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WOMEN'S Suffrage 




WITH :: 

Biographical Sketches of Miss Becker 






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TttB effort to bring political liberty to the daily lives of 
women is not an isolated movement, nor a mere sudden 
oiil^rowth; it forms part of the continuity of history 
and must be treated £is such ; it is part of the continu- 
ous action and reaction between law and custom out of 
which human institutions are moulded and by which 
public conscience is modified. 

This book aims, therefore, at presenting facts, not 
arguments, history, not theory, as a help towards bfising 
the action of the present on experience rather than 

In compiling these pages the writer has had full 
access to all the materials which could be furnished by 
the Women's Suflfrt^ oflBces, in addition to her own 
collection of Hterature on the subject, and personal 
intercourse with many of the early workers in the 

Part I. gives a retrospective glance at the earlier 
features of the social development which has brought 
about the Women's Suffrage movement. 


79110? ^ , 

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Every great movement resolves itself, in ultimate 
analysis, into the action of individual lives, typical of 
the nurture and aspirations of their time. 

So it has been in the Women's SuflPrage movement : 
one life above all others has left the impress of its 
intellectual force and deep sympathy with human 
sorrows. Accordingly Part II. takes the form of a 
biographical sketch of Miss Lydia Becker, as the 
best introduction to the story of the work, and to 
the underlying motives and the methods of the 
workers therein. 

Parts I^I., IV. and V. essay to marshal the leading 
facts ajrfT'features of the movement in a concise 
nariSive from the passing of the second Eeform 
A^ffin 1867 to the present time. Dates and other 
scafifolding of the movement have been arranged, for 
convenience of reference, in two charts, while various 
documents, together with a bibliography, will be found 
in the Appendix. 

Dicember 15th, 1901. 

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Pbxfaob ... V 

PAET I. — ^Before the Ebform Act of 1867. 

Chapter I.— Retrospective 

§ 1. Out Early Heritage 1 

§ 2. The Advent of Discouragement 4 

§3. The Period of Non-User 6 

Chapter II. — First Stages of the Movehent 11 

§4. The Reform Act of 1832 12 

§ 6. The Avowal of Discontent 13 

PAET IL — BioGKAPHiCAL Notes and Eeminiscences 
OF Miss Becker. 

Chapter IIL— Miss Becker 23 

§6. Introductory 23 

§7. Her young Days 24 

§8. Early Work 30 

§ 9. Extracts from Correspondence 39 

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PAET III. — ^From the Ebfobm Act op 1867 to the 
Eefobm Act of 1884. 



a 10. Two Pioneer Groups 44 

11. The First Petition 63 

Chapter V.— 1866 to 1869. 
Index Chart of Events. 

- § 12. Early Steps 67 

§ 13. Debate on Mr. J. S. Mill's Amendment ... 61 

— §14. Further Organization 63 

§ 16. New Light 68 

§16. Consequent Policy 71 

. §17. Appeal to the Courts of Law 82 

§ 18. Preparations for a Bill 88 

§19. The Supporters of the Movement .... 96 

Chapter VI.— The Parliament of 1870 to 1873. 

Chart of Parliamentary EvenU — J. 

§20. The Advance Guard 101 

-§21. The First Bill 103 

§22. Early Hopes 108 

— ^§23. Formation of Central Committee . . . .118 

§24. Work for the Bill . 122 

§26. Fresh Grounds of Hope 130 

Chapter VII. — Parliament op 1874-80. 

§ 26. A Dilemma 134 

§27. Work for and against the Bill 139 

§28. Opposition Tactics 142 

829. Trend of the Time 146 

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Chaptib VIII.— Tbi Advbvt of a N>w Reform Bill. 


§30. DemoDstratioDB of Wcmien 158 

§31. Me of Man 156 

§ 32. Political OrgamzatioDS and Women's Suffrage • • 158 

.§33. Mr. Woodall'B Amendment 161 

PART IV.— From the New Riporm Act to thr 
Close of Miss Becker's Life. 

Chart of ParUamerUary EverU$—II, 
Chaptbr IX.— After thb Third Reform Act. 

^34. Changed ConditioDfl 169 

. §35. DiyidedCoonBel 175 

§ 36. Protest of the NineUmth CerUwry Magamne . . 178 

Chaptrr X. — Miss Broker's Dxath. 

§37. Times of Depression 180 

§38. The Tragic End 181 

§39. InMemoriam 186 

§40. Afterwards 187 

PART v.— From 1890 to Present Time. 

Chapter XI. — Renewed Endeavours. 

§41. New Developments 189 

§ 42. Debate of 1892 194 

§43. The Appeal from Women 197 

§ 44. A Mixed Record 201 

§ 45. Onward Steps 205 

§ 46. The Second Reading of 1897 209 

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Chaftbk XII.— Thi Prbbbnt Position. 


§47. The Election of 1900 217 

§48. ChaDges in the Victorian Era 222 

§ 49. The Enduring Claim 227 


§ 50. General Survey ........ 229 

§ 61. Chronicle of Events in Australasia . . , . 234 


A. Act of First Session of Queen Mary . • • 245 

K Extract from Sir John Aubrey .... 247 

C. Prospectus of Ladies' Institute (1860) ... 248 

D. Division on Mr. Mill's Motion .... 252 

E. Claims made by Women to be registered (1868) 258 

F. Memorial of KPs. to Mr. Gladstone (1884) . . 261 

G. Letter from Ladies to Members of Parliament 264 
H. Table of Statutes affecting Women ... 268 




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1. Seal of the Abbey of Wilton. Eflfigy of St 

Eadgitha (Edith), daughter of King Edgar 

2. Seal of Mary de St. Paul, CounteoB of Pern 

broke .... 

3. Anne Clifford, Oounteas of Donet^ Mont- 

gomery and Pembroke 

4. MiflB Becker— I 

5. Mrs. Jameson .... 

6. (Barbara Leigh Smith) Mrs Bodichon 

7. (Bessie Bayner Parkes) Madam Belloc 

8. Miss Jessie Boucherett . 

9. John Stuart Mill, M.P. . 

10. Miss Florence Davenport Hill 

11. Mrs. Beddoe .... 

12. Right Hon. Jacob Bright, M.P. 

13. (Lilias S. Ashworth) Mrs. Hallett 

14. Mrs. Henry Fawcett (Millicent Qarrett) 
16. Viscountess Amberley . 

16. Lady Anna Gore Langton 

17. Miss Caroline Ashurst Biggs . 

18. „ Beedy 

19. „ JaneTaylour. 

20. „ Agnes McLaren 

21. „ Isabella S. M. Tod 

22. Mrs. McLaren (Priscilla Bright) 

23. Miss Becker— II. . 

24. Mrs. Haslam . 

25. Miss Emily Davies 

26. „ Flora Stevenson 

To face page 1 

Louisa Stevenson 















































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Seal of the Abbey of Wilton — one of the four great abbeys whose 
abbesses received frequent writs for military service, and summons 
to attend the Council of the King (84th Edward I.). The effigy 
represents St. Eadgitha or Edith of Wilton. Died 984. Daughter 
of King Edgar. The high esteem in which she was held is seen 
by her effigy being used for the seal of the Abbey of Wilton wliere 
she was a nun. (After an engraving in Arch(Bolo<fia^ vol. xviii.) 

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§ 1. Owr Early Heritage. 

Anglo-Saxon, Boman and Feudal influences, are all 
intermii^led in the legal system of Great Britain 
to-day. Each has left some impress on the relations of 
women to public duties, and has helped in shaping our 
present condition. Of these three, the Anglo-Saxon is 
the pervading influence. Naturally it has become so, 
for Society oi^anized on the basis of the Parish as in 
Saxon England, preserves more of the common ground 
of companionship between men and women, and its 
responsibilities are more closely interwoven between 
them, than is the case in a Society organized on the 
basis of the Camp as under Eoman sway, or of the 
Castle as under the Feudal rigime. 

It is therefore part of the continuity of historical 
development that the movement towards recognizing, 

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2 . . women's suffragk. 

the public duties of women should have made most pro- 
gress amongst the English-speaking race, the founders 
of the Constitutional form of Government. 

Of all the great Indo-Grermanic races, the Anglo- 
Saxon has kept closest to the free and open life of the 
early Aryans and has preserved best that idea of com- 
panionship between men and women of which traces 
remain in prehistoric times of other races. The Anglo- 
Saxon, like all other of the early Aryan systems of 
jurisprudence, looked on women as under the guardian- 
ship of men, but their idea of that protection was 
modified by their preference for life in separate inde- 
pendent homesteads, rather than in wall-b^rt cities, — 
thus whereas the early Roman law construed protection 
as complete absorption of the will and the possessions 
of the wife, the Saxon law construed it as ensuring to 
women their share of personal independence.^ 

It is part of the continuity of history that when the 
feudal co-ordination of Society under Sovereign Lords 
invoked the careful protection of hereditary rights, 
possessions and titles and honours were transmitted 
by right of birth. Though the " spear side " was held 
of first importance and had first place in those days of 
warlike nurture, still the " spindle side " was never per- 
mitted to succumb. Other things being equal, birth, not 
sex, determined the devolution of responsibilities. The 

^ Those WHO would stady this point will find much of valae in the 
monograph Married WovMfiCs Frofwiiy in Anglo Saxon and Nomum 
Law, by Florence Griswold Baokstafl^ pablished by the American 
Academy of Political and Social Science ; also in the articles on the 
above by Miss Sara Entrican, B.A., in Englishwoman's Bsview of 
October 1896 and AprU 1897. 

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Seal of Mary de St Paul, Countess of Pembroke. Died 1377. One of 
the peeresses Summoned to send representatives to the Council of 
the King (35th Edward III.). Daughter of the Earl of St. Paul in 
France, married Audomar de Valentia, Earl of Pembroke, who 
was killed in a tournament on their marriage day. Founder of 
Pembroke College, Cambridge. (From a cast of the seal in the 
Harleian MSS., British Museum.) 

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seals of women were as much tokens of their own act 
and deed as the seals of men. 

The maintenance of orderly conduct amongst their 
retainers, by court of frank pledge, and other territorial 
obligations, devolved on the holder of the manor, irre- 
spective of that holder being lord or lady. So too the 
duty of providing men and arms for the King's wars. 

No one wishes the conditions of those times revived. 
The right over life and death can no more be passed 
back from the Justices of the Crown to the territorial 
magnate, than the old assize of bread and ale satisfy 
modem requirement& But we still owe much to those 
conditions. When we resent the too great care that 
the law still at times shows for property rather than 
for persons, it is well to remember that it was the 
respect for property — the exaggerated respect, it may 
be — which compelled recognition of the woman's heri- 
tage, and preserved to the public conscience the per- 
ception that public duties are not exclusively male. 
The salient instance of this perception is of course our 
hereditary monarchy. It has been saved by its very 
visible position in the fabric of the State, so that the 
lustre of our Sovereign Queens could not be hidden, 
while various smaller parochial rights have survived 
rather by careless oblivion of their existence, than by 
desire for their preservation. 

It is too much forgotten that the sovereign rights of 
the Queen's Majesty are safeguarded by 'the statute 
passed in the first year of the reign of Queen Mary, 
** An Act that the r^al ^wer of this Eealm is as f idl 
in the Queen's Majesty as ever it was in her noble 

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4 women's suffrage. 

ancestors." But it was not till Lord Bomilly's Act in 
1850 that the every-day rights of ordinary women were 
safeguarded in the interpretation of the law, and by 
that time those which made for her independent status 
as a citizen had been gradually set aside, whether by 
statute or by non-user. 

The text of the first of these Acts may be studied in 
Appendix A. 

§ 2. The Advent of Discouragement. 

Whatever the disadvantages of the feudal system, 
whatever the hindrance its organization interposed for 
the development of the higher at the expense of the 
lower ranks of Society, the feudal system did one great 
service to women, by its carefulness to preserve 
hereditary rights. There was thus a high tradition 
always present of what women might do. Though 
such occurrences as the appointment of a woman as 
custodian of a castle, or her succession to the office of 
sherifif (where such office was hereditary), or her liability 
to attend the King in council and in camp, or her power 
to grant charters, or to vote for the knights of the shiro 
were not frequent — still they were facts that actually 
happened; when they did happen there was nothing 
extraordinary or exceptional about them; they were 
incidents in the natural order of things. 

The question of who was the right person for the 
right place was chiefly a question of birth. It has now 
come to be chiefly a question of popular election, and 
it was in the period of transition from the days of 
determination by inheritance, to the days of determina- 

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tion by popular election that the responsibilities of 
women as women came to be treated as matters open 
to question. 

How did this come about ? It would be outside the 
scope of this book to answer that enquiry with any 
detail, — moreover, it has been well done already by 
Mrs. Stopes in her British Freeioamen^— hut two im- 
portant influences have profoundly affected the 
condition of women; one more especially affects the 
cultured, the other the industrial portion of the 

Side by side with the Peeress had stood the Abbess. 
Women who sought a career outside the domestic circle 
had found it in one or other of the Behgious Orders. 
These offered opportimity to the studious, the contem- 
plative, the philanthropic for honoured and honourable 
careers, and often for attaining to positions of great 
influence. The great Abbesses of Barking, Shaftesbury 
and Wilton, who filled the territorial duties of great 
land-owners, were powers in the land. The education 
afforded by conventual establishments was the best to 
be acquired at the time : they were to all intents and 
purposes the colleges and high schools of the centuries 
from Alfred to Henry VII. With the disappearance 
of these stately centres of ordered life, the doors to 
honourable careers of studious, useful service were 
closed to many women, the stream of culture cut off 
from all except the few and exceptionally placed. 

The influence which affected the industrial portion of 
the community was the disappearance of the Guilds, 
that remarkable system of co-operation which in the 

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6 women's SUFFRAGIL 

fourteenth and fifteenth centuries supplied the workers 
in trades ¥rith a dignity and independence all their own. 
Working hand in hand with the Church, the Guilds 
created a system of mutual responsibility between their 
members and towards the community, as well as a 
system of protection against want for the sick and aged. 

The abrupt annihilation of these two great institu- 
tions has been grievous for women. Each had held out 
a hand of equal welcome to them, amid the encroaching 
tendencies of legal pedantry which, held in check by the 
strong will of the Tudors, had full scope under the sway 
of James I. 

The story of the " Long Ebb," as Mrs. Stopes happily 
phrases it, has been told by her in her British Free- 
vxymen with vigorous grasp, and to her pages the 
reader who would study this portion of our story in 
detail should turn.* 

%Z. The Period of Non-User. 

It has been the misfortune of women in England that 
at the period when the fundamental lines of tlie Con- 
stitution were subjects of keen Parliamentary strife, 
they themselves lived in an atmosphere of discourage- 
ment which paralyzed their political existence. 

The strong personality of Anne Clififord * stands out 

1 British Freetoomen, their Historic Privilege, by Charlotte Cannichael . 
Stopee, being one of the SocUl Science Series, published by Messrs. 
Swan Sonnenschein. 

"Countess of Dorset, Montgomery, Pembroke. She died 1676, 
respected and honoured by all, at the age of eighty-six. Our portrait 
shows her as a young girl of thirteen. 

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Ani}£ Clifford, Countess of Dorset, Montgomery and Pembroke, 

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as the last of the women of the old traditions — ^large- 
minded, generous-hearted, dignified and determined 
withal, she lived true to her motto, " Maintain your 
loyalty and preserve your righta" She upheld her 
lawful claim as hereditary Sheriff of Westmorland 
against King James I. himself, and she defended her 
castles against the troops of CromwelL While her 
strenuous life closes the ancient type of aspirant 
womanhood, the writings of Mary Astell gave the first 
note of the aspirations only attained to by the women 
workers of to-day. 

The Institution planned by Mary Astell was neither 
the Convent of the past, nor the CoU^e of this present 
time, but a kind of connecting link between them. 
And though the forces of the day were against her, and 
her plan remained only as a vision, yet it was a vision 
to encourage. Her Serious Proposal to Ladies, wherein 
her scheme was set forth, published in 1697, had in 
1701 already reached a fourth edition. 

'* One great end of this Institution shall be, to expel 
that cloud of ignorance which custom has involved us in, 
to furnish our minds ¥rith a stock of solid and useful 
knowledge that the souls of women may no longer be 
the only unadorned and neglected things." Nor did she 
wish for any mere show of learning. The inmate of her 
Institution would not need to trouble herself in turning 
over a great number of books, '' but take care to under- 
stand and digest a few well-chosen ones. Let her but 
obtain right ideas, and be truly acquainted with the 
nature of those objects that present themselves to her 
mind, and then no matter whether or no she be able to 

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8 women's suffraok. 

tell what fanciful people have said about them. And 
thoroughly to understand Christianity as professed by 
the Church of England will be sufficient to confirm her 
in the truth, though she have not a catalogue of those 
practical errors which oppose it. Indeed a Learned 
Education of the women will appear so unfashionable 
that I b^an to startle at the singularity of the proposi- 
tion, but was extremely pleased when I found a late 
ingenious author (whose book I met with since the 
writing of this) agree with me in my opinion. For 
speaking of the Eepute that Learning was in, about 150 
years ago, * It was so very modish ' * (says he) * tJuU the 
fair sex seemed to believe that Greek and Laivn added to 
their Charms and Plato and Aristotle untranslated were 
frequent omamsnts of thei/r Closets, One wovid think by 
the effects that U was a proper way of edueaivng them, 
si/nce there are no a4X(mnts in History of so ma/ny great 
wome^n in any one age, as there are to be formd between 
the years 1600 and 1600! " 

The incidental remarks of other writers of the period 
confirm the impression of the miserable standard for 

Thus Sir WiUiam Petty, writing of his daughter Anne, 
who inherited much of her father's talent for business, 
hopes that ''one day arithmetick and accountantship 
will adorn a young woman better than a suit of ribands 
and keep her warmer than a damnable dear manteau." ' 

^ Mr. Watson's BeJUeHom on AntierU and Modem Learning, pp. 
849, 850. 

*Li/e of Sir William Petty, by Lord Edmond Fitzmaurioe, 1895, 
p. 227. 

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When John Aubrey (1670) contrasts the schools of 
his day with the nunneries where *' young maydes were 
brought up with the good example of the nuns and 
learnt needlework, the art of confectionery, surgery, 
physick, drawing, writing, etc"^ — ^it is an indication 
that whether or not the convent schools attained to all 
that mi^t be desired, at any rate these arts were not 
attained by the schools of his own day, and we begin 
the better to understand how it became possible for a 
judicially minded writer to class women freeholders 
with those who ^lie under natural incapcu^ities and 
therefore cannot exercise a sound discretion, or so much 
under the influence of others that they cannot have a 
will of their own in the choice of candidates — of the 
former description are women, infants, idiots, lunatics, 
of the latter persons receiving alms and revenue 

And yet even at the worst of times, what a partial 
view this is. England was never so poor in her children 
but some women were found to pass the lamp from hand 
to hand, and at the very time the words just quoted were 
being written, a group of able women were practically 
by their own lives refuting the imputation — women of 
whom a writer of undoubted impartiality^ has said, 
** They did two things : they gave a great impulse to the 
literature of the country and they raised considerably 

^ The passage is curious, and will be found in full in Appendix B. 

' Samuel Heywood, Digest of (he Law respeding CowUy BUctiona, 
1790, p. 158. 

' *' Mrs. Barbauld and Her Contemporaries," a paper read before the 
Bath Literary and Philosophic Association by Jerome Moroh, 20th 
Oetober 1876. 

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10 women's suffrage. 

the mental and social position of women ; both results 
were probably attained to a greater extent, because the 
eflforts were comparatively quiet" They were women 
in whom were combined the forces of inherited character 
and of liberal-minded nurture, who had been encouraged 
by their parents to share in the more robust studies of 
their brothers. Of such were Elizabeth Carter (1717- 
1806), Mra Trimmer (1741-1810), Mrs. Barbauld 
(1743-1825), Hannah More (1763-1833), Mrs. Marcet 
(1769-1858). These all devoted their best powers to 
the production of books for the young, therefore stand 
foremost as preparing the way for the awakening of 
just discontent in the generations that followed. 

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FiBST Stagbs of the Moybbcent. 

Preliminary StatemerU. 

(1) Freeholdeks. — The earliest statute regulating 
the election of BInights of the Shire (7 Henry IV., 
c. 15) expressly mentions amtars as persons qualified 
to be electors, suitors being freemen who owed suit 
to the County Court. 

The next statute on the subject (10 Henry IV., c. 2) 
uses the word People {gentz demewrarU et resiantz) dwell- 
ing in the county and having freehold of forty shillings. 

The 7th and 8th William III., a 25, uses the words 
"all freeholders there and then present." The Act 
18 George II., c. 18, says no person shall vote without 
having a freehold estate of forty shillings. 

(2) Freemen. — By George III., c. 15, persons claiming 
as freemen to vote must have been admitted to 
the freedom of the city twelve months before they 
can be admitted to vote. The qualifications which 
admitted to the freedom of cities varied greatly from 
city to city, but nearly all were as applicable to 
women as men. 


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12 women's suffrage. 

l^ The JBeform Ad of 1832. 

The old electors might have been women. No bar 
stayed them — in law. Only the bar of non-user that 
had been drawn across their path by custom during 
the long period of discouragement. Such was the 
status of women in regard to the electoral law when 
the Keform Act of 1832 enacted the first statutory 
disability. The seed of the Women's Suffirage agitation 
lay in that one short word "male" introduced into 
19 and 20 of 2 W. IV., c 45 (1832). 

That one word gave the sanction of law to the custom 
which had been for two centuries insidiously working 
to press women back from all interest or care for public 
dutiea In that word the prevalent idea as to the 
relations of women to public life reached the cul- 
minating point The well-known passage in Mr. 
James Mill's celebrated Essay on Government^ con- 
cisely expresses the popular view now reflected by the 
House ri Commons. 

" One thing is pretty clear, that all those individuals 
whose interests are indisputably included in those of 
other individuals may be struck oflf from political rights 
without inconvenience. In this light may be viewed all 
children up to a certain age, whose interests are involved 
in those of their parents ; in this light also women may 
be regarded, the interest of almost all of whom is in- 
volved either in that of their fathers or that of their 

This passage drew forth the vigorous protest of 

^ EncydopoBdia Briiannieaj Supplement, p. 500. 

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William Thompeon, who in 1825 published his Appeal 
of one-half the Human Bace^ with an introductory 
letter to Mrs. Wheeler, at whose suggestion it was 
vn-itten. This was the first piece of literature written 
with a direct bearing on l^islation on this question — 
it is one of the ironies of history that the earliest 
publication in defence of Women's Suffrage should 
have been called forth by the father of the future author 
of the " Subjection of Women,* and that the first legisla- 
tion excluding women should have been encouraged by 
the philosophy of the man whose son was to be the 
champion of their restitution. 

The disabling process thus set up soon spread further : 
the first Parliament elected under the Reform Act 
showed its representative character by introducing the 
same restrictive word "male" into the enfranchising 
clauses of the Municipal Corporation Act of 1835, by 
which the various local charters, with their various 
generic franchises, were reduced to one imiform male 
franchise. Thus from those who had not, was taken 
even that which they had.^ 

§ 5. The Avowal of Discontent. 
However much statute law might tamper with 
ancient rights and Parliament treat women as politi- 

1 The full title of this book was, '* Appeal from one-half the Haman 
Race, Women, against the pretensions of the other half, Men, to retain 
them in political, and thence in civil and domestic slayery, in reply to 
a paragraph of Mr. Mill's celebrated article on Gtoyemment.'' 

'Another example of a similar character was given two years later, 
when the right of widows to a share of one-third their husbands' 
estate was barred, so that they only became entitled thereto -if so 
expressed by his will 814 W. IV., c. 105 (29th August 1838). 

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14 women's suffrage. 

cally of no independent standing, socially they remained 
untouched, they caught up the prevailing enthusiasms, 
they felt the pulsations of the excitement over the 
political questions which filled the air. Many readers 
will remember — as does the present writer — to have 
heard their mothers or grandmothers speak of the 
eager excitement they shared with husbands and 
brothers about the great liberating measures of the 
" thirties " and " forties." 

Writing in 1870 Mrs. John Mylne remarks : " In my 
young days it was considered rude to talk politics to 
ladies. To introduce them at a dinner party was a 
hint for us to retire and leave the gentlemen to such 
conversation and their bottle. But the excitement 
that prevailed all over the country at the prospect of 
the Reform Bill of 1832 broke down these dis- 
tinctions, while the new and, as it seemed to us, 
splendid idea of a 'hustings at the Cross of Edin- 
burgh ' drove its inhabitants, both male and female, half 
frantic with delight. I caught the infection, and as 
soon as ever I understood the benefits expected from a 
£10 franchise I b^an to wish that female house- 
holders should have it too, thinking it only fair play 
they should." 

In her little book, A Plea for Women, published 
in 1843, Mrs. Hugo Beid gives us a glimpse of the 
"curious and inconsistent ideas prevalent about the 
civil duties for which women are fit or not fit ... . 
The necessary property qualification admits her to 
vote for an East India director, nor have we heard the 
faintest hint of any inconvenience resulting from the 

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practice. What great and obvious difference there is 
between voting for the governors of India and those of 
England — so great and so obvious as to make the one a 
matter of course for women, the other an absurdity 
which cannot be so much as named without exciting 
the most contemptuous lau^ter — ^we confess we do not 
very clearly see. Nor is it alone in the government of 
that foreign country that women equally with the other 
sex are allowed a voice. In the local government of 
our own country we often see women invested with a 
vote for some one or other of the public servants." 

The daughter of Mr. Joseph Pease of Darlington — 
(Mrs. Pease Nichol, who died in 1897 in her ninety-first 
year) — was her father's devoted secretary and fellow- 
labourer in the great movements in which he took 
prominent part — Catholic Emancipation, Abolition of 
Tests, Abolition of Slave Trade. She attended the Anti- 
Slavery Convention in London in 1840 — an occasion 
ever memorable in the Women's Suffrage movement 
as giving the impetus to the first Convention for 
Women's Suffrage in the United States, that Conven- 
tion being the direct result of the refusal of the Anti- 
Slavery Convention in London to receive as delegates 
the duly accredited ladies sent from the United 

The Anti-Corn Law agitation was, however, still more 
educational for Englishwomen. In his History of the 
AntirCom Law Leaugue?' Mr. Prentice says, writing of 

^ See for fiill aooonnt, History of Wcmen^s Suffrage, by Mrs. Cady 
Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, vol. i. chap, iii (New York, 1881). 
^ Prentice's ffitUnry o/th$ ArUi-Com Law League, vol. L p. 170. 

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16 women's suffbagb. 

the year 1840, ** Another influential agency had now its 

origin It was found that wives, mothers, and 

daughters took a deep interest in the question which 
so much engrossed the attention of sons, husbands and 
brothers." The great tea in the Com Exchange, Man- 
chester, in October of that year, was the b^inning of a 
co-operation in which women rendered eflfective service. 
The Anti-Corn Law circular of 30th December 1841 
says : ** The women of Manchester have set a noble ex- 
ample to their sisters throughout the country. They 
have already obtained more than 50,000 signatures to 
the memorial adopted at the Com Exchange. The 
ladies of Bolton, Wigan and Stockport are engaged in 
canvassing their respective towns." The services thus 
rendered by women drew forth the encomiums of Mr. 
Frederick Bastiat, the French economist, in the follow- 
ing enthusiastic terms : ^ '' I doubt not that the reader 
is surprised, and perhaps scandalized to see women 
appearing in these stormy debates. Woman seems to 
lose her force in risking herself in this scientific mSUe 
bristling with the barbarous words, tariffs^ salaries, pro- 
JUs, monopolies. What is there in common between dry 
dissertations and that ethereal being, that angel of the 
soft affections, that poetical and devoted nature, whose 
destiny it is solely to love and to please, to sympathize 
and to console ? . . . . 

" She has comprehended that the effort of the League 
is a course of justice and reparation towards the suffer- 
ing classes; she has comprehended that almsgiving is 
not the only form of charity. We are ready to succour 

^ Prentice*8 History qfthe Anti-Cam Law League^ to), i. p. 171. 

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the unfortunate, say they, but that is no reason why the 
law should make unfortunatea We are willing to feed 
those who are hungry, to clothe those who are cold, but 
we applaud efforts which have for their object the 
removal of the barriers which interfere between clothing 
and nakedness, between subsistence and starvation;" 
and he concludes with these words, " If an atmosphere 
of lead weighs down our social life, perhaps the cause 
is to be sought in the fact that woman has not yet 
taken possession of the mission which Providence has 
assigned her." 

The Anti-Corn Law agitation was the nursery in 
which many a girl of that generation learned to know 
how closely public questions concerned her. At the 
great meeting held in Covent Grarden in January 1845, 
when the key-note of the speeches was *" qualify — 
qualify'' as voters, Mr. Richard Cobden said, "There 
are many ladies, I am happy to say, present ; now it is 
a very anomalous and singular fact that they cannot 
vote themselves and yet that they have power of con- 
ferring votes upon other people." He wished they had 
the franchise, and went on to say how a lady had come 
to them in Manchester to enquire how she could convey 
a freehold qualification to her son. 

Nor was Mr. Cobden the only prominent upholder of 
the Anti-Corn Law movement whose sympathies were 
in favour of women sharing political power. So long 
before as 1832 Mr. William Johnston Fox (M.P. for 
Oldham), in an article entitled "A Political and Social 
Anomaly," which appeared in the Monthly Repository 
just after the passing of the Seform Act, commented on 


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18 women's suffbagk. 

the " egr^ous anomaly " that in the constitutional pro- 
cess of events a woman would become vested with the 
supreme political authority, and yet women were denied 
the simplest political function. ''In the common 
opinion of common statesmen, the fitness of woman to 
vote for an individual's elevation to the temporary 
dignity of a legislator in the House of Commons is a 
mere joke ; yet her naming scores of persons legislators 
for life, and all their heirs legislators too, through all 
generations, is an essential portion of that ancestral 

wisdom under which we live In truth this 

mystery is hard to swallow, and warily must a loyal 
subject steer his course so as neither to be convicted of 
constructive treason by the Tories, nor ridiculed even 
by Badicals for the extravagances of his theories.'' 
Then after further criticism of the anomalies of the 
case he concludes : " In claiming science, politics, philos- 
ophy and all the higher r^ons of thought for him- 
self and warning o£F intrusion by placarding them 
with the word tmfemimnef he has deprived himself 
of the best sympathy, the most efficient aid, the 
mightiest stimulus and the noblest reward of his own 
most honourable toila All this is very foolish and 
inconsistent, but l^islation and Society are full of 

When in later years the legislature was asked to 
repeal this egregious anomaly, the vote of the leader of 
the Anti-Corn Law Bill, Mr. C. P. Villiers, was always re- 
corded in favour of such repeal in the House of Commons. 

To this period belongs what appears to be the earliest 
leaflet printed in favour of Women's Suffirage— a quaint 

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little slip of yellow paper of which a facsimile is here 
given, from a copy preserved by Miss Ashurst Biggs. 

*> NEVER win tbe natloDt of the earth be well goTerned, until both sexes, 

> as well as all parties, are teirly represeated, andhaTe an inflnenoe, a Toice. 
' and a hand in the enactment and administration of the laws. One would < 

> think, the sad mismanagement of the affairs of oar own country, should, in < 
) all modesty, lead us men to doubt our own capacity for the task of govern- I 
I ing a nation, or even a State, alone ; and to apprehend that we need other i 
I qimUties in our public coandls~-qualities that may be found in the female ( 
I portion of our race. If woman be the complement of man, we may surely i 
) Tenture the intimation, that all our social transactions will be hicomplete, or ( 
I otherwise imperfect, untU ther have been guided alike by the wisdom of each ( 
I sex. Tbe wise, Tlrtuous, gentle mothers of a State or nation, might oontrl* ( 
, bote as much to the good order, the peace, the thrift of the body politic, as i 
, they severally do to the well-being of their families, which for the most ( 

part, all know, is more than the uthers do. 

Leaflet from Anne Knight of Quiet House, Chelmsford — circa 1847. 

This leaflet was one of a packet sent to her mother, Mra 
Joseph Biggs (then of Leicester) by Anne Knight of 
Quiet House, Chelmsford — an aged Quaker lady of strong 
political opinions. " I wish," she writes in the letter 
which accompanied the packet (dated in April 1847), 
*' that talented philanthropists in England would come 
forward in this critical juncture of our nation's affairs 
and insist on the right of suffrage for all men and all 
women unstained with crime .... and take the liberty 
of requesting thy opinion as well as hearty co-operation 
in the demand for justice to us all, whether gowned or 
coated, in order that all may have a voice in the affairs 
of their country at a time when all interests are roused 
and it is important that ' every man should do his duty, 
and every woman alsa' " ^ 

^In the chapter, contributed by Oaroline Ashurst Biggs to the 
American Hitiory of WomevCs SvffTWQt on the moyement in Great 
Britain, it is related that Anne Knight assisted in founding the 

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20 women's suffkagk. 

The next sign of the leaven which was steadily work- 
ing, was an article in the Westminster Review of July 
1851 on the Enfranchisement of Women, suggested by 
the Women's Eights Convention which had been held 
in Worcester, Meissachusetts, on 23rd and 24th of the 
previous October. This article was reprinted as a 
pamphlet and widely circulated by the Women's Suf- 
frage Society in 1868,^ with the name of the writer, Mrs. 
John Stuart MilL The article concludes with mention 
of a petition of women, agreed to by a public meeting at 
Shefl&eld, claiming the elective franchise, and presented 
to the House of Lords by the Earl of Carlisle on 13th 
February 1851. 

In 1855 the leavening process appeared in a lucid, 
able pamphlet, The Right of Women to Exercise the 
Elective Franchise^ by "Justitia" (published by Chap- 
man & Hall); later that pamphlet was reprinted by 
the National Society for Women's Suffrage with the 
name of the author, Mra Henry Davis Pochin. 

In the following extract thence, summing up actual 
evils and possible benefits, the reason and the justifica- 
tion of the new movement may be clearly read. 

"The evils of the present system with the corre- 
sponding benefit of the advocated reforms, may be 
shortly summed up as follows: — 

** ShefiEield Female Political Assooiation," which, at a meeting held in 
the Democratic Temperance Hotel, ShefiEleld, 26th February 1851, 
adopted the first address on sufihige formulated by women in England. 
History of Women's Stiffrttge^ vol. iii p. 887. 

^ It was afterwards published in Mr. J. S. Mill's Dissertalions and 

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'' EviU of the Present 

"Ist The introduction 
of an altered principle into 
the CJonstitution, by the 
recognition of a physical 
condition as a test of moral 
fitness, and its injurious 
effect as a precedent. 

"2nd. The depreciation 
of the feminine intellect in 
the estimation of the gen- 
eral public, and the deteri- 
oration of self-respect and 
self-reliance which it en- 
genders in the feminine sex. 

" 3rd. The tendency which 
it has to produce contrac- 
tion of mind by condemn- 
ing women to the exclusive 
contemplation of things on 
a small scale, without re- 
ference to the relative pro- 
portions such a scale may 
bear to those of greater 

" 4th. The defective edu- 
cation which it superin- 

'* Benefits of the Advocated 

"The abolition of this 
absurd, unjustifiable and 
injurious principle, and 
the withdrawal of the 
legislative sanction from 
the precedent which it 

" The opportunity af- 
forded to the feminine in- 
tellect of finding its true 
level, and vindicating itself 
from the charges of inferi- 
ority daily urged against it. 

" The opening out of new 
pathsof actionand thought, 
the greater chance of form- 
ing more correct, enlight- 
ened and tolerant opinions ; 
from having more general 
data to reason upon, and 
more comprehensive modes 
of action to study. 

"The more liberal and 
enlightened education 
which would be rendered 

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women's suffrage. 

" 5th. The partiality 
shown to one sex over the 
other, when the interests of 
the two sexes come into 
collision or are not identi- 
fied, and the feeling of in- 
security and injustice to 
which this partiality gives 

"6th. The present ar- 
rangement is an undue in- 
terference with the right 
of property, the hardships 
being aggravated by the 
difficulties which women 
meet with in its acquisi- 

"The greater likelihood 
of all interests being fairly 
considered and repre- 
sented, and the greater 
confidence which will be 
felt by all classes of sub- 
jects, on being assured of 
the strict impartiality of 
the Government 

" In the proposed reform 
unrepresented property 
would become represented, 
irrespective of all con- 
siderations of sex in its 
possessor, and without in- 
terference with conjugal 

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Miss Becker— I. 

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PART 11. 



Miss Becker. 

§ 6. IrUrodtictory. 

There are times when the story of one life is so inter- 
woven with the story of its time, when the thought and 
conduct of one individual soul is so typical of the life of 
its generation, that to tell the story of the one, is to tell 
that (rf the other. 

So it is with the story of the Women's Suffrage agita- 
tion in Great Britain, and the life-story of Miss Becker, 
the woman who will stand forth to after times as the 
leader whose personality was impressed on its early work, 
whose forethought and judgment moulded its policy. 

One must stand in a sense apart, at a certain distance 
from events and persons that one has known intimately 
near, to be able to marshal them in dear procession with 
due subordination of the parts, and to show truly the 
stature of those who have taken part in the procession. 


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24 women's aUFFRAQE. 

That the task is not an easy one, no one can feel more 
keenly than the present writer, who can but give her 
best endeavour, out of the huge mass of letters, minutes, 
circulars, journals, pamphlets, and speeches, to seize on 
those points which will most clearly and effectually 
delineate the character of the movement and of the 
workers therein. 

It seems remarkable that we should look in vain in 
the memorable petition of 1866 for the name which was 
soon to become the personification of the movement to 
the world. Tet so it was — the knowledge of that 
petition had not penetrated to her quiet home in 
Lancashire. " There ought to have been 1500 names," 
she used to say; "mine ought to have been there." 

However, it was not long before the meeting of the 
Social Science Association, held that year in Manchester, 
brought her into touch with the work which responded 
to the aspirations of her life. 

Miss Becker was one of the audience when Mrs. 
Bodichon read her paper, **0n Reasons for the En- 
franchisement of Women/' before the Association, on 
6th October 1866. 

§ 7. Her Young Days. 

Lydia Ernestine Becker was bom in Cooper Street, 
Manchester, on 24th February 1827 — the eldest of the 
fifteen children of Hannibal Leigh Becker and Mary 
Duncuft. Her mother was of an old Lancashire stock, 
her father was of Glerman descent : his father, Ernest 
Hannibal Becker, being a native of Thuringia, who had 

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1088 BIGKIB. 25 

come to England as a young man and lived to an ad- 
vanced age at Foxdenton HaH, where all his children 
were bom. 

Notwithstanding the strain of German descent Miss 
Becker was thoroughly a Lancashire woman : her life 
was spent in Lancashire; her family a£fections all 
centred there. The Beckers moved when Lydia was 
but a child to Altham, near Accrington, a large house 
on rising ground, with a fine view of the Pendle range, 
and later to Seddish. Their old house, and indeed the 
whole of Cooper Street, is now occupied by huge ware- 

In reference to Miss Becker^s early dajrs one of her 
sisters writes : — 

" Upon myself her influence has been very strong, and 
I owe to her much -of my intellectual life. Perhaps 
the quiet way in which our youth was spent brought us 
into closer contact than would have been the case 

"We lived in the country and were thrown much 
together, as we were almost entirely educated at home. 
Lydia was always a great reader, and always remembered 
what she read, so that she was the universal referee when 
information was wanted, no matter what the subject. 
She had a wonderful way, too, of getting at the kernel 
of a book in a very short time. Without reading it 
through she seized on the salient points, and knew more 
about it in an hour than I should have done after care- 
ful plodding through. She went for a long visit to 
Grermany about 1844 This was a great event in our 
quiet lives." 

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26 women's suffrage. 

The following letter to her father, from his cousin, Dr. 
Hermann Piutti, Principal of a Hydropathic establish- 
ment in the beautiful Thuringen Wald, where Lydia 
paid a long visit, shows the impression the young 
girl made on her German relativea To one who only 
knew her in the after years of her public life, this letter 
is full of characteristic traits. The weakness in her 
back referred to was never wholly eradicated, and she 
was never able to make progress in music from the con- 
sequent want of 'sufiGcient force in the fingera The 
same weakness showed itself also in her handwriting, 
which had a peculiar sort of unfinished look from her 
inability to grasp her pen firmly — and every one in the 
Suffrage office knew that Miss Becker could not fold 
circulars with anything like neatness, much as she 
insisted on every packet that went forth being neatly 
and accurately folded, as became documents issued from 
a lady's office. Her love of chess, referred to by Dr. 
Piutti, continued her favourite recreation throughout 
her life and b^uiled many weary hours in her last 


''Elgbbsbubo, Feb, 28t^ 1S45. 

"Dear Hannibal, — I ought to have written to you and 
your dear wife long ago and to have expressed my grati- 
tude for the friendship you have shown and the pleasure 
you have caused to me and my wife in confiding your 
dear Lydia to our care for some time. She is, I am 
happy to say, very much improved in health and vigour ; 
a weakness in the back, which doubtless existed for 
some years, and having rendered her weak and unable 
to use her bodily strength, seems much better, though 

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not quite subsided. Ljdia is grown tall and stout, and 
you will be quite surprised to see what a lady-like figure 
she will be when you meet her again. She is fond of 
learning and of everything that touches mental faculties 
and clever understanding ; she is sharp and keen in her 
intellect, clever in judging matters, fond of knowledge, 
has an excellent memory, and her passion for reading 
facilitates the study of the Grerman language at present 
very much, as she is now so far advanced as to read 
books in Grerman easily. All that is mechanical gives 
her more trouble to do, although whenever she does it 
she does it well, viz., writing in Grerman. 

" She plays sometimes on the piano very nicely and 
agreeably, though I think the weakness of her back will 
for the present prevent that practice which is wanted to 
carry it on to a higher d^ee of ability. She began 
drawing and painting flowers upon china and did it 
remarkably welL We sometimes have a game of chess, 
in which I am frequently the loser. 

" Lydia is the best tempered girl I ever saw, which 
principally and partly arises from her activity of mind, 
which IS always busy, time never hanging heavy on her 
hands. She is always interested for things around her 
and does all she can to increase her knowledge of things. 

** Before she leaves Germany, which I trust will be a 
long while yet, I hope she will see Leipzig, Dresden, 
and perhaps Berlin. — Always yours most sincerely, 

"Hebmann Piuttl" 

Continuing her reminiscences of this period, her 
sister. Miss Esther Becker, writes that her uncle Leigh 

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28 women's suffrage. 

went to fetch her home towards the end of the year 

''A great bonfire was kindled on their arrival at 
Eeddish. Lydia had grown very stout and she had a 
very warm grey cloak. This makes me sure it must 
have been cold weather when they came, but I find 
no precise date. 

'' Soon after her return she began to give us lessons in 
Grerman and, I think, other branches. 

"As a teacher her powers were remarkable; she 
seemed to go right down to the bottom of things. It 
aU came out so clear to one's mind. 

" Our life at Reddish was a quiet and uneventful one, 
— ^in the midst of lovely scenery and beautiful flowers. 

" The agitations in the political life of the period to 
some extent affected us. I remember the excitement 
when it was thought the Chartists might find their way 
to our peaceful valley, also the year of revolutions, 
1848, when Loms Philippe landed in England as * Mr. 
Smith.' And the stormy discussions connected with 
the Anti-Corn Law League were reproduced in miniature 
in our juvenile circle ! 

*" Doubtless Lydia, with her quick intellect and more 
advanced age, took an intelligent interest in these 
matters; to me they were somewhat imintelligible ! 

" In 1850 we removed from Reddish to Altham, an 
interval of thirteen years having elapsed since we left it. 
The house was finely situated in view of Pendle Hill. 
The drives and walks about presented great attractions 
to us, as the scenery was on a bolder, grander scale 
than that round our pretty valley at Reddish. 

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" Lydia entered with zest into the study of the plants 
of the neighbourhood. I remember her pleasure at 
finding some which were new to her, — Primula f arinosa 
and Pinguicula on Pendle, a rare sort of geranium in 
Symonstone Lane, etc. She joined a class for painting 
in water colours, and though she always depreciated 
her own efiforts we have a collection of very beautiful 
sketches done from nature. She also executed some 
good copies, — ^interior of Milan Cathedral, etc. 

** In 1862 (I think) she won the gold medal from the 
Horticultural Society of S. Kensington for the best 
collection of dried plants made within a year. She 
adopted the plan of drying the plants very quickly 
under great pressure and in heat The press she 
used was made of transverse pieces of wood, which 
allowed the air to pass through. She used bricks 
covered with brown paper as weights. Her specimens 
preserved their colour beautifully, and she fastened 
them on to the paper with gum tragacanth — ^no ugly 
strips disfiguring them. The competition was open to 
the United Kingdom. Her pleasure in botany was 
intense and her knowledge of it thorough and complete. 
She had some interesting correspondence with the 
celebrated naturalist Mr. Charles Darwin in connection 
with some facts she had observed in the course of her 

" Our mother died in 1855 and two years later our 
eldest brother, Ernest This last was so terrible a trial 
to Lydia that she never could bear any reference to it. 
Other troubles, many and bitter, followed. About 1865 
we went to live in Manchester. 

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30 women's suffrage. 

"She attended the meeting there of the British 
Association, an era in her intellectual Ufa'' 

§ 8. Her JSarly Work. 

Miss Becker's first piece of authorship, Botany for 
Novices} fully bears out her sister's remarks as to 
her power of clear explanation. It is surprising that 
so clear and explicit a little book should have dis- 
appeared so entirely from circulation. It was written 
from pure love of her subject. " Lydia knew and loved 
every little flower that grew," as an old friend and 
companion of her girlhood expressed it, when speaking 
of her life at Altham. In the midst of the anxieties of 
her political work in London, she found her best re- 
freshment in a run down to the gardens and con- 
servatories at Kew. Visitors to the office could always 
know when Miss Becker was in residence by the 
flowering plants she alwajrs gathered round her — in the 
little house, 155 Shrewsbury Street, Manchester, where 
she removed on the death of her father, the little con- 
servatory was her constant pleasure. Flowers were her 
delight. Astronomy had the next largest share of her 
studies in her pre-suflrage days, and a little treatise 
on Elementary AstroTiomy, a companion volume to the 
Botany for Novices, was written by her, but never pub- 
lished ; probably the circulation of her first venture did 
not encourage expenditure on another. The MS. has 
been preserved by the friend already referred to, and 
shows her grasp of the subject and her descriptive power. 

iPablished by Remington, Rugby, 1864, under her initials L. B. 6. 

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Whatever the unfulfilled hopes of her books she 
was ever eager to arouse others to the enjoTment she 
had found in scientific pursuits, and on the return of 
the family to live in Manchester she devised a plan for 
a Ladies' Literary Society. Here again she met with 
disappointment, the number of members with which it 
started being much short of her hopea What the little 
Society might have eventually grown to, had it con- 
tinued to receive her undivided attention, it would be 
useless to speculate — meantime those efforts were 
pointing her out as the natural leader of the new 
movement now drawing thoughtful women all over the 
land to join in one common purpose. 

Her mental attitude at that time may be estimated 
by the address, given by her as President of the ^ Man- 
chester Ladies' Literary Society " at its opening meeting 
in the Royal Institution, Mosley Street, on 30th 
January 1867. 


Laddb, — ^The Society we are met to-day to mangarate is 
designed to supply a want which must have been experienced by 
many who interest themselves in the pursuit of knowledge. We 
all know how much more pleasant and easy any study appears, 
when pursued in common with others of kindred tastes ; axid how 
much more interesting any new hxX becomes when we are sure of 
a sympathizing audience to whom we may impart it ; who are 
ready to listen to any observations we may make, and to communi- 
cate to us any knowledge they may possess, which bears upon the 

Those of our number who have been in the habit of collecting 
plants or insects well know the pleasure of announcing, or 
receiving the news of the discovery, of some rare variety ; and 

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32 women's suffrage. 

will agree that a mnch greater amount of poeitiye knowledge, if 
it must be shnt np for ever within our own breasts, would not 
afford the same kind of enjoyment as that found in sharing its 
pleasures and surprises with those around us. Should there be 
any among us who have not yet experienced this pleasure, they 
wiU, I trust, learn it through their connection with us, and thus 
add another to such agreeable episodes as brighten the path of our 
daily lives. 

Hie necessity for some common ground on which all interested 
in intellectual pursuits may meet, has been so strongly felt, that 
there exist all over the country institutions and societies, devoted 
either to literature and philosophy in general, or to the cultiva- 
tion of special branches of knowledge. The efforts of these 
societies conduce not only to the delight and edification of their 
members, but by the stimulus they have given to individual 
research, have led to the making of great discoveries with regard 
to the hidden laws of nature. These discoveries have been applied 
practically towards facilitating the means of communication and 
locomotion, and in countless other ways, and a general ameliora- 
tion of the hardships and discomforts of life has taken place, as a 
direct consequence of the encouragement of scientific research. 

