Some of the suffrage campaigners forgotten by history
While leading suffrage campaigners like Millicent Fawcett, Emmeline Pankhurst, and Emily Wilding Davison are rightly celebrated and remembered for their devotion to the cause, many others have been forgotten by history and are largely missing from the archives. Here we celebrate the contributions of just a few of those lesser-known women and men, reimagined by illustrator Charlotte Trounce.
Portrait of Agnes Pochin, the first woman to speak about suffrage on a public platform, at the first public meeting of the Manchester National Society for Women’s Suffrage. Previously – in 1855 – she had written The Right of Women to Exercise the Elective Franchise, calling for women to have equal rights in voting, education, divorce, and ambition. Agnes died in 1908, ten years before The Representation of the People Act.
Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington, a suffragist and Irish nationalist, born in County Cork and raised in Dublin. She founded the Irish Women's Franchise League (IWFL). The IWFL used militant tactics, smashing the windows of Dublin's General Post Office, the Custom House, and Dublin Castle. Hanna and her fellow suffragettes were all arrested and imprisoned for 1-6 months.
Here's Helen Blackburn, an early campaigner for working women's rights, and secretary of the Bristol and West of England Suffrage Society. In 1891, Helen co-founded the Women's Employment Defence League. She edited the Englishwoman's Review from 1889-1902 and, in 1896, co-edited The Conditions of Working Women and the Factory Acts.
Margaret Haig (known as Mrs Humphrey Mackworth during the suffrage years), who was secretary of the Newport branch of the WSPU. From 1911 she was president of the Cymric Suffrage Union, and later vice-president of the London Society for Women’s Suffrage. On the death of her father in 1918, Margaret succeeded his title as Viscountess Rhondda. She launched Time and Tide magazine in 1920 and the Six Point Group, a gender equality campaigning group, the following year.
Rev Claude Hinscliffe
This is Reverend Claude Hinscliffe. Claude was a member of the Men's League for Women's Suffrage, and co-founded the Church League for Women's Suffrage (CLWS) with his wife Gertrude. He officiated at the funeral of suffragette Emily Wilding Davison. After the First World War, the CLWS campaigned for the ordination of women.
Annot Robinson, the first secretary of the Dundee branch of the WSPU. She became a paid organizer for the NUWSS in 1911. Annot was a pacifist during the First World War, and became a full-time organizer for the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).
Maud Lady Selborne
Portrait of Maud Palmer, Countess of Selborne, was President of the Conservative and Unionist Women’s Franchise Association until 1913. After the war, she became a Justice of the Peace in Hampshire.
Nessie Stewart Brown
Here is Nessie Stewart Brown. Along with Eleanor Rathbone, Nessie founded Liverpool Women's Suffrage, and the Liverpool Women's Citizens Association. She also led Women's Liberal Federation branches in Liverpool, and served on the WLF executive. Nessie was a Liverpool city councillor, and in 1922 stood as a Liberal Party candidate for election. She was one of the first women to be appointed Justice of the Peace, in 1924.
Portrait of Ellen Wilkinson, a member of the NUWSS and the Labour Party in Manchester. She was later elected MP for Middlesbrough East from 1924-1931, and as MP for Jarrow from 1935-1947.
Anna Haslam, who signed the 1866 women's suffrage petition, and went on to play an active part in the suffrage campaign. In 1876, Anna became secretary of the Dublin Women’s Suffrage Society, which used similar methods to the campaigning methods of the suffragists.
Portrait of Mary Lowndes, a stained-glass artist, who founded the Artists' Suffrage League in 1907.