Thursday, October 22, 2015

Was your ancestor a Suffragette? has just added to their collection the records of English Suffragettes Arrested from 1906-1914.
In October 1903, Emmeline Pankhurst left the more peaceful National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) to form the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU). Mrs. Pankhurst believed that more drastic means were necessary if women were to achieve suffrage. From 1903 to 1917, the WSPU was the leading militant organisation campaigning for women's suffrage in Great Britain, using law-breaking, violence, and hunger strikes as tactics to highlight their cause, and members became known as suffragettes.
Upon the outbreak of war in August 1914 some of the suffrage societies (but not all) declared a suspension to militant tactics for the duration of the conflict. In response, the government granted an amnesty to all suffrage prisoners.
At the beginning of the amnesty the Home Office compiled a list of all suffrage campaigners they were providing amnesty to, creating the document ‘Amnesty of August 1914: index of women arrested 1906-1914’ - which also includes the names of more than one hundred men. Each record consists of the name of the person arrested, and the date and place of arrest. If a person was arrested more than once, the details of each arrest are documented. Over 1000 male and female suffrage campaigners who were at some point arrested are listed in the document - so was your ancestor a Suffragette?

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