But practical advantage of this kind, though the inevitable 
result of better acquaintance with the laws that rule the world in 
which we live, is not the object with which scientific societies 
were founded. They were designed to promote the discovery and 
the spread of truth. By truth I do not mean any mysterious 
abstraction, but true assertions respecting matters of fact, and 
true theories, that is, theories consiBtent with the appearances they 
are designed to explain. The pleasure the mind derives from the 
discovery and contemplation of truth of this kind is one of the 
highest and purest emotions of our nature. It is an end in itself, 
and for the attainment of this end, men have cheerfully devoted 
the best years of their lives to patient and incessant study, for no 
other fee or reward than the delight of solving the mysterious 
enigmas presented by the living universe. These high priests of 
science labour, and invite us to enter into the fruit of their 
labours ; they gather and spread the feast, and call upon all to 

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partake of it The qualification for partaking of this feast con* 
fflsts not 80 much in amount of information, as in taste or incli- 
nation. Of course our enjoyment is heightened in direct proportion 
to the store of previous knowledge we bring to the board ; but 
Wisdom is liberal to all her children, and has milk for babes, as 
well as strong meat for men. 

In this city there are many societies established for the 
advancement of science, in each of the two ways in which science 
can be said to advance. There ia the Manchester Literary and 
Philoeophical Society, which aims at advancing science by 
encouraging actually new discoveries ; and which numbers among 
its members men eminent in the ranks of those whose efforts carry 
the lantern of research into hitherto unexplored regions. With 
less ambitious aims exists the Manchester Scientific Students^ 
Association, whose professed object is the advancement of know- 
ledge among its own members, by mutual encouragement in the 
study of what has been actually attained in science, rather than 
with any expectation of surprising the world by new discoveries. 
These, and other societies with similar aims, fill a most useful 
place, and all must wish for them a long continuance of prosperity. 

But these institutions have a deficiency, which deficiency we 
are now trying to remedy. They do not throw open such oppor- 
tonities as they afford for acquiring knowledge, freely to all who 
desire it ; they draw an arbitrary line among scientific students, 
and say to our half of the human race — ^you shall not enter into 
the advantages we have to offer — you shall not enjoy the 
focilities we possess of cultivating the faculties and tastes with 
which you may be endowed ; and should any of you, in spite of 
this discouragement, reach such a measure of attainments as 
would entitle one of us to look for the honour of membership or 
fellowship in any learned body, we will not, by conferring such 
distinctions upon any of you, recognize your right to occupy your 
minds with such matters at alL 

Under these circumstances, the only course for the excluded 
persons seems to be — to try what can be done by forming a society 
of their own ; and the cordial support which the idea has received 
from those directly interested, forms not only its complete justi- 


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34 women's suffraob. 

fication, but is the beet earnest of the sacceee for which we hope. 
It has also received each assistance and encouragement from 
scientific men^ and others^ as proves condusivelj that the apparently 
harsh and arbitrary exclusiveness of the scientific societies of 
Manchester, proceeds from no deliberate desire that we should pasB 
our lives in ignorance. 

It has not been thought desirable to specify any branch of study 
to which the deliberations of the society shall be directed, but to 
allow ourselves free range over all the subjects embraced in the 
general name of intellectual pursuits. 

Some persons may be tempted to smile at the idea of a number 
of ladies, whom they cannot suppose to be very learned, occupying 
their minds with such subjects^ for instance, as the Origm of 
Species, or the Antiquity of Man ; the full understanding of which 
demands an amount of knowledge and experience in scientific 
investigations to which, I fear, none of us can lay daim. 

The implied censure would be well deserved were our professed 
object to throw any new light on these difficult questions, but as 
we meet simply to inform ourselves on what has been discovered 
and propounded respecting them, the reproach of ignorance cannot 
be justly employed as an argument to dissuade us from endeavour- 
ing to gain information. We believe there is no method so effective 
of fixing in the mind the information that is imparted to us, as 
that of a discussion, in which every one is invited to ask any 
question that occurs, or to state unreservedly any opinion, along 
with the grounds on which it is entertained. We therefore 
determine to institute and encourage such discussions, and if the 
result should be, to prove to ourselves that we know very little of 
what we are talking about^ that will surely be the best of reasons 
for trying to remedy the defect as fast as we can. 

Besides the addition to our store of positive knowledge, there is 
another important advantage to be derived from scientific study, 
namely, the cultivation of those habits of accuracy in speech and 
thought^ which are so absolutely necessary to its successful pro- 
secution. One of the first lessons which a scientific student learns 
is, that he must not take a mere impression on his own mind, 
however powerful, as representing a positive fact, until he has 

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carefallj Terified its accniacy by comparing it with the results of 
obeeryation, and is prepared to state exactly on what groands he 
entertains it And when he hears an assertion made, he will 
pause, before accepting it as troe, for the mental enquiry whether 
the asserter is likely to be personally acquainted with the fact he 
allegeB, and if not, what are his probable sources of information. 
On the answer to these expressed or unexpressed qneries, will 
depend the measure of credence to be given to the asBertion in 
question. A reverence for accuracy of this kind would arrest many 
a baseless and painful rumour ; and if it be the tendency of 
scientific investigation to conduce to such a tone of mind, the most 
inveterate sceptic as to the benefits of intellectual culture for wcnnen, 
might be induced to confess, that it is better that maids, dd and 
youngs should graduate in the School for Science, rather than in the 
School for Scandal. 

Another good habit learned at scientific gatherings is, that of 
listening with patience and courtesy to c^iinioiis differing widely 
from our own. Within the limits prescribed by the rules we, in 
common with similar societies, have adopted, there is rocxn for 
much divergence of thought, and we hope for, and desire to en- 
courage the expression of , aU the various views that exist an the 
subject chosen for discussion. Nothing can be more dull than a 
debate in which the speakers are all of one mind ; therefore, we 
hope that on any subject on which it is possible to hold two 
opinions somebody will always be found ready to advocate the 
other one. Difference of opinion does not imply disrespect for the 
judgment of those from whom we dissent. It must have occurred 
at times to all of us, to find ourselves at issue, cm some point or 
other, with persons to wh(»n we look up, as being, on the whole, 
wiser or more learned than ourselves. 

One of the greatest benefits which intellectual pursuits bring in 
their train, is that of affording a peaceful neutral ground, in which 
the mind can take refuge from the petty cares and annoyances of 
life, or even find diversion itam more serious troubles. Like 
prudent speculators, who keep part of their capital in the funds^ 
those who jdaoe the sources of a portion of their income of enjoy- 
ment in some pursuit wholly unconnected with their personal 

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36 women's suffbagb. 

affairs, will find that thej have an interest whicli is perfectlj safe 
amid the chances and changes of life. I do not for a moment 
maintain that intellectual pursuits can afford consolation in sorrow, 
for this we must look elsewhere ; but they are undoubtedly capable 
of giving solace and diversion to the mind, which might otherwise 
dwell too long on the gloomy side of things ; and of beguiling the 
tedium of enforced solitude, or of confinement to a sick-room. For 
an instance of this, we need look no further than to the experience 
of the illustrious naturalist who has honoured us by sending us a 
paper for this, our first meeting. Some of the curious and interest- 
ing observations, to which we shall presently listen, were made 
when he was a prisoner, night and day, to one room ; and we 
cannot doubt that the occupation they afforded him, not only 
served to lighten the weary hours, but occasioned him an amount 
of positive enjoyment which one less gifted might have failed to 
secure, though at liberty to participate in the ordiiliary pleasures of 
social life. 

Such an example should encourage us to go and do likewise. 
Many particulars respecting the commonest of our wild plants, 
j^Tiimftlfl^ and insects, are yet imperfectly understood ; and any one 
of us who might select one of these creatures, and begin a series of 
patient observations on its habits, manner of feeding, of taking 
care of its young, of communicating with its kind, of guarding 
against approaching danger ; on its disposition and temper, and 
the difference in character between two individuals of the same 
species, would find such occupation, not only exceedingly entertain- 
ing but if the observations were carefully and accurately recorded 
as they were noted, the result would be something of reid, if not of 
great, scientific value.. Gold is gold — ^whether our amoimt be an 
ingot or a q)angle ; and we need but to open our eyes, and carefully 
observe what is passing around us, to add perpetually to our stoie 
of the pure gold of knowledge. 

No one should be deterred from either making or reporting 
original observations, by a feeling that they are trifling or unim- 
portant Nothing that is real is considered insignificant by the 
naturalist, and observations, apparently the most trifling, have led 
to results which have turned the whole current of scientific 

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thought What could be a more trifling circumstance than the 
fall of an apple from a tree ? yet the appearances presented con- 
tained the key that unlocked the mystery of the planetary 
movements. The law of gravitation maintains the stability of the 
universe, yet the fall of a pin to the ground is as truly a 
manifestation of this force as the movement of the earth in its 
orbit. With the sentiment of the poet in our hearts — 

** That very law which monlds a tear, 
And bids it trickle firom its source, 
That law preserves the earth a sphere, 
And holds the planets in their course," 

we shall never regard any appearance as trifling, which the 
tremendous forces of nature concur to produce. 

How seemingly unimportant are the movements of insects, 
creeping in and out of flowers in their search for the nectar on 
which they feed. If we saw a man spending his time in watching 
them, and in noting their flitting with curious eyes, we might be 
excused for iTnugining that he was ^^mnflfiTig Tiimaftlf by idling an 
hour luxuriously in observing things which, though curious, were 
trifling. But how mistaken might we be in such an assumption ! 
For these little winged messengers bear to the mind of the philos- 
ophical naturalist, tidings of mysteries hitherto unrevealed, and 
as Newton saw the law of gravitation in the fall of the apple, 
Darwin found, in the connection between flies and flowers, some of 
the most important &cts which support the theory he has 
promulgated respecting the modification of specific forms in 
animated beings. 

It is true we are not Darwins nor NewtOhs, and cannot expect 
to make surprising discoveries, but we may be sure that these, and 
all other philosophers, have found an exquisite pleasure in tracing 
the workings of nature, independently of searching to establish 
any theory ; and this enjoyment may be had by all who follow, 
however humbly, in their footsteps. And if we wish to imderstand 
their theories, it is consoling to find our attention directed at the 
outset, not to seemingly dry disquisitions, fuU of hard words, but 
to loved and familiar natural objects ; to humble bees sucking 
clover flowers, to beetles swimming with their wings, to primroses 

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38 women's suffrage. 

and crimson flax, to grotesque orchids with their wild, weird beauty, 
setting traps for unwitting insects, and making them pay for their 
feast of honey by being the bearers of love tokens from one flower 
to another ; to be sent^ in &ct, to the Book of Nature, and bidden 
to read its wondrous stories widi our own eyes. 

One of the special advantages that this society ofiEers us, is that 
of being an arena for the communication of any interesting fact 
we may have observed, and a storehouse, in which will accumulate 
the results of our labours. Many curious facts in natural history 
are constantly coming imder the notice, at least of such as reside 
or visit in the coimtry, but the interest or curiosity roused at the 
moment is apt to pass away, if we have no persons to whom to 
communicate the facts we have observed. But they become a 
source of perpetual interest if we are united with others in the 
prosecution of such studies, if we are sure of a sympathizing 
audience to whom we may impart them, and if we know that they 
will be recorded and preserved as a contribution to the sum of 
what is known on the subject. 

I have attempted to give a few of the considerations which 
seemed to render the formaticm of such an association as this 
desirable, and which have enabled us to bring it up to the present 
point Our infant society is now fairly started in life, with every 
possible encouragement to hope for a prosperous career. We 
begin with a goodly number of members ; we have funds in hand 
for our present requirements, and have been thereby enabled to 
lay the foimdation of our proposed library by acquiring a title to 
the valuable publications for this year, of the Ray Society. 

The Coundl of the Boyal Institution has libersJly accorded to us 
the gratuitous use of a most convenient room for our meetings ; 
and several eminent men among the Manchester Literati have 
promised to come and read papers for our instruction, on which we 
shall have the opportunity of expressing our opinions, and of 
asking of the author any questions his communications may 
suggest to our minds. 

We are met to-day to listen to a paper by one of the most 
eminent naturalists in the world,^ sent to us with his good wishes 
^ Mr. Charles Darwin. 

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for our succees. Beginning under such favourable atupioes, we 
may hope for a series of agreeable and instructive gathenngs, to 
secure which end we shall, I am sure, all be desirous of contri- 
buting to the extent of our several abilities. Any of our members 
who may feel disposed so to do^ will, we hope, favour us with 
original papers, which we shall always be most happy to receive, 
while those who are not desirous of being writers, will fill the no 
less useful and important office of listeners, and perhaps of critics 
of what is advanced. In one way or other, all can do good service, 
and it only needs a continuation of the support and goodwill hither- 
to displayed by its members, to render the Manchester Ladies' 
Liteiary Society an institution to which we shall feel it a pride 
and a pleasure to belong. 

Janmry 30e^, 1867. 

§ 9. Extracts from Correspondence. 

Mias Becker never wrote anything in haste. A certain 
irritability of nature betrayed itself at times in a hasty 
word, her impatience of fussiness sometimes showed 
itself too plainly, but she never allowed herself to show 
hastiness or impatience in writing. Her letters were 
written with great care and consideration. They show 
her in her real strength, in her statesmanlike toleration 
and indifference to petty things. Her wealth of sym- 
pathy with suffering and wrong, gave her insight into 
character ; her massive force of purpose made her strong 
to endure and made pettiness of thought an impossi- 
bility for her. 

Her standard of work was very high, and she exacted 
the best work from herself and from those under her. 
She fully gauged their capacities for work, and knew 

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40 women's suffrage. 

what should be expected of each. Her method was to 
leave each responsible for the work entrusted to her, 
and they knew they could rely absolutely on her justice 
and her appreciation of work weU done. But if she 
met with anything like deceit or underhand dealing, 
she showed no toleration. 

These were the qualities that drew the strong to her. 
The fussy and the self-opinionated shrank from her. 
The weak might feel overpowered in her presence, the 
over-zealous might be disconcerted by her cool reception 
of their zeal, but those who had power to appreciate 
power appreciated her, according to the measure of their 
own power. 

From the day when she accepted the invitation of 
the Manchester Conmiittee to become its Secretary, 
her life, so far as the public are concerned, became 
identified with the movement in which she thenceforth 
lived and moved and had her being, until the last fatal 
journey. Of the tragic close, so terrible for all who loved 
her, it will be best to speak when that time is reached, 
and let these reminiscences close with a few extracts 
from her correspondence illustrating the character of 
the writer and the then condition of public opinion. 

The first extract gives a sort of confession of her 
political faith. 

"I have never doubted which was the party of 
progress, but I certainly think that on our question 
the Tory and Liberal have been till very lately, if 
they are not now, so helplessly in the rear that there 
was not much to choose between them, and I do not 
believe that the Liberal party as a party care a straw 

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for the interests and wishes of women, or will stir a 
step to do them justice. With this firm conviction, 
their profession of liberalism and desire for govern- 
ment founded on popular consent and the principles of 
justice sound a mockery and command none of my 

" That which is a ' great principle ' applied to men 
becomes a 'crotchet' when women claim the benefit of 
it The Liberal party is more tractable — that is all, and 
a part of it gives us a mild kind of half-contemptuous 
approval. Mr. Mill, your husband and a few others are 
in earnest in trying to remedy the wrong, but not so 
the bulk of the party. However, I expect a different 
spirit will come over them soon." 

Speaking of the attitude of women happy in their own 
surroimdings : — 

" You say rightly that many women who are happy in 
their own position are apt to forget that others are 
not so fortunate — yet it is in truth the Jiappy women 
who should be most anxious to devote themselves to our 
cause. However miserable a woman may be, if she makes 
that the ground of agitating for an cunelioration of the 
condition of the sex — though she is undoubtedly right 
in so doing, yet it may be said that selfnseeking is at the 
bottom of her eflforts. But when women who have 
nothing to ask for, as far as they are personally con- 
cerned, exert themselves in the cause of their suffering 
sisters the voice of reproach is silenced. Let not the 
cry of the degraded and heartbroken go forth in vain 
to the ear of those whose lot is happier. Li our little band 
of workers and leaders the most earnest are those whose 

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own domestic bliss is perfect We want to make this 
band larger, and sinking all minor differences, join hands 
with all who strive for the elevation of women." 

The relation of the women of the upper class to the 
movement is thus sketched in a letter : — 

" Is the industrial school you speak of, for girls ? I 
should be interested in such an institution. But what 
we want to help women, is to bring women of the upper 
classes into the active concerns of life — ^women of 
the lower classes have nearly as good a chance of main- 
taining themselves in an independent position as men, 
at least in the manufacturing districts. What I most 
desire is to see men and women of the middle dosses QtanA 
on the same terms of equality as prevail in the working 
classes — and the highest aristocracy. A ffteat lady or a 
factory woman are independentpersons — personages — the 
women of the middle classes are nobodies^ and if they 
act for themselves they lose caste ! 

'' Nothing can go right without the union of the full 
force and intellect of all sections of society. The inert 
mass of deadness to public interest — what is everybody's 
business is nolxnly's business — ^is the bane of national 
and personal nobleness. This is fostered by inculcating 
the duty of indifference on women — and they drag 
down the men to their own enforced level of stag- 

The following expresses her ideal of the marriage 

relation : — 

I ''I think that the notion that the husband ought to 

I have headship or authority over his wife, is the root of all 

I social evils. It is a doctrine demoralizing alike to men 

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and women. Husband and wife should be co-ordinate 
and co-equal, each owing to the other entire personal 
service and devotion, their obligations being strictly re- 
ciprocal and mutual In a happy marriage, there is no 
question of ' obedience ' or which shall be ' paramount ' ; 
in an unhappy marriage a claim to authority only 
embitters strife. Brothers, sisters or partners, can 
contrive to exist in Society without the law declaring 
that one owes obedience to the other ; why not husband 
and wife ? " 

To a correspondent who had asked if she thought the 
study of politics would make our countrywomen less 
frivolous or better mothers, and ensure for the next 
generation a l)^tter race of human beings, she replies : — 

'' I do not like to assent to general charges of 
frivolity against our coimtrywomen. I do not be- 
lieve tiiat women are more frivolous than men — ^if 
there is a difference, I believe that of the two women 
are rather more earnest and serious; and the 
frivolities of men, such as horse-racing and dissipation, 
are far more injurious to Society than any practice of 

''To the last part of the question I answer most 
emphatically 'yes'; it would be worth while to take 
all these pains to enfranchise them." 

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PiONSBB Work. 

§ 10. Two Pioneer Onmps. • 

The spirit in which the women who were the pioneers 
of the Suffrage movement, approached their life's work, 
can hardly be better realized than by the following 
passages from the two lectures by Mrs. Jameson which 
breathed the breath of organized life into their labours. 

The first extract is from "Sisters of Charity," a 
lecture delivered privately on 14th February 1855 and 
printed by request 

•* It is not charity, nor energy, nor intelligence which 
are wanting in our women, any more than dauntless 
bravery in our men. But something is wanting, or 
surely from so much good material more positive and 
extended social benefit would arise. 

"What is wanting is more moral courage, more 
common sense on the part of our legislators. 


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MivA.JA*i'ifeft.iN. (From a pKytogiaihli of thn Im&t by Ciibsoii in the 
National Portrait Gallery.) 

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" If men were better educated they would sympathize 
in the necessity of giving a better education to women. 
They would perceive the wisdom of applying, on a large 
and efficient scale, the means of health, strength and 
progress which lie in the gentler capacities of the gentler 
sex — ^material ready at hand, as yet wasted in desultory, 
often undirected efforts, are perishing inert, or fer- 
menting to evil and despair. 

" Lying at the source of the mischief we trace a great 
mistake and a great want 

'' The great mistake seems to have been that in all our 
legislation it is taken for granted that the woman is 
always protected, always imder tutelage, always within 
the precincts of a home, finding there her work, her 
interests, her duties and her happiness; but is this 
true? We know that it is altogether false. There 
are thousands and thousands of women who have no pro- 
tection, no home. ... As to the vxint, what I insist on 
particularly is that the means do not exist for the training 
of those powers ; that the sphere of duty which should 
occupy them is not acknowledged ; and I must express 
my deep conviction that Society is suffering in its 
depths through the great mistake and this great want." 

The second extract is from the "Communion of 

"Wherever men and women do not work together 
helpfully and harmoniously, and in accordance with the 
domestic relations — wherever there is not the Com- 
munion of Love and the Communion of Labour — there 
must necessarily enter the elements of discord and 

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46 women's sxtffrage. 

These words are from the closing paragraph of the 
second lecture, *' Communion of Labour," which was 
also delivered privately (on 28th June 1856) and 
printed by desire. 

These lectures had large demand, and in 1859 they 
were reprinted in one small volume together with a 
letter to Lord John Russell, ** on the present conditions 
and requirements of the women of England." This letter 
was suggested by the following memorable passage in 
his speech as President of the Social Science Association 
at its second meeting in 1858. 

"Every one must have observed the new influence 
which has not been asserted or sought, but is falling to 
the lot of women, in swaying the destinies of the world. 
It is not a share in directing the patronage of ministers 
and sharing in the coimcil of kings, but a portion in the 
fomxation and moulding of public opinion. .... It 
seems to me — and 1 am confirmed in this by the bright 
examples of heroic benevolence — that if the younger 
generation are to be an improvement on their fathers, if 
sin is to have less dominion and religion mora power, if 
vice is to be abashed and virtue to be honoured, it is to 
woman we must look for such a generation." 

It was in a note to that letter that Mrs. Jcuneson 
records that tJie first time she heard women puUidy 
addressed as members of the commAmity, and co-operating 
in social objects^ was in a speech from Lord Robert CecU. 

The new influence had already shown itself in a very 
practical manner — ^the first number of the English- 
woman's Jawrrud (March 1858) relates that, ''In the 
summer and autumn of 1855 petitions were circu- 

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(Barbara Leigh Smith) Mrs. Bodichon. (From the large jminting 
at Girton College, by Miss Osborne.) 

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lated throughout England representing the injustice of 
the law respecting the properly and earnings of married 
women, and impressing Parliament to take the matter 
into immediate consideration. These petitions, organ- 
ized and started by a couple of jdiilanthropic ladies, 
resulted in March 1856 in the presentation to both 
Houses of a petition signed by 3000 women ; in addition 
to this women's petition, petitions from all parts of the 
country poured in, bearing the signatures of 26,000 men 
and women. Thus there was no mistrfiking the profound 
and universal interest felt in the question and the 
absolute necessity for immediate alleyiation." The 
journal goes on to relate that this subject was taken 
up by the Law Amendment Society, and referred by 
them to a committee, by whom a Beform Bill was pre- 
pared; it does not state that the two "philanthropic 
ladies " were Barbara Leigh Smith and Bessie Bayner 
Parkes, the same two ladies who, aided in all their 
schemes by the counsels and encouragement of Mrs. 
Jameson, had in 1858 started the JSnglishtooman^s 

Writing in 1865 Miss Parkes says : — 
''Ten years ago, although there was an earnest and 
active group of people deeply interested in all that 
relates to female education and industry, and to the 
reform of the laws affecting the property of married 
women, and though efforts were being made in many 
directions for bettering those of the condition of .the 
mass of single women in this country, there was no 
centre of meeting nor any work which could be said 
to draw together the names of the ladies so actively 

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48 women's suffrage. 

employed." The first step towards creating such a 
centre was the inauguration of the JEnglishtooman's 
Jofwnwl, in co-operation with which Miss Jessie Bou- 
cherett and Miss Adelaide Ann Proctor in the following 
year formed the Society for the Employment of Women.^ 

Here it may be well to glance aside and reflect on the 
character of that group of early pioneers — four young 
women, all of good lineage, high education, and inde- 
pendent meems. 

Miss Barbara Leigh Smith (Mrs. Bodichon) was 
grand-daughter 6«id daughter of well-known members of 
Parliament, William Smith, and his son Benjamin, who 
succeeded him, as M.P. for Norwich, where they be- 
longed " to the group who have given such help to the 
cause of enlightenment, Taylors and Austins, Martineaus 
and Gumeys." Her old co-worker, Bessie Eayner Parkes 
(Madame Belloc), at the time of her death wrote of Mrs 
Bodichon as * " cradled in the traditions of the House." 
.... " The first public movement with which, when 
almost a child, she was actively associated, was the 
great Anti-Corn League struggle of Cobden and Bright. 
When first I was brought into close intimacy with 
Barbara Leigh Smith in 1846 that struggle had just been 
won. She was then a beautiful, active girl of nineteen, 
ardent in every social cause, and those years from 1846 
to 1857 were to us bright with the light of dawn." .... 
It was in 1854 that she began her work by collecting in 
a pamphlet all the laws specially relating to women, a 
pamphlet very thin and insignificant looking, but destined 

^ See Appendix C. 

^ See Bn^li^hADoma'iCs JtevieWj July 1891, p. 146. 

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(Bessie Ratner Parkes) Madam Belloc. 
(After a daguerreotype.) 

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to prove the small end of the wedge which was to 
change the whole fabric of the law. The importance 
of her social relations brought the subject before in- 
fluential men connected with the society for the amend- 
ment of the law; Lord Brougham and Mr. Greorge 

Hastings took the question up actively After her 

marriage with Dr. Bodichon, a French physician of 
marked ability, her time was divided between Algiers, 
where he practised for many years, in the winter, and 
London and Sussex in the summer, keeping up her 
active interest and liberal support of the works she had 
so large a share in starting. " She had essentially the 
initiative mind, and it may truly be said of her that 
she scattered ideas broadcast, and that they took root far 
and wide .... in Barbara Leigh Smith existed that 
indefinable power, which his contemporaries appear to 
have recognized in Arthur Hallam, a something which 

transcended that which was done I feel, when I 

think of how much she did do, and yet of the more 
popular greatness of so many others, that I can only 
fitly quote the poet's words: 

' But thou, O friend, wert more than these.' " ^ 
Miss Parkes, grand-daughter on her mother's side 
of the celebrated Joseph Priestley, after giving much 
strenuous work and good writing to the Englishwoman's 
Jowmaly passed from the scene of active co-operation on 
her marriage with Monsieur Belloc, which caused her 
to make her home in France. Nevertheless she still 
watches the progress made, and has given the present 
writer helpful information. 

^ See Englishwomotn^B Review, July 1891, p. 149. 


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50 woboen's suffrage. 

Of the third in that group — heir to old manorial 
rights, lineal descendants of the Askews — Jessie 
Boucherett, by the steadfast purpose of her life to help 
women to honourable independence, whether by open- 
ing up the way to new opportimities, or by the train- 
ing in new skill, or by resistance to the restrictive 
barriers of legislation, has with tireless perseverance 
exerted an influence for healthful independence. 

She was consuming her soul in solitary desire to 
help women to better economic conditions when one 
day she caught sight, on a railway bookstall, of a 
number of the Englishwoman's Jimrnai. She bought it, 
attracted by the title, but expecting nothing better than 
the inanities commonly considered fit for women. To 
her surprise and joy she foimd her own unspoken aspira- 
tions reflected in its pages. She lost no time in re- 
pairing to the office of the journal, where she expected 
to find some rather dowdy old lady. But instead a 
handsome young woman, dressed in admirable taste, 
was seated at the table. It was Miss Parkes ; in a few 
minutes another young lady, also beautifully dressed, 
came in, of radiant beauty, with masses of golden hair. 
Such is the description given by Jessie Boucherett, long 
years after, of her first meeting with Barbara Leigh 
Smith and Bessie Parkes. She began forthwith to 
plan the desire of her life, a Society for Promoting the 
Employment of Women, In this she was aided by 
Adelaide Ann Proctor, whose poems are so tinged; with 
melancholy that one would never expect to hear of 
their writer being associated with fun. ** All the fun 
left the office when Miss Proctor died," said good old 

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Miss Jessie Boucherkit. 
CAfter a ]>hotograph about 1860.) 

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Miss Sarah Lewin, when more than thirty years after 
she was telling her reminiscences to the present writer. 
Miss Lewin herself had been attracted to that band of 
workers — just as Miss Boucherett had been — by a 
casual meeting with an early number of the Englishr 
woman's Journal. She had early had the necessity 
laid on her to work for her living; she knew by ex- 
perience how much women needed to learn how to work, 
and how hard it was for them to get opportunity to 
learn. She soon became Assistant Secretary to the 
Society for Employment of Women, and worked to a ripe 
old age, happy in helping other women to learn how to 

This is not the place to pursue the history of that 
Society ; suffice it to say that it gave a healthful impetus 
in many directions, and works quietly and steadily 
stilL The Englishwoman's Jowmal^ which continued 
for seven years, became incorporated after its seventy- 
eighth number with the short-lived Alexandra Magazine. 
When the Alexandra ceased, the journal was revived 
by Miss Boucherett under the title of the English- 
woman's Review, and in that form it has sought to 
preserve some continuous record of the woman's move- 
ment to the present time. 

While the group in Tiangham Street were centring 
their efforts on opening occupations and technical 
training, another group was forming, consisting of 
women aspiring after means of higher education. The 
" Kensington Society," as the little group called itself, 
met at the house of Mrs. Manning for the discussion of 
important questions. It is a truly remarkable group. 

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looked at after the lapse of over thirty years, when the 
life works of so many have entered into history. 

There were the two future founders of Girton College 
(Mrs. Bodichon and Miss Emily Davies), the founders 
of the Cheltenham Ladies' College (Miss Beale) and of 
the North London Collegiate School (Miss Buss), Miss 
Garrett (now Mrs. Garrett Anderson), at that time 
pursuing the medical studies which enabled her to enter 
the doors of the profession : her sister, Mrs. J. W. Smith, 
soon to become the Honorary Secretary of the first 
Women's Sufi&age Committee. Miss Boucherett, like 
Mrs. Bodichon, had a place in both groups; amongst 
the Kensington group were also Miss Hare (afterwards 
Mrs. Westlake), Miss Helen Taylor (step-daughter of 
Mr. J. S. MiU), and Miss Wolstenholme, afterwards Mrs. 

The Kensington Society was keenly alive to the 
importance of the suffrage. The records of its pro- 
ceedings preserved by its Honorary Secretary, Miss 
Davies, show the question "Is the extension of the 
Parliamentary franchise to women desirable, and if so, 
under what conditions?" amongst the subjects appointed 
for discussion on the programme issued in the summer 
of 1865. Amongst those who sent in papers were Miss 
Hare, Miss Boucherett, Miss Manning. The discussion 
took place on 21st November, just after Mr. John Stuart 
Mill hadjbeen elected Member for Westminster and in 
his election address had brought in Women's Suffrage. 

The opportunity had come ! 

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§ 11. The First PetUim. 

A Eeform Bill was before the country and the friends 
of Women's Sufirage had a champion in the House of 
Commons. Surely the time to move had come ! They 
asked Mr. MUl if he would present a petition from 
women. He said he would, if it hcui a hundred names 
— ^he would not approve of presenting one with less. 
Still they hesitated, lest the time might not be ripe, but 
when on the morning of 28th April 1866 they read in 
the morning's paper that Mr. Disraeli had said the night 
before in Hxe House of Commons, "I say that in a 
country governed by a woman — ^where you allow women 
to form part of the other estate of the realm — peeresses 
in their own right, for example — where you allow a 
woman not only to hold land, but to be a lady of the 
manor and hold legal courts — where a woman by law 
may be a churchwarden and overseer of the poor — I do 
not see, where she has so much to do with the State and 
Church, on what reasons, if you come to right, she has 
not a right to vote." 

Then all doubts were removed. " Those words were 
the spark that fired the train." Moved by a common 
impulse, Mrs. Bodichon, Miss Boucherett and Miss 
Davies came t(^ther that morning; they drafted a 
petition, sent it for Mr. MiU's approval and then set to 

Day by day a little informal committee of workers 
met at Miss Garrett's, where Miss Eosamond Hill also 
came and worked with them. The petition was quickly 
circulated through the groups of the pioneer workers, 

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54 women's suffrage. 

and through them to many beyond, and instead of one 
hundred, 1499 signatures were collected in little over 
a fortnight. The petition was as follows : — 

"That it having been expressly laid down by high 
authorities that the possession of property in this 
country carries with it the right to vote in the election 
of Eepresentatives in Parliament: it is an evident 
anomaly that some holders of property are allowed to 
use their right, while others, forming no less a con- 
stituent part of the nation, and equally qualified by 
law to hold property, are not able to exercise this 

" That the participation of women in the Grovemment 
is consistent with the principles of the British Consti- 
tution, inasmuch as women in these islands have always 
been held capable of sovereignty and women are eligible 
to various public offices. 

** Your Petitioners therefore humbly pray your Hon- 
ourable House to consider the expediency of providing 
for the representation of all householders, without dis- 
tinction of sex, who possess such property or rental 
quaUfication as your Honourable House may deter- 

The signatures included many names well known, or 
names to hereafter become known amongst the workers 
of the world — among writers, Frances Power Cobbe, 
Amelia Barbara Edwards, Matilda Betham Edwards, 
Eliza and H. M. Keary, Harriet Martineau, Mary 
Somerville, Anna Swan wick, Augusta Webster, Susanna 
Winkworth; among leaders of social work, Martha 
Merrington (first woman elected Poor Law Guardian), 

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Florence Davenport Hill, Joanna Hill, Louisa Boucherett 
(first movers in boarding out pauper children), Mrs. W. 
Grey, Miss ShireflF (leaders in the Girls' Hi^ School 
movement), Mrs. Samuel Lucas (first President, British 
Women's Temperance Association), Mrs. Joeei^iine 
Butler ; and amongst those who became leaders in the 
Women's Suffrage work, Viscountess Amberley, Lady 
Anna Gore Langton (successive Presidents of the Bristol 
SocietyX Mrs, Priscilla Bright M'Laren (President of 
the Edinburgh Society), Mr& P. A. Taylor, Miss Lilias 
Ash worth (Mrs. Hallet), Miss 0. A. Biggs, Mrs. Haslam, 
liiss Agnes M'Laren, Mr& Pease Nichol, Misses Priest- 
man, Miss Eliza Wigham, etc, etc 

The day came when the petition was to be taken 
down to Mr. MiU at the House of Commons by Mrs. 
Bodichon, but she was very unwell, and asked Miss 
Davies to go in her stead, who set forth not a little 
nervous at such a mission; Miss Grarrett offered to 
accompany her, and they took a cab with the porten- 
tous roll, to Westminster HalL There, to their relief, 
they met Mr. Fawcett, who went at once in search of 
Mr. Mill. Meantime they felt ill at ease with their big 
roll in that great Hall, thronged as it was in those days 
with many going to and fro to the old law courts. 
They made Mends with the applewoman whose stall 
was near the entrance, and she hid the roll beneath 
her table. Presently Mr. MUl arrived. ** Where is the 
petition ? " he asked — then they had to confess it was 
hidden away beneath the applewoman's stall. But it 
was quickly produced thence, and Mr. Mill, on seeing 
it, exclaimed, "Ah, this I can brandish with effect." 

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It was presented on June 7th, the day the House 
went into Committee on the Bepresentation of the 
People BilL Mr. Mill stated in the House that the 
signatures had been collected in little over a fortnight.^ 

^ The Times described it as a petition of orer 1500 signatures from 
ladies of Westminster — this was an error, the number was 1499 and 
collected from all parts of the Kingdom. 

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1866 TO 1869. 

§ 12. Early Steps. 

The presentation of the petition on June 7th, 1866, was 
directly followed by a motion from Mr. Mill for a return 
showing the number of freeholders and householders in 
England and Wales who, fulfilling tiie conditions of 
property or rental prescribed by law as the qualifica- 
tions for the electoral franchise, are excluded from the 
franchise by reason of their sex. ^ This was the signal 
for many comments in the Press. 

" We have no right to bamboozle any one— least of 
all have we a right to bamboozle women — by pretending 
to give them a sugar-plum, and really give them a dose of 
physic. What does voting imply? It implies solicitation 
and dunning, reproaching, humbugging and cajoling. 
Why are respectable women, because they happen to be 
spinsters or widows and live in houses of their own, to 
be exposed to the impertinent intrusion of agents, 
canvassers and candidates: to be besi^ed alternately 

^ Seconded by Mr. Potter, assented to by Mr. Secretary Walpole, and 
agreed to. 


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58 women's suffrage. 

by the adulation of fools and by the insolence of 

Such was the cry of the hysterical Satv/rday Beview} 
The sober Law Times^ on the other hand, had said the 
burden of proof lay with those who would exclude 
women, and continued — ** Having given to the question 
much thought, with the help of much experience, we 
are imable to suggest a single sound objection to the 
claim of female householders to vote. But there are 
many good reasons why they should do so, apart from 
that foremost one, that they have all the qualifications 
which the law requires to constitute an elector. They 
pay the same rates and taxes as other electors ; they are 
not merely eligible to serve the ofl&ce of overseer, but 
may be compelled to serve it, and in many parishes do 
really serve it. But more than all, the law has actually 
enfranchised them for parochial voting. They are at 
this moment lawful members of vestries ; they may and 
do in fact vote at all parish meetings, upon the avowed 
principle that paying rates as individuals, it is but just 
they should have a voice in the expenditure of the rate 
they pay." 

Organization crystallized quickly after the papers 
read by Mrs. Bodichon at the Social Science Congress, 
in October 1866. The informal Committee which had 
worked up the petition, had, before the close of the 
year, been constituted a provisional Committee with the 
following members: — The Dean of Canterbury (Dean 
Alf ord), Miss Boucherett, Professor Caimes, Eev. W. L. 

^ Saturday Review, 2lBt July 1866. 
^ Law Times, leth June 1866. 

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1866 TO 1869. 59 

Clay, Aiiss Emily Divvies, Lady Goldsmid, George W. 
Hastings, James Heywood, F.RS., Mrs. Knox (Isa 
Craig), Miss Manning, Mra Hensleigh Wedgwood; 
Mrs. P. A. Taylor, Treasurer; Mrs. J, W. Smith, 
Honorary Secretary. 

In Manchester at a meeting of six persons, held in the 
house of Dr. Louis Borchardt on 11th January 1867, 
Mr. Jacob Bri^t in the chair, it was resolved to form a 
committee for the promotion of the enfranchisement of 
women ; the other persons present were, the Eev. S. A. 
Steinthal, Mrs. Gloyne, Mr. Max Kyllman and Miss 

At the next meeting, held at Mr. Duffield's office on 
13th February, there were present Mrs. Winkworth 
(in the chair), Mrs. Gloyne, Mrs. Hume Rothery, 
Mr. and Mrs. Kyllman, Mrs. B. B. Moore, Miss Miall, 
Miss Wilson, Miss Becker, Miss Wolstenholm, and the 
Bev. S. Alfred SteinthaL Miss Becker was appointed 
Secretary, and energetic action began. 

The London Committee had in November issued a 
circular giving the text of a petition to be signed by 
women householders, together with full particulars as 
to tiie qualifications which should entitle women to vote. 

The Manchester Committee lost no time in joining in 
the work, and issued a circular which stated that " it 
was proposed during the current session to present to 
Parliament two petitions, one to be signed exclusively 
by women who are l^ally qualified to vote in all 
respects except that of sex, the other by persons of all 
classes, both men and women. Local petitions will 
also be presented from various places." 

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60 women's suffrage. 

The women householder petition, with the signatures 
of 1605 women duly qualified as forty shilling free- 
holders, or £10 leaseholders, copyholders or occupiers in 
boroughs, was presented to the House of Commons on 
April 8th by the Right Hon. Russell Gumey ; the Hon. 
H. A. Bruce had on March 28th presented the general 
petition signed by 3559 persons of all classes ; a similar 
petition, with over 3000 signatures, was presented by 
Mr. Mill on April 5th. The signatories to these peti- 
tions included many literary and professional men and 
women ; sdlne of the best Imown amongst them will be 
found in the list of supporters to the movement at the 
close of this chapter. 

The text of the petition from women householders 
was as follows: — 

"That your PetitioneTs fulfil the conditions of property or 
rental prescribed by law as the qualification of the electoral 
franchise and exercise in their own names the right of pertaining 
to such conditions. 

" That the principles on which the Qovemment of the United 
Elingdom is based imply the representation of all dasses and 
interests in the State. 

"That the reasons alleged for withholding the franchise from 
certain classes of Her Majesty's subjects do not apply to your 

" Your Petitioners therefore humbly pray your Honourable House 
to grant such persons as fulfil all the conditions which entitle to 
a vote in the election of all Members of Parliament, excepting 
only that of sex, the privilege of taking part in the choice of fit 
persons to represent the people in your Honourable House." 

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Photo, by Uollyer.] 

John Stuart Mill, M.P. (After the portrait by G. F. Watts, R.A., 
in the National Portrait Gallery.) 

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1866 TO 1869. 61 

§ 13. The Debate on Mr. J, S. MUTs AmendmerU. 

On May 20th, 1867, Mr. Mill moved his amendment 
to the Eepresentation of the People Bill (clause 4) " to 
leave out the word * men ' in order to insert the word 
person instead thereof." 

His speech was listened to, according to a contem- 
porary account, with interest and curiosity. The 
whole debate is of interest, not only as the first on the 
subject in Psurliament, but as a type of many succeeding 
debates. If no subsequent speech in its favour has 
surpassed Mr. Mill's condensed and forcible present- 
ment, neither has any speech against it elicited any 
novelty in the opposition. Mr. Mill opened by saying 
that the extension he was about to propose could excite 
no party feeling or class feeling ; he dwelt on its justice, 
its constitutional character. " Allow me to ask, what 
is the meaning of political freedom ? Is it anything but 
the control of those who do make politics their business 
by those who do not? Is it not the very essence 
of constitutional liberty, that men come from their 
looms and their forges to decide, and decide well, 
whether they are properly governed and whom they 
will be governed by ? " 

He indicated how the question was in truth a develop- 
mentj of the greater sense of mutual interest and com- 
panionship that was arising between men and women, 
and the evil for the character of each which an unequal 
level must entail. 

Mr. Karslake (M.P. for Colchester) opposed the 
motion on the ground that giving votes to single women 

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62 women's suffragb. 

would entail its extension to married women. As not 
a single lady in Essex had asked him to support the 
proposal, he concluded women were quite content with 
the advantages they already possessed.^ 

Mr. Denman (M.P. for Tiverton) said that when he 
read the draft of the Bill it struck him as a lawyer, that 
it was more than doubtful whether as it stood it did not 
confer the suflfrage on women, and he had put a question 
to that effect to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who 
had replied, he believed he would find it had not that 
effect ; nevertheless he " ventured to ask the Attorney 
and Solicitor General, whether as lawyers they were 
confident the Bill as it stood would not confer the 
suflfrage on women. In the first Keform Act the word 
man did not occur, but maJU persons was used. He be- 
lieved if the Court of Queen's Bench had to decide on 
the clauses of this Bill they would have to confer the 
Suflfrage on female persons as well as males. 

" In one of the colonies of Australia, by the use of the 
word person accidentally inserted in an Act of the Legis- 
lature, the female suflfrage was given. Subsequently it 
was said to have been found that such an advantage 
had arisen from its operation that they declined to alter 
it, not wishing to get rid of it." 

Mr. Fawcett (M.P. for Brighton), after criticizing Mr. 
Karslake's speech, instanced the change in public opinion 
in regard to the admission of girls to the Cambridge Local 

Mr. Laing (M.P. for Orkney) based his opposition on 

1 On July 25th Mr. Eftralake presented a petition firom 129 ladies and 
others resident in Colohester in faroor of the proposed reform. 

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1866 TO 1869. 63 

the fear of women entering the House of Common& 
Sir Greorge Bowyer (M.P. for Wexford Co.) supported the 
motion. Viscount Galway (M.P. for East Retford) 
begged Mr. Mill to withdraw his motion and let them 
proceed to more important business; if pressed, the 
motion would place "* many admirers of the fair in an 
embarrassing position." Mr. Onslow (M.P. for Guildford) 
supported. Mr. Mill in reply said nothing had pleased 
him more than to find that every one who had attempted 
to argue at all had argued against something that was 
not before the House. 

Question put — ^That the word man stand part of the 

The Committee divided. Ayes 196. Noes 73. 
Majority against the amendment 123. There were six 
pairs, and with the addition of the tellers this brings 
the total votes in favour to 81.^ 

§ 14. Fwrther Organization. 

In the autumn of 1867 the organization of the Suffrage 
Societies was strengthened and extended. The Man- 
chester Society drew up its constitution in August The 
London Committee, which had been hitherto "provi- 
sional," dissolved, to be reconstituted in permanent form 
as the London National Society for Women's Suffrage, 
with an executive consisting of Miss FrancesPower Cobbe, 
Mrs. Fawcett, Miss Hampson, Miss Lloyd, Mrs. Lucas, 
Mrs. Stansfeld, Mrs. P. A. Taylor (Treasurer). The Com- 
mittee held its meetings at Aubrey House, Netting Hill, 
^ For the Divinon Lift see Appendix D. 

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64 women's suffragb. 

the house of Mr. and Mrs. P. A. Taylor, and Mrs. Taylor 
seems to have acted as Honorary Secretary for a short 
interval after the early death of Mrs. J. W. Smith had re- 
moved " the most beautiful and the most talented of all 
the talented Garrett family " (to use the words of one of 
her colleagues). It was not long before an able co- 
adjutor was found in Caroline Ashurst Biggs, who came as 
a promising young worker prepared by eAl the traditions 
of her family and her up-bringing to devote herself to 
such a cause. Her ready pen, methodical work and 
untiring industry soon proved her an invaluable ally. 
No one ever entered any of the Suffrage oflBces who got 
through so much work, with such rapidity and apparent 
ease, as this serene and gentle nature who was the 
friend of all the workers at home and abroad ; and of 
whom one may truly say she had "the charity that 
suffereth long and is kind." 

Although in Scotland several meetings had been held 
and petitions sent up from Edinburgh and other 
towns, the Society in Edinburgh was first definitely 
organized on November 6th of that year, Mrs. 
Priscilla Bright M'Laren being its President then, 
even as she is now. Wife, mother, sister, aunt of 
Members of Psurliament, this venerable leader ought, 
according to the recusoning of opponents, to be the very 
last to trouble herself about the franchise, for never in 
all those years has she been without representatives in 
Parliament — ^nay, in one Parliament^ had she not her 
husband, two sons, two brothers, and a nephew all in 
the House of Commons at the same time? Yet this 
^ The Parliament of 1886. 

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1866 TO 1869. 65 

lady, the best represented woman in the kingdom, has 
the longest unbroken record of office of any worker of 
the cause ; ay, and the longest, largest record of affection 
in the hearts of young and old amongst its workera^ 

The existence of three independent Societies rendered 
it desirable that they should secure the advantage of 
mutual support by some kind of federal union — accord- 
ingly at a special meeting of the Manchester National 
Society, held on 6th November 1867, it was resolved : — 

"That this Society agrees tiiat its members shall 
unite with members of the Societies having the same 
object, to form one National Society for Women's 
Suf&age with independent centres of action; the con- 
stitution, executive and funds of each Society shall 
remain entirely irresponsible to and uncontrolled by 
the others, the bond of union to consist solely in the 
assumption of the name National Society for Women's 
Suffrage, and the amalgamation of the names of members 
enrolled by each centre into one national list of 
supporters of the political enfranchisement of women." 

Besolutions to the same effect were adopted by the 
London and Edinburgh Societies, and so the Union was 
accomplished Very quickly Societies were formed in 
Birmingham and Bristol, which also entered the Union 
as integral yet independent portions of the National 
Society for Women's Suffrage. 

The origin of the Bristol Committee can best be read 
in the words of the circular, written by Professor 
Francis William Newman, its first Honorary Secretary, 
by which tiie preliminary meeting was convened at the 

' For Mre. M'Luren's portrait, lee p. 162. 


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66 womkn'b buffragb. 

bouse of Mr. Commissioner Matthew Davenport Hill, 
afterwards Secorder of Birmingham. 

'' Women's Suffrage. — ^The conviction has for years past 
spread wide and deep that any race or class which is 
without political representation will never in the loi^ 
run escape great social injustice. 

'* The injustices endured by women as a class need not 
here be recounted and enforced. Men and women of 
the highest name have of late united to claim suffrage 
for the female sex (on the same conditions as those on 
which men receive the franchise), not as the remedy for 
the evil, but as a condition without which justice will 
not be attained. 

'' It moreover appears that the exclusion of women 
from the Parliamentary vote is exceptional, and per- 
haps illegal in the case of freeholders ; it is certainly 
wonderful in a country where the head of the executive 
Government is a woman. 

'' On the face of tiie matter it would seem that the 
recent Beform Act — ^if interpreted as the Act known as 
Lord Eomilly's bids us interpret Acts of Parliament — 
distinctly admits both sexes to the vote. 

"Societies are formed in several cities to bring the 
question to the test as well as to urge the matter on 
public opinion and on Parliament. The fact that in 
Mr. Jacob Bright's recent election at Manchester a 
woman's vote in his favour was actually received and 
counted, is especiaUy valuable. 

''The Societies in London and in Manchester are 
urgent that an attempt should be made to form a 
kindred society for Bristol It is judged especially 

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• •• : * ' 

Miss Florence Davenport- Hill. (After a photograph 
taken about 1862.) 

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1866 TO 1869. 67 

important to get women's names on the register before 
the revising barrister comes to inspect it His refusal 
of a woman's name may bring the question under 
judicial examination. 

" With a view to forming such a society, if possible, 
Mr. Commissioner Hill, who is now at 3 Mall, Clifton, 
permits his daughter to invite so many as his drawing- 
room will hold, to meet there on 24th January 1868, at 
3 p.m., for a friendly consultation on this public 
question, although from the narrowness of space the 
meeting cannot be public." 

