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Marion Wallace Dunlop

c. 1909

Museum of London

Museum of London
London, United Kingdom

The Suffragette Marion Wallace Dunlop, posing before a reconstruction of the stencilled message she stamped in printer's violet ink on the wall of St Stephens Hall in the House of Commons, June 22nd 1909. The extract from the Bill of Rights took two men, two hours to erase using pumice stone, soap and water. Although arrested for the offence she was subsequently discharged. Two days later Marion again returned to St Stephens Hall with Victor Duval and restamped the same message. On this occasion Marion was charged with wilfully and maliciously damaging the stonework of the House of Commons with an indelible rubber stamp whilst Duval was charged with aiding and abetting. Refusing to pay a fine for the offence Marion was sent to prison for one month.

Whilst serving her sentence Marion became the first Suffragette hunger-striker by refusing all food and fasting for 3 and a half days. She had been classified as a second division prisoner and the hunger strike was her personal protest against the prison authorities for not placing her in the first division where as a political prisoner she would have enjoyed certain rights such as books in their cells, letters, furnishings and to wear their own clothes.

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