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Letter from Christabel Pankhurst to Mrs. Morrow, 23 November 1913

Identifier: Coll-1464

Scope and Contents

This letter from Christabel Pankhurst to Mrs. Morrow [Hove], written 23 November 1913, from 11 avenue de la Grande Armee, Paris, discusses fund raising efforts and the appalling condition suffered by imprisoned suffragettes: 'This collection gives to all WSPU members and friends an opportunity to make a united demonstration of the kind which will impress the Government and the public and will prove the utter futility of torture [...] The prisoners are doing their part. It is for the rest of us to do ours and thus to show that the movement is financially as in every other way invincible'.

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.


  • Creation: 1913-1930


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Biographical / Historical

Christabel Harriette Pankhurst was born in Manchester on 22 September 1880. She was the daughter of lawyer Dr. Richard Pankhurst and women's suffrage movement leader Emmeline Pankhurst, and sister of Estelle Sylvia Pankhurst and Adela Pankhurst. She and her two sisters attended Manchester High School for Girls, and Christabel obtained a law degree from the University of Manchester.

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.


1 folder

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Material acquired December 2012. Accession no: E2013.35.

Related Materials

This small collection of news clippings and the autograph letter signed from Christabel Pankhurst to Mrs. Morrow [Hove] was inside the bookThe suffragette: the history of the women's militant suffrage movement 1905-1910 by E. Sylvia Pankhurst. , E. Sylvia. Original accession no: 2013.12; Shelfmark RB.S.1237

Processing Information

Catalogued by Graeme D. Eddie 25 November 2013

Letter from Christabel Pankhurst (1880-1958) to Mrs. Morrow, 23 November 1913, and some contemporary news clippings
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379