Mrs. Beddoe has often told her recollections how, at 
that meeting, Mr. Commissioner Hill, in asking those 
present to join the society, said he was '' asking them to 
help a great cause that was unlike all other great 
causes, in that it would require their support for a very 
short time. The claim was so clear and reasonable, 
it had but to be brought before Parliament to be 

That happy anticipation of easy achievement, delusive 
as we now know it to have been, was very general in 
those days, and started the movement in a spirit of 
cheerful hope, that tended not a little to its strength, 
and that rings on yet in the utterances of its younger 
workers, though with the elder hope has perhaps be- 
come more of the patient, less of the cheerful sort 

The first annual report of the Scottish Society con- 
cludes by pressing on the future women electors to pre- 
pare themselves " for the duties hereafter to devolve on 
them, that by religiously weighing the solemnities of life 
and its responsibilities, and by earnest, faithful study of 

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68 women's suffrage. 

the great questions that affect humanity, they may 
be qualified afterwards to exercise the franchise, wisely 
and conscientiously, so that the accession of women 
to the electoral ranks may prove truly a great benefit 
to the whole community in our country." 

In a letter of about the same period Miss Becker 
¥nrote: — "I must make a vigorous effort to beg for 
money in Manchester, to go on. I do believe that if 
we are thoroughly bent on our point, and play our cards 
well, we may see women voting at the next election, and 
I am quite sure that if they do not vote then it will 
be the last general election from which they will be 

§ 15. New Light. 

At this time a new aspect was thrown on the state 
of affairs by the historical researches of Mr. Chisholm 
Anstey — whom Professor Newman characterised as the 
champion of the suffirage cause in law, even as Mr. 
Mill was in Parliament. In a pamphlet. On some Sup^ 
posed Constitutional Restraints on the Parliamentary 
Franchise^ written before the passing of the Reform 
Act, and again in his Notes vpon the Bepresentaiion 
of the People Act of 1867} Mr. Chisholm Anstey 
had put forward a lai^ mass of curious evidence, 
hitherto buried in old documents and reports, show- 
ing that women had ancient legal rights to the 

^ The pasaagea in theee two works relating to women, may be 
consulted in the pages of the W<mien*8 Suffrage Jowmai, where they 
were quoted in full in the numbers for August and September 1877. 

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Mrs. Beddoe. (From a photograph about 1860.) 

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1866 TO 1869. 69 

The idea that to admit women to the suffirage was 
an innovation, began to give place to the view that 
there was neither statute nor judicial decision declaring 
them incapable of voting for Members of Parliament, but 
that thej were really entitled to all the benefits of 
the recent Act for amending the representation of the 
people. The Manchester Committee resolved to take its 
stand on the existing law, and being satisfied that 
under it women ratepayers were actually entitled to 
vote, they determined to take steps to have them placed 
on the register; in this policy they were aided by the 
effective co-operation of the London, Bristol and 
Birmingham Societies. 

An incident had occurred which gave them great 
practical assistance— the fact of a woman actually voting 
at the bye-election which took place in Manchester on 
26th November 1867. 

The incident is thus related in the Unglish/uHmum's 
Eeview for January 1868 : — 

" Lord Byron remarked on the suddenness of his rise 
into celebrity ' I awoke one morning and found myself 
famous.' Much the same may now be said of a very 
different person, Mrs. Lily Maxwell of Manchester. On 
the 25th of November there was nothing to distinguish 
her from the many other independent women who keep 
shops in that town. On the 26th she recorded her 
vote for Mr. Jacob Bright, and at once assumed a himible 
place in the annals of our time. We are told that Mrs. 
Lily Maxwell is an intelligent person of respectable 
appearance, and that she keeps a small shop for the sale 
of crockery ware. Her act is likely to produce con- 

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70 women's suffrage. 

siderable moral effect; perhaps even some legal effect 

** The Times suggests that her name was put on the 
register bj a ' deep-laid plot of the Women's Suffrage 
Society.' This was certidnlj not the case ; for neither 
the Secretary of the Manchester Women's Suffrage 
Society, nor Mrs. Maxwell herself, was aware, until a 
day or two before the election, that her name was on 
the roister of electors. 

" When informed of the circumstance, Lily Maxwell 
at once announced her readiness to vote, and her in- 
tention of voting in favour of Mr. Jacob Bright, of whose 
political principles she was a warm admirer, declaring 
that if she had twenty votes she would give them all to 

" It is sometimes said that women, especially those of 
the working class, have no political opinion at all, and 
would not care to vote. Yet this woman, who by 
chance was furnished with a vote, professed strong 
political opinions, and was delighted to have a chance of 
expressing them. 

** Accordingly, on the following day she went to Mr. 
Bright's committee-room, accompanied by Miss Becker, 
the able and zealous secretary of the Manchester Suffrage 
Society, and by another lady, also a member of the 
Committee. From thence the ladies were escorted by 
several gentlemen to the polling-place, which was a large 
room containing several bootha Mrs. Maxwell's name 
being on the list of electors, the returning officer had no 
choice in the matter, but was bound to accept her vote. 

" As soon as it was given the other voters in the room. 

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1866 TO 1869. 71 

whether supporters of Mr. Bright's or of the other 
candidate's, united in three hearty cheers for the heroine 
of the day. There was not the slightest confusion, and 
a lady present said there was less inconvenience from 
the crowd than is often experienced at a public concert 
or fashionable chapeL How it happened that the name 
of a woman came to be placed on the electoral list is 
quite unknown to u& Probably lily was mistaken for 
a man's name." 

§ 16. CofuepterU Policy. 

Early in 1868 the policy laid down by the Societies 
was publicly enunciated at a meeting held in the 
Assembly Boom of the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, on 
April 14th, of which Miss Becker most truly wrote, *'Our 
meeting is an era in the history of our movement" 

It was the first public meeting held on the question. 
It was the first meeting addressed in this country by 
women. It formulated the policy which has been 
pursued from that day forth by the Women's Suflrage 
Societies, as well as the policy of the moment 

The chair was taken by Mr. Pochin (Mayor of Salf ord). 
The first resolution, moved by Miss Becker, declared 
the aims of the movement, in precisely the same terms 
as are used at the present time by the National Union 
of Women's Suflfrage Societies : — 

" That the exclusion of women from the exercise of the 
franchise in the election of Members of Parliament being 
unjust in principle and inexpedient in practice, this 
meeting is of opinion that the right of voting should be 

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72 woicen's suffrage. 

granted to them on the same terms m it is or may he 
granted to m^n." 

This was seconded by Archdeacon Sandford and 
supported by Mr. F. B. Potter, M.P., and Dr. Pank- 

The second resolution was moved by Mrs. Pochin. 

'' That this meeting expresses its cordial approval of 
the objects of the National Society for Women's Suffrage, 
and of the course it has hitherto pursued, and pledges 
itself to support its future efforts by all practical and 
constitutional methods, especially by urging women 
possessing l^al qualifications to claim to be put on the 
Parliamentary register." 

This was seconded by Mr. Chisholm Anstey and sup- 
ported by Mr. Jacob Bright, M.P. 

A vote of thanks to Mr. Mill was moved by Miss 
Annie Bobertson (of Dublin) and seconded by Mr. 
F. W. H. Myers. 

This meeting was quickly followed by another in 
Birmingham. Writing on April 18th to Miss Mary 
Johnson, Honorary Secretary of Birmingham Committee, 
Miss Becker said : *' I am delighted to hear how well you 
are progressing in Birmingham and that you contemplate 
a public meeting. Our success ought to be at once an 
encouragement and an incentive to such a step. Our 
resolution will then have been moved by Manchester, 
seconded by Birmingham, and must be accepted by the 
country." She adds : " I wrote to all the members who 
voted with Mr. Mill Some of the answers even of 
those who 'could not come were very encouraging." 

The further development of the new policy will be 

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1866 TO 1869. 73 

best told bj a selection of passages from Miss Becker's 

*' The Act of 1867 has struck out the words ' male 
person' from the electoral law and substituted the 
generic term ' man/ which even in its ordinary gram- 
matical sense is epicene and requires something in the 
context to restrict it to the male sex, e.g.^ * What shall 
it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose tus 
own soul ? ' ' Qod made man in His own image ; male 
and female created He them/ Here the word ' man ' 
means both sexes of man. 

''But there exists an Act of Parliament (13 & 14 
Vict c. 21) which provides that *in all Acts words 
importing the masculine gender, shall be deemed and 
taken to include female, unless the contrary be 
expressly provided.' It is not sufficient that the con- 
trary be implied or understood ; it must be expressly 
provided. No such provision is found in the Sepre- 
sentation of the People Act of 1867; accordingly the 
ratepaying clauses of this Act, which throughout use 
masculine pronouns, are applied to woman ratepayers. 

"Now we maintain that if the ratepaying clauses 
touch women who are ratepayers, the voting clauses 
must also comprehend them ; and that it is not only 
unjust, but unlawful, to subject women ratepayers to 
the clauses imposing burdens and leave them out from 
the benefit of the clauses conferring privileges, of one 
and the same Act of Parliament 

^ But this view of the case is so little understood or 
made known that there is reason to believe the over- 
seers, in making out their lists of persons now entitled 

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74 wombn'b suffraoe. 

to be on the raster of electors, will take upon them- 
selves, in what I believe to be an arbitrary and un- 
authorized manner, to omit from this list the seven 
thousand women householders of Manchester. 

" The only remedy in this case for the omitted persons 
is to send in a formal claim, which the overseer is then 
bound to present for adjudication by the revising bar- 

''Of course the l^al question could be accurately 
decided if only one woman claimed, but revising bar- 
risters are but men, and a man might have little or no 
hesitation in dismissing one claim, who would think twice 
before dismissing 2000, in a lump. We therefore desire 
if possible to have 2000 women claimants to be placed 
on the register of electors for the City of Manchester. 

'* The time for making their claims is the first three 
weeks of August, but if we wait till then to beat up our 
claimants, we shall find that we have to organize our 
army when we ought to be marching them ofif to the 

** We therefore desire immediately to b^n a house- 
to-house visitation of all the women householder of 
Manchester, explain to each of them the state of the 
law, ascertain which of them are willing, when the time 
comes, to send in their claim, and take a careful note of 
the names and addresses of these ; then we shall need 
only to take the forms round to each of these, get them 
filled up and signed, and pour them into the revising 
barrister's court" 

In a letter to Mr. Anstey (April 17th) she writes : — 

''The secretary to the overseers at Manchester in- 

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1866 TO 1869, 75 

forms me that he will, in applying the ratepaying 
dauses of the Act of 1867, comprehend all the women 
householders, but that when it comes to the voting 
clauses he shall omit from his list of persons entitled to 
be placed on the register all women's names, — this 
amounts to seven thousand. The reason he allies to me 
for taking on himself to omit them is, that he is not 
satisfied that they are entitled to vote, and that if he 
puts them on wrongfully he is liable to a penalty of £60, 
while if he omits them wrongfully there is no penalty. 

*" The most desirable thing would be to induce him to 
take another view of his duty and put them on en 
masse ; but I fear there is no hope of this, as he said, if 
I could produce counsers opinion in favour of such a 
course, he would not risk the penalty." 

Writing to Miss Boucherett, Miss Becker says : — 

"We have made the charming discovery that we 
may begin collecting claims now to be sent in, in 
August. .... 

'' I send a copy of the resolutions passed at our meeting 
yesterday. They were suggested by and drawn up by 
a lawyer, our city coroner, and he says we should send 
them to the overseers of every township in England. 
I shall try to get this done. Perhaps some of them may 
put the women on. But I feel almost overwhelmed 
with work, and my strength wretchedly feeble. If I 
were strong or rich, I could do so much!! 

*' There is an advantage in getting county claims: in 
the boroughs, the women must wait to see whether 
they are omitted from the original list and then claim 
to be inserted ; but for county votes they need not wait, 

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76 women's suffrage. 

— they may send in their claim beforehand, and the 
overseers are boimd to put them on their original list, 
along with male claimants." 

In a letter, dated 18th May 1868, she wrote to Pro- 
fessor Newman, Honorary Secretary of the Bristol 
Women's Suffrage Committee : — 

" I send a copy of Lord Komilly's Act, which you may 
find useful, if you do not happen to have one. It is 
astonishing how impressed people are when you show 
them the Act, and how heedless when you merely tell 
them such words are in it. Its production caused a 
visible sensation amongst the Manchester overseers, and 
staggered them completely. ' Is this law still in force ? ' 
they asked. At the end, the Chairman said ' We had 
opened his eyes' on the subject." 

On the same date she wrote to Dr. Pankhurst : — 

** If we had meant to rely only on the law, of course 
our policy would have been to keep quiet as to our 
rights and try the matter on one or two further cases. 
This is what Mr. Mill recommended, and if the pre- 
ponderance of opinion among legal authorities had been 
that we should win in the courts, that would have been 
undoubtedly our wisest course. But as Mr. Denman 
and others tell us they believe the courts will find some 
way out of it, so as to avoid registering our claims, it 
seems to me that one ought to take advantage of the 
peculiar conjunction, by spreading abroad as widely as 
possible the fact that there is a doubt as to the actual 
state of the law, and collecting as many claimants as 
possible in order to work upon public opinion. 

" That is the policy of our Committee ; but this, the 

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1866 TO 1869. 77 

first •vert step that we have taken — and now I wonder 

what will be the effect of it." 

The following letter from the overseer of Salford to 

the Mayor, Mr. Pochin, was highly encouraging to the 

new policy : — 

'' May 29th, 18G6. 

" Deab Sib, — In reply to your letter of the 2nd inst, 
relative to the placing of properly qualified females on 
the Parliamentary borough register, the overseers, after 
carefully considering section 3, 30 & 31 Vict. cap. 102, 
of the new Eeform Act, viz. — 'Every man shall after 
the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, be 
entitled to be registered as a voter, and when registered 
to vote for a member or members to serve in Parlia- 
ment for a borough, who is qualified as follows ' . . . . 
and section 4, 13 Vict. cap. 21, of an Act for shortening 
the language used in Acts of Parliament, viz. — ' Be it 
enacted that all words importing the masculine gender 
shall be deemed and taken to include females, and the 
singular to include the plural, and the plural the singular, 
unless the contrary as to gender or number is expressly 
provided,' have passed the following resolutions : — * That 
in the judgment of the overseers, they have no alter- 
native but to place all duly qualified females on the 
next Parliamentary raster for the borough.' — I am, 
yours truly, " JAa FARBfBB, Chavnrum.*' 

The next letters relate the results of the claims. 

" My Deab Sib, — ^The women's claims were heard by 
the revising barrister, Mr. Hosack, this morning, and 

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the decision is to be announced at ten o'clock to- 

'' Mr. Cobbett made a powerful and elaborate argument 
which made some impression on the Court, and still 
more on the auditors. He was opposed by Mr. Bobinson, 
instructed bj the Constitutional Association, whose reply 
was very feeble and ineffective. He appeared to me to 
make not the slightest attempt to combat the arguments 
by which it was considered that man included woman, but 
merely to assert over and over again that it was not so. 

" The only new thing I heard was that Lord Romilly's 
Act did not apply solely to human beings, but included 
lower animals — as in the cattle plague enactments, 
which comprehended both sexes. I lost the thread of 
the argument here, but I was informed by one who had 
paid close attention, that it was to the effect that if a 
woman could be brought in under Lord Bomilly's Act, 
so might a cow ! ! He appeared to hold the belief that 
man and woman were distinct species of animals as 
much as man and horses. 

" It appears to be the belief of those present in court 
that the decision will be against us on the claims, but 
that the Salford and other lists of voters will not be in- 
terfered with. If that proves so, we shall have gained 
a great step, and need not feel discouraged by the 
present defeat of our claims in Manchester. 

** The advice contained in your kind note of September 
8th is most valuable and opportune, and we wiU do all in 
our power to act on it — Believe me to be, yours very 
gratefully, " Lydia R Beckeb." 

*'T.C. Anstey, Esq." 

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1866 TO 1869. 79 

To Miss Boucherett : — 

** September %M,l8eS. 

" We came oflf with flTing colours at Ormskirk yester- 

" I went there yesterday morning ; had to leave here at 
half-past six. I met the lawyer. He told me that the 
women on the list of voters had been objected to, but 
that the notices were rather informal, and he expected 
to win that way. The township of Lydiate came first, 
where there were 11 women. Mr. Ellis took exception 
to the notices, and the revising barrister said the notices 
were all bad and therefore he had no jurisdiction to in- 
terfere with the register — so all the votes objected to> 
whether men or women, were left on the register. Then 
came Scarisbrick, where were 30 women, and here ex- 
actly the same thing occurred. Then Mr. Ellis said he 
would like to have one case on its merits — so he con- 
sented to admit, in the case of Margaret Ackers, that the 
notice was a good one. She was therefore called on to 
appear and prove her qualification in the usual way as 
to occupation, amount of rates, etc. When she had done 
so, the revising barrister, Mr. Foald, said he must hold the 
vote a good one by the terms of the Reform Act of last 
year as interpreted by the Act of 1850. It clearly com- 
prehended women. The Tory agent said, * I object to 
that vote,' without saying why or wherefore, and asked 
for an appeal, which of course was granted. Mr. 
Chorlton tells me the decision is of no legal value, but 
I think it a very good thing that another revising 
barrister besides Mr. Chisholm Anstey has given a 
judicial decision that the new Act extends to women. 

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" I send you a paper with the account of Mr. Chorlton's 
argument in Mrs. KyUmann's claim. 

''Here all the commotion about the 'intentions of 
Parliament' is out of place. She claims under the Act 
8 Hen. VL, which declares that people who have every 
one freehold to the value of forty shillings annually 
shall vote. This law has never been repealed, and it is 
the law under which men vote to this day." 

To Mrs. Pennington : — 

" It is true that the Act of 1832 conferred the new 
franchise on 'male persons/ and thus introduced the 
element of sex as a condition of the suffrage, for the 
first time into English legislation ; but carefully avoids 
the word 'male' in respect of any existing franchise, 
so that the claims of a woman under the Statute 8 
Hen. VI. is not touched by the Act of 1832. And it 
was very well put by Mr. Sidney Smith that the use of 
the word ' male * in the latter Act affords a presumption 
in favour of the capacity of women to vote. The f ramers 
of that Act must have thought that the use of the words 
' every person of full age and not subject to any legal 
incapacity,' would have included women, and as they 
wished to exclude them they inserted the word ' male,* 
a word hitherto utterly unknown in all legislation on 
the franchise. I need hardly say that this statutory 
disability has not been removed by the Acts of 1850 
and 1867, so that the case rests on constitutional 
capacity. It should not be forgotten that all the com- 
plicated machinery of registration in polling booths is 
an addition to the ancient form of election by nomination 

Digitized by 


1866 TO 1869. 81 

at public assembly, and that this ancient form continues 
to the present day, and has been maintained in uninter- 
rupted succession at every election from the time of 
the first Parliament until now. 

'' Women always have attended and taken part at these 
elections, and I suppose no one wiU dispute the proposi- 
tion. But if a candidate were carried at a nomination 
by a show of hands, consisting of a majority of women, 
and no poll were afterwards taken, that candidate would 
be legally returned, though the majority of male persons 
present might happen to be against him. Of course it 
is highly improbable, not to say impossible, that such 
a contingency could actually occur. I merely use it as 
an illustration of what I meant by the proposition 
that the constitutional right of women to vote is ante- 
cedent to the existence of, and irrespective of, any 
grants from the House of Commons. 

'' Should the answer in the higher courts go against us 
— I believe it will be that the force of habit and pre- 
judice will have biassed the minds of the judges — and 
it will be with a sense of the deepest humiliation that 
I shall recognize the new order of going to Parliament 
to beg as a boon that which will have been imjustly 
withheld as a constitutional right. We must spare no 
effort to avert such a calamity." 

To Miss Taimton : — 

«J^(w. 3rd, 1868. 

** I earnestly hope that we shall not need a petition. 
The l^al arguments, to show that women Tuwe already 
tiie right to vote, grows stronger the more they are 

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82 women's suffraoi. 

looked into. I am convinced that if the judges decide 
against us, on our appeal cases, it will be by straining 
the law. 

'* If men could show as good a case in any question 
affecting t?ieir rights, there would be no doubt about 
the decision, but the dominant sex seems afflicted with 
absolute inability to do justice between men and women. 
I have no faith in the impartiality of the tribunal to 
which we are compelled to submit, though the strongest 
possible conviction that we have both justice and law 
on our side. But I do think that one Judge, if not more, 
may give it in our favour. 

** I have been, and am still busily engaged in looking 
up the l^al arguments, in conjunction vrith our counsel, 
and it seems to me impossible to find a flaw in them." 

§ 17. The Appeal to the Cowrts. 

The extracts just quoted indicate the expectant atti- 
tude of mind v^ith which the Manchester Society, on Octo- 
ber 30th, 1868, held its first annual meeting. By a bold 
stroke this was held at the Town Hall, in the Mayor's 
parlour. Across the vista of meetings held in the Mayor 
of Manchester's parlour year after year for thirty years, 
one hardly realizes how bold a stroke it seemed at the 
time. " I tremble, for it is a bold venture to come out 
into the Tovm Hall, and I fear lest we should not get 
fifty people there," Miss Becker vn:ote to one of the 
speakers, two or three days before the meeting. On 
the evening of the day itself, she was able to vmte to 
Miss Holland : '' The room was crowded, a fearful jam 

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1866 TO 1869. 83 

about the door. It was the most numerously attended 
meeting ever known in that room. Mr. Jacob Bright 
said he came expecting to find a dozen or twenty 
people, and was quite astonished to see the room fulL" 
The meeting elicited an article from the Times 
(November Srd), with the remarkable admission itali- 
cized in the following extract: — 

'"The present condition of the Women's SofiErage question is de- 
cidedly an odd one. It is not often that the glorious uncertainty 
of the law is so strikingly illustrated as it has been by the decidon 
of the revising barristers, as to whether a woman, under certain 
aasomed conditions, may or may not vote for a Member of Parlia- 
ment .... According to one view— the view of the majority^ 
she may vote if her name is on the electoral register and Ib not 
objected to, the revising barrister himself remaining neutral; 
according to another, the barrister ought himself, if necessary, to 
start the objection. According to a third — the view taken in four 
courts— her name ought to remain on the electoral roll even 

althoagh objected to However, this uncertainty is very soon 

to cease .... if one supposes it was ever the intention of the 
legislature to give women a vote, and if they do get it, it will be by 
a sort of accident, in itself objectionable, though in its practical 
consequences perhaps harmless enough. On the other hand, if 
they wre refused it, the noHon wiUy no doubt, be formally and in the 
Ughi of day commdtting itself through its judicial tr^nal, to the 
dangerous doctrine that representation need not go along with taxation,^ 

Four cases for appeal were selected and argued before 
the Court of Common Pleas on November 7th, before 
Lord Chief-Justice Bovill and Justices Willes, Keating 
and Byles — ^viz. : (1) The case of 5346 women house- 
holders of Manchester, who had sent in their claims to 
be placed on the Parliamentary register, under the 
provision of the new Seform Act (the case tech- 

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84 women's suffrage. 

nicallj known as ChorUon v. Lings). (2) That of a 
lady who claimed to be put on the register of voters for 
South-East Lancashire under the Statute of 8 Henry 
lY., which secures the right of voting for Knights of the 
Shire in each county to '' people dwelling and resident 
therein, of whom each has freehold of the value of forty 
shillings by the year." (3) The case of 1431 women in 
Salford, who had been placed on the register by the 
overseers and struck off by the revising barrister, though 
no one had objected to them. In this case the point was 
the question of jurisdiction. (4) That of 857 women 
of Broughton and Pendleton, who had sent in their claims 
to the overseers to be put on the raster of Salford. 

The counsel for the appellants in the two first cases 
was Sir J. D. Coleridge (afterwards Lord Chief -Justice 
Coleridge), with Dr. Ptokhurst " Sir John Coleridge, 
in a long and elaborate argument, spoke in favour of 
the ancient constitutional right of women to take part 
in Parliamentary elections. He produced copies hrom 
the Becord Office of several indentures returning 
members to Parliament^ the signatures to which were 
in the handwriting of women, or to which women were 
partiea The rights thus exercised had, he contended, 
never been taken away by Statuta He also contended 
that the general term 'man' in the new Reform Act 
included women, not only generally but specifically, 
under the provisions of Lord Romilly's Act, which 
govern the interpretation of all subsequent Statutea''^ 
Mr. Mellish followed on the other side. Mr. J. A. 

1 See Second Annual Report of the Manchester National Society for 
Women's Soflrage. ^ 

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1866 TO 1869. 86 

Busselly Q.C., was retained as counsel for the two cases 
from Salford. The expenses of these last appeals were 
most generously borne by the Mayor and Mayoress of 
Salford, Mr. and Mrs, Pochin. 

" Only the first was, however, ai^ed, and decided on 
the ground that, as the case had been taken in the name 
of a woman as appellant, the court could not hear it, as a 
woman has no right to the appeal granted by the 
Begistration Act. The second case was identical in 
principle to that of the Manchester claimants. It 
appeared from the interlocutors from the Bench that, 
had the question concerned men, the barrister would 
have had no jurisdiction over names already on the 
register and not objected to ; but one of the judges 
suggested that he would have had the right to remove 
the name of a dog or a horse from the roister, and 
therefore, by implication, identified the political status 
of women with that of the domestic animals.''^ 

The final judgment of the court was given on Monday, 
November 9th, in each case confirming the rejection of 
the claims by the revising barrister. 

Similar efforts had simultaneously been made in 
Scotland, and an appeal taken to the Supreme Court 
of Appeal, on behalf of 239 women in Edinburgh, 
eight in Wigtown, and Miss Mary Burton, who claimed 
for the county. Her case was taken first, to govern the 
rest. The Lords Benholme, Ardmillan and Manners 
graciously admitted the claimants were "not dis- 
qualified intellectually or morally," but pronounced 
them "disqualified legally." 

^ Seoond Annual Report as abora. 

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86 women's suffraob. 

The Greneral Election was in progress at the time : on 
the following day every candidate received the following 
note: — 

" Sir, — The decision in the Court of Common Pleas 
having been adverse to the claims of women to vote in 
the election of Members of Parliament, a Bill will be 
introduced into the House of Commons to establish their 
right to vote on the same conditions as men. 

"Will you kindly inform me whether you wiU, if 
returned, support such a BiU? 

" I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 

"Lydia K Becker." 

" I had made arrangements" — (so Miss Becker wrote 
to one of her co-workers)*' that immediately the decision 
was given, a note from me asking every candidate in 
England and Wales to support a Bill to establish 
Women's Suffrage, should be despatched. The ladies of 
our Committee and others undertook the writing of the 
800 notes, and I telegraphed from Westminster Town 
Hall, ' Post your letters,' as soon as I left the court Most 
were sent o£f that night, so the first note of agitation 
throughout the country sounded simultaneously with 
the announcement of the decision." Miss Bobertson in 
Dublin and Miss M'Laren in Edinburgh sent similar 
notes to the candidates in Ireland and Scotland. 

But there was still one other possibility open for 
asserting the validity of the women's claims. The 
decision in the Court of Common Pleas did not affect 
the register in those cases where women occupiers had 
been placed or left thereon by the revising barristers, 

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1866 TO 1869. 87 

and in several places women's names did by this means 
actually appear on the register. Miss Becker sent a 
short circular to each of these women electors, pointing 
out that the decision of the Court had not removed her 
from the register and exhorting her to vote. Writing 
to Miss Boucherett on November 17th, she described how 
she had been all day polling women voters; there were 
thirteen women on the register in Manchester, and eight 
of these had voted. She goes on to say : ** The Tories 
were madly jealous when they found all the women vot- 
ing Liberal, and one of Mr. Birley's friends protested. 
So I said I had one woman voter for him, if he liked to 
fetch her, and he jumped at the notion, and said he would 
go himself and take Mr. Birle/s own carriage for her. 
I was delighted, for if Mr. Birle/s own carriage went 
and their side polled a woman, it committed them to the 
principle and they could not object to ours. It was better 
they should fetch her spontaneously than that I should 
bring her, and it would have gone terribly against the 
grain for me to have taken a woman to vote, not only 
against my own side in politics, but for a candidate 
opposed to women's right No objection was made by 
any party to receiving the votes ; they were all accepted 
as a matter of course. A gentleman generously placed 
his carriage and pair of greys at my disposal, so we went 
about in style. I ought to go to bed, or I shall be used 
up in the morning." 

To another correspondent she says: '' In Salford the 
few women left on the raster after Mr. Hosack's 
murderous onslaught were eagerly competed for by the 
opposing candidatea I saw them myself, and left with 

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88 women's suffbagb. 

the understanding that they were each to vote for their 
own man — ^f our for Chorlton and Rawson, six for Cawley 
and Charley." 

It may be of interest to some to recall the places 
where women sent in claims, their numbers, and the 
various actions of the revising barristers. These par* 
ticulars, in so far as they have been accessible, are 
collected in the tabular statement which forms 
Appendix K 

§ 18. PreparcUions for a Bill. 

The new Parliament contained ninety members 
favourable to the movement/ notwithstanding the 
absence through death, retirement, or loss of seat, of 
thirty who had voted or paired with Mr. Mill, and worst 
loss of all, the absence of Mr. Mill himself. ''The defeat 
of Mr. Mill is a crushing blow ; how shall we fare in 
the House of Commons, bereft of his giant strength,'' 
exclaimed Miss Becker in a letter at the time. 

The loss was met by the action indicated in the 
following resolution passed by the Manchester Com- 
mittee early in 1869: — 

''That having taken all available steps for obtaining 
the recognition of the right of women to vote throu^ 
the registration and revision courts, and the final deci- 
sion in the Court of Common Pleas having been adverse, 
this Committee desires to carry the appeal from the 
Courts of Law to the Legislature without delay. 

^ Their names are recorded in the EnglUhwomoufCs Review of January 

Digitized by 


1866 TO 1869. 89 

" That Mr. Jacob Bright be respectfully requested to 
confer with Mr. Bussell Gumey, and other Parlia- 
mentary friends of the cause of Women's Suffrage, as to 
the expediency of introducing a measure on the sub- 
ject during the forthcoming session, and to com- 
municate the result of the consultation as soon as con- 
venient after the assembling of Parliament." 

The result of the negotiations with these Parlia- 
mentary friends was to defer any BiU for a session, and to 
work meantime on public opinion by means of meetings 
and petitiona ** Our movement is now in a stage to de- 
mand much greater and more serious efforts than we 
have been hitherto able to accomplish. We cannot 
hope for immediate, perhaps not for even speedy success 
— and ultimate success can only be accomplished by a 
long course of systematic and persevering agitation. We 
have to tread the paths that other causes of progress 
have done before us — the Anti-Corn Law League, the 
fieform movement — and to do this we need sums of 
money. Mrs. Jacob Bright is to find a few friends who 
will each guarantee the sum of £100, to be given in 
annual instalments of £20." (Letter to Mr. James Hey- 
wood, F.RS.) It was about this time that the first of 
the munificent donations, which Mr. Thomas Thomasson 
gave time after time to the Manchester Society, appears 
to have been given. The help he gave in planting the 
foothold of the work may here be most fittingly recorded. 

The Loudon Committee issued a circular urging friends 
to form local committees for the purpose of getting up 
petitions, and similar action seems to have been followed 
by all the Societies. Several lectures were also organized, 

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90 women's suffrage. 

Prof. Newman giving the first of his lectures for the 
Bristol Society in the Athenaeum, Bristol, and Miss 
Becker making her first beginning as a public speaker 
by a lecture tour to Leeds, Newcastle, and eight other 

And here let young workers take courage. Miss 
Becker — the clearest, calmest, best-balanced speaker 
the movement has ever produced, the speaker who 
" always seized the salient points," who always " got at 
the kernel of the matter " — writes thus to Miss Holland 
after her lecture at Leeds : *' I am bewildered, puzzled, 
unnerved and dissatisfied about my lecture, and unable 
to see my way clearly to mend matters, while the time 
is very short for any improvement. I believe I 
should do much better speaking than reading, but 
have not sufficient practice to make it safe to trust to 
mere notes for the pike de resistance of the evening : my 
only chance is to trust to a discussion, to something 
being said that will give me the opportunity to reply. 
Lecmiing a lecture by heart is quite out of the question. 
My peculiar nervous organization makes such a feat 
absolutely impossible."^ 

The London Committee held a public meeting on July 
17th, at the Gallery of the Architectural Society in 
Conduit Street, which was memorable for three reasons. 
It was the first public meeting on Women's Suffrage 
held in London. It was the first occasion on which 
Mrs. Fawcett spoke in public on the question to which so 

^ The lecture had heen yeiy well reoelTed, and on the motion of Mr. 
Hickea, a working man of Leeds, was printed in cheap form for wide 

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1866 TO 1869. 91 

much of the best strength of her life has since been given 
—-(in a brief speech she moved the resolution pledging 
the Society to use every lawful means to obtain the 
extension of the suffrage to women, and expressing the 
view that a Bill for that purpose should be introduced 
next session). Thirdly, the meeting was remarkable for 
the long array of political men who spoke. Here are 
the speakers in their order: Mr. Thomas Hare, Mr. 
Boyd Einnear, Mr. J. S. Mill, Bev. Charles Eingsley, 
Prot Fawcett, M.P., Mrs. Fawcett, Lord Houghton, Mr, 
John Morley, Sir Charles Dilke, M.P., Mr. P. A. Taylor, 
M.P., Prof. Masson, and Mr. Stansfeld, M.P. 

The memorable feature of 1869 for the women's 
cause was the restoration of the municipal franchise 
to women. Some contemporary letters of Miss Becker's 
will best tell the story of this step onwards. 

To Miss Boucherett, May 3rd, 1869. "It is quite 
likely we may yet have a fight this session, not on the 
Parliamentary, but on the mturUeipal franchise. Mr. 
Hibbert, M.P. for Oldham, has a Bill giving it to every 
mcUe occupier who has resided a year in a borough. 
Should this Bill pass the second reading, which it may 
do to-morrow, most likely an amendment will be 
moved in Committee to leave out the word male. Mr. 
Jacob Bright said if he could find half a dozen men 
on our side willing to support him, he would run the 
risk of the trial .... Mr. Hibbert is quite agree- 
able to the amendment. Altogether I feel quite 
encouraged, for I really think it may be carried. It 
will be a grand step towards the Parliamentary fran- 
chise. But we must be very quiet until notice is 

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92 women's suffrage. 

actually given of the amendment, and then we must 
work for it, as hard as we can." 

To Mrs. Bodichon, June 9th, 1869. " You would see 
by the papers the great victory that has been won fcwr 
us by Mr. Jacob Bright on the municipal franchise. 
Happily the deputation is no longer necessary, indeed 
the mere proposal of it seems to have been enough to 
make the Home Secretary promise to do all we wanted. 
He told Mr. Jacob Bright on Monday that he should 
support the amendment in the name of the Grovem- 
ment. The question therefore passed through the 
House without a dissentient word, causing surprise and 
excitement of a quiet sort and much pleasure to the 
real friends of the cause. The House was very good 
for that hour, the ministerial bench largely occupied 
and the ministerial side fairly occupied. But Sir T. 
Packington afterwards told Mr. Jacob Bright, in a good- 
humoured way, he supposed there was still a House of 

** To the Most Honourable the Marquis of Salisbury. 

" My Lord, — I beg to call your Lordship's attention to 
the enclosed report of debate in the House of Commons 
on Mr. Jacob Brighf s amendment to the Municipal 
Franchise BiU. Should any opposition be offered to 
the clause in the House of Lords, I would earnestly 
invoke your support of a measure which is at once 
liberal in restoring their vote to classes which have 
been disfranchised, and conservative of existing rights. 

** Since the Bill passed the House of Commons, there 

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1866 TO 1869. 98 

has occurred a contested election in the town of Bury, 
Lancashire, for commissioners under the Local Gk>vem- 
ment Act. In this the women ratepayers, as they were 
entitled to do, took part and voted. But there is a 
proposal to supersede the local Act by the introduction 
of the Municipal Act, and in this case, unless the 
clause adopted by the House of Commons became law, 
the women ratepayers of Bury will be speedily deprived 
of the electoral powers they now possess. 

" When the town of Southport was incorporated, the 
inhabitants of the neighbouring district of Birkdale 
Park resisted the extension of the Municipal Act to 
that place, chiefly on account of the disfranchisement 
which its provisions regarding term of residence and 
sex would effect. But of a total number of 290 rate- 
payers now entitled to vote under the Local Government 
Act, 76, or nearly one-third, would have been disfran- 
chised because tiiey were women. The person who has 
the largest assessment, and therefore the greatest 
number of votes, is a lady who has twelve votea Had 
the district been incorporated all these votes would 
have been taken away from her, and the franchise given 
to the poor cottager, of which the largest ratepayer 
had been deprived. My authority for these statements 
is Mr. George Higginbotham, Chairman of the local Board 
of Commissioners, Birkdale, Southport 

*' When the case is fairly before them, we do earnestly 
hope that the House of Lords will agree with the 
Commons in desiring to preserve from extinction rights 
in regard to local government which have been exer- 
cised by women ratepayers from the earliest period to 

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94 womsn's suffbags. 

the present day, and which have been carefullj guarded 
by so many successive Acts of Parliament. — I am, my 
Lord, your Lordship's obedient servant, 

'* Lydia K Bbokkr." 

Letter to the Rt. Hon. H. A. Bruce, M.P., Secretary of 


""liik April IS70. 

" Sm, — By desire of Mr. Jacob Bright, I send you the 
first and second annual report of the above Society — 
containing information respecting the number of women 
who voted at the municipal election of 1st November 
1869. The proportion of women to men on the register 
varies greatly in different boroughs, as you will perceive 
from the table of statistics appended to the second 
report — as does likewise the proportion of women to men 
who voted at the said election. It was not to be 
expected that at first the proportion would be equal, 
and in some places the disproportion is very great, but 
in the majority of cases the proportion is reasonably 
near, and in others, as Bolton, Bristol, Leicester, the pro- 
portion of women who voted was greater than that of 
the men, taking into consideration the number of each 
on the roister. In one ward in Manchester a woman 
elector set her heart on being the first at the poll, and in 
Leeds a poor widow was the first to record her vote in 
Holbeck Ward. The event was commemorated by a 
testimonial presented by subscription of 160 working men 
in the ward. In Congleton two ladies had voted before 
the clock stood at five minutes past the hour for com- 
mencing the polL These facts, though trivial in them- 

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1866 TO 1869. 95 

selves, show that electoral privil^es are very eamestlj 
prized by women. The removal of the disabilities with 
r^ard to the Parliamentary vote, which is the natural 
sequence of the removal of municipal disabilities, would 
undoubtedly be followed by a similar manifestation of 
the value attached to these privil^es, and I venture to 
express a most earnest hope that a Liberal Grovemment 
wiU be found willing to declare that free government ia 
the privilege of all Her Majesty's subjects." 

§ 19. The Supporters of the Movement. 

Here it may be well to close the period of preparation 
with an enumeration of the friends who had helped the 
cause in its early stages. The following list contains the 
names of proved friends who formed the backbone of 
the movement in the country at the time Mr. Jacob 
Bright introduced the first Bill into Parliament. In 
addition to the first pioneers and to the members of 
the early conmiittees, the list contains the names of 
those who had spoken at meetings in support of the 
question; names of some who had signed the early 
petitions and afterwards became prominent workera 
in the movement; and of some men and women of 
literary and professional eminence who had signed and 
otherwise shown their steady adherence. Those who, in 
1901, are still members of one or other of the Women's 
Sufi&age Societies are marked*. Italic type distinguishes 
those who have passed from this life. The members of 
committees are distinguished by the name of their town; 
the speakers by the dates of the meetings addressed. 

Digitized by 


women's suffrage. 

Alford, Dean (London> 

Amberley, Lord, 

Amberley^ Lady, Pres., 

Anderson, Mrs., M.D. — 
see Garrett 

AnsUy, T. CAtsAoZmjEsq. 

(April '68). 
*Ashford, Mrs., Birming- 
^Ashworth, Miss lilias 
(Mrs. Hallett), Bristol 

Bain, Prof., of Aberdeen. 

Baines, Mrs., Birming- 

Becker^ Miss, Sec., Man- 
♦Beddoe, Mrs., Bristol 

Belloc, Madame — see 

Biggs, Caroline Ashwrst, 

Bodichon, Mrs, (Barbara 
Leigh Smith), 

Barehardt, Dr. Louds, 

♦Boucherett, Miss Jessie, 

Bowyer, Sir Oeorge, M.P., 
House of Commons, 
May '67. 

Bright, Jacob, Esq., M.P., 
Manchester, Jan. '70. 

Bright, Mrs. Jacob, 

Brittan, Mrs. Alfred, 

Budd, William, M.D. 
(of Clifton). 

Bwrton, Miss Mary, Edin- 

Butler, Mrs. Josephine, 

Cai/mes, Prof., London. 

Caldenvood, Prof,, Jan. 

Caldicott, Dr,, Vice-Pres., 

Carpenter, W. B., M.D. 

Carpenter, Rev. J. 
Estlin, Bristol. 

Charley, T, W., M.P. 
♦Chorlton, T. W., Man- 

Clarke, Miss, Edinburgh. 
♦Cobbe, Miss Frances 

Power, London. 
♦Courtney, Leonard, Esq., 

Coleridge, Sir J. D. (Lord 
Coleridge) (Counsel, 
Court of Com. Pleas). 

Digitized' by 


1866 TO 1869. 


♦Colman, Mrs, Mill. 
Craig, Miss, Edin- 

Craig, Miss A., Edin- 

Crosskey, Bev, H. 
Crosskey, Mrs. 
Cruddius, Mrs., Edin- 

♦Davies, Eev. Llewelyn. 
♦Davies, Miss Emily. 
Denman, Eon, Geo., M.P., 

spoke in House of 

Commons, July '69. 
Dilke, Sir Charles W., 

Edwards, Matilda Be- 

£dwards, Amelia Bar- 
♦Estlin, Miss, Treaa, 

Farocett, Prof. H., M.P., 

House of Commons, 

May '67, 17th July 

♦Fawcett, Mra, 17th 

July '69. 
♦Garrett, Miss Elizabeth 

(Mrs. Anderson). 
CHUies, Miss Margaret. 

♦Groldsmid, Lady. 

Orote, Oeorge, Esq. 

Orote, Mrs. 

Chwmey, Bt. Hon. BusseU, 
M.P. (Teller 1867). 

Guthrie, Bev. Thomas, 

Hallett — see Ashworth. 

Hampson, Mrs. 

Hare, Thomas, Esq., July 

♦Hare, Miss (Mrs. West- 
lake), London. 
♦Haslam, Mrs. J. T. 

Hastings, George, Lon- 

Hertford, Eev. W. H., 
Oct. '68. 

Heywood, J., F.R.S., Oct 
'68, Dec '69. 

HiU, Mr. Beeorder 
Matthew Davenport. 
♦Hill, Miss Davenport 
♦Hill, Miss Florence 

HiU, Sir Bowland. 

Hodgson, W. B., LLJ). 

Home, Mrs. Ferguson, 
of Bassendean, Edin- 


Digitized by 



women's suffbage. 

Hopwood, C. H., Q.C., 

Dec '69. 
Houghton^ Lordy Chair., 

July '69. 
Hormtt, Mrs. 
Jameson^ Mrs, 
Jenkinson^ Sir George. 
Jones, Ernest, Oct. '68. 
Johnson, Miss Mary 

(Mrs. Feast), Hon. 

Sec., Birmingham. 
Johnson, Mrs. 6. B., 

Keary, Misses A. M. and 

Kingdey, Bev. Charles, 

17th July '69. 
*Kinnear, J. Boyd, Esq., 

17th July '69. 
Knox, Mrs. (Isa Craig), 

Eyllmann, Mrs. Max, 

Langton, Lady Anna 

LanJcesttr, Edwin, M.D. 
Lemmi, Mrs., Edinburgh. 
Lloyd, Dr., Bir'ham, 
Lloyd, Miss, London. 
Low, Mrs., Edinburgh. 
Lucas, Mrs. 8., London. 

MLaren, Ihrncan, Esq., 
M.P., Chair., 17th Jan. 
♦McLaren, Mrs., Pres., 

^M'Laren, Miss Agnes 
(Dr.), Edinburgh 

M*Queen, Mrs. (of Brox- 

hill), Edinburgh. 
^Manning, Miss K A. 

Martineau, Miss Harriet. 
^Martineau, Dr. James. 

Masson, Prof., 7th July 
'69, 17th Jan. '70. 

Myers, Fred. W. H., 
14th April '68. 

MiU, John Stuart, M.P., 
July '69 (Parliamen- 
tary Leader, Teller). 

Moore, Mrs. R R, 

Newman, Prof. T. W., 
Hon. Sec., Bristol 

Nichd, Mrs. Pease, Edin- 
♦Nightingale, Miss Flor- 
♦NOrris, J.F.,Q.C., Bristol 

Pankhv/rst, Dr, 

Parkes, Miss Bessie Ray- 
ner (Madame Belloc). 

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1866 TO 1869. 


PlayfaiVy Prof. LyoUy 

M.P., 17th Jan. 70. 
PochiUy Henry Davies, 

Esq., Ch., 12th April 

*Pochin, Mra, April 

Potter, T.B., M.P., April 

^Friestman, Miss A. M. 
^Friestman, Miss Mary. 
Samsay, Miss (Mrs. 

Laye), Bristol 
Siddel, Miss, EdinburgL 
Bobertson, Miss Annie, 

Dublin, 14th April 

Busdon, R. 2)., Esq.,Man- 

Rylands, Peter, M.f., 

Dec. '69. 
Sandford, Ten. Areh^ 

deacon, 14th April '68, 

May '68. 
SandwUh, Humphrey 

Shaen, Messrs., & Koscoe, 

SoUcitors to W.S.S., 

Smith, Mrs. J. W., Hon. 

Sec, London. 

Smith, Barbara Leigh — 
see Bodichon. 

8(ymerviUe, Mrs. 

Stanrfeld, Jam^es, M.P., 
17th July '69. 

Stansfeld, Mrs., Lon- 
♦Steinthal, Rev. S. A., 

^Stevenson, Miss Eliza, 

^Sturge, Miss Eliza, Bir- 

Sutdiffe, Mrs., Man- 

Symonds, J. A., MJ). 
(of Bristol). 

Taylor, Miss Helen. 

July '69. 

Taylor, Mrs. P. A., 
Trea&, London, Chair. 
July '69. 

Taylor, Mr. William, 
•Taylor, Mrs. WiUiam, 

Temple, Fred., D.D. 
(Archbishop of Can- 
♦Thomasson, Mrs. J. P. 

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women's suffbaqe. 

TwtMft^ J. p., Birming. 

♦Tyndale, Mrs., Birmii^- 

Wallace, Dr., July '69, 

Jan. '70. 
Warren, Mrs., Edin- 

Wedderbiim, Si/r David^ 

M.P., July '69. 
Wedgwood^ Mrs. Henr 

sleigh, London. 
♦Westlake, John, 0.0. 

Westlake, Mrs. — see 

Whitifforth, BrngamiUy 
Dec. '69. 

Wigham, Mrs., Edin- 

Wigham^ Miss Eliza, 

Wilson, Miss Alice, 

Winkworth, Susarmah. 

Wolstenholm, Miss (Mrs. 

Such were the men and women who had rallied to 
the movement what time the Bill for removing the 
electoral disabilities of women first came before the 
House of Commons. 

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Thk Pabuament op 1870 to 1873, 

§ 20. The Advance Ovard. 

The session of 1870 found the Women's Suffirage 
organization in full working order. The plan of an 
organ for the moyement had been long and carefully 
discussed between Miss Becker and Miss Boucherett, 
and finally the first issue of the Women's Suffrage 
Journal appeared in March 1870. The journal was 
edited by Miss Becker, and carried on by her with 
loving care and strenuous exactness during the rest of 
her Ufa The volumes of the Women's Suffrage Jowmal 
are the sources whence the student can draw infor- 
mation with absolute reliance on its ezactnesa On 
that journal Miss Becker bestowed an amount of 
anxious labour, which at times seemed to her friends 
too great ^ strain on her — ^but as she herself said of 
it, it was ''like a child" to her. She realized the 
value of a continuous record, better than perhaps any 
of her colleagues could do — a record which served to 
keep the workers in touch, which gave the cue to their 
common policy, and was a ready reference for Members 


Digitized by 


:102;- women's suffrage. 

of Parliament and others engaged in political questions. 
The Women's Suffrage Journal has preserved an un- 
broken record of every step of the movement for the 
twenty years during which it was carried on. 

This year found the Committees in London, Man- 
chester, Edinburgh, Bristol, Birmingham, established 
on a firm basis, while local Committees were springing 
up in many places, under the lead of some energetic 
worker, with a view to promoting local work in con- 
nection with the larger centres, to which they contri- 
buted many valuable permanent correspondents. 

Some early pioneer workers were drawn off to the 
special provinces of women's progress with which they 
had been originally identified ; thus Mrs. Bodichon and 
Miss Davies became absorbed in the foundation of Girton 
College ; Miss Elizabeth Gkurrett in the pursuit of the 
medical career. But new recruits were not lacking, 
drawn in by ' the centripetal force of a movement, 
which in its turn gave out force to help every effort for 
opening the gates of enterprise and possibilities of 
public service for womea 

It was a period marked by an intensity and unity 
of action then without a parallel amongst women — at 
least women in secular life. These hitherto had 
laboured in isolation, each leavening her own sphere of 
influence only : the period of associated action had now 
set in, bringing along with it new ties of friendship 
and common interest for the conunon good, between 
men and women as well as between women themselves. 

