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Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, Baroness Pethick-Lawrence

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence
Emmeline Pethick Lawrence, c.1910. (22981177345).jpg
Pethick-Lawrence, c. 1910
Born 21 October 1867
Clifton, Bristol, England
Died 11 March 1954(1954-03-11) (aged 86)
Gomshall, Surrey, England
Nationality British
Known for Campaign for women's suffrage, co-founder of Votes for Women.
Political party Women's Social and Political Union, United Suffragists
Spouse(s) Frederick Pethick-Lawrence, 1st Baron Pethick-Lawrence

Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, Lady Pethick-Lawrence (21 October 1867 – 11 March 1954)[1] was a British women's rights activist and suffragette.

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Early life

Pethick was born in Bristol. Her father was a businessman. She was the second of 13 children, and was sent away to boarding school at the age of eight.[citation needed]

Career and marriage

From 1891 until 1895 Pethick worked as a "sister of the people" for the West London Mission at Cleveland Hall, near Fitzroy Square. She helped Mary Neal run a girls' club at the mission. In the autumn of 1895 she and Mary Neal left the mission to co-found the Espérance Club, a club for young women and girls that would not be subject to the constraints of the mission, and could experiment with dance and drama.[2] Pethick also started Maison Espérance, a dressmaking cooperative with a minimum wage, an eight-hour day and a holiday scheme.

Pethick married Frederick Lawrence in 1901 after he changed his political views to be more Liberal. The couple took the joint name Pethick-Lawrence and kept separate bank accounts to give them autonomy.[3]


Votes for Women, the suffragette newspaper founded by the Pethick-Lawrences
Votes for Women, the suffragette newspaper founded by the Pethick-Lawrences
Pethick-Lawrence, left, with Women at the Hague in 1915, including Jane Addams and Annie E. Malloy
Pethick-Lawrence, left, with Women at the Hague in 1915, including Jane Addams and Annie E. Malloy

Pethick-Lawrence was a member of the Suffrage Society and was introduced to Emmeline Pankhurst in 1906. She became treasurer of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), which Pankurst had founded in 1903, and raised £134,000 over six years.[4]

Pethick-Lawrence founded the publication Votes for Women with her husband in 1907. The couple was arrested and imprisoned in 1912 for conspiracy following demonstrations that involved breaking windows, even though they had disagreed with that form of action. After being released from prison, the Pethick-Lawrences were unceremoniously ousted from the WSPU by Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughter Christabel, because of their ongoing disagreement over the more radical forms of activism that the Pethick-Lawrences opposed. They then joined the United Suffragists.[4] In 1938 Pethick-Lawrence published her memoirs, which discuss the radicalization of the suffrage movement just before the First World War.[5]

In 1945 she became Lady Pethick-Lawrence when her husband was made a baron.[6]

Posthumous recognition

Pethick-Lawrence's name and picture (and those of 58 other women's suffrage supporters) are on the plinth of the statue of Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square, London, unveiled in 2018.[7][8][9]

Foundations, organisations and settlements

See also


  1. ^ "Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence © Orlando Project".
  2. ^ Judge, Roy (1989). "Mary Neal and the Espérance Morris" (PDF). Folk Music Journal. 5 (5): 548. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  3. ^ a b Brian Harrison, 'Lawrence, Emmeline Pethick-, Lady Pethick-Lawrence (1867–1954)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2006 accessed 17 Nov 2007
  4. ^ a b Uglow, Jennifer S. (1985). "Pethick-Lawrence, Emmeline". The International Dictionary of Women's Biography. New York: Continuum. pp. 370–371. ISBN 0-8264-0192-9.
  5. ^ Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence (1938). My Part in a Changing World. London.
  6. ^ Rappaport, Helen (2001). "Pethick-Lawrence, Emmeline". Encyclopedia of women social reformers. 1. [A – L]. Santa Barbara, Calif. [u.a.]: ABC-CLIO. p. 548. ISBN 978-1-57607-101-4.
  7. ^ "Historic statue of suffragist leader Millicent Fawcett unveiled in Parliament Square". 24 April 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  8. ^ Topping, Alexandra (24 April 2018). "First statue of a woman in Parliament Square unveiled". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  9. ^ "Millicent Fawcett statue unveiling: the women and men whose names will be on the plinth". iNews. Retrieved 2018-04-25.

External links

This page was last edited on 16 June 2018, at 02:32
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