle looking a perfect picture and greatly improved in her art and Owen Nares a fine actor – simply delightful in a most difficult part. Aubrey Smith as usual but good. The last act is idiotic, of course. John and I are certainly leading the gay and reckless life.

To supper at the Corner House. Waited for the last bus, but must just have missed it. Then found we had missed the last to Victoria – so made for the Underground. It had started to pour with rain by then and John in his new suit. We just caught the last train 12.20 and had to walk from Victoria, but fortunately the rain had not reached this district.

Burberry shop, Knightsbridge. The offices of the NCS were inside this building

Burberry shop, Knightsbridge. The offices of the NCS were on the ground floor inside this building. An arcade originally ran through – with the entrance just about where the bus is in this photo. Off the arcade were a number of small shops and offices

The New Constitutional Society’s Hall was close to their Office, inside Park Mansions Arcade in Knightsbridge. This is now the site of the Burberry Menswear Department (see ‘Campaigning for the Vote: Kate Frye and Knightsbridge’  ). Kate had developed her skill as a Palmist in her youth – in lieu of the more conventional accomplishments expected of a young woman – such as piano playing, singing, or reciting. In her early involvement with the women’s suffrage movement she had often, as a volunteer, provided palm-reading entertainment at bazaars and dances. (See ‘Palmist at the Women’s Freedom League Fair).

Lena ashwell

Lena Ashwell was a leading member of the Actresses’ Franchise League and, over the years had opened many a suffrage bazaar and fair.  A month from now she would be the instigator of the Women’s Theatre Camps Entertainments and of the Women’s Emergency Corps.

J. T. Grein - a photograph taken in 1898

J. T. Grein – a photograph taken in 1898

On Sunday 26 April 1914 Kate had been in charge of the box office  at the Court Theatre (later the Royal Court) when J.T. Grein staged a private performance of Ibsen’s ‘Ghosts’ as a fund-raising event for the New Constitutional Society for Women’s Suffrage. This, of course, was before the Lord Chamberlain had removed his censorship of it by, as Kate explains, granting the play a performance Licence. Dutch-born Grein was a champion of European theatre.

‘Driven’, on the other hand, was a rather English comedy by E. Temple Thurston. The play’s run at the Haymarket came to an abrupt end at the outbreak of war – but in December was staged on Broadway, with Alexandra Carlisle again in the cast. The producer was Charles Frohman, with whose company Kate had had her first professional engagement ten years or so previously.

See also Campaigning for the Vote: Kate Parry Frye’s Suffrage Diary.

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.

, , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Kate Frye’s Diary: The Lead-Up To War: 9 July 1914

On 7 August 2014 ITV published an e-book, Kate Parry Frye: The Long Life of an Edwardian Actress and Suffragette.  Based on her prodigious diary, this is my account of Kate Frye’s life and was a tie-in with an ITV series ‘The Great War: The People’s Story’. For details of the TV series and its accompanying books see here.

Kate Frye, suffrage organizer, 1913

Back in 2014, as a lead-up to publication, I sharee with you some entries from Kate’s diary from the month before the outbreak of war. Through her day-to-day experience we can see how the war stole up on one Everywoman.

Kate was at this time 36 years old, living in a room at 49 Claverton Street in Pimlico and working in the Knightsbridge headquarters of the New Constitutional Society for Women’s Suffrage. It was now nine years since she had become engaged to (minor) actor John Collins. Her father died in March 1914 and her mother and sister, Agnes, now all but penniless, are living in rented rooms in Worthing. John has a room along Claverton Street, at number 11.

‘Thursday July 9th 1914

Hard at writing from 10 to 1. John came in and we went out together to lunch at Victoria. Then I went off to Hounslow by train and canvassed all up and down both sides of the High Street and all over the place, and at 6 o’clock at Parke Davis Dye works as the people came out.

Then a train back to Hounslow and train to Victoria and bus. In at 7.30. J. was watching at his window and saw me get out of the bus and came in with me and waited until 9 – when he was very good and went off and got supper by himself. I was so dead beat I felt I could not turn out again so ate some bread and cheese and fell into bed.’