Digitized by 


• • •• • 

• • ••• 

• • • » 

Digitized by 


The Rioht Hon. Jacob Bright, M.P. 

Digitized by 


THB PABLIAMBNT OP 1870 TO 1873. 103 

§ 21. The First BiU. 

The Women's Suffrage Jourval, in its first number, sent 
forth the note of preparation for a direct appeal to the 
House of Commons by means of a Bill for extending 
the franchise to women. Its opening article testifies 
to the store set at that time on petitions, and quotes a 
statement made on one occasion by Mr. Disraeli, when 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, that '' there was no right 
really more valuable than the right of petition, nor 
could any opinion be more erroneous than that which 
supposed it to be a mere form. Because the petitions 
presented did not now lead to discussion, it was sup- 
posed that the House did not attend to them, but the 
fact was not so. Opinions expressed in petitions had 
great influence on the judgment of the House." At the 
time the journal started, 20,166 signatures had already 
been sent in, and by the end of the session of 1870 the 
total rose to 134,561, a number which was increased 
year by year for several years. Several meetings had 
already been held that year, which, though not dis- 
tinguishable in character from hosts of meetings held in 
after years, have nevertheless that special interest which 
attaches to the early beginnings of great endeavours. 
The first resolution pledging support to the actually 
drafted Bill, was the annual meeting of the Edinburgh 
Women's SufBrage Society (in Queen Street Hall, 17th 
January), when Sir David Wedderbum, M.P., moved 
" that this meeting rejoice to learn that Mr. Jacob Bright 
and Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke have agreed to bring in 
a Bill, during the ensuing session of Parliament, to remove 

Digitized by 


104 women's suffrage. 

the electoral disabilities under which women now suffer, 
and this meeting resolve to use their utmost efforts to 
support the measure." Mr. Duncan M'Laren, M.P., 
presided at this meeting, which was also addressed by 
Mr. Jacob Bright, M.P., Prof. Calderwood, Prot Masson, 
and several other gentlemen. A resolution of similar 
character was also carried (4th February) at a meeting 
in the Athenseum, Bristol, where Prof. F. W. Newman, 
Prof. Sheldon Amos and Mr. F. W. H. Myers, also Mr., 
now Judge, Norris took part No ladies, it may be noted, 
took part in either of these meetings, which in that 
respect stand almost alone in the annals of the move- 
ment, for the ladies who threw themselves into this 
work knew well that the claim came most effectively 
when women came forward to ask it on behalf of other 
women ; they felt, to use the words of the President of 
the Bristol and West of England Society, Viscountess 
Amberley, '* that if there is anything unwomanly in the 
fact of urging on others that which we earnestly believe 
to be true, we had better never have had feelings, for 
feelings without action will be but a fetter and mill- 
stone round our necks." ^ 

Mrs. Peter Taylor presided at a great meeting in the 
Hanover Square Rooms on March 20th, just after the 
Bill had been introduced into Parliament, when a resolu- 
tion was carried — '' That this meeting is of opinion that 
the extension of the franchise to women will tend to pro- 
mote amongst them a more cogent sense of their special 

^ Leoture in the Assembly Rooms, Stroud, 25th May 1870. This 
lecture was published in the Fortnightly Meview, and afterwards 
reprinted as a pamphlet. 

Digitized by 


THK PAKLIAMENT OF 1870 TO 1873. 105 

duties as citizens, and of their genercd responsibilities as 
concerned with the advancement of the highest moral in- 
terest of the whole community." This was moved and 
seconded hj Mr. J. S. Mill and Prof. Caimes, supported by 
Mrs. Greoi^ Grote, wife of the historian, who said she 
had never been engaged in any work in which her 
feelings were more completely seconded by her reason 
than this. She had always felt that the arguments 
against women's franchise were so feeble and limited 
and ineffective, that it was a wonder they were ever put 
forth. Another resolution, expressing satisfaction with 
the Bill, was moved with what, at this distance of time, 
may be termed prophetic appropriateness, by Mrs. 
Fawcett, who only three days before had made her first 
speech in public at the Town Hall, Brighton, where the 
largest audience hitherto seen in that hall had gathered 
to hear the wife of their newly elected member lecture 
on the electoral disabilities of women. In that lecture 
Mrs. Fawcett marshalled all the objections urged against 
the measure under thirteen heads, which to this day 
continue an exhaustive classification of the armoury of 
the opposition. 

The friends of the movement in Ireland were also 
alert, and on April 18th — thanks to the exertions of 
Miss J. A. Bobertson — an in£uential gathering met 
in the Molesworth Hall, Dublin — Sir Bobert Kane pre- 
siding — to hear a lecture from Mrs. Fawcett. Prof. 
Fawcett also took part, and much impetus was given to 
the petition work in Ireland. 

On May 4th the Bill "For the Eemoval of the 
Electoral Disabilities of Women" came on for second 

Digitized by 


106 women's suffrage. 

reading. Mr. Jacob Bright moved the second readmg, 
and Mr. Bouverie moved the "previous question." 
The events which followed were " surprising both to the 
friends and opponents of the cause." 

The debate was carried on with much force of logic and 
earnestness hj Mr. Jacob Bright, whose speech was one 
which encouraged friends and disarmed opponents — ^he 
was followed by Dr. Lyon Playfair, Sir Charles Dilke, 
Col. Sykes, Sir George Jenkinson and Mr. Muntz. The 
opponents made sentimental objections, but did not con- 
descend to reason. At last Mr. Secretary Bruce rose on 
behalf of the Government After explaining that there 
were occasions when a member of the Government felt 
with great regret that he could not give an independent 
vote, he went on to say that Her Majesty's Government 
had not had time to give the subject full consideration in 
all its bearings. He would ask the House to delay the 
consideration of the measure, because it was a very large 
question and required mature consideration. On being 
put to the vote, the second reading was carried by 124 
to 91, a majority of 33 in its favour. The Bill went 
into Committee on May 12th : it was reltched at a very 
late hour. Mr. Bouverie moved that it be committed that 
day six months; the promoters relied on the verdict 
already given and the burden of the debate fell on the op- 
ponents. At 1.30 a.m. Mr. Eastwick moved the adjourn- 
ment of the debate. Mr. Newdigate contended that the 
House was perfectly prepared to deal with the question 
at once. Mr. Gladstone said : " I think I may say, for 
most of my colleagues as well as myself, that we felt 
something more than surprise — that we felt disappoint- 

Digitized by 


THB PAKLIAMBNT OF 1870 TO 1873. 107 

ment — at the result arrived at on Wednesday last We 
do not attempt to limit the freedom of any one on such 
a subject, either within the officicd body or elsewhere ; 
but undoubtedly it is an opinion prevailing among us — 
and one which I for one strongly entertain, in common 
with all those now sitting near me — that it would be a 
very great mistake to carry this Bill into law." 

The Bill was rejected by 220 to 94 

Commenting on these two contradictory verdicts, the 
Women's Suffrage JowtmlI points out that the first was 
given free from pressure of any kind, even from that of 
constituents — it was given purely on the merits of the 
case ; but the second division was taken under widely 
different conditions. '' Instead of the previous question 
the opponents now moved the direct negative to the 
motion for going into Committee. Instead of per- 
mitting freedom of action to his colleagues, Mr. Gladstone 
forbade all of them who were in favour of the Bill to 
vote with Mr. Bright, while not only were those members 
who were opposed to it allowed to vote, but every man 
within reach of the Treasury whip received an urgent 
summons to attend and vote us down. .... It is 
therefore lost for this session, but it will be heard of 

The Women's Suffrage Societies immediately called a 
conference, at Aubrey House, Netting Hill — the 
residence of Mr. P. A. Taylor, M.P. Mr. Jacob Bright 
took the chair, and it was resolved to reintroduce the 
Bill next year. 

The Married Women's Property Bill occupied the 
main attention of those engaged in the women's 

Digitized by 


108 women's suffrage. 

movement during the remainder of that session, as 
will be seen hj reference to the letters from Miss 

The year 1870 is also memorable for the passing of 
Mr. Forster's Elementary Education Act. Manchester 
was the first city to hold an election under this new Act, 
and on November 24th Miss Becker was elected a 
member of the Board, being thus the first woman in 
this country who has been elected to a seat on an 
administrative council by the suffrages of a great 
popular constituency. 

§ 22. £arly Hopes. 

The year 1871 was one of much activity: meetings 
were held in many places, and again Scotland led the 
way with a large meeting in the Music Hall, Edinburgh, 
which was addressed by Mr. John Stuart MilL Miss 
Taylour and Miss Agnes McLaren b^an a long course of 
lectures throughout Scotland. Twenty of these meet- 
ings were held in March and April, and it can scarcely 
be doubted that they largely contributed to the pre- 
ponderance of votes for the Bill given that year by 
Scottish members. Had Scotland alone been concerned, 
the Bill would have been carried. 

That spring Mrs. Fawcett went, at the request of the 
Bristol and West of England Committee, to Bath, where, 
as the guest of Miss lilias Ashworth, she made her 
first acquaintance with the beautiful home on the 
Claverton heights, which became as a haven of rest 
for many and many a future visitor in the work — a 
haven whither they turned then, and turn still, for the 

Digitized by 


(LiLiAS S. AsiiwoRTH) Mr8. Hallett. (Fiom a photograph 
about 1874.) 

[Mbs. Henry Fawcett (Millicent Garrett). (From a photograph 
about 1870.) 

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THI PABUAMKNT 0? 1870 TO 1873. 109 

rest that comee of wise counsel and harmonious life— 
only the welcome of two sisters has been exchanged 
in the later years, for the welcome of husband and 

After the meeting at Bath Mrs. Fawcett and Miss 
lilias Ashworth made a tour to Exeter, Plymouth and 
Devonport Of that visit Mrs. L. Ashworth Hallett 
writes: — 

'' It was in March 1871 that Mrs. Fawcett came to 
the West of England, to fulfil a promise to give addresses 
at six or seven meetings which I had undertaken to 
organize. These meetings were held at Frome, — for 
which borough Mr. T. Hughes (* Tom Brown ') was then 
member, — at Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Taunton, Plymouth 
and Tavistock. Professor Fawcett was then mem- 
ber for Brighton, and the glamour of his name, and the 
wonder that the wife of a Member of Parliament should 
consent to appear as a platform speaker, secured us 
influential support everywhere except at Taunton. 
I had never met her before, and can always recall her 
girlish figure when she stepped out of the train at 
Bath station. 

" At Exeter we were received by Sir John and Lady 
Bowring. He had kindly consented to preside at the 
meeting. The Bishop (now Archbishop of Canterbury) 
sent a message of sympathy, and his sister. Miss Temple, 
came to support us at the meeting. Mr. W. F. Collier 
very kindly arranged the meetings at Plymouth and 
Tavistock, and secured other influential local support 

" At Taunton we had advertised our meeting without 
a chairman, trusting to finding one when we arrived * 

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110 women's suffrage. 

but on calling upon some of the leading men we found 
they would have nothing to do with our cause. We 
retired to our room at the hotel, and Mr& Fawcett 
declared that, in our perplexity, /must take the chair, 
as it would not do to be without a chairman. I was 
busy arranging a suitable speech for the emergency, 
when a gentleman, who had refused us, suddenly 
appeared — a well-known local gentleman, Mr. D. 
Badcock, bailiff of the borough. He said he could not 
allow Mra Fawcett to be left without local support and 
had come to say he would preside. I hope, if he is 
still living, he may learn that his courage and kindness 
have, after thirty years, not been forgotten. 

''At several meetings of this first series, cheers were 
caUed for by the audience for Professor Fawcett, 
because of his unselfish kindness in sparing his wife, — 
on whom he was so speciaUy dependent, — to go forth and 
plead for this new gospel It was felt that there must 
be deep meaning in a cause which could thus command 
his sympathy. 

** Two other series of meetings are still fresh in my 
memory during the year 1872, — one set in Gloucester 
and Herefordshire with Bhoda and Agnes Grarrett. 
Khoda Garrett will rank among the most remark- 
able of the early speakers. The other series were held 
in boroughs in South Wales, with Caroline Biggs. 

'' It was evident that the audiences always came 
expecting to see curious masculine objects walking on 
to the platform, and when we appeared, with our quiet 
black dresses, the whole expression of the faces of the 
audience would instantly change. I shall never forget 

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THE PARUAMENT Of 1870 TO 1873. Ill 

the thrill which passed through us when, on one 
occasion, a Nonconformist minister assured the audience 
in his speech from the chair, that we ' were quite re- 
spectable' — ^meaning to convey that we were people 
with some position, and not merely seeking notoriety or 
earning money by our speaking. 

** On one occasion, in a remote borough constituency, 
however, it was evident that groups of people had come 
with the fixed intention of sneering at the speakers, and 
the audience was in a state of amusement at our ex- 
pense. One of the ladies, with an appearance of great 
diffidence, which was really felt, came forward and told 
the meeting that, had she been a man, she would have 
had a number of votes for members of Parliament, 
as she happened to possess some property in several 
constituenciea This statement entirely disarmed the 
meeting. They seemed at once to realize that there was 
a strong grievance, and gave a most respectful hearing 
for the rest of the evening. 

** When making a tour of meetings, it was our custom 
to call at the newspaper office, the day of the meeting, 
and ask the editor to give a report. The lengths of the 
reports in the papers of thirty years ago are remarkable. 
Once an amusing incident occurred. When we called 
to see the editor in a small country-town constituency, 
he said he entirely disapproved of ladies speaking and 
of the movement, and that he would give no report 
or come near the meeting. We retired from his 
presence with as much dignity as our sore feelings 
would permit The meeting was crowded and 
sympathetic, and in the middle of the proceedings we 

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112 women's suffrage. 

perceived the editor slyly creep in and hide himself in 
the middle of the throng. The lady who spoke after 
this incident, ended her address by telling the story of 
this interview with the editor in an amusing and 
charitable spirit, and ended by wishing that he could 
have been with them that night, when he might have 
been carried away by the spirit of the meeting, and 
even be brought to look more favourably on women 
speakers. This brought down the house ; the audience 
cheered and shouted, * He is here ; we have him here.' 
Whereupon the editor, greatly moved, came out from 
the crowd, amid renewed excitement and applause. He 
said he wished to join in the vote of thanks to the 
ladies — ^he had never heard ladies speak before, and 
could not help thinking that those who could be so 
interesting and amusing on a platform, must be very 
pleasant, good comrades to live with at home. 

" This old borough is now lost in the county. The 
generous editor has long since passed away, and 
possibly the newspaper has ceased to exist 

'' The meetings of thirty years ago no doubt gained 
many votes in Psurliament. A largely attended meeting, 
with some good local support, in a small borough 
constituency, carried great influence with the member. 
The relative value of meetings was, of course, greatly 
altered when the redistribution of seats took place. 

''The novelty of hearing women speakers brought 
crowds to the meetings. Invariably the doors were 
thronged with people unable to obtain seats. The tours 
of meetings, consisting of six or seven in a fortnight, 
were a great nervous effort in those early days. They 

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Viscountess Amberlet and her littlo girl Rachel Russell. 
(From a photograph in 1872.) 

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THB paeuamutt or 1870 to 1873. 113 

were, however, a sonroe of much interest, and even of 
pleasure in the retrospect, for we never failed to cany 
our resolutions afl&rming the principle of the sufifrage 
and adopting petitions to Parliament. OccasionaUj an 
amendment would be moved, but nowhere was it ever 

<* Viaoountess Amberley was another notable pioneer. 
She and Lord Amberley had paid a visit to J. S. Mill 
at Avignon, and Mill had persuaded them that it would 
he of great value to the cause if a lady in her position 
would speak at some meeting. This led Lady Amberley 
to become President of the Bristol and West of England 
Society, and to her presiding at a meeting in the 
Broadmead Booms (now pulled down) at Bristol in 
February 1872. Her early death from diphtheria- 
caused by devotion to her little girl Eachel, who died of 
the same disease— removed a valuable speaker and 
notable personaUty. She was daughter of Henrietta 
Maria, Lady Stanley of Alderley (one of the remarkable 
women of our time), and married Viscount Amberley 
eldest son of Lord John Eussell (Earl EussellX 

'* Another speaker of note m the west country was 
Lady Anna Gore Langton, who became President of the 
Bath Branch of the Suffrage Society, January 1872, and 
acted as delegate to the Central Committee (London) 
She became President of the Bristol and West of 
England Society after the death of Lady Amber! 
Her speaking was thoroughly practical, and carrS 
with it great earnestness and conviction—perW^ 
was aU the more convincmg because it was auiet a 
unassuming. Her fine presence and noble face lent 

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114 womsn's suffrage. 

dignity to all she said. Her comparatiyelj early death 
was a great loss to the cause. In her will she be- 
queathed £1000 to Girton College, Cambridge. Had 
she lived, she would have inherited the Earldom of 
Temple, which passed to her son on the death of her 
brother, the last Duke of Buckingham, 

*' The f oUowing extracts from newspapers during those 
early years may convey to the present generation some- 
thing of the effect made upon the public mind by the 
extraordinary innovation of women speakera Looking 
through a pile of old newspapers, I see these comments: — 

"'The room was densely crowded— drawn thither by 
the announcement that feminine man, viz., three ladies, 
were to fight the cause. This they did right manfully, 
yet, withal, in a most clear, lucid and persuasive manner, 
without the least vulgarism.' 

*' * Few ladies have courage Amazonian enough to brave 
the publicity of meetings.' At one meeting a clergyman 
arose and said ' it was forbidden by Holy Scripture for 
women to speak or take part in public affairs.' After a 
heated discussion, a gentleman rose and said that his 
grandmother was a Quakeress and spoke constantly in 
Quaker churches, adding, * Let anyone prove, who can, 
that she transgressed the laws of Ood or man.' A 
resolution of thanks to the ladies was passed ' lor their 
heroism in giving such able and interesting speeches.' 

" Another paper says : * Whether we agree or not, we 
admire the courage of the ladies, who have given an in- 
tellectual treat' 

" Another paper, referring to Lady Anna Gore Lang- 
ton, says : ' Her ladyship's position in the chair, and the 

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Lady Anna Gobb Lanoton. 

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THE PARUAMBNT OF 1870 TO 1873. 115 

ladiee by whom she was surrounded, was a proof of the 
highest moral courage.' 

^ After conceding the intellectual capability and moral 
courage of the ladies, there yet lingered for a long time 
the doubt as to their physical capacity — viz., whether 
their voices were reaUy fit for the strain. This doubt 
lingered so late as 1877. A great meeting was held 
that year in St. James' Hall, London, presided over by 
the late Lord Houghton. The following was a news- 
paper comment : * We hope the gentlemen will not be 
offended or cast down if we say that they were much 
less distinctly heard than the ladies. There is a quality 
in the female voice which seems to carry it further 
with less effort than the organ of the stronger sex.' 

'' Among the changes in the position of women during 
the last half of the reign of our Queen, none is more 
striking than this of public speaking. As I passed 
through Bath the other day, I noticed the walls covered 
with two great placards — one set announced a meeting 
to be presided over by a duchess ; the other announced 
a great political party meeting to be presided over by a 
countess. Nobody saw anything remarkable in this 
enlargement of woman's sphere ; but my mind instinc- 
tively travelled back to the days when women, moved by 
the sense of great injustice, undaunted by scorn and 
sneers, went forth to speak the thing they knew, and 
to plead for their sex a fair field and no favour." 

Such were some of the earliest experiences of public 
meetings when women had as yet taken no prominent 
part in the general political party work of the country. 

All through the session petitions had continued to 

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pour in, bringing up the total at the time of the debate 
to 185,000. A few days before the debate took place a 
circular was issued, summoning the Women's Suffirage 
workers to a Conference in the following terms : — 

'*The Committees of London, Edinburgh, Dublin, 
Manchester, Birmingham, and the West of England 
earnestlj invite jour presence at a Conference to be 
held in London on Friday, the 28th inst. 

" On the 3rd of May Mr. Jacob Bright will propose 
the second reading of the ' Bill to remove the Electoral 
Disabilities of Women,' and we call this Conference as 
a means of bringing together the friends of the cause 
from every part of the United Kingdom, in order to 
strengthen the hands of our supporters in the House 
of Commons at this critical time, and to discuss the 
means to be employed in aid of the progress of the BilL 

** Last year, in face of petitions from more than 130,000 
British subjects, and a considerable Parliamentary 
majority in favour of the second reading of the Bill, 
Mr. Gladstone declared in the House of Commons that 
*he saw neither desire nor demand for this measure,' 
and the whole force of the Grovemment was exerted 
against our cause. 

**We desire to call upon our adherents everywhere 
to protest against the hostile attitude assumed by a 
Grovemment professing to be Liberal and to be based 
on household suffrage. 

''An influential deputation from the Conference 
will wait upon Mr. Gladstone to present a Memorial 
pressing for the immediate extension of the electoral 
franchise to women householders and ratepayers. 

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THB PARLIAMENT OF 1870 TO 1873. 117 

''The Conference will meet at the Langham Hotel, 
Segent Street The chair will be taken at two o'clock 

*' Mentia Taylor, Hon. Sec., London. 

"* Agnbs M'Laren, Hon. Sec., Edinburgh. 

"Annie Eobertson, Hon. Sec., Dublin. 

"Lydia E. Becker, Hon. Sea, Manchester. 

** Eliza M. Sturge, Hon. Sec., Birmingham. 

« LiLiAS S. AsHWORTH, | HoiL Seca, Bristol 

" Elizabeth P. Ramsay, J and West of England. 

A memorial was conveyed from this Conference to 
Mr. Gladstone, setting forth the constitutional basis of 
the claim and signed by 2000 women, the first amongst 
them being: 

Florence Nightingale. Harriet Martineau. 

Mary Carpenter. Frances Power Cobbe. 

Augusta Webster. Anna Louisa Chisholm. 

On May 3rd Mr. Bright, for the second time, intro- 
duced his Bill ; and for the second time Mr. Bouverie 
carried 220 votes against it with him into the lobby ; 
but Mr. Bright's following had increased to 151, and 
the hostile majority had fallen to 69. An analysis of 
the division list showed that 122 constituencies were 
clearly ranged in favour, amongst them being all five 
of the three-membered boroughs, the chief centres of 
political activity, viz., Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, 
Leeds, Manchester. Moreover, Mr. Gladstone's tone of 
decided opposition had greatly modified ; he had spoken 

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118 women's suffrage. 

apparently in favour of the principle. Thus there was 
much justification for the bright hopefulness with which 
the leading article of the Women's Suffrage Journal con- 
cludes: "We have but to persevere in our efforts in 
order to reap a speedy reward, and we may look forward 
with a reasonable hope that the moral victory of last 
month will be converted into a numerical victory when 
next Mr. Jacob Bright asks the assent of the House of 
Commons to the second reading of the Women's Dis- 
abilities Bill" 

"The hopes expressed in our letters in those days 
would read idiotic now/' said one of the '' old gang," in 
this year 1900. But, ah ! no. Not so — ^it is as true for 
the life of a cause, as for the life of a soul, that : 

". . . . tasks in hours of ixisiglit will'd 
Can be through hours of gloom fulfilled." 

§ 23. The Session of 1872— Formation of Central 

The encouragement to the suf&age party in 1871 
naturally aroused extra exertions on the part of the 
opponents in the following session. A whip was sent 

" Wom^n^s Suffrage. — You are earnestly requested to 
be in the House on Wednesday, May 1st, not later than 
four o'clock, to vote against the second reading of the 
Women's Suffrage BilL Dimsion certain, 


" A. J. Bbrbsfoed Hope. Hbnrt James." 

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THE PABUAMBNT OF 1870 TO 1873. 119 

This whip told with more instant effect on doubtful 
votes than all the 330,000 signatures of men and women, 
from all parts of the United Kingdom, who petitioned 
for the passing of the Bill, and than all the one hundred 
and fifty meetings that had been held during the previous 
winter and spring. Even then the list of supporters was 
longer than that of 1871 ; for though, as will be seen hj 
the Parliamentary chart, the figures of the division were 
less favourable, the addition of eighteen pairs brought 
the total of friendly members to the increased total 
of 160. 

Turning from Parliament to the work outside, the 
most important sign of progress was the formation, in 
1872, of a Central Committee in London, in accordance 
with the wish expressed by Mr. Jacob Bright at a Con- 
ference of Friends of Women's Sufifrage, in the Mayor's 
Parlour, Manchester, in the previous November. At that 
Conference Mr. Bright had said: ''Any Member of Parlia- 
ment who has a Bill before the House, especially if it 
be for a popular object, knows very well how important 
it is to have an energetic support from the country; 
and during the last session of Parliament, when I was 
looking forward to the second reading of the Women's 
Disabilities Bill, I felt strongly the want of a body in 
London, representing all the various Associations, which 
could produce some agitation there, and take the various 
means which we know are taken to influence members. 
Well, this was very difficult, as there was no Central 
Association. There was a London Committee, a 
Manchester Committee, a Dublin Committee, a Bristol 
Committee, and so on; but there was no Association 

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120 women's sufpragb. 

representing all these Committees, and therefore there 
was no one, as it were, to arrange anything, or to adopt 
such political action as was necessary at the tima Yet, 
in spite of this difficulty, a very influential Conference 
was called in London, lai^lj attended by ladies, and 
chiefly addressed by ladies; and the members of this 
Conference, being in London, used what influence thej 
could with such Members of Parliament as they knew. 
All that was very important, and I have no doubt what- 
ever that the number of those who voted for the second 
reading of the Bill was increased by the action which 
was then taken. Wh&t we want now is, if possible, to 
have a standing Central Committee. The object of this 
Committee is solely that we may, as it were, pour all 
our divergent streams into it for particular work on 
particular occasions ; and I must say that, having this 
Bill in hand in the House of Commons, I have greatly 
felt the necessity of such an organization ; and I doubt 
very much whether we shall ever succeed in this cause 
until we unite our forces in that way for the particular 
objects to which I have referred." 

The proposal met with approval from the provincial 
Societies — only the London dissented. This they did 
for reasons which they thus expressed in a circular to 
their members : ** We hold it to be important that no 
person conspicuously engaged, either as officer or as 
lecturer, in some other agitations now proceeding, to 
which we will not further allude, should hold any con- 
spicuous place in the movement for Women's Suffirage.'* 
The fear was not entirely without groundwork, as the 
names of the provisional honorary secretaries of the pro- 

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THE PAKLIAMKNT OP 1870 TO 1873. 121 

posed Central Committee were conspicuously associated 
with another agitation. At the same time the fear was 
needless, for the leaders of the Women's Suffrage policy 
were all fully conscious of the importance, not to say 
necessity, of keeping the Women's Suffrage agitation on 
its own distinct and separate basis. The circular just 
quoted disclaimed any unfriendly or personal feeling in 
the matter ; ^' but we have arrived deliberately at the 
opinion that it would be better that two Committees 
should co-exist than that one only should exist, exposed 
to the reasonable dissatisfaction of those friends of 
Women's Suffrage strongly opposed to some other move- 
ments now on foot: inasmuch as, if there existed no 
executive body entirely disconnected with those other 
movements, many friends of Women's Suffrage might 
find themselves compelled to withdraw their sup- 

Accordingly, for a while, two Societies worked in 
London. Hie Central Committee, which was formally 
constituted at a meeting at the Langham Hotel on 
January 17th, took an office at 9 Bemers Street, in the 
premises of the Bemers Club for Ladies — the then 
solitary forerunner of the now numerous women's clubs. 
The '* Old London " continued its separate existence for 
a few years — ^Mrs. Wm. Burbury acting as honorary 
secretary. It did some useful local work, chiefly by 
lectures ; but in 1877, by the good offices of Mr. Leonard 
Courtney, it amalgamated with the Central Society, the 
objections felt by its members having disappeared with 
the lapse of time. 

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122 women's suffrage. 

§ 24. Work for the BiU. 

In December a Conference was held in Birmingham, 
attended by delegates from all the Women's Suffrage 
Societies, as well as bj an influential contingent of 
supporters in Birmingham. Mrs. Bobert Feast — who, 
as Miss Johnson, had been the first Secretary of the 
Birmingham Committee— presided. A paper was read 
by Mrs. Arthur Arnold on the general claim of 
women, followed by one from Miss Becker on "The 
Future of the Women's Sufirage Movement," showing 
the position, under the three aspects, of : — the alterations 
in the legal and social position of women which would 
be effected by the possession of the franchise ; the pro- 
bable course of the movement in the longer or shorter 
time that must elapse before the Bill became law; 
the course to be adopted in the immediate future. 
Under this last head their object must be worked for 
in four distinct directions : the Government, the oppo- 
sition, the House of Commons, and the country. The 
paper then went on to discuss practical suggestions for 
work in each of these directions, and concluded by 
indicating the political possibilities on the then horizon 
in words which gave the cue to the work and hopes of 
the next ten years. 

'' There are nunours abroad of the proepect of a new Reform Bill, 
the main provision of which is to be the extension of the principle 
of household suffrage to the counties. In anticipation of such a 
Bill various political societies are holding meetings and framing 
resolutions pressing upon the Government the desirability of such 
a proposal I suggest that an earnest effort should be made to 

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THE PABLIAMBNT OF 1870 TO 1873. 123 

induce politicianB wlio are working for the extension of the 
principle of household sufifrage to the counties to include in their 
proposals the demand that household suffrage shall be completed 
in the town, by being granted to all householders, irrespective of 
sex. It is difficult to see how an earnest demand for the suffrage 
made on behalf of householdejgsnow excluded could be resLsted by 
those who are asking for the extension of the principle to the 
counties, consistently with the arguments they will be compelled 
to use when l^y urge their own object. Men who did so resist 
would have to adopt and use against women the very arguments 
which their opponents use against them. Out c^ their own mouths 
they would be cendemned — and out of their own utterances would 
their opponents ne able to put them to shame. I believe, there- 
fore, that with proper pressure and perseverance, our claims might 
be pressed upon the Gkivemment through their own supporters, on 
their own principles, and through ordinary political agency. It is 
certain that the claim so pressed would present itself with greatly 
i n cr eased strength. The Government might possibly be induced 
to include it in their own proposals^ should they have any in- 
tention of introducing a Bill for the extension of household suffirage 
to the counties, or they might consent to adopt an amendment 
having that effect It is obvious that should such a measure be in 
contemplation it will afford a most favourable opportunity for 
pressing our daim for a small share in any proposed redistribution 
of political power, and we earnestly exhort all our friends to urge 
this daim on &11 occasions, and by every means in their power, on 
the attention of those whose representations and efforts will have 
an influence in determining the shape in which the proposals for 
such redistribution shall be presented to Flarliament." 

The lines of work indicated in Miss Becker's paper 
were sedulously pursued, and sheets of two memorials 
to be signed by women were set in general circulation 
— one addressed to Mr. Gladstone, and another to Mr. 
Disraeli — and then were conveyed to the two leaders 
just before the date on which the debate on the Bill 

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124 women's suffrage. 

was to come on. Each contained over 11,000 signa- 
tures ; but, as many signed both, the total number of 
women taking part in the memorials was rather 
over 18,000. 

That to Mr. Disraeli was presented by Mr. Wm. Gore 
Langton, M.P., who received the following reply: — 

'* Deab Qori Lanoton, — I was muchhonoured by receiving irom 
your hands the memorial signed by 11,000 women of England— 
among them some illnstrions names — thanking me for my services 
in attempting to aboUah the anomaly that the Parliamentary 
francluse attached to a household or property qualification, whoi 
possessed by a woman, should not be exercised, though in all 
matters c^ local government^ when similarly qualified, she exerdses 
this right. As I believe this anomaly to be injurious to the 
best interests of the country, I trust to see it removed by the 
wisdom of Parliament — ^Yours sincerely, 

•*B. Disraeli.*' 

The division of 1873 was the largest yet recorded: 
Mr. Bouverie again mustered 222 followers as before. 
Mr. Jacob Bright's followers rose to 155, and the hostile 
majority fell to 67. The most interesting incident 
of the debate was the speech of the Right Hon. J. W. 
Henley, the venerable and much-respected member for 
Oxfordshire. It made a marked impression, and should 
be recorded here. 

''I have always voted against this Bill, but I have lately 
watched carefully the operation of the exercise of the franchise 
both in municipal and in school board elections by women, 
and as I think it has been beneficial in these cases, I do not 
see any reason why it should not be beneficial in Parliamentary 
elections. What my hon. friend has said has ocmfirmed me in 
the view I have adopted. He says the French revolutionists con- 

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Camolink Ashurst Biggs. (From a photogmpli about 1876.) 

Maby Bbedy, M.A. (Vassar). 

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THE PARTJAMENT OF 1870 TO 1873. 125 

Bidered that they would not have the women. Well, I do not want 
ns to be revolutionigtB, and that is an additional reason why we at 
all events should give the franchise to women. As to any in- 
security in the wording of the Bill, that may be set right in 
Committee. The principle is that women should have the right of 
voting. I confess that I have always hitherto voted against the 
Bill, but for the reasons I have stated I shall now give it my hearty 

The energy thrown into meetings during this Parlia- 
ment may, in some degree, be judged by a glance at the 
meetings held in the six months immediately preceding 
the debate of 1873. During that time 100 meetings 
were held, in which all the speakers who were at this 
period actively taking part in the movement spoke more 
or less frequently. Thus, Miss Caroline Ashurst Biggs 
spoke on twenty-three, Miss Becker on twenty-one 
occasions; the Misses Beedy and Lilias Ash worth each 
fourteen ; the Misses Bhoda Garrett and Emily Spender 
ten each; Mrs. Henry Sangsley eight; Miss Isabella 
Stuart and Miss Eliza Sturge each seven times ; Mrs. 
Fawcett five times; Mrs. John Hullah and Miss Helena 
Downing each thrice ; Mra Arthur Arnold twice ; and 
Miss Jessie Craigen held twelve of her open-air 

A mere collection of figures forsooth. Yes, but 
every unit of those figures is the tale of novel ex- 
periences in days when audiences came for the curiosity 
of hearing a woman speak — days sometimes clouded 
by difficulties in finding supporters to encourage, but 
oftener brightened by memories of friendly sympathy 
from persons of many divers conditions — it was the 
members of the Society of Friends and the ministers of 

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126 women's suffrage. 

Congregational churches who were in those days the 
most ready to give a helping hand to the novel idea. 
Nor was the humorous element absent from those 
gatherings, as when the chairman on one occasion, 
introducing Miss Lilias Ashworth and Miss Caroline 
Biggs to the meeting, assured the audience, that, though 
these ladies had come to address them from a platform, 
they were " quite homely women." 

The list includes tours in Lancashire by Miss Becker 
and Miss Isabella Stuart; one in South Wales by 
Misses Lilias Ashworth, C. A. Biggs and Emily Spender ; 
others in Kent and Lincolnshire, when the latter was 
replaced by Miss Mary Beedy, an American graduate of 
Vassar College, who puzzled the public mind by the 
M.A. after her name on the placards of the meetings, 
when, as yet, such letters were unattainable by English- 
women, and who charmed even opponents by her 
amiability and practical good sense. 

Open-air lectures given by that strange, erratic 
genius, Jessie Craigen, are also on the list. She planned 
and carried out her tours all of herself, travelling all 
over the kingdom from John o' Groats to the Land's 
End, accompanied only by her little dog. With the 
power of her magnificent voice, she gathered audiences 
round and held them riveted — now miners at the pit- 
bank in Northumberland or Durham, now fishers in 
Aberdeen or in Cornwall, or agricultural labourers in 
the market-places of country towns. Every now and 
then she would send a bundle of petitions from these 
meetings to Miss Becker or Miss Ashworth, which 
in their grimy condition bore token of their genuineness. 

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AuNKU M'Laren. (From a photoj^rapli in 1872.) 

Jane Taylour. (From a photograph iu 1871.) 

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THB PAKLIAMINT OF 1870 TO 1873. 127 

The wanderings of that restless daughter of a Highland 
seafaring father and an Italian actress mother would 
be a romantic tale. 

In Scotland also work had gone forward steadily. 
Miss Agnes McLaren reported to the Edinburgh Com- 
mittee that in December 1872 Miss Jane Tajlour and 
herself had held eighteen public meetings in the West 
of Scotland during the two previous months. These 
meetings were presided over, in nearly every instance, 
by the most influential citizen of the place, and had 
been attended by very large numbers ; and in all but 
one the vote of the meetings had been given in favour 
of Women's Suffrage, and petitions had been agreed to 
and signed by the chairman on behalf of the meetings, 
and committees to promote the cause had generally 
been formed. Miss Taylour having intimated her 
intention to leave Scotland shortly for a residence in 
England, it was agreed by the Conmiittee "to record 
their appreciation of her generous disinterestedness and 
most indefatigable services in having given three years of 
zealous labour to the cause of Women's Suffrage, during 
which she had delivered one hundred and thirty-one 
lectures, characterised by much care, thought and 
talent, which have awakened interest not only in the 
question of granting Parliamentary suffrage to women, 
but also in the higher development of women gener- 

In Ireland Miss Tod, accompanied by Miss Beedy, 
addressed a tour of meetings in February 1872, of which 
she wrote to the Central Committee in London that 

^ W. S. Journal, January 1878. 

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128 women's suffrage. 

" everywhere they received good local support and met 
with much cordial sympathy, and nowhere opposition," 
The first of these meetings took place in Belfast on 
February 6th, Mr. Wm. Johnston, M.P., presiding. " I 
was afraid to take too large a hall," wrote Miss Tod, 
*' lest Miss Beedy's voice or mine might be unable to 
fill it ; but the one where we met is seated for between 
600 and 600 people, and was quite crowded. On the 
platform were a nimiber of influential and highly repre- 
sentative ladies and gentlemen, of all shades of opinion, 
religious and political" 

Other meetings followed — one at Carrickfergus, Mr. 
Marriott Dalway, M.P., in the chair; another at 
Coleraine, where "the Town Hall, holding about 500 
people, was filled to overflowing, and among the audience 
were many people of the best position in the neighbour- 
hood. I was more struck at this meeting, than any- 
where else, with the distinct change of opinion which 
passed over our audience as we proceeded. First, 
amused curiosity, then interest, then conviction, and 
then it became positive"^ enthusiasm." This was 
followed by a drawing-room meeting in Derry, at the 
house of Mr. W. Biggar, J.P. ; and the tour closed with 

'* Some friends in Dublin, especially Mrs. Haslam, Mr. 
Eason, and Miss Corlett of the Queen's Institute, 
invited us to close our series of meetings by holding one 
thera There is no Committee in Dublin, and Miss 
Robertson, who has done much for the cause in other 
ways, was unfortunately, I believe, in Scotland. The 
meeting, however, was very good indeed. It was held on 

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THE PARLIAMENT OP 1870 TO 1873. 129 

the 2l8t, the Lord Mayor occupying the chair. The 
other speakers were Dr. Stewart, Eev. W. F. Stevenson, 
Mr. Eason, Rev. Mr. Carroll, Alderman Durdin, and 
Father O'Malley. The three clergymen named are 
respectively Presbyterian, Episcopalian and Catholic" 
This was the last time on which it could be said there 
was no Committee in Dublin. In Mrs. Haslam the 
Women's Suffrage cause had by this time found a 
worker full of perseverance and buoyant energy. Mrs. 
Haslam (Anna Maria Fisher) added another to the 
many workers whom the Society of Friends, with its 
solid and equal education for boys and girls, had fur- 
nished to the movement As a girl of seventeen she 
had helped, in the days of the Irish famine, in the soup- 
kitchens at YoughalL At twenty she had sat with 
Elihu Burritt at a public meeting, where she read a report 
of the "Olive Leaf Circle," one of the first branches started 
in Ireland of a small association which originated in 
the Society of Friends, rather more than fifty years ago, 
for interesting young people in the principles of peace. 
Coming as a young married woman to live in Dublin, she 
was fully alive to the questions of higher education and 
employment for women, then finding expression in the 
foundation of the Queen's Institute (in Molesworth St.) 
and the Alexandra College. Mr& Haslam's name first 
appeared in Women's Suffrage interests on the petition of 
1866. This meeting now opened out opportunity for an or- 
ganized cohesion of friends of the movement, and she took 
up the work as Honorary Secretary of the Committee in 
Dublin, of which she is Honorary Secretary to this day.^ 

^ For portrait of Mrs. Haslam, see p. 216. 


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130 women's suffrage. 

Miss Isabella M. S. Tod first became interested in 
the movement through the meeting of the Social Science 
Association at Belfast in 1867. Hitherto her circle had 
presented no open door for the studious young woman, 
careful and sympathetic compcmion to a much-loved and 
liberal-minded mother, from whom she inherited the 
longing that she felt from her youth up to improve the 
lot of women. Urged on by this new motive, she studied 
diligently many things not usual with the girls of her 
day — thus, when the Social Science Congress came to her 
city, she was ready to be drawn into active connection 
with the questions of education for women, and married 
women's property laws, which were prominent subjects 
of discussion that year. By an easy, indeed a necessary, 
transition she very soon entered the Suflfrage movement, 
the ideas of which came as a revelation to her. Both in 
writing and speaking she had the charm of an easy flow 
of well-chosen words, springing from the stores of a 
cultured and deeply religious mind, combined with some 
of the fighting temperament of her Scotch Presbyterian 
paternal ancestry, a combination of qualities that quickly 
made her foremost in the movement in Ireland. 

§ 25. Fresik Grovrnds of Hope. 

At this period a new feature appeared on the horizon of 
electoral politics — the claim of the agricultural labourer 
to share the privileges bestowed by the Act of 1867 on 
small householders in boroughs, was debated for the first 
time in the House of Commons in April 1873, when Mr. 
6. 0. Trevelyan introduced the Household Franchise 

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Isabella S. M. Tqd. (From a photograph about 1890.) 

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Digitized by 


THE PAKLIAMltNT OF 1870 TO 1873. 131 

Counties BilL Mr. Jacob Bright, on that occasion, 
pointed out that if justice demanded that a million of 
men be added to the register, which already contained 
two millions, justice demanded yet more urgently the 
admission of three hundred thousand women, seeing 
that women had not a particle of representation ; and 
every argument now used with regard to the County 
Franchise Bill, told with even greater force with r^ard 
to the Women's Disabilities BilL Mr. Bri^t subse- 
quently gave notice of an amendnent in Committee to 
include women householders. The Bill, which did not go 
to a division, did not, however, reach Committee stage ; 
but from that time forward the claim of the agricultural 
labourer had a foremost place amongst the topics of politi- 
cal speeches, and awakened a reasonable hope amongst 
the workers for Women's Suffrage that their claim 
might be considered alongside of the claim of the agri- 
cultural labourer, and Miss Becker, in the Women's Suf- 
frage Jowmal, urged that meetings called for the purpose 
of reconmiending measures for the attention of Govern- 
ment would place the removal of the electoral dis- 
abilities of women on their lists — following the example 
set by a meeting of the Liberal Party in Birmingham on 
10th December 1872, when Mr. S. Dixon, M.P., and Mr. 
Muntz, M.P., addressed their constituents, and a resolu- 
tion was passed, in which '' assimilation of the borough 
and county franchise " and " recognition of the rights of 
women (being householders) to the franchise " were included 
in the measures the meeting '* trusted Ministers would 
introduce into Parliament as soon as practicable." That 
resolution was moved by Mr. Joseph Chambbklain, who 

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132 women's suffrage. 

said, in the course of his speech, that they had to complete 
the work of 1867> and that they had also to claim the 
suffrage for women who are householdera^ 

Almost contemporaneously with this new impetus to 
the movement came the death of its first leader. Mr. 
John Stuart Mill passed away at Airgrove on April 8th. 
** His was the hand which dealt the first effectual blow 
at the political slavery of women. Many before him 
had thought, and spoken, and written against the sub- 
jection of women, but no one before him had taken 
practical steps to abolish their political disabilities." 
So Miss Becker wrote in the Women's Suffrage Jou/mal 
of June 1873. " Let them, then, avail themselves," she 
went on to say, " of the occasion ; let them honour Mill 
by the one tribute and the one duty which women 
alone can give. Men can raise monuments to his 
memory ; men can labour, as he has laboured, for the 
removal of electoral disabilities; but Mill could not 
give — and men cannot give — political freedom to 
women, unless they themselves come forward to claim 
and exercise it. Men cannot prove that Mill was wise 
or right in claiming political emancipation for women ; 
women alone can justify to the world the course he 
took on this great question by the earnestness with 
which they seek, and the discretion with which they 
use, the political rights which he sought to obtain for 

Such was the position and attitude of the suffrage 
workers when the election of 1874 took place. The 

^ Quoted from Birmingham Daily Post in WometCs Suffrage J<mmal 
ot February 1872, p. 15. 

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attitude of Parliament may be gathered from the 
following table of the division lists in the House of 
Commons ; — 






































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Thb Parlumbnt of 1874. 

§ 26. A Dilemma, 

The General Election of February 1874 placed a Con- 
servative Ministry in power, with Mr. Disraeli at its 
head. like the previous election of 1868, this election 
returned an increased number of supporters of the claim 
of women to the franchise. It also resembled the 
election of 1868, in the distressing particular that the 
leader of the question was defeated. Not only Mr. 
Jacob Bright, but also Mr. Eastwick, who had seconded 
the Bill, was left out ; so also were Mr. Fawcett, Mr. 
Hinde Palmer, and several other friends of the measure. 
The loss of these strong supporters in the House 
occasioned much anxiety as to who would now be 
Parliamentary leader. And it was with considerable 
gratification that the Committees found that so pro- 
minent a member of the legal profession as Mr. W. 
Forsyth, Q.C. (Conservative; M.P. for Marylebone), 
was willing to take charge of the measure. 

Presently, however, a cdflBculty arose, and the Com- 
mittees found themselves in a considerable dilemma on 


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1874.] THB P/LKUAMENT OF 1874-80. 135 

hearing that Mr. Forsyth proposed to introduce words 
into the Bill, which, however desirable from the Parlia- 
mentary point of view, as giving precise definition 
to its actual operation, would, they well knew, be a 
stumbling-block from the propagandist point of view. 

Miss Becker, writing to Mr. Eastwick on March 4th, 
thus explained the diflBculty : — 

*^ I earnestly hope Mr. Forsyth does not wish to alter the word- 
ing of our Bill. It wotdd be a fatal error, as it seems to me. We 
should limit ourselves strictly to the disabilities of sex and leave 
the marriage question alone. We ought not to introduce the 
matter of marriage into the electoral law. If married women 
cannot vote under the Municipal Franchise Act of 1869, it is 
nothing in the wording of the Statute which disqualifies them, but 
the common law disabilities of marriage. It would be very 
unwise to raise the question of the expediency of maintaining these 
disabilities in a debate on the question of removing the disabilities 
of sex. The Bill with respect to the Parliamentary franchise 
should strictly follow the precedent of the Municipal Franchise 
Act, otherwise we shall be overwhelmed with difficulties at the 
outset. The Bill as it^ stands has obtained 155 votes in the old 
House of Commons and 218 pledges in the new Parliament If it 
is altered, aU these pledges will be vitiatedL The Bill as it stands 
satisfies women who are claiming the franchise. If we cannot 
have all we want — a Bill conferring the su£&age on the same 
conditions as it is given to men — ^the alteration could be made in 
Committee, and we must perforce submit ; but, pray, use your 
influence to get the Bill introduced in its original form. The 
Bill as it stands is sound and comprehensive in principle. It does 
not touch the disabilities of marriage. If it attempted to deal 
with it, it must either first abolish the disabilities in cases where 
a married woman possesses the qualification as owner or occupier 
of property, if she can possess it ; or, secondly, conferring the exist- 
ing common law disability by a fresh statutory penalty on marriage. 
I believe that either of these courses would raise grave objections, 

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136 WOMSll'S SUFFBAOB. [1874. 

and would certainly hinder the chances of passing the second 
reading of the Bill, chances which appear to me very favourable, if 
the old Bill, which has stood so many debates with constantly 
increasing support, is adhered to.** 

The position was laid before the public in its plain 
and practical aspect by the following article in the 
Women's Suffrage Journal for April 1874 : — 

"One very important change has been introduced 
this year into the Bill, the text of which will be found 
in another column. Mr. Forsyth had added a clause 
providing that no married woman shall be entitled to vote 
in a Parliamentary election. The clause makes no dif- 
ference in the practical operation of the measure. The 
common law disabilities of married women effectually 
preclude them from the exercise of the suffrage, and if 
the Bill as introduced by Mr. Jacob Bright had become 
law, no married woman would have been entitled to 
vote. The only difference is, that Mr. Jacob Bright 
was content to leave the matter to the operation of the 
common law, and did not desire to complicate the 
general question of the disability of sex with the special 
question of the disabilities of married women, and 
Mr. Forsyth deems it expedient to make an express 
declaration on the subject. We do not disguise our 
extreme r^et, on grounds of principle, that a statu- 
tory penalty on marriage should be introduced into 
the electoral law, but women have at present no 
representation at all in the legislature. The Bill, as 
introduced by Mr. Forsyth, would give them a share in 
the election of members of the House of Commons, 
equal and similar to that which they would have 

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1874.] THE PABLIAMINT OF 1874-80. 137 

obtained under the Bill as introduced by Mr. Jacob 
Bright The question of the justice or expediency of 
maintaining the common law disabilities of married 
women is not a practical question at the present 

''Should measures dealing with the whole or any 
portion of these disabilities come before Parliament, 
it would be of great assistance to members, in arriving 
at a just decision, if they were responsible to a large 
body of women constituents, even if all such women 
were FemrMs soles." ^ 

In view of the representations made to him, Mr. 
Forsyth agreed to modify his proposed proviso to the 
restricted technical aspect conveyed by the l^al 
phrase '* no woman under coverture." 

