Letter from Christabel Pankhurst to Mrs. Morrow, 23 November 1913
Scope and Contents
News clippings which form part of this collection include items relating to the unveiling by Stanley Baldwin - on Thursday 6 March 1930 - of a statue of Mrs. Pankhurst (Emily Pankhurst) in Victoria Tower Gardens (Houses of Parliament), London.
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
Biographical / Historical
She was a co-founder of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU). In 1905 Christabel Pankhurst interrupted a Liberal Party meeting by shouting demands for voting rights for women. She was arrested and, along with fellow suffragist Annie Kenney, went to prison rather than pay a fine as punishment for their outburst. Their case gained much media interest and the ranks of the WSPU swelled following their trial. She was jailed again in 1907 and in 1909. Between 1913 and 1914 she lived in Paris, to escape imprisonment under the terms of the so-called 'Cat and Mouse Act'. The start of the First World War compelled her to return to England in 1914, where she was again arrested. In prison she engaged in a hunger strike.
A truce was declared and Pankhurst spoke out against the danger that Germany offered, and she toured the country making recruitment speeches at which her supporters handed out white feathers (a badge of cowardice) to non-uniformed males, though neither she nor her supporters spoke out for the right of women to march to the front as well. Meanwhile, in Russia, women served in the armed forces in small numbers in the early stages of the war, and their numbers increased after heavy Russian losses such as at the Battle of Tannenberg and Masurian Lakes
After some British women over the age of 30 were granted the right to vote at the end of the First World War, Pankhurst stood in the 1918 general election but was narrowly defeated. Only twenty years after that, British women had the opportunity to join uniformed services.
Pankhurst left England in 1921 and moved to the USA where she eventually became an evangelist with Plymouth Brethren links and became a prominent member of Second Adventist movement. She became active in heralding 'the personal, visible, and powerful Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ as foreshown by the present signs of the times'. She returned to England in the 1930s and was made a Dame in 1936, but again left for the USA at the onset of the Second World War. Dame Christabel Harriette Pankhurst, DBE, died on 13 February 1958.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Letter from Christabel Pankhurst (1880-1958) to Mrs. Morrow, 23 November 1913, and some contemporary news clippings
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