"The true militant suffragette is an epitome of the determination of women to possess their own souls" – from the 'Price of Liberty' by Emily Wilding Davison
Emily Wilding Davison was born in 1872 at Blackheath, Kent, where her family had travelled from Morpeth, Northumberland, shortly before.
She studied at Holloway College for the Oxford Honours School in English Literature but did not complete the course, having to leave to support her family when her father died.
Emily worked as a governess, later completing her studies at St Hugh's Hall, Oxford. She gained a First Class degree in English in 1893, although Oxford did not allow women to graduate until 1920.
Emily was a risk-taker who, during 1910 and 1911, managed to evade the security staff at the House of Commons and hide there on three separate occasions, once in the hot-air shaft and twice in the crypt.
One of these occasions was on the evening of 2 April 1911, census night when suffragettes were encouraged to boycott the census and not fill in their forms.
On 3 June 1913, the day before the Derby, Emily went to the WSPU offices in Kingsway and asked for two flags, without giving any particular reason.
She pinned the flags inside her coat.
Emily's friend, Mary Leigh, visited Emily's grave in Morpeth every year after her death, and took with her one of the flags.
Margaret cannot understand Emily’s actions.
It ends: "I need not tell you my heart is full of grief & agony & the thought you are so far away is giving me much misery and pain. I know you would not willfully give me any unhappiness. Although it must have been some sudden impulse and excitement...
With oceans of love from your sorrowful Mother."
On 14 June 1913, Emily was given a martyr’s funeral.
Five thousand women from all over Britain, most in white dresses with black armbands and carrying white Madonna lilies, marched in the funeral procession in London – the last of the great suffragette spectacles.
Rev Baumgarten and Rev Claude Hinscliff, members of the Church League for Women's Suffrage, conducted the service at St George's Church, Bloomsbury.
From there, the procession took Emily's body to King's Cross station and then by train to Northumberland for burial in Morpeth, her family home, where her Mother was living.
This lily was carried by Agnes Kelly at the funeral.
Grace Roe's account of organising the funeral is one of more than 200 suffrage oral histories carried out by Brian Harrison and held in the Women's Library collection at LSE.
Personal papers in Emily’s archive show that she was intellectually and morally committed to the fight for votes for women.
This document is effectively her suffragette manifesto setting out her thoughts, feelings and commitments to the women's cause.
"The Price of Liberty" was published posthumously in 1914 in The Suffragette, with some changes from Emily's manuscript.