No modifications or explanations, however, could 
remove the scruples of some who regarded any sem- 
blance even of limitation as a defection from prin- 
ciple^and several members withdrew from the Central 
Committee. The view, however, which was taken by 
the Society at large is clearly conveyed in the follow- 
ing letter from Miss Becker to Mr. Forsjrth, dated 
May 28th:— 

"I have never doubted that you introduced the 
proviso in the belief that it would disarm objection to 
the Bill, and so it does completely, the objection from 
OTie side. But there is a Scylla as well as a Cha- 
rybdis in this delicate navigation, and the original Bill 
was carefully and purposely drafted so as to avoid both. 
If you will refer to Mr. Gladstone's speech on the 

^ fyomm^a Suffrage JoumaZy April 1874, p. 58. 

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138 women's suffrage. [1874. 

debate in 1871, you will see that he says : * It is quite 
clear that married women, if they possessed the quali- 
fications, ought not to be omitted from any privilege 
conferred upon single women.' Mr. Jacob Bright's 
answer to that was clear and simple. ' My Bill does 
not exclude married women ; if they are excluded it is 
by the common law disabilities of wives, which are not 
now under discussion. Let us keep the purely electoral 
law clear from the complications of the marriage law. 
The electoral law does not, or should not, take cog- 
nizance of the fact of marriage in the case of either 
women or men.' So might Mr. Bright have replied 
to Mr. Gladstone. On the other hand, the objectors 
on the contrary side should have been silenced by 
the fact that the Bill did not touch the common law 
disabilities which precluded wives from the sufi&age. 
You will gather from this, as well as from an article in 
the journal, and even my letter in the Examiner, that 
I think the proviso weakens the Bill logically, as well 
as raising some practical difficulty, although words 
cannot express my indignation at the conduct of those 
who have cast about such unworthy aspersions, and at 
the deplorable folly of those who have tried to create 
Ihese dissensions and difficulties which it is our first 
duty to avoid. Although I prefer the Bill as originally 
introduced, I am sure that with the amended proviso 
it ought to satisfy all reasonable people, and be heartily 
accepted and strenuously worked for by all friends of the 
cause — and it is very likely that the proviso will win 
or secure votes ; if it does that, its introduction is amply 

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1F75.] THE PARUAMIMT OF 1874-80. 139 

The developments of the session, which, owing to the 
unexpected dissolution in February, had only begun on 
19th March, gradually showed it to be hopeless to pre- 
serve a day for the BiU, in the pressure of Government 
business, and it was withdrawn for that year. 

§ 27. Work for and against the BiU. 

Petition work may be described as the dominant factor 
of the work during this Parliament They flowed in 
an incessant stream. The April issue of the Women's 
Suffrage Journal says that within the few weeks that 
Parliament had been in session, petitions, containing 
over a quarter of a million signatures, had been presented 
in favour of Mr. Forsyth's Bill — more than for any 
other BiU that session. Of these the majority appeared 
to be the signatures of women. By the close of the 
session, 1273 petitions, with 415,622 signatures, had 
been sent up in favour of Women's Suffrage, while the 
numbers for Mr. Trevelyan's County Franchise Bill were 
68, with 48,797 signatures.^ 

As the day for the trial of strength approached, two 
vigorous whips — one with the signatures of four members 
on the Conservative, and the other with four members 
on the Liberal side — were issued.* But all this effort 

1 fFonun^a Suffrage Jowmal, 1875, p. 122. 

^ Opposition Conservative JFhip, 
Gbktain and Important Division. 

women's 8UFFBA0B BILL. 

You are earnestly and particularly reqaested to be in the Hoose of 
Commons on Wednesday, April 7th, by four o*clock, to yote against the 

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140 Women's suffrage. [i875. 

notwithstanding, the majority against sank to 13, there- 
by occasioning so much uneasiness in the minds of the 
opponents that they resolved to form a Committee for 
" Maintaining the Integrity of the Franchise." ^ 

Minutes of a Msbtiko at the House of Commons, 
23rd June 1875. 

"PreMnt.— The Rt Hon. E. P. Bouverie in the chair, and the 
following Members of Parliament: Rt Hon. H. C. CMLders, 
Marquis of Hamilton, Lord Randolph Churchill, Hon. E. Stan- 
hope, Mr. Bentinck, Mr. Beresford Hope, Mr. Chaplin, Mr. 
Hayter, Sir Henry Holland, Sir Henry James, Mr. Kay Shuttle- 
worth, Mr. Leatham, Mr. Merewether, Mr. Newdigate, Mr. Raikes, 
Mr. de Rothschild, Mr. Scourfield, Mr. Whitbread. 

'* Resolved.^I, ' That a committee of Peers, Members of Parlia- 
ment, and other influential men be organized for the purpose of 
maintaining the integrity of the franchise, in opposition to the 
claims for the extension of the Parliamentary suffrage to women. 

^ II. ' That Mr. E. P. Bouverie be requested to act as chairman ; 
and Lord Claud John Hamilton and Mr. Kay Shuttleworth as 
honorary secretaries. The following members have since joined 
those named above: Lord Elcho, Rt Hon. E. Knatchbull- 
Huguessen, Rt. Hon. T. B. Mowbray, Sir Thomas Bayley, Mr. Butt, 
Mr. Gibson, and Cd. Kingscote.' " 

second reading of the Women's Suffrage Bill, the rejection of which will 
be moved by Mr. Chaplin. 

HsNBT Chaplin. A. J. B. Bbrbsfokd Hops. 


Opposition Liberal Whip, 
women's suffrage bill. 
Tour attendance in the Hoase of Commons on Wednesday, April 7th, 
to vote against the second reading of the Women's Socage Bill, is 
eameaUy requested, 

E. A. KNATOHBULL-HuGxnBSSXN. Henrt Jamss. 
E. A. Leatham. Sam. Whitbread. 

^ WomsTCs SUffirag9 yburnafy -1875, p. 109.^ 

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1876.] THE PARUAMINT OF 1874-80. 141 

But even a Committee for Maintaining the Integrity 
of the Franchise did not lessen the support given to the 
Bill by a single vote, when, on 26th April 1876, Mr. 
Forsyth again brought forward his" little Bill of mighty 
consequence." ^ 

Even though the eloquence of the Bt. Hon. John 
Bright had been enlisted against it, there were very few 
among the noes who were not already known to be 
opponents of the Bill — " the stronghold of the opposition 
was amongst the M.P/s of the old Parliament." ^ 

In a letter to the Rt Hon. John Bright, which was 
published as a pamphlet, '' A Lady in the Grallery " (Miss 
Isabella Tod) wrote : " I felt the pity of it when you rose 
with pale face and laid a trembling hand on the table 
before you for support, whilst, with hesitating accents, 
you repeated against us the worn-out arguments you 
have so often and so mercilessly exposed when uttered 
by your opponents." In the Annual Beport of the 
Manchester Committee, the speech was described as 
"characterized throughout by a tone of doubt and 
hesitation very unusual with the speaker." Surely the 
Lady in the Gallery hit the true blot in Mr. Bright's 
conception of the matter when she wrote : " You say that 
our Bill is ' based on an assumed constant and irrecon- 
ciliable hostility between the sexea' It is, on the con- 
trary, based on the belief in the constant, trustful 
sympathy between the sexes." 

The elevation of Mr. Disraeli to the peerage at the 
close of the session, was a distinct loss to the strength 
of the movement in the House of Commons. 

* Punch, * WomerCs Suffrage Journal, 1876. 

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142 women's SUFFRAGB. [1877. 

§ 28. Opposition Tactics. 

Before another session opened Mr. Jacob Bright had 
re-entered Parliament, and in 1877 the Bill passed back 
to its first leader, and was set down for June 6th, the 
interval being occupied by the vigorous promotion of 
petitions and meetings — the work winding up with a 
large meeting in St. James' Hall, when Lord Houghton 
presided, and on the day before the debate a deputa- 
tion of ladies to the CJhancellor of the Exchequer 
(Sir Stafford Northcote). The deputation was intro- 
duced by Mr. Forsyth ; Lady Anna Gore Langton ex- 
pressed the hopes of the Societies for his support on 
this occasion, and their gratitude for his support in 
past years. She was followed by Miss L. Ashworth 
and Miss Becker with a brief statement Sir Stafford 
Northcote then explained the position from which he 
regarded the movement. 

" The view I have taken of the Parliamentary franchise 
is that it is an artificial arrangement in the constitution 
of the country, for the purpose of producing the best 
possible, or at least the best attainable, constituency for 
the election of a governing body like our Parliament, 
and therefore I should be slow to admit the mere plea 
that either this man or woman has as good a right to 
vote as that man or woman. I must consider, first, 
whether the alteration would be beneficial; and, secondly, 
whether it is, at any given moment, sensible and proper 
to make a considerable electoral changa It resolves 
itself with me into a question of time and expediency; 
and I am bound to say, speaking quite frankly, that I 

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1877.] THE PART.TAMINT OF 1874-80. 143 

do not think the present a particularly desirable time 
for reopening the great electoral question. If I find 
myself unable to vote for the Bill to-morrow, it will be 
upon that ground, and not from any of the hesitation 
of mind which is indicated by many of those opposed 
to the Bill" 

The friendly reception given to the deputation, to- 
gether with fresh promises of support from many and 
unexpected quarters, all pointed to a good division. Then 
a most unlooked-for turn took place in the debate. Mr. 
Courtney had risen at 5.15 to reply to Mr. Butt, when 
the Opposition burst into a tumultuous uproar, which 
efiectually prevented his words from being heard. 
When it became apparent that the opponents would 
not listen to arguments, the purpose was formed amongst 
the members on the side of the Bill to prevent a vote 
being taken, and Mr. Courtney breasted the storm- of 
yells and cries that drowned his voice until the clock 
struck the hour of closing. 

Those wild notes. Divide! divide!! divide!!! came 
surging up in boisterous billows of sound to the ladies' 
gallery, and struck on the ears of the listeners there in 
painful discord with the earnest yearning with which 
they regarded what to them was a holy cause. Truly the 
echoes of that afternoon ring even now in one's memory 
as the most painful experience of all those years. 

The debate and the treatment it met with aroused 
very strong feelings, and a meeting took place on June 
12th, by invitation of Lady Anna Gore Langton, at 
Langton House, George Street, Hanover Square, to dis- 
cuss the speeches. This meeting is memorably marked 

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144 women's SUFFRAGB. [1877. 

by the speech of Mrs. Wm. Grey, which tells so much in 
its short compass of the attitude of thoughtful women 
at the time, that it should be recorded in full. 

" Thifl ifl the first time," Mrs. Wm. Grey said, " since I came for- 
ward in the movement for the better education of women that I 
have ever opened my lips on Woman Suffrage. I have, indeed, 
carefully avoided doing so, and refused every invitation to speak, 
partly because it is unwise to attempt to drive tvro coaches at once, 
and as I was anxious to drive, or at least be a passenger in the 
education coach, I thought it better to leave the suffrage coach 
without me ; but yet more because the education movement was 
fighting its way against much prejudice, and to weight it with the 
still stronger prejudices clustered round Women's Suffrage would 
have done it great injury, while what I could have done for the 
suffrage would have done but little good. My sister (Miss Shireff) 
felt with me, and we determined to go on quietly working, with 
the conviction that every woman who did her chosen work well 
was helping Women's Suffrage. But when it was stated in the 
House of Commons that none of the women who had been pro- 
moters of women's education were friends to Women's Suffrage, — 
and those who had helped in Qirton College were especially men- 
tioned, — then my sister and I resolved it would be cowardly not to 
speak. And when asked to speak here I determined to break 
through my rule. I believe the truth is the reverse of what was 
stated. As a rule, all the women who have been active in any 
cause for the benefit of their sex, are strong friends of the suffrage, 
and the few exceptions go to prove the rule. I am here, therefore, 
to declare that, whatever value may be given to the judgment of 
my sister and myself— judgment founded on the experience of a 
long life, and exercised on every question in which women are 
concerned— whatever influence we may possess, from personal 
character on the value of any work we have been able to do, the 
whole of that weighty the whole of that influence, we wish to be 
thrown into the Women's Suffrage scale. I would like to say why 
I wish all thrown into the Women's Suffrage scale. I believe it 

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1878-79.] THE PARLIAMENT OF 1874-80. 145 

impoasible to deny the daim, but I was indifferent to it But ever 
sinoe I began to work for women's education^ I have felt more and 
more that we should never get justice in education without the 
suffrage, and, on the other hand, the suffirage movement has helped 
that for education." 

§ 29. The Trend of the Time. 

The work went quietly on through the session of 1878 
and 1879 without presenting any novel aspecta After 
the session of 1877 Mr. Jacob Bright's health induced 
him to resign the conduct of the Bill ; and at the instance 
of a representative deputation, which waited on him in 
his rooms in Queen Anne's Gate, Mr. Leonard Courtney 
consented to take the position. 

Although Mr. Bouverie's Committee for Maintain- 
ing the Integrity of the Franchise instituted a syste- 
matic canvass amongst members of the House of 
Commons against the Bill, it maintained, and more than 
maintained its ground in 1878: the hostile majority 
fell to eighty, " a result which was the more satisfactory 
considering that, since the division in 1876, seventeen 
friends had been removed by death or other causes from 
the House of Commons, and only five opponenta One 
of those whose death (in Jime 1878) was most felt was 
the Rt Hon. Russell Gumey, Recorder of London, who 
had been teller with Mr. Mill in 1866, and who, always 
ready to help on the efiforts of women, had shown him- 
self to be in truth a * friend of women.' " 

In 1879 Mr. Courtney varied the procedure by 
introducing a resolution. This resolution led to a 
very animated debate, followed by a vote which was 


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146 WOMBN*S SUFFRAGE. [1879. 

the smallest on record since 1870 ; but its significance 
was not to be measured by the numbers in the division 
lists — as may be understood from the explanation given 
by the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir Staflford North- 
cote) of his reason for giving his vote for what he called 
the previous question. To vote for a resolution to 
" forthwith " repeal the electoral disabilities of women 
would be to pledge the Government to bring in a 
measure ; his vote was not to pronounce an opinion on 
the measure, but to pronounce that this was not the 
time or manner to introduce it. 

"The silent, secret shower of papers in the ballot- 
boxes of the United Kingdom," which reversed the 
power of parties in the State at the sudden Greneral 
Election of March 1880, swept nearly all the prominent 
friends of the Women's Suffrage measure back into the 
House — as well as some who had been defeated in 1874 ; 
on the other hand, it swept several of the persistent op- 
ponents out. So hope grew stronger for the success of 
the appeal, soon to be made to Parliament, that the last 
remaining disability under the English electoral law 
should be removed by the approaching Reform Bill. 

These encouraging circumstances were the signal for 
an outburst of energetic work — such as had never yet 
been. Money came in more freely. Miss Priestman 
in Bristol undertook and successfully carried out the 
collection of a fund of £1000 for the Bristol and West 
of England Society. By means of that £1000 the Com- 
mittee in Bristol were able to lay down systematic 
plans of work throughout the Western Counties and 
South Wales, during the next three years. To recall 

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1879.] THE PARLIAMENT OF 1874-80. 147 

the meetings, joumeyings, interviews, hospitalities and 
friendly intercourse with men and women of all sorts 
and conditions, of all sects and parties, during this 
period would be for the reader wearisome as the pro- 
gramme of a festival at which he had not been present 
— but for the writer they are years filled indeed with 
bright and grateful memories. 

Each of the great demonstrations recorded in the 
next section inspired further exertion; but before 
touching on them a glance at the following letters will 
give the reader some knowledge of the then prevailing 
trend of affairs : — 

Miss Becker to Mrs. M'Laren : — 

** Oct, 25, 1879. 

" Mt Dear Mrs. M'Larbn, — We have had enich a meeting that I 
must write and tell you of it. The largest ward in Manchester is 
contested this year, and we summoned a meeting by the enclosed 
card to the wcHnen electors — 1368 in number. Well, when we got 
to the hall we found that a dense crowd of men had got possession, 
and the women who had got in were all crushed together on and 
near the platform. The door was besieged with women who had 
brought their cards, but of course they could not get in. One 
woman called out : * I have had a card from Mias Becker and I 
demand admittance.' We then saw how great a mistake we had 
made in not keeping the meeting for women only, but all that 
could be done was to promise to hold another meeting for them 
next night. 

^ The Tory party had got it into their heads that it was a Liberal 
meeting, and a few rough youths made such a great disturbance 
that no one could be heard. At last Miss Craigen was called on, and 
she held the meeting enchained by her grand voice and her strong 
and witty words, delivered with practised power. The disturbers 
were taken out by the i)olice, but still the meeting, though good. 

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148 woman's SUTFRAGE. [1879. 

was not of thoee who were meant to come. I really thought that 
we coold not fill a large hall with women only— especially in 
that ward, which contains the lowest and worst class in Manchester, 
and hardly any of the better class of people. But last night the 
room, which will seat 600 or 700, was quite full of women only, all 
seemingly electors — all poor working women, and, as it seemed, of 
both sides in politics. 

" They moved me into the chair, and I gave them an address, then 
Miss Oraigen spoke to them. How they listened — ^how they 
cheered — how strong and intelligent an interest they took in what 
was said to them. It would have done your heart good to see ! 
Several of them spoke very nicely. If my eyes had been shut I 
should have fancied it was men who were cheering and clapping ; 
the applause was as hearty and strong as at a men's meeting. I 
can't tell you how my heart went out to those women ; and to see 
them look at me — oh, it was really sacred— awful ; it was as if 
I received a baptism. 

'' It has been a new life to me to know and feel the strength there 
is in those women — when many fall away from us and leaders 
desert us ; but in those women there is a force which, gathered 
together, led, organized and made manifest, is enough to lead us to 
victory. It has given me such a sense of strength and happiness. 
I know the comfort in this hour will pass away, and the clouds 
gather again over my spirit ; but I trust that the knowledge of 
what there is in these women around me, and the sense of their 
support in our work, will be a source of strength which will 
not pass away. 

" I am sure, when the right time comes for such a demonstration, 
we could organize in the Free Trade Hall such a grand demonstra- 
tion of women citizens to demand the Parliamentary vote as would 
not be unworthy to rank with the Liberal demonstration held in the 
city to-day, and that without the aid of great men's names to 
draw them.— Ever yours, "Lydia Bboksr." 

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1880.] THS PARUAMKNT OF 1874-80. 149 

From Miss Becker to Mrs. Ash worth Hallett : — 

"^ Apnl 2nd, ISQO. 

** I think that when we take Parliamentary action, just after a 
general Beform Bill has been paased, ours should be a separate Bill 
to complete what has been begun. But when we propose to act 
just before a measure of reform is proposed, our place is to make 
ours a part of that measure, and to take advantage of the opening 
of the door by others to get in ourselves. 

** If we introduced our Bill separately, and before the county fran- 
chise, Conservatives like Sir S. Northoote cannot support it, because 
that would almost commit them to the county franchise; but if 
they see that the county franchise mtut pass, they will feel free to 
act on their judgment on ours, and may surely weJl give the women 
landowners votes as a counterpoise to the men labourers. 

" For these reasons, I am strongly averse, as at present advised, to 
bringing in our separate Bill ; but, of course, this is subject to what 
turns up in the course of the election, and to the opinion of our 
Parliamentary leaders.— Yours truly, " Ltdia Bbokbr." 

From Miss Becker to Mr. Stansfeld, M.P. : — 


" Mt Dear Mb. Stansfeld,—! hear from Mr. Courtney that you 
are favourable to the idea of raising the question of the enfranchise- 
ment of women on the Irish Borough Franchise BilL I am truly 
rejoiced to hear this, and I write to b^ you to use all your influ- 
ence to get it done. 

*^ It seems to me that Mr. Courtney should <U once put on the 
paper a notice of amendment in Committee on the Borough Fran- 
chise Ireland Bill, extending it to women householders. I believe 
that if such a notice were on the paper before the debate on the 
second reading, the proposed amendment would be referred to 
during the debate, and much interesting speaking might take 
place. The amendment would secure one of our objects, which 
is that no debate on the extension of the franchise shall take place 
without some reference to women. 

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150 women's suffragb. 

" The QoYeniment think they can ignore our question ; they have 
no idea that it could possibly come to complicate any of their Bills. 
I want to undeceive them. I want to mix up our question with 
their projects of reform from the first. If such an amendment 
were on the paper, they would have our subject presented to them 
not only by our friends, who would ask for it as a matter of justice, 
but by men who dislike the idea of the low franchise, and who 
would say : * If you give it to these men because they are house- 
holders, you cannot logically refuse it to the women householders, 
who claim it' I believe that many men who will vote against 
the second reading of the Bill, would vote for our amendment ; and 
the support of these, combined with our more especial friends, might 
make a combination which the Government would be forced to 
r^rd with a certain d^pree of respect. Altogether the situation 
seems to afford a greater promise of the chance of making ourselves 
disagreeable to the Government that means to carry a Reform BOl 
that shall leave us out^ than anything I could have hoped for, and 
I am sure we ought not to let it slip. Would it be absolutely im- 
possible to get the support of the leader of the opposition to our 
amendment ? 

" Could you consult with Mr. Jacob Bright about this ? I am 
sure you could get six or eight warm suffrage M.P.*s who would 
make a splendid fight for our amendment, and we could whip up 
a large body of the rank and file." 

[Towards the close of 1880 Mr. Courtney accepted 
ofl&ce under the new Government, and Mr. Hugh Mason 
(Ashton-under-Lyne) acceded to the request of the 
Committees that he would succeed Mr. Courtney as 
their leader in Parliament To Mr. Mason Miss Becker 
wrote, on 4th November 1881, asking him to speak at 
the Annual Meeting of the Manchester Society.] 

" Mt Dear Mr. Mason,— We ask you to give us a gpod, strong 
political address, and say as much as you can to encourage us. Of 
course there is much that is doubtful and depressing if we look 

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1880.] THE PARLIAMBNT OF 1874-80. 151 

ahead and meet trouble half-way, but we need not indulge in 
gloomy forecasts. If we look backwards we shall see signs of 
astonishing and unhoped-for progress. Those of us who have been 
engaged in the agitation for many years are conscious of a great 
change in the atmosphere. When we go to arrange a meeting 
we find sympathy and help in cases where we formerly found 
indifference, and we cannot go to any town without finding large 
and enthusiastic meetings in our favour. 

" The great demonstrations of women in so many large towns 
mark a new departure in the movement, and they prove unmis- 
takably that the great masses of the women in the country are with 
us and support us in demanding the franchise. 

"Many meetings of women voters have been held during the 
recent municipal election, and in every case where such a meeting 
has been held candidates have pledged themselves to support in 
the Council a petition in support of the Parliamentary franchise for 

^ Please donH give us any cold water ; we have quite enough of 
discouragement * Nothing succeeds like success.' Nothing helps 
success as well as trying to deserve it, and having our efforts 
recognized as deserving of success. Those working in the movement 
are not at all disposed to be over sanguine or to underrate the 
difficulties of the task before us, so do not suppose you are 
addressing persons who fancy they are going to win immediately, 
and who need to have their expectations moderated. — ^Tours truly, 

"Ltdia E. Bbokbb." 

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The Advent of a New Reform Bill. 
§ 30. T?ie Demonstrations of Women. 

The letter to Mra M'Laren, quoted in the previous 
chapter, shows the genesis of the bold idea conceived by 
Miss Becker to fill the. Free Trade Hall (Manchester) 
with women, and women only. The attempt to fill that 
immense building by an appeal to one-half of the popu- 
lation, and that the most stay-at-home half, was an 
undertaking that might well make her tremble at her 
own conception. So strong were her doubts indeed that, 
two or three days before the event, she went to the hall 
to see whether, if need were, some portions might be 
screened off. But when the day came there was no 
need for screening off — far from it. Instead, it became 
necessary to provide room for an overflow meeting. 

That was a sight not to be forgotten, when Mrs. 
McLaren took her seat in the chair, every comer filled 
with eager, upturned faces of women, in a hall which, 
as Mrs. M'Laren proceeded to remind them, " was built 
in the cause of freedom." " Some of us," she said, " have 
learned our political lessons within its walls, many years 


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Mb8, M'Laren (Priscilla Bright). (From a photograph 
taken in 1901.) 

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.• •••.-•••• 

• •• » • 

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ago, with distinguished men for our teachers, and we 
have learned from them how persistent effort leads to 
success in getting grievances redressed." 

Not the least memorable part was the scene at the 
close, when a voice, like a mighty melodious bell, rang 
out over that vast assemblage, electrifying the audience, 
who rose as one woman to their feet, cheering and 
waving their handkerchiefs. It was the first time 
Jessie Craigen had been heard by any of that audience, 
and the effect was imprecedented in its enthusiasm. 

In each of the demonstrations that followed, the same 
main features prevailed — the largest haU of the city, 
packed from floor to ceiling with women of all ranks 
and occupations, working women in very large propor- 
tions. Men were only present as spectators, and that 
in the galleries by payment of half-a-crown. The 
speeches were numerous; each short, eloquent and to 
the point. Memorials to the Grovemment were in every 
case adopted unanimously. 

These nine demonstrations, taken all together, may 
be said to have focussed the working powers of the 
movement. There was not a worker for the cause who 
did not contribute in some shape or form, be it as 
president, speaker, organizer, or locally in working up 
her neighbours and friends. These quite imprecedented 
gatherings were signs of desire of women to have thei^ 
share in the enfranchisement with all other house- 
holders — signs far more emphatic than any ever given 
by those dwellers in the rural districts whom the 
Beform Act of 1884 shortly admitted within the pale. 

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154 women's suffrage. [isso 

The Roll of the Demonstbationb of Women. 


1. Manchester, Free Trade Hall, Feb. 8, 1880. 

2. London, ... St. James* HalL May 6, 1880. 
8. Bristol, . CJolston Hall, ... Nov. 4, 1880 
4. Birmingham, Town Hall, . Feb. 12, 1881. 
6. Bradford, ... St George's Hall, . Nov. 22, 1881. 

6. Nottingham, Albert Hall, . Nov. 80, 1881. 

7. Sheffield, . . Albert Hall. . . Feb. 27, 1882. 

8. Glasgow, ... St. Andrew^s Hall, . Nov. 8, 1882. 

iScottUh National Demonsiraiian of Women,) 

9. Edinburgh, . Hall of U.P. Synod, . Mar. 22, 1884. 


Mrs. Pbiscilla Bright WLasxs.— Manchester, Bradford, Qlaagmo. 
Viscountess Harbsrton. —Zoncfon, Sheffield, Edinburgh, 
Mrs. BRDDOC—Bristol, Mrs. CROasKEY.— Birmingham, 
Mrs. Samukl LvoAB,^NoUingham, 


Miss Becker, 1, 2, 8, ^ 5, 7, 8. Caroline A. Biggs, 2, 4. 5, 6, 8. 

Helena Downing, 1, 2, 8. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Jessie Craigen, 1, 2, 8, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. 

Mrs. Scatcherd, 1. 2, 8, 4, 5, 9. Eliza Sturge, 1, 3, 4, 7. 

Mrs. Beddoc, 4, 8. Mrs. Ellis, 1, 5, 6, 7. Miss Carbutt. 5, 7. 

Mrs. Ashworth HaUett, 1, 2. Isabella M. S. Tod, 2. 8, 9. 

Viscountess Harberton, 1, 6. Mrs. G. R Cowen, o, 7. 

Flora Stevenson, 8, 9. Eliza Wigham, 8, 9. Mrs. Welistood, 1, 8. 

And once each — 

In Manchester. ^ULtb. Josephine Butler, Mrs. Haslam. Mrs. Pearson. 

In London, — Mrs. Arthur Arnold, Mrs. Fawcett, Khoda Garrett, Mrs. 

(Augusta) Webster, Mrs. (Emma) Paterson. 
In Bris^of.— Henrietta Muller, Hellena Richardson, Emily Sturge. 
In Birmingham.— Mra, R. W. Dale, Mrs. C. EL Matthews, Mrs. Al&ed 

Southall, Mrs. Fenwick Miller. 
In Bradford,— VLrs. W. P. Byles, Jane Cobden, Dr. Edith Pechey. 
In Nottingham. — Mrs. Dowson, Helen Taylor. 
In Sheffield.— i/lTB, Samuel Lucas, Miss Hibbert. 
In Otaegow.—M^n, Charles WLairen, 
In Edinburgh,— Wn. M'Laren, Misses Burton, Balgamie, S. S. Mair, 

Mrs. Ormiston Chant, Mrs. Lindsay. 


Mrs. M'Cormick, 1, 2, 4, 8. S. M. Backhouse, 1. Helen Blackburn, 2, 3. 
Mrs. M*Ilquham, 4. Maria Coby, 4. Eliza Kirkland, 8, 9. Sara Torrance, 
8 ; and local helpers in numbers everywhere. 

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§ 31. Isle of Man. 

In the summer of 1880 a movement had begun to 
make itself felt in the Isle of Man for a more extended 
franchise for election of the ancient " House of Keys," 
and the Grovemor had given notice of a Bill for house- 
hold suffrage to male persona This was the occasion 
for a movement on the part of the Manchester Society 
to urge that the claim of women be considered. Miss 
Becker and Mrs. Oliver Scatcherd visited the Island and 
held a series of meetings in August, addressing crowded 
audiences in Douglas, Eamsey, Peel and Castletown. 

They were everywhere received with the utmost 
cordiality, the Isle of Man Times and other papers giving 
efficient help ; and to judge by the results, their lectures 
proved instnmiental in initiating the movement to 
obtain a measure for enfranchising women in this 
ancient kingdom, which does not send members to the 
British Parliment, but " has its own (Jovemor, House of 
Lords (the Council), House of Commons (the Keys), 
Bishop and Judge (the Deemsters); it enacts its own 
laws, imposes its own taxes — the only Imperial control 
being the sanction of the Queen, which is necessary 
before a law takes eflfect." 

Its story is summarized in the Woman's Suffrage 
Jov/nud of December 1880 and January 1881. 

** The Hooae of Keys has survived as a legislative assembly from 
a period long antecedent to the formation of the English House of 
Commons. It was founded by a Scandinavian prince, named Orry, 
who, after conquering many of the western islands of Scotland, 
arrived at the Lde of Man about the year 938 a.d. with a large 

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156 womkn's sufpraqk. 

fleet. He brought order out of the chaoB which then existed in the 
Island, and established stable and popular government. King 
Orry instituted the House of Keys. He divided the Island into 
six districts called sheadings, every sheading having its coroner, 
who acted as sheriff and was intrusted with the peace of his district. 
The House of Keys was the lower House of the Insular Legislature, 
and consisted of twenty-four freeholders, sixteen being chosen in those 
days from the lands of Man, and eight from the Isles of the West 
of Scotland, which were under the sway of the Manx kings. King 
Orry died in 940, and his dynasty lasted till about the time of the 
invasion of England by WiUiam the Conqueror. Since that period 
the Island has been subject to vicissitudes of conquest and the 
changes of dynasty, but it has preserved its independence, and 
throughout the whole course of its history the House of Keys has 
at all times resisted encroachments on the liberties of the people. 

" In the year 1417 Sir John Stanley, the then * King and Lord of 
Man,' paid a visit to the Island. He settled the order of the 
Tynwald Assembly. At a Tynwald Court held at Castle Ruahen 
in 1430, among other things it was enacted * that controversies be 
decided, not by the savage warfare of battle, but by the good and 
true in the country.' It was settled that the House of Keys, which 
in King Orry's days consisted of twenty-four members, sixteen from 
Man and eight from the outer Isles, should in future consist of 
twenty-four, all to be elected in Man, but subject to the approval 
of the King. In 1430, thirty-six were chosen by the whole commons 
of Man — from these the lieutenants chose twenty-four. In later 
days it came to be the custom for the Keys to hold office for life, 
and for vacancies to be filled up by election among themselves and 
the Governor. Thus the people came to have no voice in the 
election of those who constituted what had been in former times 
the popular House in the Legislature, and they had also lost the 
power which they possessed in ancient times of raising their voice 
and voting in the Tynwald Court on Midsummer Day. 

« From being the freest and most popular of constitutions the 
insular government had become one of the most absolute, and this 
condition of things continued till 1866, when the Keys agreed to 

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their own dissolution, and an Act was obtained aathorisiiig a 
septennial House of Keys, elected by the people. 

^ The franchise in this election was given, in lAieadings (counties) 
to owners of real estate of £8 annual yalue, and to occupiers of not 
less than £12 annual value, and in towns to owners and occupiers 
of not lees than £8 annual value. 

^ This franchise has been felt to be too restricted, and a Bill was 
lately introduced by the (Jovemor in the House of Keys to give 
the franchise to every male person who was a householder under 
certain conditions. In committee of the House of Keys, on Novem- 
ber 5th, an amendment was moved by Mr. Richard Sherwood 
to omit the word ' male ' for the purpose of extending the franchise 
to women who possessed the required qualification. This amend- 
ment was carried by 16 votes to 3, being a majority of more than 
five to one of those present and voting, and a vote of two-thirds of 
the whole number of the House of Keys.** 

'^ The Council (the other branch of the Manx Legislature), among 
whom there was a difference of opinion, agreed to give the fran- 
chise to all male and female owners of real estate of £4 annual 
value. They refused it to female occupiers and lodgers. 

'* On this being brought before the Keys, they gave up the lodger 
franchise for women ; its effect in the Island is so trifling that they 
held it to be of little consequence as regards either men or women, 
but they adhered to the franchise for the woman occupier. The 
Bill thus altered was forwarded to the Council, and was again 
returned to the Keys with a message that the Council refused to 
agree. The Keys then proposed a compromise, raising the quali- 
fication for women occupiers to £20 a year. This again was refused, 
and the Keys were informed that the Council would reject the 
Bill if they stood out. 

" A conference then took place, and the Keys came to the conclu- 
sion that it was advisable to get the concession to women owners 
secured, as thereby the principle of women's suffrage was conceded. 
They therefore agreed to the Bill, but they forwarded a protest, 
and passed a resolution that they agreed to the proposal simply to 

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158 women's suffrage. [issi. 

secure the partial conceesion, rather than loee the whole ; and that 
their opinion as to the equal rights of males and females remained 
uiMkered. This was passed unanimously.'' 

The Governor, Sir Henry Brougham Loch, gave his 
assent on December 21st, and on 5th January 1881 
Her Majesty Queen Victoria gave her Eoyal assent. 

The Act came into force on 31st January 1881, when 
it was formally promulgated from the Tynwald Hill. 

The first election under the new electoral Act began 
on 21st March 1881. In the Ayre Sheading, the 
largest electoral division in the Island, women were 
the first at the poll at each of its four polling-stations, 
only two possible voters among them being absent. 
In Olenfalba Sheading, Mr. Sherwood, who had been 
leader of the movement in the House of Keys, received 
the votes of all the women voters, and was returned 
at the head of the polL In Douglas, Mr. Stephen, the 
first candidate to give prominence to the question, was 
also at the head of the poll. 

The women voters were pronounced to be quick, 
intelligent and business-like in their procedure, and 
they cJways knew for whom they wished to vote. 

Here we may antedate the further progress in Man 
and record that the measure of 1880 was soon after 
completed byUJie extension of the qualification to 
women occupiers as weU as owners. 

§ 32. Political Organizations and Women's Suffrage. 

Keference to the Parliamentary Chart, p. 101, will 
show that Mr. Hugh Mason's prolonged endeavours to 

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secure a day for a debate on his resolution prevailed at 
last, and a debate and division took place on 6th July 
1883, which resulted in a much more favourable vote 
than that in the previous Parliament on Mr. Court- 
ney's resolution — the figures being 114 ayes, 130 noes, 
as against 103 ayes and 217 noes in 1879. 

This resolution was as a preliminary skirmish before 
the Reform Bill of the following year, and brightened the 
hopes of the workers for the coming battle. Great 
encouragement was also given by the great Conference 
of Liberal Associations, held at Leeds on October 17th, 
to consider Parliamentary reform. At that Con- 
ference, convened by the National Liberal Federation 
and the National Beform Union, 2000 delegates at- 
tended from aU parts of the United Kingdom, including 
nine women delegatea^ 

After a resolution afi&rming that the same electoral 
rights should be conferred on householders in the 
counties as were enjoyed by those in boroughs, the 
Eev. Dr. Crosskey (Birmingham) moved as an addition 
to the former motion: " Thai in the opinion of this 
meeting, any measu/re for the extension of the suffrage 
should confer the franchise on womeriy who, possessing 

^ Mid-Someraet Liberal AsModation, — Mn. Helen Bright Clark, Mrs. 

Bridol WomeiCa Liberal Association, — Miss Emily Stoige, Biiss Eva 

Darlington WviMfiCs Liberal AseociaHon, — Miss Lncas, Miss 

York WometCs Liberal Association, — Miss Anna Wilkinson. 

Morley Liberal Club. — Mrs. Oliver Scatoherd. 

Midhv/rst Liberal Association, — Miss Jane Cobden. 

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160 women's suffrage. [1888. 

the qualijicaiions which entitle men to vote, have now 
the right of voting in all matters of local government" 

He said the Conference would stultify itself if it 
rejected this motion, and reminded them that ladies 
were taking part in the Conference, which had made no 
diflference of sexes in the summons to attend. 

Mr. Walter S. B. M'Laren (delegate from the Central 
Liberal Association of the North-West Hiding of York- 
shire) seconded the rider, and reminded the Conference 
that there was nothing new in bringing the question 
before such an assembly. In 1874, at a Conference in 
London, and in 1876, at one convened by the National 
Seform Union in Manchester, amendments had been 
carried in favour of giving votes to women. During the 
preceding session of Parliament, a memorial, signed by 
110 llP.'s, had been presented to Mr. Gladstone, which 
stated that no measure for the extension of the franchise 
would be satisfactory unless it contained provision for 
giving the franchise to all persons, without distinction 
of sex, who possessed the necessary qualification. That 
memorial had been signed by Mr. John Morley, member 
for Newcastle-on-Tyne, who was president of this 
Conference, and by nearly every member of Parliament 
on the platform. 

Miss Cobden (Mrs. Fisher-Unwin), daughter of the 
late Richard Cobden, said she heartily supported the 
resolution. She begged them, as representing the 
liberal principles of all England, to give it their hearty 
support. Mr. Carbutt, M.P., also supported ; and Mrs. 
Bright Clark, daughter of the Hon. John Bright, said 
she was one of the delegates from a Liberal Association 

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which comprised among its members a very few women, 
therefore she thought she had a right to support the 
rider. There was in this country a considerable and 
an increasing number of women of strong Liberal con- 
victions, who felt keenly their exclusion from the 
Parliamentary suffrage. They sympathized with the 
efforts of Liberal statesmen in the past ; they knew how 
faithfully and loyally to follow; but they felt they 
must originate for themselves sometimes 

Mrs. Clark's speech was followed by loud cheers, and 
when, after the original resolution had been unanimously 
carried, it was put with the rider, this was carried 
too by a very large majority, amid great cheering. 

§ 33. Mr. WoodalVs Amendment. 

When on 1st May 1884 the Beform Bill went into 
Committee, Mr. Woodall at once gave notice to add a 
new clause in Committee, providing that words importing 
the masculine gender shoujd include women. Baron de 
Worms seconding on the Conservative side. 

Already there were signs of the coming battle. 
Members who were supporters of the Government had 
been given to understand that Mr. Woodall's amend- 
ment was regarded as dangerous to the Bill itself, and 
that the Government meant to oppose. Liberal members 
known to be favourable to the inclusion of women 
householders in the Bill were informed, by the usual 
official channels for conveying the mind of the Govern- 
ment, that they were not to be free to exercise their 
judgment, nor to vote according to their honest con- 


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162 women's suffrage. [1884. 

viction& Under these circumstances a memorial from 
seventy-nine Liberal members of Parliament was for- 
warded to Mr. Gladstone by Mr. Woodall with the 
following letter: — 

" Queen Anne's Mansion, St James' Park, S.W., 
June dih, 1884. 

"Dbab Mb. OLADSTOKBy—Veiy respectfully and very earnestly 
I commend the accompanying memorial to yonr favoorable con- 

^ I wish I could conyey to yon any idea of the wide and deep 
interest which is felt in regard to tMs claim of women house- 
holders to the Parliamentary franchise, and to the importance of 
its recognition in the Bill now before Parliament. 

'* I would it were possible for me to tell you how confident is the 
belief (in spite of what has been said to the contrary) that you will 
not deny a hearing to a plea the abstract justice of which few 
deny, and which so many regard as invincible, under what you 
have termed the principal and central idea of your great measure 
of enfranchisement 

** The appeal, as you will see, is strongly supported ; it is made in 
the hope that you will regard it as at once just and reasonable, and 
believing that your favourable assent is consistent with good 
policy, I remain, dear Mr. Gladstone, faithfully yours, 

(Signed) " Wm. Woodall." 

The memorial with the list of signatures will be f oimd 
in full in Appendix F. The following letter was sent 
by Mr. Gladstone to Mr. Woodall in reply to the 
memorial : — 

" 10 Downing Street, June lOih. 

** Dbab Mb. Woodall, — In acknowledging the receipt of your 
letter, let me say that I am very sensible of the kindness of its form, 
of the singleness of your motives, of your thorough attachment to the 
Franchise Bill, of the weight due to the signatures you have placed 

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before me, and of the just title which your subject poflsesses to fall 
consideiation at the proper time. But the question with what 
subjects, viewing the actual state of business and of parties, we can 
afford to deal in and by the Franchise Bill is a question in r^;ard 
to which the undivided responsibility rests with the Government, 
and cannot be devolved by them upon any section, however 
respected, of the House of Commons. They have introduced into 
the Bill as much as, in their opinion, it can safely carry. The 
introduction of what it cannot safely carry endangers a measure 
which the heart and mind of the country alike desire and assent to. 
Such introduction would, therefore, on our part be a breach of the 
duty to the Bill and to the nation. — Believe me, yours, etc., 

"W.K Gladstone." 

The wide and deep interest of which Mr. Woodall 
speaks in his letter was farther evidenced by a letter, 
signed by seventy-six representative women of the day, 
which was sent to every member of Parliament This 
letter and the signatures appended will be found in 
Appendix G. 

A letter also appeared In the Times with the 
signatures of Adeline Paulina Irby and Sophia Jex 
Blake, M.D., in which, " as two working women, who 
have hitherto taken little part in the agitation," these 
ladies showed strong grounds in support of Mr. Woodall's 
amendment, based on the principle of representative 
Government ; they went on to protest against the idea 
that by " omitting female suffrage from the Eef orm Bill 
women wiU be left in stcUu quo, and no injury will be 
done them by passing the Bill in the first instance 
and leaving their case to be considered subsequently." 
They pointed out that "This is thoroughly false on two 
groimds : first, hy the extension of the suffrage to such 

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164 women's suffbags. [ism. 

an enormous number of additional men, the position 
of the women will be sharply accentuated and made 
infinitely worse than before ; the residuum of the un- 
represented will have so diminished that practically 
every family will have its voice recognized, except the 
many thousands of families of every grade who have 
women as their heads." They pointed out also that 
the present Bill was avowedly intended to settle the 
franchise, at least for that generation, and that ** to pass 
it without doing justice to* women ** would indefinitely 
postpone any measure for that purpose. 

On June 10th Mr. Woodall moved his clause, and was 
followed by Mr. Gladstone, the burden of whose speech 
may be summed up in the two following sentences: 
" The cargo which the vessel carries is, in our opinion, a 
cargo as large as she can safely carry." ** With r^ard to 
the proposal to introduce it into this Bill, I ofier it the 
strongest opposition in my power, and I must disclaim 
and renounce all responsibility for the measure should 
my hon. friend succeed in inducing the Committee to 
adopt the amendment." 

On the motion of Lord John Manners (afterwards Duke 
of Eutland) the debate was adjourned, to be resumed 
on June 12th, when Lord John Manners, as one who had 
taken a strong interest in the movement for a long series 
of years, maintained that it was in no sense a party 
question, nor was it in any sense a new question. But 
more important than the debate was the division. 

*'The true significance of the division may be esti- 
mated by an examination of the number of known 
friends of Women's Sufi&age who voted on this occasion 

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in the Government majority. The number is no less 
than 104 If these 104 members had voted according 
to their previous wont and their avowed convictions, 
they would have been deducted from the 271 who voted 
against the clause— leaving 167 opponents — and, added 
to the 135 supporters, would have raised the vote in 
favour of the clause to 239. We may therefore assume 
that had the question been an open one, and the 406 
members who took part in the division been free to 
vote according to their convictions, the clause would 
have been carried by a majority of seventy-two." * 

Many petitions were now addressed to the House of 
Lords in view of the Bill coming before them, and 
several references were made to the question during 
the discussion by the Peers. Lord Carnarvon, in 
particular, on opening the adjourned debate, used these 
emphatic words : " Where you enfranchise two million 
of persons, some of them confessedly illiterate and 
ignorant, many of them with a very small stake in the 
coimtry, I cannot conceive upon what principle it 
is that you exclude a small class of persons who, by 
intelligence and every quality of fitness, are entitled to 
exercise the vote." 

The postponement of the final stages of the measure 
to an Autumn Session gave opportunity for further 
agitation; and at the Trade Union Congress, which 
met that year in Aberdeen, a resolution, *'That this 
Congress is strongly of opinion that the franchise 
should be extended to women ratepayers," was carried 
with but three dissentients. The resolution owed 
1 WommCi Svffragt Journal^ July 1884. 

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166 women's SUFFRAOE. [1884. 

much to the forcible speech of Miss J. 6. Wilkinson 
(Secretary to the Upholstresses' Union, London). With 
sorrow one writes the name of that valiant spirit — ^in 
its frail tenement ever struggling for more light, more 
means to help her fellow-women. Instances of working 
men who have forged their way, through hard study, 
high up the ladder of achievement, are frequent in 
English story, but the instances in which women have 
done so are comparatively rare. Jeannette Gaury 
Wilkinson was one of thesa All too late the suffrage 
movement learned to know her value ; with hard study 
and hard work she had wrought beyond her strength, 
and passed away in August 1886, within three years 
of the time when she came down to lecture for the 
Bristol Society. Sound in judgment as she was 
vigorous in speech, she would, in these days of Labour 
Commissions and Labour Bills, have been a powerful 
help to the cause of working women. Her friends sub- 
scribed to place a marble slab on her grave in Forest 
Hill Cemetery. Truly of her it might be said, "She 
loved her teHow-ivomen," 

Another earnest speaker, one of whom it was truly 
said her oratory went straight to the hearts of her 
audience, had passed away not long before. Helena 
Pauline Downing died on March 8th, 1885, after a long 
and lingering illness. She was the niece of Mr. 
McCarthy Downing, M.P., who represented the County 
of Cork from 1868 to 1879. Her addresses were full of 
force and fire, mingled with pathos and humour ; and 
this little bright-eyed Irishwoman never failed to win 
the sympathy of her hearers. 

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In the autumn of 1884 the British Association visited 
Canada, and Miss Becker, for the first and only time 
during the years of her snf&age work, took a prolonged 
holiday, attending the Association and visiting relatives 
in the Dominion, while Caroline Biggs edited the 
Womm*B Suffrage Jowmal for September and October. 
The visit of the Association fell at an interesting time 
for the suffirage workers who followed it to Canada, 
for the Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, had 
introduced provisions for Women's Sufirage into an 
electoral Bill which was at that very time before 
the Dominion Parliament The opportunity was 
taken to send an address of thanks to Sir John Mac- 
donald, which was signed by eleven lady members of 
the British Association — Clara, Lady Bayleigh, Miss 
Becker, Mrs. Ashworth Hallett, Miss Sharman Craw- 
ford, Mrs. Cooke-Taylor, Mrs. Rebecca Moore, Miss 
Wilhehnina Hall (F.R. Met Soc., P.L.G., Eastbourne), 
Mrs. Morrison Campbell Miller, Miss Helen Brown (St 
Cuthberf s School, Edinburgh), Phoebe Blyth (Parochial 
Board, Edinburgh), Miss Maria S. Rye. 

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After the Third Kbform Act. 

The curtain had fallen on the second act of the 
drama. The Court of Common Pleas had brought the 
first act to an end when it closed the doior to the 
old franchises. Now the Act which created large, 
new classes of voters had ended the second act 
by shutting the door to the new franchise against 

They had used every legitimate and constitutional 
means that was open to them, yet they were left in the 
" residuum." Not one of the statesmen responsible for 
the new extension had taken heed of tlie fact so truly 
expressed in the letter quoted at page 163, that every 
extension of political freedom amongst men, leaves 
women in a more unequal position than before. 