Was Kate canvassing these shops on 9 July 1914? (Image courtesy Local Studies, Houslow Library Services)

Was Kate canvassing these shops on 9 July 1914? (Image courtesy Local Studies, Houslow Library Services)

Kate’s canvassing in Hounslow was for the purpose of drumming up attendance of a ‘Votes for Women’ meeting she is to hold tomorrow in the Broadway.

As WSPU militancy became even more intense the New Constitutional Society for Women’s Suffrage held to its principle of campaigning in a democratic manner. This may now be thought boring – failing to provide news fodder for the press then and for bloggers now – but it was non-militant political lobbying that in the end won women the vote.

In the few days previous to 9 July 1914  WSPU supporters had, besides continuing with their campaign of arson, concentrated their attention increasingly on the King and the Church. A  portrait of the King by Sir John Lavery had been damaged in the Royal Scottish Academy and a few days earlier when the King had visited Nottingham a well-known suffragette had been arrested carrying a suitcase containing bomb-making equipment. On 1 July there had been a disturbance during the enthronement of the new Bishop of Bristol and on 5 July Mrs Dacre Fox had interrupted the Bishop of London during a Westminster Abbey service – asking him to prevent forcible feeding. She was a prisoner on the run, who had been released from prison under the Cat and Mouse Act, and was promptly re-arrested outside the Abbey.

Kate must surely have a taken a bus to the Parke Davis dye works, which was quite a way down the Staines Road. [The site at 581 Staines Road, long ago rebuilt by Parke Davis, is now used by the Home Office as an immigration centre.] Kate was well used to standing at factory gates handing out handbills – hoping to entice the workers to her meetings. We shall see tomorrow how successful her canvass had been.

See also Campaigning for the Vote: Kate Parry Frye’s Suffrage Diary.

, , ,

1 Comment

Kate Frye’s Diary: The Lead-Up To War: 3 July 1914

On 7 August 2014 ITV will publish an e-book, Kate Parry Frye: The Long Life of an Edwardian Actress and Suffragette.  Based on her prodigious diary, this is my account of Kate Frye’s life and is a tie-in with the forthcoming ITV series ‘The Great War: The People’s Story’. For details of the TV series and its accompanying books see here.

Kate Frye, suffrage organizer, 1913

 

As a lead-up to publication I thought I’d share with you some entries from Kate’s diary from the month before the outbreak of war. She was at this time living in Claverton Street in Pimlico and working in the Knightsbridge headquarters of the New Constitutional Society for Women’s Suffrage. It was now nine years since she had become engaged to (minor) actor John Collins. Her father died in March 1914 and her mother and sister, Agnes, now all but penniless, are living in rented rooms in Worthing.

Friday July 3rd 1914

It poured early and then drizzled. John with me to Victoria where I was to meet Miss Arber at 11. Together to Peckham where we canvassed [for the New Constitutional Society for Women’s Suffrage]. I was quite glad of a coat I had taken for the rain. We had lunch together and back to Victoria.

I came straight in by bus and packed up my things. John arrived at 4 – he had been about all day so I sent him off to pack and then met him at no 11 [Claverton Street, Pimlico] with my luggage and we took a bus to Victoria and caught the 4.30 train to Worthing.

We toiled to Milton St with our luggage – they were surprised to see us so early. Agnes looks better, but Mother looks so ill, I think, and seems quiet and depressed. John has a bedroom at the end of the road. It is ever so cold here.

Joseph Chamberlain

It was in the day’s paper – the death of Joseph Chamberlain. He has been a name only for many years – but I can remember him as a great power – before his Tariff Reform days and the consequent breaking up after the disappointment of defeats.’

Kate (and her father, who had been a Liberal MP in the 1890s, did not support Joseph Chamberlain’s Liberal Unionists. For a  post describing how Kate campaigned for the Progressive Liberal candidate at the 1907 LCC election see here.

 

See also Campaigning for the Vote: Kate Parry Frye’s Suffrage Diary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

, ,

Leave a comment