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Wednesday, 29 September 2010

WSPU and Prison

By 1905 the media had lost interest in the struggle for women's rights. Newspapers rarely reported meetings and usually refused to publish articles and letters written by supporters of women's suffrage. In 1905 the WSPU decided to use different methods to obtain the publicity they thought would be needed in order to obtain the vote.

On 13th October 1905, Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney attended a meeting in London to hear Sir Edward Grey, a minister in the British government. When Grey was talking, the two women constantly shouted out, "Will the Liberal Government give votes to women?" When the women refused to stop shouting the police were called to evict them from the meeting.

Pankhurst and Kenney refused to leave and during the struggle a policeman claimed the two women kicked and spat at him. Pankhurst and Kenney were arrested and charged with assault.
Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney were found guilty of assault and fined five shillings each. Kenney and Pankhurst were found guilty of assault and fined five shillings each. When the women refused to pay the fine they were sent to prison. The case shocked the nation. For the first time in Britain women had used violence in an attempt to win the vote.

This was only the start to the story. The following members of the WSPU were later imprisoned for their actions.

Constance Lytton

Edith Mansell Moullin

Kitty Marion

Dora Marsden

Charlotte Marsh

Christabel Marshall

Hannah Mitchell

Dora Montefiore

Flora Murray

Adela Pankhurst

Christabel Pankhurst

Emmeline Pankhurst

Sylvia Pankhurst

Elsie Howey

Edith How-Martyn

Gladice Keevil

Annie Kenney

Jessie Kenney

Aeta Lamb

Mary Leigh

Victoria Lidiard

Charlotte Despard

Elsie Duval

Helen Fraser

Mary Gawthorpe

Margaret Haig Thomas

Vera Holme

Hilda Brackenbury

Georgina Brackenbury

Marie Brackenbury

Laura Ainsworth

Louisa Garrett Anderson

Rachel Barrett

Jane Brailsford

Mary Clarke

Clara Codd

Helen Crawfurd

Emily Wilding Davison

Mary Phillips

Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

Mary Richardson

Elizabeth Robins

Grace Roe

Evelyn Sharp

Ethel Smyth

Marion Wallace-Dunlop

Helen Kirkpatrick Watts

Vera Wentworth

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