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§ 34 Changed Conditions, 

For a short moment there seemed a gleam of 
brightness. The session of 1886 opened with a new 
Parliament in which the number of known friends had 
mounted up to 314, and known opponents fallen to 104 
— and the first steps in the new House seemed to augur 
well, for on February 18th, thanks to Mr. Courtney's 
vigilance, the opportunity of the early closing of the 
debate on the address was seized to press on the Women's 
Sufi&age Bill Mr. Beresford Hope's motion to adjourn 
the House was thrown out by five; then Sir Henry 
James's motion to adjourn the Bill was thrown out by 
fifty-seven, with the understanding that the vote was 
tantamount to a vote for the Bill, — after which it 
passed second reading without a division. 

Yet it was a barren victory ; the Bill was blocked in 
its further stages, and in the summer another General 
Election was sprung on the country. At that election 
the number of friends returned was the hi^est yet 
known, being an absolute majority of the whole House. 
This proved that the new electorate were not hostile 
— but neither were they keen ; from 1886 to 1892 no 
occasion for a debate was secured. The suffrage 
workers had to reconcile themselves to days of dull, 
patient plodding, — the bright hopefulness of the earlier 
times was gone out of the movement. Burning 
questions of Imperial unity were forcing themselves to 
the front, compelling attention. Almost, it might seem 
to the despondent, that all had to be begun over again 
— but not quite: what had been done could not be 

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170 women's suffrage. [188«. 

undone, it had — to use the words of Thomas Carlyle — 
*' already mixed itself with the ever-living, ever-working 
Universe." The labours in the days of hope had left 
their mark; women were no longer outcasts from all 
the seats of learning ; there were many, amongst teachers 
perhaps especially, who by this time realized ^that 
there is nothing distinctive in the higher education 
of girls, but that higher education, which is culture of 
the mind itself for its own sake, is the same in character 
and object for girls and boys." Women who wished to 
work were no longer isolated units, but had begun to 
attune their lives to a new note. '* The keynote of our 
movement," Miss Becker wrote in 1879, '* is that woman 
is the co-ordinate not the «u5-ordinate half of humanity, 
and this idea influences the whole scheme of our social 
fabric — ^it is, or is to be, the grand distinction between 
savage and civilized man.*' How should the sufiErage 
party best follow that note under the new con- 

It was the period when the political catusm was at 
the height of its activity. Already it has been seen 
that party organizations had been appealed to on behalf 
of the political claims of women, and here and there 
women had themselves joined in party organizations. 
The suffirage question had, however, remained their 
central rallying point, irrespective of party considera- 
tions. Now women turned, not as independent 
suffragists, but as upholders of party ideas, to form 
organizations and work with men for party purposes. 

The way had been prepared by the formation, in the 
previous two or three years, of a few Women's Liberal 

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Associations. Bristol had led the way, where, thanks 
to the energy of Miss Priestman and the co-operation 
of Miss Emily Sturge and other Liberal members of the 
Women's Sufi&age Society, an association had been formed 
in 1881 — to be called the Bristol Women's Liberal 
Association — ^its object being '*to promote Liberal 
principles, and diffuse knowledge on political questions 
of general and local interest among the women of 
Bristol"^ Other associations followed in Darlington, 
York, and a few other places, on similar lines. But a 
new impetus was given to political organizations amongst 
women when the Primrose League, in 1885, instituted 
its Ladies' Grand Council, thus distinctly inviting their 
co-operation in the work of a League formed, " not to 
mcdntain any party or persons, but principles only"; 
**to uphold three clearly defined political principles" — 
principles which are ''eminently conservative in the 
strictest sense of that word."* 

Many, no doubt, passed into the political work offered 
for the pleasure of helping their fathers, brothers and 
husbands; but very many also came to work in real 
earnest for underlying principles in which they firmly 
believed, and for which they rejoiced to work hand-in- 
hand with men. 

This co-ordination of work spread so fast that presently 
the women who were grouped in isolated Liberal Associa- 
tions felt that they too should have some federated life, 
and the Women's Liberal Federation was inaugurated in 
February 1887. Here and there a few women have 

1 Annual Beport of Bristol Women's Liberal Association, 1882. 
3 Leaflet, " Why should I join the Primrose League t " 

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172 women's SUFPRAGK. [1886L 

been admitted to the Liberal Five Hundred, or Three 
Hundred, or whatever the central consultative body of 
their city might be called; but the women's liberal 
organizations, as organizations, have always been inde- 
pendent of those of the men. 

After the cleavage of the great Liberal party, there 
sprang up the Women's Liberal Unionist Association. 
Thus, within three years of the passing of the Bepresen- 
tation of the People's Act of 1884, which had refused 
them the rights of citizenship, women were justifying 
their daim, by the practical object-lesson of actual 
political work, on the lines of each of the great parties 
in the State. 

Each of these organizations — the Primrose League, 
the Women's Liberal Federation, the Women's Liberal 
Unionist Association — were called into being to support 
certain principles in the State, wholly irrespective of 
their personal status as voteless persons. Their personal 
views on the franchise had no bearing on their collective 
action as members of ^ political organization, so that 
they — and the Women's Liberal Associations especially — 
have brought on themselves the frequent reproach that 
they assist men to power, who afterwards use that power 
to deny them the simplest, quietest and most eflfective 
instrument for giving help to their principles. 

But even those who stultify their own actions by 
their indifference — often more apparent than real — to 
the "pivot" question of the franchise, even they have 
contributed to throw down one of the chief bulwarks 
of the old resistance — the notion that "politics are 

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Concurrent^, changes were at work within the House 
of Commons itself, of more immediate import, so far as 
the Parliamentary conduct of the Women's Franchise 
Bill was concerned. Before these changes in the pro- 
cedure of Parliament, the once well-nigh certain prospect 
of a dehate on a fixed day, under a known leader, by 
degrees gave place to utter uncertainty, not only as to 
whether the Bill would have a day at all, but also as to 
who would introduce it, and consequently how it might 
be framed. 

It was the perception of all the imminent changes of 
that period of obstruction which determined Miss Becker 
to apply herself to the formation of a conmiittee of 
supporters of the question within Parliament itself. 
At length, in May 1887, matters were ripe for action, 
and the Manchester Committee resolved that a meeting 
of the members of Parliament, who were also members 
of their Committee, should be called in London, and 
Miss Becker was authorized to make the arrangements. 
The Central Committee also concurred, and invitations 
were issued, in the joint names of Mr. Wm. WoodaU and 
Mr. J. W. Maclure, to all members connected with the 
Manchester and Central Societies and backers of the 
Bill, for a meeting in Committee Eoom 14 of the House 
of Commons on 10th June 1887. 

At that meeting a Committee- of the Parliamentary 
supporters of the Women's Franchise Bill was duly 
constituted, Mr. W. S. B. M'Laren being appointed its 
Secretary on the Liberal side, and Captain Edwards 
Heathcote on the Conservative side. Thus was formed 
an authoritative nucleus of action which kept the 

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174 women's suffrage. [issr. 

Parliamentary forces together during the remainder of 
the life of that Parliament. Seventy-one members in 
all gave their adhesion to the Committee ; of these there 
are in the Parliament of 1901 only seventeen remaining. 
To record the details of the various steps taken, me- 
morials and deputations to the Home Secretary, eta, 
were needless : the outcome will be seen in the second 
Chart of Parliamentary Events. 

One circumstance may be noted, small in itself, yet 
significant of the changes which have been gradually 
going on. In those days Miss Becker, the accredited 
Parliamentary agent of the National Societies for 
Women's Suflfrage, was never admitted to the delibera- 
tions of the Committee. Many a time the present 
writer has waited with her in the corridor, till the 
Committee was over, and the secretaries came to deliver 
their minutes into her keeping. In these later ye€trs, 
each time our Parliamentary supporters have met in 
conference, not only the secretaries, but all the delegates 
from the Societies in the National Union of Women's 
Suffrage Societies, have been allowed to attend, and 
they have been asked to give their opinions on the 
points under deliberation. 

The speech of the Marquis of Salisbury on the Bill 
which Lord Denman, in spite of remonstrances re- 
peatedly addressed to him, introduced again on January 
30th, is the only incident that calls for record in this 
session. That speech once for all placed the attitude of 
the House of Lords towards the Bill on a distinct and 
definite basis. The Marquis of Salisbury said that he 
did not desire to express any opinion upon the subject 

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1887-88.] A7TEB THS THIBD REFORM ACT. 175 

which the noble Lord had brought before the House not 
for the first time. It was, he admitted, a subject of very 
great interest, and one which had aroused much feeUng 
among considerable sections of the community. But he 
would point out that it was not usual for one House of 
Parliament to initiate legislation which would alter the 
constitution of the other Housa To initiate such 
legislation, though not beyond their powers, would be 
to a certain extent a breach of Parliamentary etiquette. 
The Government therefore proposed to reserve their 
opinion upon the subject-matter of the Bill until the 
question should have been dealt with in the other 
House. He b^ged to move that the Bill be read 
that day six months. This was passed without a 

§ 34. Divided Cotmsels. 

All these changes and difficulties combined to bring 
about a vague discontent and restlessness within the 
Women's SufiGrage Societies, such as had hitherto been 

The difficulties were manifest, but their causes were 
not equally apparent, and, as in all periods of political 
unrest, there were not wanting those who thought to 
find a sure remedy for their discontent with the work 
of the Women's Suffirage Societies, in a change of 

The desire to alter the organizations and methods 
of work, and the intrusion of party spirit into the 
neutrality hitherto so carefully preserved, gave rise to 

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176 women's suffraqe. 

divided counselB, which at the close of 1888 brou^t 
about a revision of the rules of the Central Committee. 
The outcome of this shaking of the Societies will be 
best described in the words of the Women's Suffrage 
Jou/mai for January 1889. 

** The net result of the proceedings in regard to the 
revision of the rules of the Central Committee of the 
National Society for Women's Suffrage has been the 
dissolution of the society heretofore exi sting under that 
name, and the creation out of its constituent elements 
of two distinct societiea The one established by the 
new rules, on December 12th, under the title * Central 
National Society for Women's Suffrage,' admits as 
af&liated bodies, entitled to send delegates to its 
Council, Associations organized for other purposes than 
the extension of the Parliamentary franchise to women. 
The other, established December 13th by the re-con- 
struction under the old rules of the 'Central Com- 
mittee of the National Society for Women's Suffrage,' 
admits as associated or afUiated bodies such Associa- 
tions only as are organized for the sole object of 
obtaining the extension of the Parliamentary franchise 
for women. 

" The division of the * Central Committee ' into two 
organizations may be r^arded as an evidence of re- 
dundant energy in that section of the Women's Suffrage 
Society which has hitherto existed under that name. 
There are some living organisms in the animal world 
which increase by fission. The observer perceives an 
animalcule, perhaps moving a little slowly, as if 
conscious of some dif&culty in progression. The two 

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extremities of the creature show signs of wanting to 
go in different directions. In a few minutes he looks 
again, and lo ! instead of one, he beholds two organisms, 
each instinct with new life. Thus, the Central Com- 
mittee, having divided into two parts, represents two 
organisms, each seeking new adherents, each gatherii^ 
in its harvest in its own separate field, and each, we 
trust, destined to add its quota to the forces which will 
bring nearer the accomplishment of the object of the 

The Press was quick, after its wont, to make the most 
of what savoured of a quarrel ; but time has shown that 
Miss Becker appraised the division at its true value, 
when she replied as follows to an enquiring member of 
the Press fraternity: 

'' The facts are simply that the original Central Com- 
mittee was in partnership with the Societies throughout 
the country on certain conditions. The Central wished 
to alter the arrangement, and proposed new conditions 
unacceptable to the other Societies. Whereupon the 
'Central' broke the partnership by adopting the new 
conditions. The other Societies then simply reunited 
under the old rules with those members of the original 
Central who disapproved of the new conditions. Both 
Committees are now vigorously at work, and I see no 
reason why the only rivalry between them should not 
be the firiendly one of which can do most work for the 


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178 women's suffbaob. [1888. 

§36. The Protest of the ''Nineteenth Centwry," 

An opportunity for the firiendly rivalry recommended 
in the letter just quoted speedily presented itself. In 
the June number of the Nineteenth Centvry a protest 
was printed, bearing the signatures of 104 ladies, well 
known in West-End drawing-rooms, in the following 
terms : — 

"Female Suffrage. 

"^ Women* $ Protest. 

" The imdersigned protest strongly against the proposed 
extension of the Parliamentary franchise to women, 
which they believe would he a measwre distastefd to the 
grecU majority of the women of the country — vm,necessary 
— and mischievous loth to themselves and to the State" 

Never before in the history of the agitation had 
such a step been known as a formulated expression of ' 
hostility from women. 

This was, of course, the signal for a counter-blast. 
Immediately the offices in Great College Street and 
Parliament Street set a declaration in circulation: — 

"The undersigned desire to express their approval 
of the proposed extension of the Parliamentary fran- 
chise to women, which they believe would be beneficial 
both to them and to the State." 

The Editor of the Fortnightly Beview consented to 
open his pages to the counter-list, which in a fortnight 
contained the names of two thousand women all more 
or less of a representative character. Spsu^e was found in 

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the Jiily FortnighUy for six hundred of these, together 
with a reply from Mrs. Fawcett The entire list of 
signatures to the declaration was afterwards published 
by the two Committeea An excellent reply also ap- 
peared in the Mwnchester Examiner and Times, written 
by Miss Becker, and reprinted as a pamphlet. 

The declaration was the latest piece of work in which 
Caroline Ashurst Biggs took part. For many months it 
had been painful to see her combating the weakness that 
increased rapidly upon her, and at last on September 
4th she faded from life. 

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Miss Becker's Death. 

§ 37. Times of Depression. 

When there was no longer any Bill before the House 
as a standard round which to rally the forces of the 
movement — ^no target for Parliamentary action — all 
plans for work lacked their wonted incentive : the flow 
of funds naturally slackened, and workers drifted off 
to other things — ^many throwing themselves, as has been 
already seen, into party work. All circumstances thus 
combined to bring increasing anxiety on the responsible 
leaders of the movement, and above all, therefore, on 
Miss Becker. Early in 1888 symptoms of loss of 
physical vigour had distressed her colleagues. She had 
always been liable to a sudden collapse of nervous 
power, after any specially anxious and severe effort — 
but these attacks, alarming though they were for those 
who saw them, never came during, but only after, the 
work that had caused them was done, and she recovered 
quickly from them. But now the prolonged anxiety 
was telling on her permanently. 

The deep affections which lay under her stately 


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Lypia Ernestine Becker— II. (From a photograph taken in 1889.) 

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1890.] IdSS BEGEBR'S DEATH. 181 

and reserved demeanour were often sorely tried in those 
days of divided counsels between old friends and co- 
workers. The difficulties that then penetrated into the 
Women's Suffrage poUcy were only the reflex action 
of the storm which was disturbing the whole poUtical 
atmosphere of the country, and as such she r^arded 
them, checking any personal feeling which younger and 
less tried workers might display. She took all these 
troublesome matters as part of the incidents of poUtical 
work, to be met passively and impersonally, but the 
depression of the time fell with special heaviness on a 
leader of her sympathetic nature. 

§ 38. The Tragic End. 

In the winter of 1889-90, Miss Becker was almost 
entirely confined to her house, 155 Shrewsbury Street, 
Manchester, where she had Uved since the death of her 
father in 1877. She fought on, doing her work on the 
Women's Suffrage Jtrwmal as usual, and welcoming the 
friends who came to b^uile her hours of forced in- 
action with chess. 

At last, in the spring of 1890, she became so much 
worse that she decided on going to Bath, where she 
placed herself imder the charge of Dr. Spender. Her 
letters from Bath were cheerful, and her health improv- 
ing in some degree she arranged to take a course of baths 
at Aix-les-Bains. 

On her way through London she stayed a few days to 
take leave of her friends, and even attended a meeting 
of the Committee in Great College Street, on her way 

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182 women's suffrage. [1890. 

to Waterloo Station, on the day of her departure. It 
seemed a serious journey for one in her crippled state ; 
nevertheless, she started with only her maid, her 
immense courage making light of all difficulties; and 
seemingly with good reason, for her letters from Aix- 
les-Bains told of steady improvement, so much so 
that early in July she set out on an excursion into the 
Savoyard Alpa 

Nothing can better show how little the tragic end 
was looked for than some passages from the letters 
written by her in these last days of her life to the present 
writer, to whom she had entrusted the care of the 
Women's Suffrage Jowrnal during her absence. 

In a letter dated July 6th she thus describes her 
arrival at St G«rvais-les-Bains : " Just arrived here and 
find your welcome letter and budget of newspapers, 
which I r^ard as a famished lion might look at a bone, 
after having had no news for some days. Tou must have 
thought I was lost, and so indeed I have been for the 
last two days — stuck in the bottom of a deep, damp hole 
from which escape seemed hard. I left Annecy on 
Thursday, en rotUe for this place, which is reached by a 
cross-country railway, which strikes the beaten track 
from Geneva to Chamounix at a place called La Boche ; 
the train passes up the wide valley of the Ame as far as 
Gluse, where the rail ends. The valley here contracts to 
a ravine, up which the diligence proceeds to Chamounix. 
The day was glorious and the^ country magnificent. 
When the diligence stopped at the point for St Gtervais, 
I found that the village was three or four miles oflf, and I 
had not arranged for a conveyance, — so I was, perforce. 

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Google -ivr 

1890.] MISS BECKER'S DEATH. 183 

obliged to stay the night at the Baths, which are situated 
at the bottom of a very narrow, wooded ravine with 
perpendicular sides. There is just room for the buildings 
and the torrent. The place struck a damp chill into 
my very bones, and I made up my mind to get away 
next day ; but there set in such a perfect torrent of un- 
intermittent rain that I had not the courage to stir out ; 
and only this afternoon have I escaped, and am rejoicing 
in re-entering the world and again rejoicing in the open 
air. This little place is truly enchanting, and the air is 
like champagne " 

The next letter, dated July 12th, seemed calculated to 
allay any anxiety as to the eflfects of the damp, chill 
ravina It opened with reference to some plans, then 
under consideration, for enlarging the work in London, 
which occasioned her to remark: "If there was any 
hope of enlarging our sphere of action, it would be a 
factor in determining the question for me whether to 
settle permanently in London or Manchester. I believe 
there is more to be done for the cause in London than 
anywhere else just now." Then, after writing of some 
matters relating to the Journal, she added : '' The air is 
most invigorating and seems enough to make one happy ;" 
and concluded by saying that if the weather, then very 
rainy, improved, she meant to go on the following week 
to Chamounix. 

Three days later she wrote again. The first pages 
were again occupied with directions as to the preparation 
of the report of the Annual Meeting of the Central 
Committee for the Journal ; then followed words fraught 
with serious anxiety for her friend& She had been for 

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184 women's suffrage. [1890. 

three days disabled by a severe attack in the throat, 
and was unable to take solid food, and had to '' use the 
pen as an instrument of conversation and communi- 
cation." She attributed the attack to having exposed 
herself to the damp, cold air during the rain — but one 
remembered that the mischief might have been begun* 
in that chill, damp ravine, and worse might lie behind. 
"There is no regular doctor in this place, but fortu- 
nately there is a chemist who has practised medicine and 
has treated me very skilfully." " I am a prisoner in my 
room, which is very tantalizing, just as the glorious 
sunshine is spread over this enchanting scenery. But 
I should be thankful things are no worse. The attack 
might have been very serious if it had not been checked. 
It will be some days before I can be quite well again, 
and meantime there is nothing but patience and 
perseverance with remedial remedies. There are two 
very nice English ladies here — ^mother and daughter. 
.... They are very sympathetic and often come to see 
me, which is cheering. It would have been very dreary 
to be ill alone among foreigner&" 

On the 17th July she wrote again. Her letter opened 
with reference to the annual meeting of the Central 
Committee which had just taken place, and then pro- 
ceeded with some careful, minute directions as to the 
proofs of the speeches at the meeting. It then went 
on: — 

" My illness has been very serious and I am afraid to 
think what might have happened if there had not been 
skilled medical attendance at hand. The phx/rmcwien 
here has a diploma for medical practice, and has had 

Digitized by 


1890.] MISS BECKER'S DEATH. 185 

eight years' practice in Algeria. He has visited me three 
times a day to attend to the throat. To-day he brought 
in Dr. Bonnafoy of Sallanches, who has been twice and 
increased the vigour of the remedies. Both doctors 
pronounce me decidedly better, as indeed I feel, and 
^they expect that in two days I shall be convalescent 
and able to take solid food. My experience of the 
French doctors is very satisfactory ; they are so very 
capable and skilful. I must, of course, stay on here till 
I am quite restored, so please continue to send things. 
Papers of all sorts will be doubly welcome while I am 
such a close prisoner to my small room. 

*' My sleep has been much disturbed by dreams — ^no 
doubt caused by the discomfort and oppression in my 
throat. Oddly enough, no sooner do I drop off into a 
doze than my nightmare comes to rattle me off on 
travels. The first night it was always Chamounix that 
she kept constantly careering round. The second night 
she fixed on Porrentry in the Jura. Last night she 
scampered over the tops of the mountains about here. 
I cannot help wondering what part of the map she will 
select for to-night, if she is not yet tamed. — Tours ever, 

"L E. B." 

That letter could not have been written more than a 
very few hours when the doctor perceived a change for 
the worse, and told her the only hope would be in the 
greater skill of a doctor in Gteneva. With her resolute 
will she immediately decided to go to Greneva, first 
tel^aphing the address of the doctor to her brothers, 
and b^ging them to come to her, for she was very ill of 
diphtheria. Then she started on that long drive of forty 

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186 women's suffrage. [1890. 

miles, her maid her only attendant The day was fine 
and the air seemed to brace her up ; though she took 
out her watch and wrote — ^for she was too ill to speak 
— " I shall not live to get there." 

It was one of her maxims in life, that if we had bat 
one day to live, we should try to make it as bright as 
we could, and she was true to her rule to the end : even 
on that terrible drive she took enjoyment in the glorious 
scenery they were passing through, pointing to some of 
its beauties. 

She did indeed reach Greneva, but the doctor to whom 
she had an introduction was not at home, and before he 
could reach her at the Clinique JuiUard, where she had 
been received, the vital force was spent. 

Then the short telegraphic message, transfigured in 
the hearts of friends to the words of solemn soothing — 
she was not, for God took her. 

§ 39. In Memoriam. 

How those tidings fell on the hearts of the workers 
with her in the long struggle, is chronicled in many 
letters received by the present writer, of which the 
following are characteristic passages: — 

Mra M'Laren — {on reading that last letter). — "The 
conclusion is a poem, almost Ossianic, and is emblematic 
of and accords with the mental flights she was able to 
take in her best days. Oh, how she has left us all 
wondering as to where the last night's flight has carried 
her dauntless spirit. How little did she dream that it 
would be beyond * that bourne from which no traveller 

Digitized by 


1890.] MISS beckbr's dbath. 187 

returns.' Surely she must have gone to a place of 
rest, to prepare for some further mission for the good 
of women " 

Miss Arabella Shore — {on seeing the notice in the 
" Poll Mail"), — ** The woman's cause owes everything to 
her — she was the leader of the vanguard at the begin- 
ning and the chief supporter of it through all its first 
difficult years. . . . Truly, this is a rigid service she 
gave herself to. I hope, however, she had some happiness 
in it. I like to think my last intercourse with her 
was in a visit she paid us here, and to remember her 
intense enjoyment in scenery and flowers." 

Miss Frances Power Oobbe — (on reading in the 
** Olole " that our " brave, good friend and champion " was 
dead). — " One has hardly time yet to think of the loss 
she will be to the cause of women, but it is vrnmecLSwr- 

aUe She did so long to see the fruit of her 

labours and, as she once told me, to pass on to other 

Mra Sebecca Moore. — " Her memory should be an 
inspiration to all who knew her." 

Sarah Lewin. — "There was much sweetness imder 
that strong, dauntless manner." 

§ 40. Afterwards, 

" The movement has got far beyond depending on any 
individual," Miss Becker had said as we were discussing 
probable outlooks together, a few weeks before she 
started for Aix-les-Bains. The uppermost thought now 
became, "how shall we make those words true?" for 

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188 womsn's suffrage. [i89a 

however strong the determination of the Societies, the 
loss of her guiding spirit lay heavily on the work every- 
where. The Manchester Committee was for a time 
as a body paralyzed. The Central Committee suffered 
grievously by the absence of her political acumen and 
knowledge of Parliamentary procedure, of which — as 
Mr. Courtney, himself a master of procedure, had said 
— she had a complete mastery. 

The Journal, by means of which the workers had been 
kept in touch with the general news and with each 
other, and to which all turned as the guide to a common 
policy, was but scantily replaced by the Occasional Papers, 
issued at uncertain intervals from the office in Great 
Coll^ Street. 

To members of Parliament, to the general public, to 
workers in the Colonies and United States, and indeed 
in every place where the question was aUve, Miss Becker 
had been the visible head of the British movement 

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FROM 1890 TO 1 90 1. 


Renbwed Endbayoubs. 
§ 41. New JDevelopmerUs. 

The difficulty of obtaming a day for second reading of 
the Women's Franchise Bill pursued the proceedings of 
the session of 1891, and many fears were entertained 
that the Wednesday — May 13 — on which Mr. Woodall 
had obtained a place, might be sacrificed to the 
Whitsuntide holidays. It was sacrificed indeed, but in 
a manner no one could have foreseen. 

Meantime, in the face of such a possibility, Mr. W. H. 
Smith, First Lord of the Treasury, consented to receive 
a deputation, introduced, on April 20th, by Viscount 
Wolmer. The deputation (viz., Mrs. Fawcett, Lady 
Groldsmid, Miss Emily Davies and Miss Blackburn) pre- 
sented a memorial bearing the signatures of a number of 


Digitized by 


190 women's suffrage. [1891. 

members of Parliament and other influential supporters, 
both men and women. The memorial pointed out that 
the most representative political gatherings that had 
taken place during the past seven years had affirmed the 
principle of Women's Suffrage.^ 

^ List of the varioas oooasions on wUch resolations in {syout of 
extending the Parliamentary franchise to women, have been passed 
by representative gatherings of political organizations from 1883 to 

The following were referred to in the memorial : 

Parliamentary Reform Conference (Leeds, 17th Oct 1888), repre- 
senting the London and (bounties Union, the National Liberal 
Federation and the National Reform Union, by a large majority. 

National Liberal Federation, Annual Meeting (Bristol, November 

National Reform Union, Annual Conference (Manchester, January 
1884), hy a large majority. 

National Union of Conservative Associations of Scotland, Annual 
Conference (Glasgow, 1887), by a large majority. 

National Union of Conservative and Constitutional Associations, 
Annual Conference (Oxford, November 1887). 

Welsh Division of the National Union of Conservative Associations 
(Swansea, February 1888), with two dissentients. 

National Reform Union, Annual Meeting of General Council 
(Manchester, 22nd May 1889). 

Conservative party .of North Devon Conference (Barnstaple, May 
1889), by an overwhelming majority. 

Lancashire and Cheshire Division of the National Union of Con- 
servative and Constitutional Associations (Council Meeting at 
Lancaster, 29th June 1889), toith one dissentient. 

Northern Union of Conservative Associations, Annual Meeting 
(Newcastle-on-Tyne, 15th November 1889). 

National Union of Conservative Associations of Scotland, Conference 
(Dundee, 14th November 1889), by a very large majority. 

Birmingham Liberal Association, General Councils of "the Two 
Thousand" (Birmingham, 2l8t January 1891), with one dissentient. 

For convenience of reference the resolutions of subsequent years may 
be added here : — 

National Union of Conservative and Constitutional Associations, 

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1891.] BBNS¥nBD ENDBAYOUBS. 191 

The memorial pointed out the difficulty that had been 
experienced in obtaining a debate since the second 
reading in 1886, and prayed that the day appointed 
might be reserved for the discussion of a measure 
which suffered imder the special disadvantage that those 
whom it chiefly concerned had no voting power with 
which to fortify their claim. The First Lord of the 
Treasury assured the deputation that, unforeseen con- 
tingencies apart, he had no intention of taking the day. 

The Committee of Parliamentary friends met that 
afternoon, and on learning the result of the deputation, 
resolved to proceed with the Bill, and Mr. Haldane with- 
drew the resolution of which he had given notice as an 
alternative resource. On April 30th Mr. W. H. Smith 
moved that certain specified days should be appropriated 
to Government business. Mr. Gladstone insisted that 
Mr. Smith "should be perfectly uniform in the 
application of his rule," and take aU Wednesdays or 
none. This proposal on the part of Mr. Gladstone 
afforded a manifest opportunity for shelving the 
Women's Franchise Bill. A debate of nearly an hour 
ensued. Finally, by a vote of 218 to 150 the Govern- 
ment had an imasked-for Wednesday forced upon them. 
The division shows a remarkable distribution of votes — 

Annual Conference (Birmingham, 28rd Noyember 1891), for the 
second time, toUh a large majority, 

Scottish Branch of the Primrose League, Annual Meeting of the 
Grand Habitation (Edinburgh, SOth October 1891), unanimously. 

National Union of ConservatiTe Associations of Scotland, Annual 
Ck>nference (Edinburgh, 8th November 1892), for the second time, 

National Union of Conserrative and Constitutional As80oiations(New- 
oastle-on-Tyne, April 1894), for the third time, with one dissentient. 

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192 women's SUFFRAQS. [1891. 

the minority including 128 ConservativeB as against 
79 in the majority; the Gladstonian Liberals 27 
in the minority as against 90 in the majority; the 
remainder being divided between Liberal Unionists 
and Nationalists — ^but in truth it was a snatch vote; 
many friends were absent. The whole story is so aptly 
summed up in PuncKs Essence of Parliament that 
it cannot be better presented than in the words of that 
mirror of the passing day. 

^'Thttisday— A pretty little game on to-night. Old Morality 
moved his Resolntioii taking power to appropriate Tuesday and 
Friday evening sittingB, and all Wednesday for Irish Land Bill. 
In ordinary circumstances there would have been a stormy protest 
led from Front Opposition Bench against this inroad on time of 
private members. Other fish to fry to-night. Wednesday week 
assigned for second reading of Women's Suf&age Bill ; if Qovem- 
ment take that day for Irish Land Bill, obviously can't be utilized 
for furtherance of Woman's Rights. 

^ This is an awkward question for some members ; don't like it, 
but daren't vote against it Here's opportunity for getting rid of 
it by side-wind. 

^ Not necessary in arranging proceedings to mention Suffrage 
Bill, or even Wednesday, 13th of May. 

*^ It was principle for which members!struggled; the ' principle of 
uniformity,' as Mr. Q. beautifully put it. ' Let us,' he said, though 
perhaps not quite in this phrase, ' go the whole hog or none ; take 
all the Wednesdays, or leave them.' .... 

<*<rm inclined,' said Mr. Woodall, 'as a rule, to take kindly 
views of my fellow-men, to put the best construction upon their 
actions ; but^ upon my word, I'm not satisfied in my own mind 
that we advocates of Woman's Rights have not been made the 
victims of deep and dastardly design.' 

" * Order ! Order I ' said Courtney ; * no more am I.' 

^ Business done — Woman's Rights men dished." 

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Before the summer was over, however, Lord Salisbury 
gave some compensating balance when he said, at the 
dinner of the United Club on July 15 th : " I am bound, 
for the sake of record, and not to seem to have altered 
my opinion, to say that in my judgment whenever 
the question of the franchise is brought up, the 
question of releasing the restrictions which are now 
imposed on the voting of women will have to be 

Again, the words of Mr. A. J. Balfour, when address- 
ing a large meeting of Unionists in the Theatre Hall, 
Bury, on October 22nd, were emphatic. " If you really 
mean to go in and deal with the anomcJies of represen- 
tation in the spirit of statesmen, you are bound to have 
Women's Suffrage." 

Then in November came the enthusiastic vote of the 
National Union of Conservative Associations, who held 
their gathering that year in the Masonic Hall, Birming- 
ham, on November 23rd, under the presidency of Mr. H. 
Byron Eeed, M.P. 

During the morning Conference Viscoimt Fielding 
moved : " That this Conference is of opinion that, when 
the question of representation of the people is reopened 
by Parliament, serious consideration should be given to 
the claims of women to be admitted to the franchise 
when entitled by ownership or occupation." In the 
short but comprehensive speech in which Viscount 
Fielding moved this resolution, he laid special stress on 
the prominence of labour questions, and their vital 
importance for the vast numbers of women employed 
in trades and in textile and other industries who would 


Digitized by 


194 women's SUFITRAGK. [1692. 

be vitallj affected by legislation on labour, trade and 
social questions. 

Mr. James Bankin, M.P., having briefly seconded, the 
chairman stated that Mrs. Fawcett was present in the 
hall, and he b^ged to move that the Conference should 
hear her. The Conference then gave Mrs. Fawcett an 
enthusiastic reception as she came on the platform, 
accompanied by Mrs. Ashworth Hallett ; and after listen- 
ing to her statement of the nature and hope of the 
claim the Women's Suffrage Societies uphold, the 
resolution was carried by a large majority. 

§ 42. The Debate of 1892. 

A reflex encouragement from that vote in Birming- 
ham certainly made itself felt amongst the members of 
the Committee of Parliamentary friends, who met at 
the summons of the Honorary Secretaries at the opening 
of the session. Following the lines of the Birmingham 
resolution, it was agreed, at the instance of Sir 
Algernon Borthwick (Lord Glenesk), to introduce a Bill 
for extending the Parliamentary franchise to women on 
the local government registers. It was further agreed to 
try and obtain a day by 2^ plural ballot. This indicates 
how much change Parliamentary procedure had under- 
gone: the present writer well remembers how, about 
three years before, a trusted and steady friend on the 
Conservative side of the House, talking with Miss 
Becker in the lobby of the House of Commons, advised 
her to ask many members to ballot for the Bill It 
sounded unparliamentary — ^nay, almost tricky to us then. 

Digitized by 


1892.] BENEWED INDSAyOnB& 196 

Soon after Mr. Woodall joined us, and Miss Becker told 
him what had been advised. He instantly repUed : no ; 
he would have none of it — it was not Parliamentary ; 
but here in the Committee of M.P.'s themselves the 
action was deliberately resolved on. Sir Algernon 
Borthwick took immediate charge of the measure, and 
collected many promises to ballot. The best place was 
drawn by Sir Albert K. RoUit, who then took the Bill 
into his hands, and under his vigorous lead a debate of 
remarkably earnest and well-toned character took place 
on April 27th, Sir Albert RoUit opening with a clear 
and comprehensive statement of the question as a 
whole, and then a practical presentment of the special 
points of the Bill. Mr. Woodall seconded. Mr. Samuel 
Smith led, Prof. Bryce seconded, the opposition; Mr. 
Asquith and Sir Henry James also spoke against, while 
Mr. Wyndham, Mr. Courtney and Mr. A. J. Balfour 
supported the Bill; the latter concluding with the 
important declaration that when any further alteration 
of the franchise was brought up, " they would have to 
face and deal with the problem of Women's Suffrage, 
and deal with it in a complete fashion." 

The division, which showed 152 for, 175 against, came 
as a surprise to both friends and foes. So vigorous 
had been the opposition that a very much larger 
hostile majority than twenty-three had been antici- 
pated. The exertions of the opponents were beyond all 
precedent. First, they had tried to prolong the Easter 
recess over the 27th ; but this met no encouragement 
from the leader of the House. Then they sent out a 
whip, signed by ten members on each side of the House, 

Digitized by 


196 WOMKN'S 8UFFEA0S. [1898. 

eamestlj requestdng the preeence of members, not 
later than 4.30, to vote against the measure. More 
than this, Mr. Gladstone had addressed a letter to Mr. 
Samuel Smith, which was widely circulated. He letter 
indeed only set forth the objections which had been 
heard in every debate — ^but the name of Mr. Gladstone 
lent its aid, there can be no doubt, in deterring 

Whatever its effect in the House, this letter had 
the effect of arousing a strong feeling of indignation 
amongst many women of the Liberal party, and added 
warmth to the discussion at the Annual General Meeting 
of the Women's Liberal Federation, a few weeks later, as 
to how far the question should be taken up by the 
Federation — and it was thenceforth admitted as a 
specified subject on their programme, though not as 
yet made what is known as a *'test" question. 

The Annual Meeting of the Central Committee followed 
on May 31st, Sir Algernon Borthvdck presiding. Mr. 
George Wyndham, Prof. Jebb, and Lady Eaiightley all 
spoke for the first time on the platform of the Society. 

Digitized by 



§ 43. The Appeal from VTomen. 


Of all Partibs and all Classes. 

**To (he Members of the House of Oommons. 

** QsNTLEHSN, — Many of the women who sign this appeal differ in 
opinion on other political questions, but all are of one mind that the 
continued denial of the franchise to women, while it is at the 
same time being gradually extended amongst men, is at once unjust 
and inexpedient. 

" In our homes it fosters the impression that women's opinioA on 
questions of public interest is of no value to the nation, while the 
foot of women having no votes lessens the representative character 
of the House of Commons. 

" In the facAoTj and workshop it places power to restrict women's 
work in the hands of men who are working alongside of women 
whom they too often treat as rivals rather than as fellow- workers. 

" In Parliament it prevents men from realizing how one-sided are 
many of the laws affecting women. 

" We therefore earnestly beg you to support any well-oonsidered 
measure for the extension of the Parliamentary franchise to 

The debate of 1892 sent a thrill of fresh life through 
the Committees. Now came the question how to sustain 
and utilize the reviving energy. 

Those who are unable to give force to their opinions 
through the power of the vote have always the con- 
stitutional right of petition, as a means of appealing to 
the governing authority. Petitions have, however, of late 

Digitized by 


198 women's suffrage. [isw. 

years lost their significanca The very ease with which 
they can be prepared, thanks to facilities of printing and 
post-office arrangements, has brought them into discredit. 
They seem now to savour of the mechanical process, 
rather than to convey a spontaneous expression. They 
are very rarely read out to the House, as should become 
a petition worthy to be presented to the august as- 
sembly of elected l^islators — they are, as a rule, pre- 
sented in a perfunctory way, seen only by the M.P. 
who presents them, laid on the table, and swept off 
with briefest record in the Keport of Petitions. 

A scheme was therefore this year formulated in the 
office at 10 Great College Street for a general appeal 
from women throughout the United Kingdom, which 
should testify to the personal interest taken by the 
collectors and should bring the whole mass of signatures 
under the attention of each member. 

The scheme was well received by the workers ior 
suffnige — so well indeed that the first arrangements 
proposed were modified so as to place the working of the 
appeal in the hands of a Special Committee, constituted 
specially for this purpose, consisting of persons connected 
with various women's organizations, and vdth a tempor- 
ary office and offices of its own. The arrangement was 
cumbersome in its working, but led to greater interest 
being taken by many prominent workers in other direc- 
tions, and eventually led up to the combined Parlia- 
mentary Committee, which was the precursor of the 
reorganization of the Societies into a national union in 
the autumn of 1897. 

The small books for coUecting signatures circulated 

Digitized by 


1898-94.] RENEWED ENDEAVOUBS. 199 

far and vdde, penetrating into many a remote comer. 
Then, as they returned eventually to the Appeal Office, 
filled with signatures, these were sorted into their con- 
stituencies and pasted on sheets, so as to be formed into 
volumes county by county. Three thousand five hundred 
persons had helped in collecting the names, and 140 
meetings had been held — some in drawing-rooms, some 
in cottages, some in public rooms — at which new workers 
were enlisted and signatures obtained. So that by the 
session of 1894, when it had been proposed that the 
appeal should be presented, the aggregate of signatures 
amounted to 248,000. The Committee felt satisfied that 
the appeal had fulfilled their original hope, and had 
received the support of women of all classes, parties 
and occupations. It was difficult amongst such numbers 
to trace all the special names of note, but the signatures 
included the heads of nearly all the colleges for women 
and of a large proportion of the head mistresses of High 
and other Public Schools for girls, and of women serving 
on Boards of Guardians and School Boards. The lead- 
ing women in the medical profession signed, and a number 
of the most eminent in literature and art, besides many 
of vdde social influence, and many leading workers in the 
various movements for general well-being.^ 

Now came the solemn question of the mode of presen- 
tation. Miss Becker had often said that if women could 
plead their own cause at the Bar of the House, it would 
be speedily granted. Would it be possible that this 
appeal, from such a mass of women, and representative 
of all parts of the country and all classes of the com- 
' Report of the Appeal Committee, July 1894. 

Digitized by 


200 WOMSN'S SUFFRAGK. [1898-M» 

munity, might be preeented, by ladies del^ated from 
the Special Committee, at the Bar of the House ? At 
least the question might be asked, and Lord Wolmer 
placed the matter before Mr. Speaker PeeL But there 
was no precedent. The most careful search through the 
Commons Journals had yielded none which precisely 
fitted, and the Speaker demurred to create what might 
be construed into an inconvenient precedent How 
could the unrepresented appellants enforce their plea 
contrary to precedent ? Miss Becker's powerful mind 
might have been able to convince to the contrary and 
show this was a wholly unique occasion, one which it 
was inconceivable should create a precedent in a consti- 
tutional coimtry — ^f or they were the only body of persons 
who could lay their claim as an unrepresented half of the 
adult community. But as things were, the only course 
open was to ask that when Viscount Wolmer's instruc- 
tion on the Begistration Bill came forward, the appeal 
might be placed within the precincts of the House, so 
that it might be seen and examined by members. A 
petition, signed by all the members of the Special Appeal 
Committee,^ was prepared for presentation to the House 

^ The members of the Special Appeal Committee were :— (England) — 
Presidentf Mrs. Fawoett ; TretuureTf Mrs. Frank Morrison. The Ladj 
Frances Balfour, Miss Balfour, Miss Helen Blackburn, Mrs. Leonard 
Oourtuej, The Lady Knightlej, Mrs. Eva M'Laren, Mrs. Massingberd, 
Miss Mordan, Mrs. Wynford Philipps, Mrs. Broadley Beid, The Lady 
Henry Somerset, Mrs. T. Taylor (Chipchase), Miss Yemon. (Scotland) 
— J?(m. FresitUnif The Bt. Hon. the Countess of Aberdeen ; Presideni, 
Mrs. Priscilla Bright M'Laren. The Lady Frances Balfour, Miss 
Balfour, Miss M. Cunninghams, Mrs. Muir Dowie, Mrs. lindsay 
Forbes, Miss E. Scott Kirkland, Miss Lees, Miss Methren, Miss Flora 
Stevenson, Miss Louisa Stevenson, Mrs. Lang Todd, Miss Wigham. 

Digitized by 



of Commons when the time came, praying their con- 
sideration of the document. 

The Speaker gave permission that at the proposed 
time the appeal should be placed in the Library of the 
House. However, it became apparent that there was 
no hope of the Eegistration Bill reaching the stage for 
an instruction that session, so that all these arrange- 
ments were deferred, and the further fortunes of the 
Appeal come into this story again in 1896. 

§ 44. ^ Mixed Record. 

The Parliament elected in July 1892 has the distinc- 
tion of being the only Parliament elected since this 
agitation began in which no debate took place on the 
measure. This may be attributable to the short life of 
the Parliament ; it is certainly not due to any falling off 
of friendly members. The ratio of known friends ex- 
ceeded the ratio of known opponents as heretofore, both 
amongst former members re-elected and amongst newly 
elected members. In addition to this, the Societies had 
cause for great satisfaction, in that, when the session of 
1893 opened, they were able to announce that Viscount 
Wolmer, M.P., had consented to take the Parliamentary 
leadership. This was in itself an assurance that no 
opportunity would pass unheeded. 

The Committee of Parliamentary friends was not 
formally reconstituted, but it was understood that they 
would be called together whenever a meeting should be 
found advisabla The hopes of the leaders in this 
Parliament centred chiefly on the Eegistration Bill 

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202 women's suffrage. [1898-M. 

introduced by the Government, as afifording opportunity 
for moving an amendment providing for the r^istra- 
tion of women. Accordingly, as soon as the ruling of the 
Speaker allowed that such an amendment would be in 
order, Lord Wolmer gave notice to move in Committee 
*' that it be an instruction to the Committee that they 
have power to deal with the r^istration of women." 
Meantime, an effort had been made for a Bill, Mr. 
Charles M'Laren obtaining a second place — but he was 
preceded by the Rating of Machinery Bill, which proved 
to be a machine capable of being utilized for crowding 
out the Suffrage Bill. 

In 1894 the Begistration Bill again provided the only 
loophole, but it was not destined to reach Committee 
stage. The session of 1895 was equally barren, and 
that from a reason of a peculiarly vexatious description 
— the illusory tactics of misguided friends of the suffrage 
cause. Here, perhaps, a few words should be said of a 
difficulty which greatly embarrassed the work at this 
period, even though in a certain sense it might seem 
like a sign of vigour, inasmuch as it is a sign of exuber- 
ant life when coteries crop up in many directions with 
intent to do service to a cause. Such coteries may 
be of much value working in their own sets, even when 
the magnificence of their titles seems disproportionate 
to the modesty of their nimibers. But when such 
coteries force themselves into the lobbies of the House 
panoplied with a self-confidence only to be equalled by 
their inexperience, then indeed the consequences are 
disastrous. M.P.'s are irritated, the Press and the 
public are puzzled, and all suppose that these foolish 

Digitized by 


1894-95.] RENKWSD ENDEAY0UB8. 203 

tactics are the counsels of the National Society. At 
the time this narrative has now reached, a certain 
coterie, vdth whose previous and subsequent vagaries 
there is no need to deal here, simply blocked the way 
for any progress. It was in this wise — ^Mr. W. S. B. 
M'Laren had obtained an excellent day for a resolution, 
but Mr. Macdona had set down a Bill which stood in 
a perfectly hopeless position on May 1st. Yielding to 
the pressure of the coterie aforesaid, he declined to 
withdraw his Bill and so to leave the way open for Mr. 
M'Laren's motion; consequently the one opportunity 
that occurred in the life of that Parliament was lost. 
Verily, it was a melancholy thing to see the eager hope 
on the faces of the little group of ladies who, on May 1st, 
gathered round Mr. Macdona in the lobby of the House, 
as he guided them to the Ladies' Gkdlery ; they passed 
along vdth the look of those going to assured victory — 
but Mr. Macdona's Bill was preceded by a Corrupt 
Practices Bill, backed by Mr. Bolton and Sir Henry 
James, and one could only grieve to think how the 
hours would pass on and on and they would find their 
Bill left out in the cold. 

It is cheering to turn back from these barren records to 
the news of the first great gain in the Colonies, when, 
after an endeavour carried on through seventeen years, 
the women of New Zealand were enfranchised by the 
Electoral Reform Act, to which His Excellency Lord 
Glasgow gave assent on 19th September 1893. A general 
election followed in a few weeks, so that the New 
Zealand women — British and Maori alike — were able 
to make immediate use of their newly acquired right. 

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The women of South Australia very quicklj leoeiTed 
equal rights by the passing of the Constitution Amend- 
ment Act in December 1894. But further details in 
regard to progress in these and the other parts of 
** Britain Beyond the Seas " will be best told in a 
supplementary chapter. 

Althou^ the Parliament of 1892-95 contributed 
nothing to the direct advance of the main question, it 
passed one Act which has an incidental bearing thereon* 
The Local Qovemment Act of 1894, added to the Local 
Government and Local Electors Acts of 1888 for England 
and of 1889 for Scotland, completed the new scheme 
for local county government in Great Britain. 

These Acts admit women on equal terms to the 
local government roisters, but they differ as r^ards 
the married women's vote, and also as regards eligibility 
to offica 

The latter point forms no part of the Women's 
Sufi&age question. The right to vote is the symbol of 
that freedom from which no human being should be 
hopelessly debarred in a free country. Eligibility for 
office is a question of individual adaptability for the 
performance of special dutiea Nevertheless, the ready 
imaginations of opponents have always been quick to 
treat these two distinct orders of circumstances as if 
they stood in the relation of cause and effect It is 
not in virtue of their being on the local government 
register that women are now eligible for numerous 
administrative offices. They are eligible because, in the 
political division of labour, the law has left electors 
perfectly free to determine who shall be the proper 

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1894-95.] BICNIWED INDSAyOUR& 205 

persons to act for them on Boards of Guardians, District 
and Parish Councils and School Boards, but has restricted 
electors in their area of choice for County Councils and 
Town Councils. 

The Women's Suffrage movement is a movement to 
enable women to be choosers quite irrespective of the 
subsidiary question whether the electorate should be free 
to choose from a restricted or an unrestricted area, and 
the bearing which the Local Government Act of 1894 
has upon the movement is this, that Mr. W. S. B. 
M'Laren brought forward a clause which was incor- 
porated into the Act: — 

^ § 43. For the purpoees of this Act a woman shall not be 
disqualified by marriage for being on any local government regis- 
ter of electors, or for being an elector of any local authority, 
provided that husband and wife shall Dot both be qualified in 
respect of the same property." 

This defines the qualifications for placing some 
married women on the local government register, and 
thereby afifords a precedent for defining their position 
in regard to the Parliamentary roister, when the 
" Parliamentary Franchise (Extension to Women) Bill " 
becomes law. 

§ 45. Onward Stqps, 

The barren Parliament of 1892-95 was followed by 
one of more happy augury. The election of July 1895 
sent back an increased proportion of old friends to 
Parliament, and a diminished proportion of old oppo- 
nents. Although the Societies had reason to deplore that. 

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206 womsn's suffbaoe. [isml 

in consequence of the death of Lord Selbome, their 
leader, Viscount Wolmer, had entered the House of 
Lords, they had the good fortune of still having a leader 
possessed of much Parliamentary experience, as well as 
commanding the confidence of the House, in Mr. Greorge 
Wyndham (M.P. for Dover). 

