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Georgina Brackenbury

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Georgina Agnes Brackenbury
Suffragette Georgina Brackenbury 1910.jpg
Born 1 July 1865
Royal Military Academy
Died 27 July 1949
St Mary Abbot
Nationality United Kingdom
Education Slade School of Art
Occupation Painter and activist
Known for Artist and suffragette
Parent(s) Hilda Eliza Brackenbury and Charles Booth Brackenbury

Georgina "Ina" Agnes Brackenbury (1 July 1865 – 27 July 1949) was a British painter who was known as a militant suffragette. She was jailed for demonstrating for women's rights. She followed Emmeline Pankhurst's lead as she became more militant (and lost former colleagues). Brackenbury was one of Emmeline Pankhurst's pallbearers. Her portrait of Pankhurst was bought by her memorial committee for the nation.


Brackenbury was born at Royal Military Academy in Woolwich where her father Major General Charles Booth Brackenbury who had been a Times correspondent before he was wounded was Director of the artillery college.[1] She was brought up by Flora Shaw a governess housekeeper - as Brackenbury's mother disliked housework. In 1890 the family moved to Kensington after the death of their father. Her parents both had artistic interests and in 1888 Georgina was went to Slade School of Art where she specialised in portraits as suggested by Hubert von Herkomer.[2] In time her sister Maria Brackenbury would follow her lead.[3]

Georgina would mostly paint at home but she did hire a studio. In 1894 she created a portrait of Harold Dillon, 17th Viscount Dillon  who was the Chair of the trustees at the National Portrait Gallery. She exhibited at London galleries including the Royal Academy. Their mother had been interested in women's rights and in 1907 she joined the increasingly radical Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU). Quickly Georgina and Maria also joined the WSPU and they transformed their studios into classrooms where they could train women in public speaking.[2]

Georgina and Marie were sentenced to six weeks in prison after they joined a WSPU stunt at the House of Commons.[2] This was the "pantechnicon raid" when a furniture van (pantechnicon) was used as a "Trojan Horse" to get twenty suffragettes to the House of Commons. When they were close both Maria and Geiorgina joined the many who tried to rush their way into the lobby.[4]

Their imprisonment qualified both of them to have a commemorative tree planted at the "Suffragette's Rest" in Somerset on 22 July 1910.[3] The "Suffragette's Rest" was the nickname for Mary Blathwayt's home at Eagle House where her parents also indulged their WSPU enthusiasm. Her parents had set land aside to plant an individual tree for each WSPU member sentenced to prison. The planting was then photographed by Mary's father. The tree's and the photographs recorded their achievements.

In 1912, her mother, Hilda, was arrested for breaking windows. Her mother made the point that two of her sons had been killed in India on active service whilst she had little political rights. Her mother served eight days on remand and fourteen days in jail despite being 80 years old. Her mother was asked to talk at the London Pavilion when she was released in April 1912.[5]

Brackenbury died in St Mary Abbot in 1949. She has portraits in the National Portrait Gallery including a painting of Emmeline Pankhurst which was bought by Pankhurst's memorial committee.[6]


  1. ^ Lloyd, E. (2004-09-23). Brackenbury, Charles Booth (1831–1890), army officer. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 8 Jan. 2018, see link
  2. ^ a b c Margaret O'Sullivan, ‘Brackenbury, Georgina Agnes (1865–1949)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Oct 2015; online edn, Jan 2016 accessed 29 Oct 2017
  3. ^ a b "Marie Brackenbury". Spartacus Educational. Retrieved 2017-10-29.
  4. ^ Elizabeth Crawford (2001). The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide, 1866-1928. Psychology Press. pp. 739–. ISBN 978-0-415-23926-4.
  5. ^ Elizabeth Crawford (2 September 2003). The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866-1928. Routledge. pp. 233–. ISBN 1-135-43401-8.
  6. ^ "Emmeline Pankhurst - National Portrait Gallery". Retrieved 2017-10-29.
This page was last edited on 8 June 2018, at 12:20
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