The following letter, which Mr. Wyndham addressed 
early in 1896 to the Central Committee, indicates the 
policy with which the movement entered on this eighth 
Parliament : — 

''We must face the probability that this reform of the fran- 
chise — although reasonable in itselt and capable of being carried 
oat by itself in a short measure — is still not likely to be carried 
out^ except as a part of, or in connection with, a larger measure for 
removing the more flagrant anomalies of our electoral system. 

** But the admission of this probability by no means absolves us 
from the necessity of immediate action. On the contrary, since we 
have a new Parliament with, we may suppose, a long life before it, 
in the coarse of which some Reform Bill dealing at least with 
registration, and possibly with wider issues, is certain to be intro- 
duced, it is our duty to secure an early decision from the newly- 
elected House on the principle of removing the disqualification 
which debars women &i>m the political rights they would otherwise 
enjoy. Such a decision, if favourable, would materially improve 
our prospects, by giving us a moral vantage groxmd from which to 
move amendments to any Reform Bill subsequently introduced." 

In addition to increased strength in Parliament, fresh 
strength had been brought into the organization of 
the Societies by the formation, at the close of 1895, 
of a joint committee of delegates of the chief societies 
with a view to united Parliamentary action. This was 
officered by new and vigorous Secretaries in Miss 

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1896.] BSKEWSD EKi^mAYOUBS. 207 

Edith PaUiser, who had taken up the labouring oar 
at Great College Street earlj in 1895, and Miss Esther 
Boper, B.A., who had entered on the Secretarjrship of 
the Manchester Committee in 1893. The ballot had 
placed the Bill in the efficient hands of Mr. Faithful! 
B^g, and stood first on the orders of the day for May 
20th. All seemed to point to a discussion and division on 
the Bill, and it was resolved to make application to the 
Speaker (Mr. Gully) to renew the permission granted 
by his predecessor that the Appeal, that had already 
waited two sessions, be shown in the Library of the 
House of Commons. Mr. Speaker, however, vdthheld 
his consent, and the Committee were in much perplexity, 
when it was suggested to them, on high authority, that 
an application for the use of Westminster Hall might 
be successful. An application was accordingly made to 
the Office of Works and leave granted. The ladies of 
the Appeal Committee received passes from the Com- 
missioner of Works, by virtue of which they were able 
to enter the Hall, and arrange the documents for 
inspection, attending throughout the afternoon and 
evening of the 19th to show the M.P.'s, who came for 
that purpose, the signatures from their respective 
constituencies. The number of signatures had by this 
time amounted to 257,796, nearly every constituency in 
Great Britain being represented, and many in Ireland. 

The volumes into which the signatures had been 
classified, constituency by constituency, occupied the 
long tables extending from the entrance end of the 
Hall, past the statue of Queen Mary up to that of 
James I., so that by a curious, unconscious irony this 

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appeal of women to regain their citizenship was arrayed 
before the statue of the monarch in whose reign that 
citizenship was first called in question. The unusual 
aspect of affairs in this usually empty Hall drew fort^ 
a question in the House of Commons, which revealed 
great uncertainty as to where the authority for the use 
of Westminster Hall resided, and that the Committee 
had been under a misunderstanding when they stated 
that permission had been granted by the Home 
Secretary. As explained by Mrs. Fawcett in a letter to 
the TimeSy they had understood from the Secretary of 
Works that the consent of the Home Secretary was 
necessary; and when all the arrangements were made 
to enable them to place their appeal in the Hall, they 
assumed it was due to the consent of the Home 
Secretary. It now appeared that his only part in the 
matter was to provide police to " prevent disorder and 
annoyance." The letter went on: "Perhaps he [the 
Home Secretary] will pardon us the more readily as he 
himself stated in the House on Tuesday that it was an 
unsettled question who has control over Westminster 
HalL As we must not thank him for permission to use 
the Hall, we must content ourselves by thanking him 
for the services of the police, who prevented disorder 
and annoyance by lending us chairs and by showing us 
every kindness and courtesy." 

At the Annual Meeting that year the Lady Frances 
Balfour was elected President of the Central Committee. 
In October a conference was held in Birmingham, 
to which delegates from all societies working for 
Women's Sufirage were invited, with intent to draw 

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1896-97.] RENEWED ENDEAVOURS. 209 

all into closer relations. The societies which made 
Women's SufBrage their sole object on a non-party basis, 
coalesced as a National Union of Women's SufiErage 
Societies, each wiih a definite area in which to work. 

The death of Isabella M. S. Tod in December of that 
year made another wide gap in the ranks of the early 
workers. Her health had long been precarious, and 
more than once severe illnesses had attacked her during 
the visits she annually paid to London during the session, 
in order to watch the interests of Irish women in 
Parliament; but her energetic spirit had surmounted 
many attacks. The place she filled in the political 
work of Ireland was imique. It was of her own 
creation, by dint of her incessant watchfulness for the 
good of Ireland, and of the women of Ireland especially. 

§ 46. The Second Beading of 1897. 

The session of 1897 opened with the most successful 
event yet recorded in these annal& Mr. FaithfuU B^g 
was again the successful member at the ballot, and 
drew an early number, setting the Bill down for 
February 3rd, when it passed second reading by a 
majority of seventy-ona 

When a second reading passed in 1886 the circum- 
stances had been very different — the division had not 
been directly on the Bill, but on the question of ad- 
journment. On the present occasion it was a direct vote 
on the Bill itself, as the opponents knew full well, for 
they were much on the alert and sent roimd an adverse 
whip signed by ten members taken equally from both 


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210 WOMSN'S suffrage. [1897. 

sides of the House. Such a division was an unmistak- 
able indication that the steady growth of interest in the 
question in the country made itself felt in Parliament 
The old opponents who were re-elected at the Greneral 
Election of 1895 mustered in force on February 3rd; 
but they were exceeded in number by the old friends. 
Several new M.P/s voted against, but a greater number 
voted in favour ; moreover, this division did not show the 
whole strength of the movement, for 109 members, who 
were understood to be friendly, were absent Those who 
voted formed a majority in each party in the House. 

The debate itself was chiefly noticeable from the 
extraordinary levity with which the subject was treated 
by the mover and seconder of the rejection of the Bill, 
Mr. Kadcliffe Cooke and Mr. Labouchere. The Bill 
was introduced by Mr. Faithfull Begg, in a speech 
giving sound and solid facts, and was ably seconded by 
Mr. Atherley Jones. Mr. Eadcliffe Cooke tried to 
reduce it to the level of a pounds, shillings and pence 
calculation, pretending to measure the numbers in- 
terested by the numbers of subscribers to the dififerent 
Committees whose reports he had examined, and to test 
their strength by their balance sheets. For Mr. 
Badcliffe Cooke balance sheets may be all in all, but 
those who work for this cause know they show but a 
small portion indeed of what is done by the many 
earnest women whose labour, without money and with- 
out price, is the mainstay ; while the organized expen- 
diture is but the wrappage, so to say, that gathers 
the volunteer work together in a coherent whola 
Mr. Labouchere's efforts to make out that votes in 

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favour were but given in joke, and that the House re- 
garded the whole thing as a huge joke, was sufficiently 
refuted by the strong phalanx of votes from steadfast 
friends. The Bill was set down for Committee on June 
23rd, and signs of work appeared in many directions. 
The Women's Liberal Unionist Assodationat their annual 
meeting passed a resolution asking the Grovemment 
to reserve a day for the Bill; the Women's Liberal 
Federation included Women's Suffrage in the subjects 
submitted to their associations; the Women's Co- 
operative Guild, with a membership of 10,000 of the most 
capable and thoughtful of the working women of the 
country, discussed the subject at the general conferences 
of each of the five sections into which the Guild is divided 
and at each conference a resolution was passed, declaring 
the conference in favour of the principle of Women's 
Sufi&age, and recording its satisfaction that the Bill 
passed second reading with so large a majority. 

Petitions came in larger numbers than for any other 
public questions, and over 100 meetings were held, of 
which about one-third were drawing-room meetings, one- 
third public meetings, and the rest in connection with 
various Women's Liberal Associations and British 
Women's Temperance Associations. 

So the work rolled on — alas ! not in every case wisely. 
A petition, calling on the House of Commons to reform 
its procedure, sent up from a small meeting wholly 
independent of the National organization of Women's 
Sufirage Societies, brought many remonstrances from 
members of Parliament down on the Secretaries of 
these Societies. Nor was this the only way from 

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212 WOHSN'S SUFFRAGS. [1897. 

which the work sufifered. To the surprise of all the 
leaders of the work in the House and out of it, it 
was found that on March 8th Lord Templetown had 
introduced a Bill in the House of Lords, and no 
representations availed to induce him to recede from 
the position which he had taken at the instance of 
the same coterie to which reference has been made 
already in the case of Mr. Macdona's Bill. The result 
of this unfortunate action on the part of a friendly Peer 
may be given in the words of Mrs. Hallett's speech at 
the Annual Meeting of the Bristol and West of England 
Society on March 27th: "Contrary to the earnestly 
expressed wish of the Suffrage Societies, Lord Temple- 
town introduced a Bill in the Lords, and many people 
thought it was the same Bill which is waiting for the 
Committee stage in the Commons. But this was not 
the case. Unfortunately, Lord Salisbury was at Windsor 
when Lord Templetown's Bill was introduced, and he 
asked the Duke of Devonshire to give the House the 
advice which he (Lord Salisbury) would have given, 
if present. The advice was not to deal with the 
question until the Bill had in due course been sent up 
from the Commons. The Duke stated that the Grovem- 
ment had decided to leave the question an open one, 
but he also took upon himself, contrary to ordinary 
etiquette, to administer a rebuke to the Lower House. 
He said he ' r^etted the levity with which the proposal 
was sanctioned' by the Commons, and 'his opinion of 
the reputation of the Commons for sobriety of judgment 
had not been enhanced.* As everybody knows the 
levity was on the side of the opponents, while the 

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supporters were in sober earnest Comments like these 
make people realize how different would be the tone 
used towards a Bill which had been discussed inside 
and outside of Parliament for twenty-five years if the 
petition for it had proceeded from men — from those 
who had votes. The Duke of Devonshire and Mr. 
Chamberlain have both done their best to encourage 
women to organize and work for the Liberal Unionist 
cause. Women now wonder at the levity with which 
these two men sanctioned the hard political work in 
which they encouraged women to engage, and naturally 
their opinion of the sobriety and judgment of these 
political leaders has not been enhanced when they 
find them trying to shut these same women out from 
the privilege and duty of exercising the franchise for 
themselves." ^ 

The day on which the Bill was down to go into 
Committee, June 23rd, was absorbed by the celebrations 
of the Diamond Jubilee of the Great Queen. It stood 
adjourned therefore to July 7th. This was the latest date 
which the Government had been able to leave for private 
members' Bills; consequently the opponents of the 
measure so manipulated the seemingly equitable rule 
that Bills which had reached Committee stage before 
Whitsuntide should be taken in turn, that the chances 
of the Bill were destroyed. It was in this wise. A Bill 
for the Registration of Plumbers stood next before the 
Women's Franchise Bill. Numerous hon. membersfound 
enough to say about this little Bill to prolong its dis- 
cussion into the 7th of July. Then, when it had at last 
^ So« EnglUhwovMrCi Heview, July 1897. 

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214 women's SUFFRAGB. [1897-W. 

been suffered to pass, a Bill on the disagreeable subject of 
vermin, which awaited its turn next in order, and 
should have been becomingly dealt with by a brief and 
dry discussion, was made a handle by Mr. Labouchere 
and others for prolonged discussion until the whole time 
at disposal of private members was used up ; and once 
more women found their serious claims set aside by what 
even the Times described as '' an undignified shufBe." 

The Annual Meeting of the Central Committee took 
place a week later, and Lady Frances Balfour, who pre- 
sided, reflected the feeling of the Society when she 
said, •* There were many who thought they ought to be 
severely discouraged by the events of the last few days ; 
but she had never felt in better heart." The same 
spirit animated the statement of policy issued by the 
National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies, which 
set forth as the aim of the Union to place the 
question "in such a position that no Government, of 
whatever party, shall be able to touch questions re- 
lating to representation without, at the same time, 
removing the electoral disabilities of women." 

The years which have followed have given little scope 
for prominent work — the pressure of the great questions 
of Imperial importance which have absorbed the 
country, have for the time overshadowed quiet, domestic 
reforms — and the years 1898-99 have no special tale to 
telL But even as Balder of old " could hear the grass 
grow," so those who listen can hear the quiet, silent 
growth, though there be no debates or divisions to 
record. Take, for instance, the enthusiastic gathering 
in Queen's Hall, Langham Place, to greet the delegates 

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from foreign lands who visited these shores, when the 
National Councils of Women in the United States and 
nine other countries held their quinquennial confer- 
ence in London in June and July 1899. Take the 
formation within the Women's Liberal Federation of a 
Union of Practical Suffragists, bent on bringing about 
the policy that women who believe in the righteous- 
ness of their claim to vote should refrain from helping 
its opponents into Parliament. Take, above all, the 
fact that has become gradually apparent in the past few 
years, that the increase in the number of adherents 
demanded an alteration of method in carrying on the 
work. The early pioneers of the movement had made 
a breach in the wall, but the growing army behind 
them now required more detailed organization in order 
to make their full weight felt. 

The force was there, but the question now presented 
itself of how to bring it to bear upon the constituencies 
while keeping it in touch with the Central organization. 
This new method of work was initiated at the beginning 
of 1897, when Miss Stone (one of the signatories to 
the first petition). Miss Jenner, Miss Sterling, and Miss 
Edith Palliser drew up a scheme, by means of which 
the sympathizers with the movement are organized in 
their constituencies and brought into direct contact 
with the Central Office. 

Take, further, the petition from 29,000 women work- 
ing in the factory mills of Lancashire, which was 
brought up from Lancashire by a deputation of fifteen 
working women escorted by Miss Roper, and placed 
in the hands of a group of friendly M.P.'s, who met 

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216 women's suffbaqs. 

them in one of the committee rooms of the House of 
Commons on 18th March 19Q1. 

Take yet again a memorial presented in the autumn of 
1901 to the first Lord of the Treasury, which differed from 
all previous petitions, memorials or appeals to the Legis- 
lature on this question, in that its signatories were not 
from the wide outer class of sympathizers, but from the 
inner circle of workers who by active deeds have contri- 
buted to the movement through a long series of years. 
The signatures — 1168 in number — were arranged in the 
order of theyears in which each joined the movement from 
1866 onwards, so that the whole formed a record of its 
continuity and cumulative growth of the movement. 

Finally, take the remarkable development of public 
spirit amongst women in Ireland since the passing 
of the Poor Law Guardian Act of 1896 and the Local 
Government Act of 1898, which — as the Irish Women's 
Suffrage and Local Government Association truly says, 
in its leaflet of suggestions to workers — '* has opened up 
a boundless field of useful public work for philanthropic 
Irishwomen." Work on which philanthropic Irish- 
women are showing themselves well prepared to enter, 
encouraged and stimulated by the energy, the sym- 
pathy, and the experience of Mrs. Haslam, and by the 
valued co-operation of Mr. Haslam, who throughout all 
the years of her work has been her most helpful and 
sympathetic coadjutor. 

Such signs as these betoken that the movement goes 
on incessantly, with a steady continuity of growth from 
the first beginnings up to this new Parliament, new 
reign, and new century. 

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Mk8. J. T. Haslam (Anna Maria Fishkr). (From a photograph 
taken in 1901.) 

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Thk Present Position. 

§ 47. The Election of 1900. 

A SIGNIFICANT feature of the present position of the 
movement is the change of temper of the opposition. 

''How does an ordinary man of the world answer 
when he is asked if he is in favour of women voting ? *' 
Viscountess Amberley asked in her lecture at Stroud in 
1870, and then added: '' He does not say, 'I am afraid of 
their influence at elections ; they will all be Toriea' He 
does not say it would subvert the political and social 
order of things ; they would all be Radicals. No ; he 
generally smiles benignly and says, ' I don't think ladies 
wish for it/ and turning, if he can, to some pretty, doll- 
like girl, he will appeal to her to confirm his statement." 

But though some still appeal to the doll-like girl, the 
things that Lady Amberley, in 1870, found they did not 
say, are the very things that most opponents say now. 
Men on each side expect that the vote will be a leap in the 
dark in favour of the other side, whichever that happens 
to be — ^and opportunists on either side in these days 
wish for evidence of the truth of Miss J. O. Wilkinson's 


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218 women's suffrage. [1900. 

assertion, at the Trades Union Congress at Aberdeen 
in 1884, "that it is absurd to suppose women will 
vote all Conservative or all Radical; they will do 
nothing of the kind;" they have only to take the 
trouble to look round and see the work which has 
been done by women in the General Elections of recent 
years, and most especially in that of October 1900, when 
their work exceeded that of any previous occasion, and, 
moreover, presented some unusual features, owing to the 
absence of many of the candidates at the seat of war in 
South Africa. 

In North Wilts Lady Dickson Poynder addressed a 
letter to the electors, asking them to support her hus- 
band, Sir John Dickson Poynder, then on his way home 
from the front. In the Kendal division of Westmor- 
land, Mrs. Bagot, wife of Major Bagot, M.P., issued an 
election address, signed by herself, Dosia Bagot Other 
ladies addressed meetings and organized electioneering 
work on behalf of their absent husbands, receiving the 
thanks afterwards of the constituents for the services 
they had rendered. 

After the elections were over, many candidates, be- 
longing to each of the political parties in the State, 
spoke in highly appreciative terms of the help given 
them by women. The Primrose League Gazette for 
November and December 1900 contains many extracts 
from candidates, in which grateful reference is made to 
the work of the ladies of the Primrose League. Many 
expressions from both Liberal and Conservative candi- 
dates — sometimes supporters, sometimes opponents of 
the enfranchisement of women — might be quoted, as 

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equally ready to publicly acknowledge the services of 
women during the elections ; but it will be sufficient to 
qttote the testimony of the first Lord of the Treasury, 
speaking at a meeting of the Primrose League in West- 
minster Town Hall on December 5th : " I r^ard you, 
ladies and gentlemen, as one of the greatest means by 
which this danger [the danger of apathy] may be miti- 
gated or avoided. It is your organized energy which 
throws into every part of the machine, life, spirit and 
fire. It is you who see at the critical moment how the 
forces are to be brought up ; it is you who take care 
that no man shall say in the quiet leisure of his own 
room, how excellent is the Conservative cause, but how 
little is it worth while to go to the poll and vote for it 
.... Ladies and gentlemen, I congratulate you upon 
the work you have done in the past." 

Such words as these are as distinct evidence as can well 
be desired that the old objection that it is unwomanly 
to take part in politics has been completely removed 
by the changed conditions of our social environment 
Nevertheless, prejudice dies hard. If its passage is barred 
in one direction, it seeks to make itself a fresh outlet 
in another, and its latest direction is to admit that it is 
quite right that women should make themselves of use ; 
that they are most efficient in telling Dick, Tom and Harry 
how to use their votes ; but that it could be no possible 
use to them to be themselves possessed of that small 
fraction of power, that six-millionth part of the nation's 
voice : for them it is only waste of energy to try to get 
such a little bit of power ; they have far more scope for 
their energies in sweeping in other people's bits of power. 

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220 WOHSN'S SUFFBAQE. [1900. 

Such is the drift of argument by which even women 
actively working in political organizations are sometimes 
dissuaded from desiring the vote, and the opposition 
triumphantly try to imagine that women do not want it. 

Let us for a moment put an analogous case. In the 
days of the Great King, whose millenary has just been 
celebrated, those who could read were few, it was a dis- 
tinction to be able to read, it was not a necessity for a 
life of average usefulness ; many an able and intelligent 
man and woman lived useful and respected lives with- 
out a knowledge of the alphabet Now a man or woman 
who could not read would be regarded as a being of 
blighted intelligence, and is practically cut off from any 
large share in the interests of those around him. The 
power to read has taken its place as a necessity of 
civilized existence. 

It is not valued for any prestige it gives, but as a 
necessary tool for the most commonplace needs of life. 
And so with the vota Once it was a trust in the hands 
of a very few who looked on the many as their depen- 
dants; step by step it has been extended to the many 
until it has become the symbol of citizenship. There is 
no personal distinction in its possession, but the man 
incapable of possessing it is out of touch with the wider 
life pulsating round him. 

To claim the vote for women who would be qualified 
if they were men is only another way of saying that 
the average woman should have her full average part in 
the living interests round her. 

Take it all in all, the election of 1900 shows the 
growing acceptance of this view. The old and tried 

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1900-01.] THE PRESENT POSITION. 221 

friends of the movement, those who have voted steadily 
year after year for thirty years, are now indeed few ; for 
the last election was the occasion of the retirement from 
Parliamentary life of many of the steadiest friends. 
It was a heavy loss to lose at one stroke, so to say, three 
of the former leaders of the Bill — Et. Hon. Leonard 
Courtney, Mr. William Woodall, Mr. Faithfull Begg; 
and such constant friends as Sir E. T. Gourley, who had 
voted in every division since 1870 ; Mr. Staveley Hill, 
Sir Wilfrid Lawson, also steady voters since 1870 ; the 
Et. Hon. Lewis Fry, CoL Cotton-Jodrell, Sir William 
Wedderbum, Sir H. Howorth, Mr. Carvell Williams, 
and Mr. James Stuart, all friends through many years 
of Parliamentary life. 

Since the elections the melancholy death of the Et. 
Hon. W. W. B. Beach has removed the only member 
of the House of Commons of 1901 who had voted in 
every Parliament in which the measure has been de- 
bated from 1867 onwards. Thus Mr. Beach was the 
father of the Women's Suffrage movement, as well as 
of the House of Commons ; and here there is satisfac- 
tion in recalling that thrice before "Fathers" of the 
Commons have been steady supporters of this cause-^ 
General Forester, member for Much Wenlock from 1828 
to 1874; Mr. Christopher Talbot, member for Glamorgan- 
shire from 1830 to 1890 (both of whom like Mr. Beach 
first voted with Mr. John Stuart MUl in 1867); and the 
Et Hon. C. P. Villiers, member tor Wolverhampton from 
1835 to 1899, whose support dated from the first intro- 
duction of the Women's Suffrage Bill in 1870. 

A cause which attracts the life-long support of men 

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such as these, and which at every general election in- 
creases its new friends and diminishes its new opponents, 
can well go forward rejoicing that "in calmness and con- 
fidence lies its strength " — the calmness that gives ju<^- 
ment, the confidence that gives steadfastness of purpose. 

§ 48. Changes in the Victorian Era, 

A Table of Changes in the Activities of Women ik the 
Beion of the Great Qiheen. 


Not ohe Hl^ School In the land. 
Not OHi UniTonity Class. 

Dooton and Trained Nones Uhhbabd 

High Schools in every town. 

2000 Graduates. 1600 Certiflcated 
Stndents, and 8 Honorary LL.D.'8. 

400 Registered Medical Women, prac- 
tliuig at home and beyond the 

Systematic Training, Professional or 
Technical, NOT thought or. 

Not ONi organization of Women for 

Bl^t to their earnings and other pro> 
perty denied to married women. 

BighU of Mothers, Nil. 

With the illnstrions exception of the 
THRONE, and the humble excep- 
tion of tne Orerseer, No woman 
was regarded as entitled to fill any 
public position. 

On the Roll of the Royal Kurua* 
Pension Fund, 9000. 

Technical Classes, Schools of Domestic 
Economy steadily increasing. 

Organizations among women corer the 
country as a network— welfare of 
children, girls, mothers, nurses, 
emigrants, for sanitary, education 
and x>olitioal work. 

Own all their earnings and other Pro- 

Mothers share in appointing and being 
apx>ointed Ouaroians. 

On more than half the Poor law Unions 
and 286 School Boards Women 
senre. 28 large Boroughs employ 
some 60 Sanitary Inspectors, etc., 

To those who can read between its lines bow much the 
above brief table means— each of the main lines of 

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v.. : ••. * • • 

> « • •• • 

: A: ::--.:K:^::: 

• • « " • 1 • • • • 

• • • 

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Emily Davies, LL.D. (From a photograph taken in 1901.) 

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endeavour thus grouped together means strenuous, 
persevering endeavour of good women aided by good 
and enlightened men. And more than this — it means 
that those who have been foremost in forcing open the 
gates of knowledge and in winning leave to serve the 
State, have been the most strongly convinced of the 
essential need for recognized citizenship of women. 

It may be well to glance at each group in turn. 

High Schools. — Have not the words of the founder of 
the High School system, Mrs. Wm. Grey, been recorded 
in these pages? 

UhwersUy classes, — ^Were not the pioneer workers for 
Women's Suffrage the same who opened the doors of the 
University examinations and founded the first college 
for women ? Have not the Scotch Universities honoured 
the suffrage movement and themselves by conferring the 
honorary degree of LL.D. at St. Andrews on Mrs. Fawcett 
(the first woman so distinguished), and at the recent 
jubilee of Glasgow University on Miss Emily Davjes. 

Medicine. — ^The pioneer names in that profession — 
Elizabeth Garrett, Sophia Jex Blake, were not they 
amongst the early supporters? — ^forerunners of many 
suffrage sympathizers in the profession they have 
opened to women. There are still a few left who 
remember the thrill of satisfaction in the Suffrage Com- 
mittees when, in 1868, Florence Nightingale's name was 
added to the list of members of the National Society 
for Women's Suffrage, where it abides to this day. 

Systematic training in domestic arts. — ^Who ever 
thought of such things until women had begun to 
realize their need of an equal status as ratepayers? 

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224 women's suffragk. [1902. 

Then it was that a Jessie Boucherett, a Barbara 
Corlett could uphold the need of such systematic 
training as should give higher value to the work 
of women, whether within the home or outside the 

Organxzouticms. — Did not Mary Carpenter, that first 
and best friend of the street arab and juvenile 
criminal, write, only three months before her death (in 
1877), that she warmly sympathized in the Women's 
Suffrage movement, though unable to take any part in 
it owing to other engagements. Did not Mrs. Nassau 
Senior, the friend of the workhouse girl (founder of the 
M.A.B.T.S. and indirectly of G.F.S.X write, after the 
debate of 1875, that she felt it a duty to do her utmost 
to promote the success of the measure, regardless of 
any effect it might probably have on her chances of 
future employment under the Local Government 
Board ? Where have the children of the State found 
a steadier friend than Miss Florence Davenport-Hill, 
originator, as already recorded, of the West of England 
organization for the suffrage ? 

In Emigration^ Maria Rye and Mrs. Beddoe; in 
Temperance^ Mrs. Samuel Lucas, first President of the 
British Women's Temperance Association, Mrs. Arthur 
Tanner, Miss I. M. S. Tod. In fact, every name that 
has been prominent in the roll of the suflfrage workers 
has, at one time or another, in one organization or 
another, been prominent in collateral work for the 
common good. As regards reforms in legislation 
affecting wives and mothers, there was not a single 
suffrage meeting in the early years which did not give 

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Flora Stevenson. 

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a helping hand to the efforts of those working for 
juster laws. The combatants, truly, for those reforms 
were many ; while Mra Jacob Br^ht and Mrs. Wolsten- 
holme Elmy were foremost as bearers of the standard at 
the day of victory. As regards PvMic office — ^it was in 
accordance with the truest fitness of things that Miss 
Becker should be the first woman elected by the vote 
of the people on the first School Board — an election 
reafiirmed again and again by the parents of the 
Manchester school children, who, when canvassed by 
male candidates, used gratefully to say " we must keep 
a vote for Lydia." The Hon. Secretary of the Bristol 
Society, Emily Sturge, in like manner received the 
support of the people's vote from her first election in 
1880 until her fatal accident in 1892. In 1900 Miss 
Flora Stevenson was elected chairman of the Edinburgh 
School Board, of which she had been a member since its 
formation. She already had the distinction of being the 
first woman appointed in Scotland on a Departmental 
Committee (Habitual Offenders). Her sister, Louisa 
Stevenson, is associated with Poor Law work, and both 
are pillars of the Scottish Suffrage Society. 

In Poor Law Work what woman stands forth as so 
truly a pioneer as Miss Louisa Twining, ever a steady 
supporter of the suffrage, as are also all the prominent 
women guardians of the poor. While at the time 
these words are written the most prominent upholder 
of the movement in England, Mrs. Fawcett, is doing 
service to the State as a Commissioner to the Con- 
centration Camps in South Africa. 

But there is a reverse side. The table at the head 


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226 women's suffrage. [i»02. 

of this section records only gains ; there have been losses 
also, as indeed may be seen by reference to the table of 
statutes affecting women in Appendix H. To deny 
women's title to be parishioners, as was done by the 
Public Worship Regulation Act of 1874, was a distinct 
falling off from the ancient spirit of parochial govern- 
ment. Again, the recent example of the loss of their 
position as members of vestries, in consequence of the 
reorganization of the governing bodies in the metro- 
politan boroughs into Borough Councils, is a direct 
effect of the absence of the elementary right of citizen- 
ship. Without the power of the vote, such slipping 
back was only too easy, as we knew, in the past; now 
we have learned that it is easy in the present also, even 
when the capacity of women to be of use to the com- 
munity is admitted. In the labour legislation which has 
been so prolific in recentyears, women have been systema- 
tically degraded to the position of children, and every 
fresh lamentation over their hardships as toilers has 
been met with a cry for more "protection" ; that is to 
say, for another crutch on which to lean, rather than for 
an equal law to place them on a firm footing of their 

How much of all the misery and squalor which our 
civilization has to combat in our great centres of popu- 
lation may be due to the elimination of the mother 
element in the dealings of the State, it were impossible 
to calculate; but who can wonder if those who are 
fighting social evils find that they are aggravated by 
the separation of the domestic and civic duties of 
women — or shall we say, to be more matter of fact, that 

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• • • • • • 

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Louisa Stevenson. 

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they are lessened in proportion as that separation is 
minimized. Who can say how much the standard of 
respect for women is lowered, for those who make the 
law their standard of right and wrong, by the fact that 
they are stamped by law as unworthy of the elementary 
right of citizenship, which men hold so dear. 

Do some still say : women have gained so much with- 
out having votes; they really ought to be content? 
Then it is because they have not yet learned how in- 
secure is every gain which has been won by those who 
are unrepresented. To bid women rest content with any- 
thing short of direct representation, is to bid them plant 
the^ feet on shifting sand rather than on solid ground. 

§49. Ths Endv/rvng Claim. 

Parliament has changed the qualifications for 
electors ; women have widened their public activities ; 
the opposition has changed its standpoint But the 
claim itself remains unchanged, in all except the 
cumulative force that comes of persiBtent endeavour 
carried on through an entire generation. 

Men and women immersed in the calls of the moment, 
be it calls of study, of pleasure, or of bread-winning, to 
such a degree as to have no thought beyond effects^ do 
not care, nor ever will care about the vote. But those 
whose thoughts travel beyond effects and search out 
causes desire it; and it is those who link cause with 
effect who make the world move on. 

That the claim should be most insistent in lands 
peopled by the Anglo-Saxon race is no accidental cir- 

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228 women's suffrage. [1902. 

cumstance, but an inevitable result of the historical 
evolution. of a race which, let it be remembered, at the 
time when it first fell under the influence of Christian- 
ity — the only form of faith which teaches the equal 
value of every human soul — still retained that freer life 
for women which marks the earliest civilizations of all 
Aryan people& A race for whom the life of walled 
cities was unknown ; one which had not developed that 
rigid division of labour and hard and fast juridical 
systems which accompany the life of walled citiea A 
race which has worked out its faith along lines of 
Christian teaching that encourage independence of 
thought, and has worked out its political institutions 
on the lines of looking to the judgment of each to 
bear on the common concerns of all. Such a race 
is carrying on its own highest traditions to an har- 
monious development by trusting both halves of 
the community to acquire the sign and symbol of 

Looked at thus from its wider bearings, the move- 
ment for the enfranchisement of women stands out as 
part of the stream of human endeavour towards that 
greatest power of the greatest number, which, when all 
is said, furnishes the best test of the worth of all human 
laws and institutions. 

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Colonial PBOGREsa 

§ 50. A General Survey. 

The story of the Women's Suffrage movement at home 
scarcely seems complete without some record, however 
brief, of the kindred movement, developed under many 
diversities of conditions in Britain beyond the seas, 
and presenting various stages from nebulous hopes to 
actual achievement. 

To begin with those Colonies where achievement has 
been reached. New Zealand stands out first, as earliest 
in the effort and earliest in its attainment. In New 
Zealand, as at home, the influence of John Stuart Mill 
made its mark, for the first presentment of the idea 
in that Colony appears to have been in articles and 
pamphlets by a correspondent of Mr. J. S. Mill, Mrs. 
Mary MuUer.^ Neither can it be forgotten that the 
two Colonies in which this reform has just been carried, 
both came very directly under the influence of the 
statesman who left so deep a mark on our Colonial 

1 See yew Zealand White Eibbon (Chrittchurch), edited by Mra. Kate 
W. Sheppard. 


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230 women's suffrage. 

Empire, and who was at the same time a strong 
upholder of the movement, the Right Hon. Sir Geoige 
Grey. True, he had withdrawn from active official life 
before this question became prominent — but the in- 
fluence of such a man reaches far down the years. 

Australia presents the unique record of a Federation 
of States formed without the shedding of one drop of 
blood, and — may it be of happy augury — the unique 
record of having the votes of women mingled with those 
of men in its first Federal Parliament; for as the 
chronicle of events given below will show, South 
Australian and West Australian women were already 

The movement in South Australia has this remark- 
able feature, that the question was debated and carried 
in the House of Assembly while as yet no organization 
had been formed, not a meeting held, not a petition 
presented. The agitation in the Colony followed the 
first victory in the Legislature. 

Western Australia has this special record, that though 
the question had been more or less mooted in the Colony 
since 1893, owing in considerable measure to the 
migration of some of its earnest advocates from the 
Mother Colony of New South Wales to this youngest 
Colony, the organization of the Women's Franchise 
League was only formed in May 1899, and before the 
first year of its existence was closed, it had been trans- 
formed into the " Women's Electoral League " for the 
registration of women voters. 

The Mother Colony is rapidly overtaking the swifter 
progress of these younger communities ; and ever since 

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Sir Henry Parkes brought the question into prominence 
in his Electoral Bill of 1890, the movement has been 
spreading steadily and firmly — and now the vigorous 
organization of the New South Wales Wonuuihood 
Suffrage League, and the large majority in the House of 
Assembly in September 1901, gives every prospect that 
the day of achievement is very near. 

Victoria presses closely on the steps of New South 
Wales — its story in one respect resembles the story in 
the old country ; for in Victoria, in the beginning, women 
had votes, and the fact that they had them and they 
were taken away, has probably operated to the disadvan- 
tage of the movement When once a right has been 
taken away it is harder to get it restored than to press 
on a new claim. [See Note, p, 244.] 

Be that as it may, the signs of movement showed 
themselves earlier in Victoria than in any of the other 
Australian colonies ; but there was a lack of something, 
probably best described as a lack of that concentration 
which comes of a good lead, such as Dr. Sterling and 
Sir Henry Parkes had given ; so that for several years 
the Victorian Women's Suffrage agitation was unable to 
make itself felt in Parliament. However, in the last few 
years, a change has been apparent, largely due to the 
patience and tact of the late Annette Bear Crawford, 
who returned to settle in Australia after some years 
spent in England amongst women workers in this 
country. A United Council for Women's Suffrage was 
formed in 1894, and the various local organizations and 
scattered workers were drawn into co-ordinated work. 
This had marked effect in the General Election of 1894. 

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women's suffrage. 

In 1895 the Premier, Mr. Turner, introduced a measure 
which has now passed the Legislative Assembly six 
times with increasing majorities; while the strength 
of the agitation, since tho formation of the United 
National Council, has drawn forth a foil in the shape 
of an anti-suffirage remonstrance. 

In Queensland and Tasmania organizations are at 
work ; the Women's Christian Temperance Union, which 
has been an important aid in all Australasian agitations, 
has been especially helpful in Tasmania. But more 
than all is the prospect of an early federal franchise 
for women, since each of the four colonies where women 
have not yet been enfranchised have sent a majority of 
Women's SuSrage supporters to the Federal Parliament. 

^ New South Wales. 
House of Repreeentatives 

House of Representatives 


Senate 5 ... 1 

House of Representatiyes 7 ... 2 


Senate 4 ... 2 

House of Representatives . . 4 1 1 

W^A^M^} Women are already included in the Electorate. 

Mr. Barton, Premier of the Federated Parliament, 
speaking at the prize-giving of the Methodist Ladies* 
College, Melbourne, on 16th December 1901, used these 

^ These figures are taken from the Australian Woman's Sphere. 





















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significant words : ** When we instituted manhood suf- 
frage in most of our States, we did not finish our work 
— and we will not have finished it until the franchise 

is extended to women One of my colleagues is 

going to bring in a Bill for that purpose, because we 
feel it will be for the good of Australia." 

The conditions under which the question has shown 
itself in Canada differ widely from those of Australia. 
An obstacle unknown in Australia has been serious in 
Canada — the obstacle of a mixture of races. What 
English-speaking Ontario was ready for, French-speak- 
ing Quebec was still far from accepting. The Electoral 
Bill introduced by the Prime Minister, Sir J. A. Mac- 
donald, in the Dominion Parliament in 1883, provided 
for the extension of the franchise to unmarried women 
possessing the qualifications required of men. The Bill 
was not finally carried until 1885, but the clause to 
enfranchise women was rejected after a debate of thirty- 
six hours. 

Since then no attempt seems to have been made to 
bring the question before the Dominion Parliament. 
But much advance has been made in the different 
provinces in regard to local votes. Women now vote 
at municipal and School Board elections throughout 
the Dominion ; their higher education has risen rapidly ; 
their organizations for useful work for the benefit of the 
conmiunity, their industrial interests are all working 
together to show them the need of direct influence 
on those by whom they are governed.^ 

^ See the chapter on the Political Pontion of Canadian Women by 
Mrs. O. 0. Edwards, of Montreal, in Women of Canada^ compiled, at 

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234 women's suffrage. 

There remains the South African colonies. Of these 
little can be said. The question has not yet come with- 
in sight If mixture of races has been a source of delay 
in CancMia, how much more must it have told against 
any advance hitherto in South Africa. But the duties 
laid upon women in the terrible South African up- 
heaval, combined with their part as ''Builders of the 
Empire" in the endeavour after reorganized life, will 
give them a claim when the days of settlement come, 
such as women have never had in colonial story. 

§ 61. Chronide of Avstraiasicm JBverUs. 
I. New Zealand. 

Although the pamphlet previously mentioned was 
the earliest bit of pioneer work, the first public note 
of preparation was a speech to his constituents by 
Sir Julius Vogel in 1875, in which he stated that he 
was in favour of extending the franchise to women. 

1878. The Government introduced an Electoral Bill 
which included the enfranchisement of ratepaying 
women. This passed the House of Representatives, but 
the Bill met with much opposition on other grounds in 
the Legislative Council, and was not proceeded with. 

1886. The New Zealand Women's Christian Temper- 
ance Union was constituted this year, and one of its 
first actions was to form a franchise department Mrs 

the request of the Minister of Agriculture, by the National CounoU of 
Women of Oauada, for distribution at the Glasgow International Ex- 
hibition, 1901. 

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Kate W. Sheppard was appointed superintendent to 
the department, and much vigorous work was done to 
draw all scattered sympathizers into union. 

1887. Sir Julius Vogel (Colonial Treasurer) intro- 
duced a Bill to give universal suffrage to women. This 
was supported by the Premier, Sir Eobert Stout, and 
passed second reading in the House of Bepresentatives 
on May 12th by 41 to 22. But some voted in expecta- 
tion its operation would be limited in Committea The 
rejection of an amendment to that effect in Committee 
proved fatal to the Bill ; it was thrown out on third 

1890. Sir John Hall moved a resolution on August 
5th, ''That the right of voting in the election of 
members of the House of Bepresentatives should be 
extended to women." This was seconded by Mr. 
W. T. Beeves and supported by Mr. Ballance, and 
was carried by a majority of 126. 

1891. On August 14th Sir John Hall presented some 
small petitions in favour of Women's Sufifrage, which 
drew forth contemptuous remarks from some members 
as to the small percentage of women signing. "Will 
the hon. member suspend his remarks till I have done 
presenting petitions " — ^and then Sir John Hall produced 
a petition, described by the ZytteUon Times as magnifi- 
cent and unequalled. It was 70 yards long and was 
rolling out from one end of the House to the other. A 
row of members, ranging themselves on either side to 
inspect the signatures, found no two alike, as they 
expected. Sir John stated the total of names was 9000. 
No one carped any more at the " small number." 

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236 womin'8 suffragi. 

On August 24th Sir John Hall introduced a Bill 
enacting that in all Acts relating to the representation 
of the people the words importing masculine gender 
shall include women. Carried by 32 to 7 — majority 
25. In Committee an amendment was proposed — with 
sinister intent — that women should also be eligible for 
Parliament This was carried. The Bill was lost at 
the Legislative Council by two votes. 

1892. In this year Sir John Hall presented a petition 
with 18,784 signatures. Attached to the petition was a 
statement that many of the signers had signed another 
petition — one against Women's SufBrage — believing its 
prayer to be the reverse. On July 21st Sir John 
Ballance introduced an Electoral Bill with an interpre- 
tation clause providing that " person include women." 
The Bill passed the House of Eepresentatives, but 
proceeded no further. 

1893. The Electoral Act passed both Houses, and 
received the cwsent of the Government on September 
19th. A Greneral Election was at hand, and immediately 
the women began to enrol themselves on the register, so 
that when the election took place in November the 
figures stood on the register — 177,701 men, 109,461 
women. Voting at the poll, 124,439 men, 90,290 women. 
" It has now been suflBiciently long to remove it from 
the experimental stage," were the words of the Premier 
of New Zealand, the Hon. J. H. Seddon, when in 
England for the celebration of the Queen's Jubilee. 
" The best proof of its success may be found in the fact 
that there is not even a whispered suggestion of repeal- 
ing it It has come to stay." It is well to add, from 

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the testimony of an eye-witness, that the Maori women 
take a keen interest in the elections. Nearly half the 
Maoris registered at Auckland were women. 

II. South Australia. 

1885. On July 22nd, in the House of Assembly, Dr. 
Sterling moved, amid cheers, " That in the opinion of 
the House, women, except when under coverture, who 
fulfil the conditions and possess the qualifications on 
which the Parliamentary franchise for the L^islative 
Council is granted to men, shall, like them, be admitted 
to the Franchise for both Houses of Parliament." 

On the motion of the Attorney-General the debate 
was adjourned to August 5th, when the discussion was 
continued by Mr. Caldwell, and carried without a 

1889. July 21st. Dr. Sterling introduced a Bill of the 
same scope as the resolution of 1885 — the Constitution 
Act Amendment Bill for extending the franchise to 

The debate was adjourned to August 18th, continued 
on September 22nd, and again continued on October 
13th, when second reading was carried by 19 to 17 ; but 
this did not give the absolute majority of the whole 
House which is required by the Constitution of the 
Colony for any altering with the Constitution. The 
Bill could not therefore be proceeded with. 

So far not a single meeting had been held, nor petition 
sent up. There had been no outside agitation. 

1887. A General Election took place. Dr. Sterling 

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238 women's suffragk. 

did not re-enter Parb'ament, and Mr. Caldwell took 
charge of the Bill 

1888. Noyember 7th. The Bill was read a second time 
by 18 to 17. Thus, again, the necessary absolute 
majority was not obtaincML 

1889. The Women's Suffrage League of South 
Australia was formed, which did much active work 
under the leadership of its President, Lady Colton, and 
of Mra Mary Lee, its devoted Honorary Secretary. 
Many petitions were presented that year, and votes 
approving the measure passed by many of the religious 
organizations in the Colony. In November the Bill 
passed by 25 to 17 ; but this increased majority was 
still insufficient for the necessary absolute majority. 

1891 and 1893. This same necessity baffled pro- 

1894. Dr. Cockbum, on the part of the Government, 
introduced a Constitution Amendment Bill in the 
Legislative Council, which should extend the franchise 
to adult women. 

The opponents did their utmost to bring about its 
defeat by obstructive amendments, but their labour was 
in vain. They did, however, cause an alteration to 
the Bill in one important respect. They moved that 
the clause prohibiting women from sitting in Parliament 
be struck out, expecting thereby to wreck the Bill ; but 
the supporters of the measure accepted the amendment, 
and so it was carried by a combination of opponents 
and supporters. On December 18th it passed the House 
of Bepresentativee by 31 to 14, and the Constitution 
Amendment Act became law. 

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The clauses dealing with the qualifications of electors 
are as follows : — 

(1) The right to vote for persons to sit in Parliament 
as members of the Legislatiye Council, and the right to 
vote for persons to sit in Parliament as members of the 
House of Assembly, are hereby extended to women. 

(2) Women shall possess and may exercise the rights 
hereby granted, subject to the same qualifications and 
in the same manner as men. 

1896. In recognition of the great service rendered by 
Mrs. Mary Lee in obtaining the sufi&age, a presentation 
was made to her on February 14th of this year, in the 
Mayor's reception-room, Adelaide, the Premier, the 
Hon. C. C. Kingston, Dr. Cockbum, Minister of Educa- 
tion, and several members of Parliament being 
present The Premier, in making the presentation, said 
that he recognized that whoever interested himself or 
herself as Mrs. Lee had done in one of the greatest 
constitutional reforms in Australian history, was en- 
titled to their warmest thanks. They had much 
pleasure, now the victory was won, in giving expression, 
however faint, to their appreciation of her valued 
services. He was pleased to note that a uniform federal 
franchise, recognizing the women of all Australia, was to 
be fought for. He hoped they would never lay down 
their arms till there were no more provinces to conquer. 

The first election after the new Act took place in 
April 1896, when women voted in quite equal pro- 
portion with men ; and the first woman to record her 
vote at the poll in Adelaide was, with a happy fitness of 
things, the wife of one of the oldest and steadiest workers 

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240 women's suffragk. 

for Women's Suffrage in the Colony, Mrs. Kirby, wife of 
the Rev. J. C. Kirby. 

III. New South Wales. 

1890. Sir Henry Parkes, the veteran statesman and 
of ttimes Premier, gave the impetus in New South Wales 
by introducing a clause to give equal voting power to 
women in his Electoral Bill of 1890. The clause was 
eventually dropped, but the beginning had been made. 

1891. The coming to the Colony of Lady Jersey gave 
fuither advance to the movement. The New South 
Wales Womanhood Sufi&age League was formed at 
a meeting on May 6th, and further consolidated at 
another on June 4th, when Lady Windeyer was elected 
President, and Miss Rose Scott undertook the office of 
Honorary Secretary, which she etill so ably fills. On 
July 30th Sir Henry Parkes moved a resolution that 
the franchise be extended to women *' on the same con- 
ditions and subject to the same disqualifications as 
those imposed by law on male electors." The debate 
lasted for twelve hours, and at last, at 3 a.m., the resolu- 
tion was lost by 57 noes to 34 ayes. 

1894. Mr. O'Reilly moved that the time had now 
arrived when the franchise should be extended to 
women. Sir Henry Parkes and the then Premier, Mr. 
G. H. Reid, supported, and the motion was carried by 
a large majority. 

1895-1899. No debate took place. Federal and other 
pressing questions absorbed the Legislature. But Miss 
Rose Scotti and her committee worked steadily on. 

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1900. A change of Govemment again placed a staunch 
friend at the head of aflfairs, and Sir W. Lyne, as 
Premier, introduced a Bill in the House of Assembly on 
November 16th. The debate was continued on 28th, 
and the Bill lost by the small majority of 3 — 19 for, 
22 against 

1901. In this year, August 22nd, the second reading 
was carried by 51 votes to 7, and the third reading, 
moved by the Premier, Mr. See, carried on the same 
afternoon. The L^islative Council also passed the 
second reading, but it was thrown out on third reading 
by 26 to 21. 

IV. Queensland. 

The record for Queensland is but brief. As yet no 
measure appears to have actually come before the Legis- 
lature. But here, as elsewhere, women have keenly felt 
their exclusion from the federal vote, and the Queensland 
Women's Suffrage Society shows itself to be alert. It 
was in 1891 that the question was first brought forward 
at all — when Miss Hannah Chenings visited the Colony 
on a lecture tour from Adelaide. Her description of 
the efforts of the League in South Australia stirred 
many Queensland women. 

1894. An association was formed for Queensland. 

1895. Petitions with over 11,000 signatures were sent 
to Parliament, and thirty members wrote favourable 

1897. A General Election gave opportunity to 
bring the question before candidates, many declaring 


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242 women's suffrage. 

themselves in favour. The association appears to 
be working steadily and quietly at propagandist work. 
1900. A deputation approached the Premier, Mr. 
Philp, urging him to bring in a Women's Suffrage 
Bill He assured them that the Ministry intended to 
introduce a Reform Bill, whose main provision should 
be one adult, one vote ; but no action in that direction 
appears to have been yet taken. 

V. Tasmania. 

As early as 1885 a Constitution Amendment Act 
passed second reading in the Tasmanian House of 
Assembly, which provided for the extension of the 
franchise to unmarried women ratepayers; but not- 
withstanding the support of the Government, the 
question made no further advance in Parliament. 

In recent years a Bill to enfranchise women on the 
same terms as men has passed the House of Assembly 
on several occasions, with increasing majorities ; but the 
opponents are still too numerous to carry it through the 
Upper House. The Women's Christian Temperance 
Union have been the most energetic workers on its 

VI. Victoria. 

A Victorian Women's Suffrage Society was formed so 
long ago as 1885, but it was not until 1894 that the 
movement attained to anything like a united organized 
effort to bear on Parliament and the Government. 
During the General Election of 1894 the United 

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Council for Women's Suffrage brought the question 
before the candidates, and a majority of those returned 
were pledged to support the cause. The formation of 
that Council, as already said, was in large measure due 
to the organizing power of Mrs. Bear Crawford. It 
drew together the various organizations working in 
different places and diflferent directions for women. 
From that time forward the movement has gone 
steadily forward. 

1895. The E^rime Minister, Sir Greorge Turner, intro- 
duced a Bill in the House of Assembly, which passed 
through on November 26th without a division, and was 
rejected by two votes in the Legislative Council 

1896. A Constitutional Act Amendment Bill, intro- 
duced by the Hon. R W. Best, passed the House of 
Assembly, October 8th, by 32 ayes to 19 noes ; but was 
lost (December 16th) in the Council. 

1897. A General Election took place, and Women's 
Suffrage was prominently placed in the Ministerial 

1898. Sir Greorge Turner introduced a Women's 
Suf&age Bill, which passed the L^slative Assembly 
on August 22nd — ayes 52, noes 23 ; but in the Legis- 
lative Council — ayes 15, noes 19, and the noes had it 

1899. A similar story — ayes 54, noes 28 — in the 
Assembly ; but ayes 17, noes 27, in the Council. 

1900. A new Ministry, but the Bill brought in by 
Mr. M*Lean — ayes 57, noes 26 — again failed in the 
Legislative Council. 

1901. The Hon. H. R Williams, a very old supporter 
of the movement, took charge of the Bill in this year, 

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244 womsn's suffragk. 

and an animated debate b^an on November 13th and 
was adjourned. But other burning questions of ibe 
hour crowded out the adjourned discussion. 

The above details of Parliamentary history are taken 
from the useful little paper, the Australian Woman^s 
Sphere, which appeared first in September 1900, under 
the editorship of Miss Vida Goldstein, who has at the 
same time been the energetic Honorary Secretary of 
the United Council of Women's Sufirage, which would 
reflect the aspiration of the Australian woman. 

The dawn of a new nationhood 

She waits with hopeful eyee to see ; 
The bursting of the bonds she hears 

That sets her country's strong soul free, 
And feels her power, in future years, 
To mould its mighty course for good, 
To write in characters of gold, 
Brighter than seer has yet foretold, 

Her children's destiny.^ 

^ Tht Australian Girl and other Poems, by Ethel Castilla. Melboome, 

Note. — In Victoria women voted for a short time by virtue of 
the Consolidated Electoral Bill, 1862, which provid^ that aU 
ratepayers on the municipal rolls in Victoria should be on the 
Parliamentary Register. This was altered a few years later by 
the insertion of the word male. 

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Anko Pbimo Mariae — Sbssio Tebtia. 

C. I. An Act that the regal power of this reahn is as 
full in the Queen's Majesty as ever it was in her 
noble ancestors. 

After reciting how, by descent of the Crown to the 
Queen, all regal power was invested in her '^ in as full, 
large, and ample manner as it hath done heretofore to 
any other her most noble progenitors, Kings of this 
realm," the Act continues — 

" Nevertheless the most ancient statutes of this realm 
being made by Kings then reigning, do not only attri- 
bute and refer all prerogative, preheminence, power and 
jurisdiction royal unto the name of King, but do also 
give, assign and appoint the correction and punishment 
of all offenders against the regality and dignity of the 
Crown and the laws of the realm unto the King (4) by 


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occasion whereof the malicious and ignorant persons 
may be hereafter induced and persuaded unto this error 
and folly, to think that her highness could ne should 
have enjoy and use such like royal authority, power, 
preheminence, prerogative and jurisdiction, nor do ne 
execute and use all things concerning the said statutes 
and take the benefit and privilege of the same, nor cor- 
rect and punish offenders against her most royal person 
and the reality and dignity of the crown of this realm 
and the dominion thereof, as the Kings of this realm her 
most noble progenitors have heretofore done, enjoyed, 
used and exercised. 

** II. For the avoiding and clear extinguishment of the 
said error or doubt and for a plain declaration of the 
laws of this realm in that behalf : 

" III. Be it declared and enacted by the authority of 
this present Parliament — that the law of this realm 
is and ever hath been and ought to be understood, 
that the Kingly and royal office of this realm and all 
dignities, prerogatives royal, power, preeminences and 
priveleges, authorities and jurisdictions thereunto an- 
nexed, united and belonging, being invested in either 
male or female, are and be and ought to be as fully, 
wholly, absolutely and entirely deemed, adjudged, ac- 
cepted, invested and taken in the one as the other. 

** (2) So that what and whensoever statute or law doth 
limit and appoint, that the King of this realm may or 
shall have, execute or do anything as King, or doth give 
any profit or comodity to the King, or doth limit or 
appoint any pain or punishment for the correction of 
offenders against the equality and dignity of the King 

Digitized by 



or of the Crown, the same the Queen (being supreme 
governess possessor inheretrix to the imperial Crown of 
this realm, as our said Sovereign Lady the Queen most 
justly presently is) may by the same authority and 
power likewise have, exercise, execute, punish, correct 
and do to all intents, constructions and purposes, with- 
out doubt, ambiguity, scruple or question ; any custom, 
use or scruple, or any other thing whatsoever to be 
made to the contrary notwithstanding/' 


See ^3. 

Wiltshire: The Topographical Colledions of John Aubrey, 
A.D. 1659-70. 

In the preface to the above work, dated 28th April 
1670, John Aubrey writes : — 

" The young maydes were brought up (not at Hackney 
and Sarum Schools, etc. to learn pride and wantonnesse 
but) at the Nunneries where they had examples of 
piety and humility and modestie and obedience, to 
imitate and to practise. Hence they learned needle- 
work, the art of confectionary, surgery, (anciently no 
apothecaries or surgeons — the gentlewomen did cure 
their poore neighbours, their hands are now too fine- 
vide courtly Vice in comedie, epilogue), physick, writing, 
drawing, etc. Old Jacques (who lived where Charles 
Hardman did) could see from his House the Nunnes 
of the Priory (St. Maries near Elington St. Michael) 
come forth into the Nymph-hay with their rocks and 

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wheels to spinne, and with their soweing work. He 
would say that he hath told three score, but of Nunnes 
there were not so many, but in all with widowes, old 
maydes and younge girles, there might be such a number. 
This was a fine way of breeding up young women who 
are led more by example than precept, and a good 
retirement for widowes, grave single women to a civill 
virtuous and holy Ufa" 


See § 10. 
Copy of Circular Printed in 1860. 


The Ladies' Institute, 19 Langham Place, W. 

This Institute comprises the following departments : — 
A Ladies' Reading EooBi. — (1) The Ladies' Reading 
Room is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Leading Daily 
and Weekly Papers, Magazines and Reviews. Terms, 
one guinea per annum. A two guinea subscription 
enables the subscriber to bring with her any lady not a 
subscriber. KB. — Professional ladies half price. 

Ladies visiting the West End on shopping or other 
business, will find this a great convenience, as attached 
to the Reading Room is a Luncheon Room, and a room 
also for the reception of parcels, for the use of sub- 
scribers only. 

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(2) The EnglishAvomaWs Jownud has now been 
established for two years, and may be considered as the 
special organ for all that relates to the industrial 
employment, the education, and the social position of 
women. Every number contains four practical articles, 
a biography of some celebrated or particularly useful 
woman, a poem, a light paper, notices of books, open 
councils (or letters from various people interested in 
women's work) and a short summary of passing events. 
Its conductors desire to make it at once a source of 
accurate information and reference, and a medium for 
the expression of opinions on every point relating-to its 
special objects. They feel that the moral interests of 
this country are deeply involved in the form and 
direction given to the present movement, and they 
earnestly hope that every future page may prove to be 
inspired by those principles which, if carried out, would 
tend to make women good and happy workers for the 
domestic and public welfare of England, and that its 
entire contents may be accepted by the worthiest of 
their country-women as expressing their feelings and 
their idea& 

[Then follows directions as to Post Office Eules, etc.] 

A Ekgisteb for Woman's Work. 

(3) The Editors of the Englishtuonum's Jotumai 
finding that constant applications are made to them by 
ladies in want of remunerative employment, and also 

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occasionally by employers of the higher branches of 
female labour, have determined to open a Register in 
connection with their Office. Their plan, however, does 
not include any ladies who devote themselves to private 
tuition, as an efficient register for governesses is kept 
by the excellent Institution at 66 Harley Street 
Neither will they register applications concerning 
domestic service, as various offices exist in most towns 
throughout the kingdom, where those who require 
domestic servants may meet with respectable applicants. 
They desire to keep a register of any ladies who wish to 
become candidates for remunerative employment in 
charitable institutions, as nurses in hospitals, matrons in 
workhouses, teachers or superintendents in industrial 
schools, likewise for those who desire to obtain situations 
as secretaries, clerks, or book-keepers. Other kinds of 
employment will in all probability gradually suggest 
themselves in accordance with the needs of society. A 
book is now open at the Office, and five shillings will be 
charged for the entry of an application, which will be 
inserted without further charge as an advertisement in 
the JSnglishAJOomarCs Journal for the ensuing month, 
thus securing publicity. 

Employers will find this Easter of great value ; they 
are invited to inspect the book between the office hours 
of 10 to 5 o'clock ; every facility will be given for their 
entering into correspondence with applicants. The 
Editors must, however, wholly decline acting as personal 
referees in any case. 

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A Committee Boom. 

(4) A Committee Eoom is open for the use of philan- 
thropic societies at stated periods, and on specified terms. 

The Society for Promoting the Employment of 

(5) In connection with the National Association for 
the Promotion of Social Scienca 

President : Eight Hon. the Earl of Shaftesbury. 

Vice-Presidents: Eight Eev. the Lord Bishop of 
London ; Eight Eev. the Lord Bishop of Oxford ; Eight 
Hon. W. R Gladstone, M.P. ; Vice-Chancellor Sir Wm. 
Page Wood. 


E. Akroyd, Esq. Miss Jessie Boucherett. 

Stephen Cane, Esq., M.P. Hon. Mrs. W. Cpoper. 

W. Strickland Cookson,Esq. *Miss Isa Craig. 

SirF.Goldsmid,Bart.,M.P. rThe Lady Elizabeth 

♦G. W. Hastings, Esq. Cust. 

Hon. Arthur Kiimaird,M.P. *Miss Matilda M. Hays. 

Eev. C. Mackenzie, M.A. Hon. Mrs. Locke King. 

Horace Mann, Esq. Miss Bessie Eayner 

R Monckton Milnes, Esq., Parkes. 

M.P. *Miss Adelaide Proctor. 

♦John Parkes, Esq. The Lady Catherine 

Eobert A. Slaney, Esq., M.P. Eicardo. 

Mrs. Bayne. Mrs Tait. 

* These form the Managing Committee. 

Secretary: Miss Crowe. Bankers: Messrs. Coutts 
and Co., Strand. 

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262 APPENDicia 

Morning and evening classes for arithmetic and 
bookkeeping are already opened under the superintend- 
ence of an experienced bookkeeper. 

A class for law copying has commenced, and is 
already competent to undertake work. Solicitors will 
find their orders executed with accuracy and punctuality. 

Membership consists in a donation of £5^ or an 
annual subscription of 10s. Subscriptions and donations 
are received for special objects, or for the general fund, 
at the office, etc., etc. 


Su § 13. 
The Division List on Mb. J. S. Mill's Amendbiknt 


May 20th, 1867. 

Question put : '' That the word ' man ' stand part of 
the clause." 

The Committee divided: — ^Ayes, 196; Noes, 73; 
majority, 123. 


Acland, T. D. Bagge, Sir. W. 

Adam, W. P. Baillie, Et. Hon. H. J. 

Adderley, Et Hon. C. B. Bamett, H. 

Annesley, Hon. CoL H. Beach, Sir M. H. 

Ayrton, A. S. Beaumont, W. B. 

Digitized by 




Bernard, Hon. CoL H. B. 
Blennerhassett, Sir B. 
§ Bourne, CoL 
Brett, W. B. 
Briscoe, J. I. 
Brooks, R 
Brown, J. 
Browne, Lord J. T. 
Bruce, Lord C. 
Bruen, H. 
Buckley, E. 
Bulkley, Sir K 
Buller, Sir R M. 
BurreD, Sir P. 
Buxton, Sir T. F. 
Campbell, A. H. 
Candlish, J. 
Cane, Et. Hon. S. 
Capper, C. 

Cardwell, Et. Hon. E 
Cartwri^t, CoL 
Cecil, Lord E H. B. G. 
Chambers, T. 
Clay, J. 

Cole, Hon. J. L. 
Colebrooke, Sir T. E 
Collier, Sir R P. 
ColvUle, C. R 
ConoUy, T. 

Corry, Et. Hon. H. L. 

Cox, W. T. 

Crawford, R W. 
§Cubitt, G. 

Dalkeith, Earl of. 

Bering, Sir E C. 

Dick, F. 

§ Dickson, Major A. G. 
§Dillwyn, L.L. 
§Dimsdale, R 

Dunkellin, Lord. 

Dunne, GeneraL 

DuPr^, C. G. 

Dyott, CoL R 

Eckersley, N. 

Edwards, Sir H. 

Egerton, Sir P. G. 

Egerton, Hon. A. F. 

Egerton, E C. 

Egerton, Hon. W. 

Enfield, Viscount 

Esmonde, J. 

Evans, T. W. 
§Ewing, H. E Crum- 

Fellowes, E. 

Fergusson, Sir J. 

Floyer, J. 

Foljambe, E J. S. 

Freshfield, C. K. 

§ Those marked $ afterwards voted in fayonr of the Women's Suf- 
frage Bill. 

Digitized by 




Gallwey, Sir W. P. 
Gaselee, Sergt. S. 
Getty, S. G. 
Gilpin, C. 

Gladstone, Et. Hon. W. E. 
Glyn, G. G. 
Goddard, A. L 
Gore, J. R O. 
Gore, W. R O. 
Graves, S. R 
Gray, Lieut.-CoL 
Greenall, G. 
Greene, E. 
Grove, T. F. 
Guinness, Sir B. L. 
Gwyn, H. 

Hamilton, Et. Hon. Lord C. 
Hamilton, K W. T. 
Hanmer, Sir J. 
Harely, Et Hon. G. 
Hartley, J. 
Hartopp, R B. 
Hayter, Capt. A. D. 
Headlam, Et. Hon. T. R 
Heathcote, Sir W. 
Heneage, E. 

§Henley,Et. Hon. J. W. 
Henly, Lord. 
Herbert, Hon. Col. P. 

Hildyard, T. B. T. 

Hope, A. J. B. B. 

Howard, Hon. C. W. G. 

Howes, E. 

Huddleston, J. W. 
§Hunt, G. W. 

Ingham, R 

Jervis, Major. 

Jones, D. 

Karslake, Sir J. B. 

Kekewick, S. T. 


Kendall, N. 

King, J. K. 

King, J. G. 

Knatchbull-Hugessen, E. 

Leader, N. P. 

Lechmere, Sir R A. H. 

Leeman, G. 

Lewis, H. 

Lindsay, Hon. CoL C. 

Locke, J. 
§ Lopes, Sir M. 
§M'Lagan, P. 

Merry, J. 

Miller, W. 

MitcheU, T. A. 

Monk, C. J. 

Montagu, Et. Hon. Lord R 

§ Those marked § afterwards voted in favoor of the Women's Suf- 
frage Bill. 

Digitized by 




Montgomery, Sir G. 

Morgan, O. 

Mowbray, Rt. Hon. J. E. 

Naas, Lord. 

Neate, C. 

Newdigate, C. N. 

Newport, Viscount 

Nicholson, W. 

Nicol, J. D. 

Noel, Hon. G. J. 

O'Eeilly, M. W. 

Packe, C. W. 

Packe, CoL 

Pakington, Et. Hon. Sir J. 

Parker, Major W. 

Pease, J. W. 

Peel, Et. Hon. Sir R 

Potter, E. 

Powell, F. S. 

Price, E. G. 

Price, W. P. 

Pugh, D. 

Eead, C. S. 

Eebow, J. W. 

Eepton, G. W. J. 

Eidley, Sir M. W. 

Eobertson, P. F. 

Eoebuck, J. A. 

Eolt, Sir J. 

Eoyston, Viscount. 
Eussell, Sir C. 
St. Aubyn, J. 
Samuda, J. D'A. 
Scholefield, W. 
Schreiber, C. 
Sclater-Booth, G. 
Scott, Sir W. 
Seely, C. 
Selwyn, C. J. 
Seveme, J. E. 
Seymour, G. H. 
Simonds, W. B. 
Smith, A. 
Smollett, P. B. 
Stanley, Lord. 
Stanley, Hon. F. 
Stanley, Hon. W. O. 
Stronge, Sir J. M. 
Stucley, Sir G. S. 
§Taylor, CoL 
Tollemache, J. 
Trevor, Lord A. E. ffill- 
Tumer, C. 
Vandeleur, CoL 
Vandulze, P. 
Vernon, H. F. 
Vivian, H. H. 
Walker, Major G. G. 

§ Those marked § afterwards voted in &voar of the Women's Suf- 
frage Bill. 

Digitized by 




Walrond, J. W. 
Walsh, A. 
Waterhouse, S. 
WhaUey, G. H. 
Whitmore, H. 

Laing, S. 

Allen, W. S. 
Amberley, Viscount 
Baines, K 
Barnes, T. 
Barrow, W. H. 
Bass, M. T. 
Bazley, T. 
Beach, W. W. B. 
Biddulph, M. 
Blake, J. A. 
Bowyer, Sir George. 
♦Bright, J. 
Cowen, J. 
Dalglish, R 
Denman, Hon. G. 
Eykyn, R 
Fawcett, H. 
Goldsmid, Sir F. H. 
Gorst, J. R 

Williamson, Sir H. 
Winnington, Sir T. E 
Wise, H. C. 
Woods, H. 
Wjrndham, Hon. H. 


Earslake, E. E. 


Grant, A. 

Gridley, Capt G. H, 

Hadfield, G. 

Harvey, E. B. 

Hay, Lord J. . 

Hay, Lord W. M. 

Henderson, J. 

Hibbert, J. T. 

Hodgkinson, G. 

Holden, I. 

Hughes, T. 

Hurst, E. H. 

Jackson, W. 

Jervoise, Sir J. C. 

King, Hon. P. J. L. 
♦Labouchere, H. 

Langton, W. G. 

Leatham, W. H. 
♦Lefevre, G. J. S. 

* Afterwards voted agaiiist the Women's Soffrtge BilL 

Digitized by 




liddell, Hon. H. G. 
Lnsk, A. 
M'Kenna, J. N. 
M'Laren, D. 
Maguire, J. F. 
Moore, C. 

Morgan, Hon. Major. 
Morrison, W. 
CBieme, J. L. 
O'Donnoghue, Tha 
Oliphant, L. 
Onslow, G. 
Padmore, K. 
Parry, T. 
Peel, J. 

Peto, Sir S. M. 
Piatt, J. 
Pollard-Urquhart, W. 

Mill, J. S. Gumey, Kt Hon. R 

The above division list is taken from Hansard, The 
EngliahvxmvarCs Review has preserved the following 
list of pairs: — 

Power, Sir J. 
Pritchard, J. 
Bearden, D. J. 
Robartes, T. J. A. 
Robertson, D. 
Stansfeld, J. 
Stock, O. 
Talbot, C. R M. 
Taylor, P. A. 
Watkin, R W. 
♦Whatman, J. 
White, J. 
Whitworth, B. 

Wyndham, Hon. P. 
Yorke, J. R 
Young, R 

For Mr, MilTs AfnendmerU. 
Mr. E. James. 
Mr. G. O. Trevelyan. 
Mr. T. B. HorsfalL 
General Forester. 
Sir John Gray. 
Captain Stacpoole. 

Against the Amendment. 
Mr. Julian Goldsmid. 
Mr. R P. Dawson. 
Mr. G. Moflfatt. 
Mr. Bemal Osborne. 
Lord C. J. Hamilton. 
Mr. P. Beresford. 

* Afterwards Toted against the Women's Snffirage BilL 


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See I 17. 

Memoranda of Claims made bt Women to bb placed 


FAR AS Particulars can be ascertained. 

Places where women olaimed. 

Aberdeen, . 

Aberdare, . 
Baguley (Cheshire), 


Castle Sowerby, . 

Durham — 


Fowley (Hants), 
Hatfield, . 
Honiton, . 
Ipswich, . 


All women's names were placed 

on the register. 
One name. 
Mrs. Rachel Pearson's name 

1. The revising barrister 

spoke in strong terms in 

The overseers considered they 

had no alternative but to 

admit the women. 
County — ^Miss Mary Burton. 
City— 239 claims. 
Sheriff decided against. Taken 

to the Supreme Courts of 

Appeal and rejected. 
Overseers allowed names. 
14 widows struck off. 
20 £12 householders claimed. 
Claims not allowed 

Digitized by 




Flaoei where women olaimecL 

Lancashire, E. — 

Great Marden, . 
Little Marden, . 

Lancashire, N. — 
Ulverston, . 

Lancashire, S. — 
Houghton, . 

The overseers allowed the 

Lancashire, S.W. — 
Ormskirk, . 


Ashford, . 
Cheveney, . 
Frinsted, . 


\ Notices of objection held to be 
. V bad in all cases but one, and 
. ) that claim held good. 

A large number claimed. Be- 
vising barrister allowed the 

. 23 claims, allowed. 

. Several claims, rejected. 

33 claims, allowed. 

48 claims. 

23 claims, rejected. [Mrs. Mary 
Howell fined for making " a 
frivolous claim."] 

Digitized by 




PlioM whtre women oUimed* 

Manchester, . 6750 

Cbeetham, . 7 

Chorlton, . ? 

Hulme, 10 

Metropolis — 
City, . 
Finsbury, . 
Lambeth, . 

^Appeal allowed to Cknut 

of Common Pleas. 
9 women whose names 
were not struck off 
voted in the election, 
November 1868. 

Middlesex — 


Salf ord, Broughton, | 
Pendleton, . J 

Salisbury (Fisherton), 
Stafford (Marchington), 

West Eiding, Yorks — 

Idle, . 
Warwickshire, K, 
Wigton, . 

Appeal granted* 
Claim admitted. 
Claim rejected. 

28 claimed ; an appeal granted. 
Overseers admitted the name& 
Two cases struck out, but an 
appeal granted in one. 

Overseers admit claim. 

I claim. 

/ Appeal granted 
257 claims. < (Court of Com- 

( mon Pleas). 
16 claims. 

II claima 
Claims allowed. 

2 claims struck off. 
18 claims disallowed. 
8 claims taken to the Supreme 
Courts of Appeal 

The above particulars are mainly drawn from the 
Annual Beport of the Manchester Women's Suffrage 

Digitized by 



Society and the Englishwoman's Review, and for Scot- 
land from the First Annual Eeport of the Edinburgh 


See § 33. 

Memorial to Mb. Gladstone Bespecting 
Mb. Woodall's Clause. (June 1884) 

To THE Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P. 

The undersigned members of Parliament respectfully 

That the Franchise Bill being now in Committee a 
favourable opportunity is afforded for the discussion of 
the amendment for extending its provisions to women, 
of which notice has been given by Mr. WoodalL 

That your memorialists have heard a rumour that 
Her Majesty's (Jovemment have declared against 
allowing the question to be discussed and decided on 
its merits on the ground that the adoption of the pro- 
posal might endanger the BilL 

That your memorialists are of opinion that the claim 
of women who are householders and ratepayers is just 
and reasonable, and that the time when the House is 
engaged in amending the law relating to the represen- 
tation of the people is the proper time for the considera- 
tion of this daim. 

That during the discussion in Committee on the 
Seform Bill of 1867, an amendment for extending its 

Digitized by 



provifiions to women was introduced by Mr. J. S. M31, 
and that on that occasion the Government of the day 
offered no opposition to the full and free discussiQii of 
the question, and placed no restriction on the free exer- 
cise of the judgment of members of their party as to the 
manner in which they should vote. The tellers appointed 
against Mr. Mill's motion were not even the Government 

That your memorialists earnestly pray that the pre- 
cedent so instituted may be followed on the present 
occasion, and that the clause proposed by Mr. Woodall 
may be submitted to the free and unbiassed decision of 
the House on its own merits. 

They desire earnestly to express their conviction that 
the course of allowing the question to be an open one, 
on which the Government is prepared to accept the 
decision of the House, cannot possibly endanger or 
prejudice the Franchise Bill. In connection with Hub 
your memorialists would press on your attention the 
fact that Mr. Woodall's amendment is in the form of a 
new clause, and would not therefore come under dis- 
cussion until the Bill as it stands has passed throng 
Wm. Agnew (S.R Lanca- Arthur Arnold (Salford). 

shire). J. Spencer Balfour (Tam- 

W. S. Allen (Newcastle-u.- worth). 

Lyme). James W. Barclay (Forfar- 

George Anderson (Glas- shire). 

gow). A. Barnes (Derbyshire, K) 

Benjaimn Armitage (Sal- J. B. Blake (Waterford 

ford). Co.). 

Digitized by 




R P. Blennerhassett 

Jacob Bright (Manchester). 

Thomas Burt (Morpeth). 

W. S. Caine (Scarborough). 

Charles Oameron (Glas- 

£. H. Carbutt (Monmouth 

Stewart Clarke (Paisley). 

J. C. Clarke (Abingdon). 

Gteorge Courtauld (Mai- 

Leonard H. Courtney (lis- 

J. Cowen (Newcastle-on- 

David Davies (Cardigan, 

James Dickson (Dun- 

Thomas A. Dickson (Ty- 

Henry Fawcett (Hackney). 

De Ferrieres (Cheltenham). 

W. Findlater (Monaghan). 

J. B. Firth (Chelsea). 

Lewis Fry (Bristol). 

Theodore Fry (Darlington). 

Edw. T. Gourley (Sunder- 

Albert Grey (Northumber- 
land, S). 

Daniel Grant (Maryle- 

G. W. Hastings (E. Wor- 

Frank Henderson (Dun- 

L Holden (Yorks., W. R, 
N. Div.). 

JohnR Hollond(Brighton). 

C. H. Hopwood (Stock- 

J. J. Jenkins (Carmarthen 

John Einnear, D.D. (Done- 

Wilfred Lawson (Carlisle). 

Thos. Lea (Donegal). 

Bobert Leake (S.E. Lmea- 

W. Henry Leatham (York, 
W. R, S. Div.). 

Andrew Lusk (Finsbury). 

C. Eraser Mackintosh 
(Inverness, Dist.). 

P. S. Macliver (Plymouth). 

A. M* Arthur (Leicester). 

W. M' Arthur (Lambeth). 

Peter M'Lagan (Linlith- 

Digitized by 




Charles M'Laren (StaflFord). 

Samuel Morley (Bristol). 

Geo. Palmer (Eeading). 

R. D. Peddie (Kilmarnock, 

Fredk. Pemnngton (Stock- 

W. H. Powell (Carmarthen- 

L. M. Pugh (Cardiganshire). 

Henry Eichard (Merthyr). 

Thos. Roe (Derby). 

Henry B. Samuelson 

Thomas Shaw (Halifax). 

Henry B. Sheridan (Dud- 

Jno. Simon (Dewsbury). 

John Slagg (Manchester). 

T. E. Smith (Tynemouth). 

C. R Spencer (Northampt., 

Jas. Stansfeld (Halifax). 

S. Storey (Sunderland). 

H. Villiers Stuart (Water- 
ford Co.). 

William Summers (Staley- 

P. A. Taylor (Leicester). 

T. C. Thompson (Durham 

John P. Thomasson (Bol- 

C. P. Villiers (Wolver- 

K W. Watkin (Hythe). 

Benj. Whitworth (Drog- 

W. H. Wills (Coventry). 

S. C. Evans Williams 
(Radnor Dist). 

W. Woodall (Stoke-on- 

S. Woolf (Pontefract). 


See I 33. 

Letter from Ladies to Members of Parliament. 

The following letter was sent in May 1884 to 
members of both Houses of Parliament: — 

We desire to call your attention to the claim of 

Digitized by 



women who are heads of households to be included in 
the operation of the Government Franchise Bill 

Women have continuously presented this claim 
before Parliament and the country since the Reform 
Bill of 1867. The introduction of a measure declared 
by the Government to be intended to deal with the 
franchise in an exhaustive manner renders it especially 
necessary now to urge it upon the attention of Parlia- 

We respectfully represent that the claim of duly- 
qualified women for admission within the pale of the 
constitution is fully as pressing as that of the agri- 
cultural labourer, and that the body of electors who 
would thereby be added to the constituencies would be 
at least equal in general and political intelligence to the 
great body of agricultural and other labourers who are 
to be enfranchised by the Government BilL 

Among this body would be found women landowners, 
who form one-seventh of the land proprietors of the 
country ; women of means and position living on their 
own property; schoolmistresses and other teachers; 
women engaged in professional, literary, and artistic 
pursuits; women farmers, merchants, manufacturers, 
and shopkeepers; besides large numbers of self-sup- 
porting women engaged in industrial occupations. The 
continued exclusion of so large a proportion of the 
property, industry, and intelligence of the country from 
all representation in the Legislature is injurious to 
those excluded, and to the community at large. 

Several Bills having special reference to the interests 
and status of women have been introduced in Parlia- 

Digitized by 




ment during the present session. Thia affords a poww- 
ful reason for the immediate enfranchisement of women, 
in order that members of Parliament may have t^e 
same sense of responsibility towards the class affiscted 
by them as in dealing with questions relating to men. 
' For these and other reasons we earnestly beg that 
you wUl give your support to the amendment to 
be introduced by Mr. Woodall in Committee on the 
Bepresentation of the People Bill for including women 
householders in its operation. — ^We are, Sir, yours faith- 

Eveline Portsmouth 
(Countess of Ports- 

F. P. Vemey (Lady Ver- 

Florence Nightingale. 

Anne J. Clough (Newn- 
ham College). 

Clara E L. Rayleigh (Lady 

Selina Hogg (Lady Hogg). 

Anna Swanwick. 

Julia Camperdown (Coun- 
tess of Camperdown). 

Mina £. Hollond (Mrs 
John Hollond). 

(Lady) Dorothy NevilL 

Millicent Garrett Fawcett. 

Helen P. Bright Clark. 

Jane E. Cobden. 

K Adelaide Manning. 
M. Power (Lady Power). 
Louisa Colthurst (Dowager 

Lady Colthurst). 
Frances K Hoggan, M.D. 
Florence Davenport Hill 

(Poor Law Guardian). 
Louisa Twining (Poor Law 

Maryanne Donkin (Poor 

Law Guardian). 
Eosamond Davenport Hill 

Mary Howitt 
Maria G. Grey. 
Emily A. E Shireff. 
Deborah Bowring (Lady 

Emily Pfeiffer. 
Barbara L. S. Bodichon. 

Digitized by 




Augusta Webster. 

Catherine M. Buckton. 

Frances M. Buss (N. Lon- 
don Collegiate School). 

Sophia Bryant, B.Sc. 

Malvina Borchardt (Head 
Mistress of Devonport 
High School). 

Louisa Boucherett. 

Jessie Boucherett. 

Margaret Byers (Ladies' 
Collegiate Sch., Belfast). 

Margaret Gilliea 

Agnes D. Beavington At- 

H. W. A. Ward (Mrs. 
E. M. Ward). 

Kose Mary Crawshay. 

Clara Montalba. 

Ellen Montalba. 

Margaret Hunt (Mrs. A. 
W. Hunt). 

Louisa S. Goldsmid (Lady 

Madge Kendal Grimston 
(Mrs. Kendal). 

Emilia F. S. Pattison (Mrs. 
Mark Pattison). 

Ethel R S. Boys. 

Emily Spender. 

Ellen Spender. 

Alice Kemp Welch. 

Sophia Jex Blake, M.D. 

Au Prideaux. 

Agnes T. Ward (Principal 
of the Bishopsgate Train- 
ing College). 

Louisa Atkins, M.D. 

Emily Davies (Hon. Sec, 
Girton College). 

Alice Westlake (M.L.S.B.). 

(Lady) K Maude Parry. 

Flora C. Stevenson (Mem- 
ber of the Edinburgh 
School Board). 

Josephine E. Butler. 

C. Buchan (Dowager Coun- 
tess of Buchan). 

Elizabeth Garrett Ander- 
son, M.D. 

Louise Jopling. 

Edith J. Simcox. 

Elizabeth Blackwell, M.D. 

Mabel Sharman Crawford. 

Eleanor Mildred Sidgwick 
(Mrs. Henry Sidgwick). 

Julia Wedgwood. 

Adeline Paulina Irby. 

Edith Shove, M.B. 

Isabel Thome (Secretary, 
London School of Medi- 
cine for Women). 

Digitized by 



H. M. Jones (Head Mis- 
tress, Netting Hill High 

Eleanor Grove (Principal, 
Student's Home, Gordon 

Elizabeth Pease Nichol. 
Frances Power Cobbe. 
Amelia B. Edwards. 
Charlotte Angas Scott(Gir- 

ton College). 
The Hon. K Canning. 



Table of Statutes passed in the Beign of Queen 
Victoria which have direct bearing on the 
Interests of Women. 

A. — On their Political Status, as Citizens. 

B. — On their Cvvii Status, as Wives and Mothers, 

C. — On their Professional and Industrial status, 

A. — Political Status, as Citizens. 


1850. Act for Shortening 
the Language used in Acts 
of Parliament (13 & 14 
Vict ch. 21). 

1869. Municipal Corpor- 
ations Act (32 & 33 Vict, 
ch. 55, § 9). 


Provides that the mascu- 
line gender shall include 
the feminine unless other- 
wise expressly provided. 

Hestored to women rate- 
payers the vote in muni- 
cipal elections which had 
been taken away by the 
Municipal Corporation Act 
of 1835. 

Digitized by 




1870. Elementary Edu- 
cation Act (33 & 34 Vict. 

1874 Public Worship 
Emulation Act (37 & 38 
Vict. ch. 85). 

1881. Municipal Elec- 
tions (Scotland) Act (44 
Vict. ch. 13). 

1888. The County Elec- 
tors Act (51 Vict ch. 10). 

1889. Local Government 
(Scotland) Act (52 & 53 
Vict ch. 50). 

1889. InterpretationAct 
(52 & 53 Vict ch. 63). 

1894 Local (Government 
Act (56 & 57 Vict ch. 

Created School Boards 
and placed women on a 
complete equality both as 
electors and as eligible for 

as a Male Person. 

Assimilates the law of 
Scotland with that of 
England, so far as to place 
women on the municipal 

Gave women equal fran- 
chises with men for the 
election of councillors for 
the County Councilscreated 
by the Local Government 
Act of that year. 
Ditto for Scotland. 

Kepeals and reaffirms 
the Act of 1850. 

The Local Government 
Act of 1894, which reor- 
ganized the parochial 
Poor Law administration 
in the counties, confirmed 
the rights of women to all 
local franchises and their 

Digitized by 





1896. Poor Law Guar- 
dian, Ireland (Women) Act 
(59 Vict ch. 5). 

1898. Irish Local Govern- 
ment Act (61 & 62 Vict ch. 

1899. The London 
Grovemment Act 

eligibility as Poor Law 
Guardians; and made them 
also eligible as Pariah and 
District Councillors. 

Women were for the first 
time made eligible as Poor 
Law Guardians in Ireland. 

The system of local 
government in Ireland 
was reorganized on similar 
lines to that in England. 
Women who had hitherto 
been excluded from the 
municipal franchise now 
had all local franchises 
conferred on them, and 
were made eligible for 
Kural and Urban District 

Changed the system of 
vestries to that of Borough 
Councils throughout the 
Metropolitan districts. 
Women had been eligible 
on the old vestries and 
several were then serving. 
Their claim to sit on the 
new Borough Councils was 
however, rejected. 

Digitized by 




B. — Civil Status, as Wives and Mothers, 

1839. Custody of Infante 
Act (2 & 3 Vict. ch. 54). 
(Known as Sergeant Tal- 
f curd's Act). 

1870. Married Women's 
Property Act (33 & 34 
Vict. ch. 93). 

1874. Ditto (37 & 38 
Vict, ch 50). 

1877. Ditto for Scotland 
(40 & 41 Vict. ch. 29). 

1882. Ditto (45 & 46 
Vict. ch. 75). 

1873. Custody of In- 
fants Act (36 Vict. ch. 12.). 

1878. Matrimonial 
Causes Act (41 Vict ch. 

Empowered the Lord 
Chancellor to leave custody 
of her child to the mother 
up to the age of seven. 

The Acts of 1870 and 
1874 secured to married 
women all rights to pro- 
perty acquired by their 
own skill and industry, 
and to all investments of 
their own money in their 
own names. 

The Act of 1882 con- 
solidated and amended the 
previous Acts, enabling 
married women to acquire, 
hold and dispose by will 
or otherwise of any real 
or personal property with- 
out the intervention of a 

Allows the mother to 
have custody of her child 
up to sixteen. 

Enables a wife, in cases 
of aggravated assaults, to 
get a separation order. 

Digitized by 




1886. Criminal Law 
Amendment Act (48 & 49 
Vict ch. 69). 

1886. Guardianship of 
Infants Act (49 & 50 Vict, 
ch. 27). 

1890. Intestates Act 
(53 & 54 Vict ch. 29). 

1891. Slander of Women 
Act (54 & 55 Vict ch. 

1895. Summary Juris- 
diction (Married Women's) 
Act (58 & 59 Vict ch. 39). 

Saises the age of con- 
sent from thirteen to 

Greatly improves the 
status of mothers by giving 
the surviving mother the 
right to be joint guardian in 
addition to any appointed 
by the father. The Act 
also enables her to appoint 
a guardian to act in case 
of the father's death or in- 
capacity; it also requires 
t^e Court to have regard 
to the wishes of the mother 
as well as of the father. 

When a man dies intes- 
tate, leaving a widow and 
no children, all his estate, 
if under £500, goes to the 
widow; if over £500 she 
shall have £500 in addition 
to her share in the residue. 

Benders imputation of 
moral misconduct action- 
able, without having first 
to prove damages. 

Extends and strengthens 
the Matrimonial Causes 
Act of 1878. 

Digitized by 




C. — Professiorud and Industrial Status. 

1842. Coal Mines Act 
(5 & 6 Vict. ch. 99). 

1844. (7 Vict. ch. 16.) 

1847. (10 Vict. ch. 29.) 

1850. (13 & 14 Vict. ch. 

1876. MedicalEducation 
Act (39 & 40 Vict. ch. 41). 

1878. FactoryandWork- 
shop Act (1878) (41 Vict, 
ch. 16). 

1895. FactoryandWork- 
shop Act (1895) (58 & 59 
Vict. ch. 37> 

1901. FactoryandWork- 
shop Consolidation and 
Amendment Act. 

Prohibited the work of 
women in mines. 

Women were brought 
under the same rules as 
young persons. 

Ten hours a day for 
women and young persons. 

Fixing a uniform work- 
ing day for women and 
young persons. 

Permitting medical de- 
grees to be conferred on 

Consolidated the above 
and various intermediate 
acts dealing with particular 

Intensified the special 
restrictions on women's 

Consolidated all previous 
l^slation and rendered 
some of the regulations for 
women more elastia 


Digitized by 





Vindication of the Rights of Wobien : With Stric- 
tures on Political and Moral Subjects. By Mary Woll- 
stonecraft. Londoit Svo, 452 pp. 


Appeal of One-Half of the Human Bace, Women, 
against the pretensions of the other half, Men, to retain 
them in political and thence in civil and domestic slavery, 
in reply to a paragraph of Mr. Mill's celebrated article 
on Government. By Wm. Thompson. 


Woman and Her Social Position : article in JFed- 
minster Beview, No. xlviiL [This was reprinted in 1872, 
at the instance of friends of the writer, Mrs. John 

1 Exolnsive of Annual Reports of the varions Women's Sof&age 


Digitized by 




The Enfranchisembnt of Women. By Mrs. J. S. 

MilL Westndnster Beview for July. [Beprinted as a 

pamphlet in 1868.] 


The Eight of Women to the Exekcise of theElec- 
TivE Franchise. By "Justitda." [A second edition 
with the author's name, Mrs. Henry Davis Pochin, pub- 
lished by the Manchester Women's Suffrage Society, 


The Petition presented by Mr. J. S. Mill in 1866, 
with the names of the 1499 women signatories. 

Seasons fob the Enfranchisement of Women. By 
Barbara L. S. Bodichon. A paper read before the 
meeting of the Social Science Association in Manchester, 
Oct 6th, 1866. 

On Some supposed Constitutional Restraints on 
THE Parliamentary Franchise. (This pamphlet, 
written before the Reform Bill of 1867, reviews the then 
existing restrictions to the franchise under seven heads 
— the third head, being that of sex.) By T. Chisholm 
Anstey, Esq. Published at the Ofl&ce of the Social 
Science Association, 1 Adam Street, Adelphi. 

Female Suffrage. By Lydia Becker. Reprinted 
from the Contemporary Beview, 

The Claims of Englishwobien to the Suffrage 
Constitutionally Considered. By Helen Taylor. 
Reprinted from Westminster JReview, January. 

Digitized by 



Speich of Mr. John Stuart Mill on the Admission ol 
Women to the Parliamentary Franduse. Spoken in 
the House of Commons, May 20th, 1867. 

Tex Social and Political Depsndxnck of Womv* 
London. 8vo, 75 pp. [And see below 1868.] 


Franohisb. An essay. By Ninon ElingBforcL 

Old England— Women's Eiqht of Suffraq*. By 
Professor F. W. Newman. 

Women Suffbage. An extract from a Speech de- 
livered by Wm. Johnston Pox, M.P., at Oldhanx, on Feb. 
4, 1853. 

Women Suffrage, in Fraur^s MagasBiiu (in form of t 
dialogue between Smith and Jones). 


National Society fob Women's Suffrage. London, 
Edinburgh and Dublin. An Address issued after the 
General Election. 

A List of M.P.'s and other persons favourable to the 
Women's Sufirage Movement. 

Criminals, Idiots, Wobien and Minobs : Is tiie Classi- 
fication sound? By Mias Frances Power Cobbe. 
Fraser's Magaaine of December 3. 

Equality of Women. A paper read before the 
British Association at Norwich by Miss Becker. 
:. The Social and PoLmcAL Dependence of Women. 
4th edition, pp. 92. This book, published without 
author's name in 1867, reach a 4th edition in 1868, with 
the name of the author, Charles Anthony, junior. It 
was also published in America, and was translated into 

Digitized by 



Italian, French and German. See Women's Suffrage 
JatMmal, 1871, p. 76. 

The Subjection of Women. By John Stuart Mill 
(2nd edition, 1869.) 188 pp. 

The Eight of Women to Vote under the Kefobm 
Act of 1867. By Dr. Pankhurst. FortnigMy Beview, 


A Lecture on Women's Suffrage. By Professor F. 
W. Newman. At Bristol AthensBum. February 24. 

Wht Women Desire the Franchise. By Miss 
Francis Power Cobbe. 

WoBiEN AND Politics. By Eev. Charles Kingsley. 
MacmiUan's Magazine. 


Speech of Mr. Jacob Bright, M.P., at Edinburgh. 12 

Report of a Public Meeting, Queen Street Hall, 
Edinburgh, January 17. 

Lecture on Women's Suffrage. By Professor F. W. 
Newman. At the Guildhall, Bath, January 28. 

A few words on Women's Suffrage. By James 
Thornton Hoskins, B.A 40 pp. 

The Women's Suffrage Journal. First No., March 
1870. (Final and Memorial No., August, 1890.) 

Eeport of a Meeting held in the Hanover Square 
Booms, London, March 26. 

Sixteen Seasons. A leaflet published by the Bristol 
Branch of the National Society for Women's Suffrage. 
(Compiled by Professor F. W. Newman.) 2 pp. 

Digitized by 




Mrs. Wm. Grey. 

The Claims of Women. By Lady Amberley. A 
lecture delivered at Stroud. FortniglUly Beview. 


Words of Weight on the Wobian Question, col- 
lected by A. H. : Longmans. This work of 297 pages 
contains 1176 quotations arranged so f» to form a con- 
secutive argument. 

The Emancipation of Women. By John Walter 
Bourke, A paper read at the Cork Literary and Scien- 
tific Society, session of 1870-71. 28 pp. Dublin, 

The Debate in the House of Commons on the 
Wobien's Disabilities Bill, May 3. 

The Electoral Disabiuties of Women. A lecture 
delivered at the New Hall, Tavistock, by Mrs. Fawcett, 
March 11. 


The Political Disabilities of Women. Eeprinted 
from Westminster Review, January (Miss Becker), 

Woman's Suffrage. By Mr. Arthur Arnold. A 
paper read before the Social Science Association, Feb- 
ruary 5. 

Women's Need of Representation. A lecture at 
Blackrock, Dublin, February 21, by Miss A. J. Eobert- 

The Electoral Disabilhies of Women. A lecture 
in the Cheltenham Com Exchange, April 3, by Miss 
Bhoda Garrett. 

Digitized by 


bibuographt. 279 

Seasons fob and against the Enfbanchisement of 
Women. B7 Mrs. Bodichon. (Based on the paper 
read at the Social Science Association of 1866.) 

The WoBiAN Question. Twelve papers reprinted 
from the Examiner. 88 pp. 

An Essat on Women's Suffbage. Is it Desibable 
Othebwise ? By Eliza Haddock, Homcastle. 10 pp. 

Speech of Mr. Jacob Bright at the Annual Meeting 
of the Manchester Society for Women's Suffraga 
November 6. . 

Black and White Slaves, being a reprint from the 
ExaTnmer of October 19. 

Why WoBiEN cannot be tubned into Men. By 
Janus. 24 pp. Edinburgh. 

Miss E. M. Stubge, speech at^Birmingham. Dec. 6. 


Speech of Professor Fawcett, M.P., at Birmingham. 

Speech of Mr. John Stuart Mill at a great meeting 
in Edinburgh. January 12, 1871. Eeprint 

Eepobt of a Public Meeting in Hanover Square 
Booms, April 28. 

Speech of Mr. Jacob Bright, M.P. Spoken in the 
House of Commons, April 30. 

The Humby Election. A sketch by GJeorge Eraser. 
32 pp. 

Mr. Fitz-James Stephen on the Position of Women. 
By Mrs. Fawcett Being a reply to Mr. Stephen on 
Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity (reprinted from 
ExoLmmer). 25 pp. 

Digitized by 



LiBiBTY, Equautt, Fkatebnity. A reply to Mr. Fitx- 
Jan^es Stephen's strictures on the Subjection of Women 
(reprinted from Women's Sufrage Journal, October. 
November, December). 27 pp. 

Ought Women to leakn the Alphabet ? By 
Thomas Wentworth Higginson (reprinted from " Atian- 
tic Essays "), Manchester. 

A Few Words on Women's Sotfbagb. By E. M. L. 
(Mrs. Lynch), Dublin. Beprinted from MnglishuHman^s 


Memobial to the Bight Hon. W. K Gladstone, from 
a Conference in Birmingham, January 22. 

The Political Status of Women. A lecture by 
Annie Besant. 

Political OuTCASTa By Charlotte R Babb. 2 pp. 

Women's Suffrage. By Walter M'Laren. 4 pp. 

Female Suffrage. By Professor Goldwin Smith. 
MdcmUlan's Magazine, June. Beprinted in 1875. 

Woman's Suffrage: a reply by Professor Cairnea 
(reprinted from MacmUlan'a Magazine of September). 
24 pp. 

Objections to Women's Suffrage. A Speech by 
Admiral Mazse, B.N., at the Electoral Reform Confer- 
ence, Freemason's Tavern, Nov. 17. 10 pp. 

The Citizenship of Women Socially Considered. By 
Miss Louisa Shore. Beprinted from Westminder Beview^ 
July. 40 pages. [See 1895 for second edition.] 

Our Polict: an address to women concerning th^ 
Sufirage. By Miss Frances Power Cobbe. 8 pp. 

Digitized by 



Latest Imtslugbncs from the Planet YenoB. He- 
printed from Fraaer's Magazine. December, 

The Women's Adyooate. A small sheet edited in 
Dublin by Mr. Haslam. Four numbers published. 

A Flea fob the Ladies. By N. J. Gk)8san, Dublin. 


Woman's Suffbage, the Counterfeit and the True ; 
reasons for opposing both. By Bear-Admiral Maxse. 
Lecture, with additional remarks. 

A Letteb to the Bight Hon. John Bright, M.F., by a 
Lady in the Gallery. [Miss Isabella M. S. Tod.] 

An Answer to Mr. John Bright's Speech on Women's 
SuFFBAGS. By Miss Arabella Shore. 

Female Sufi bage. By W. T. Blair, Esq. From the 
Victoria Magazine of 1874. 15 pp. 

The PoLmcAL Claims of Women. By Julia Wedg- 
wood. 12 pp. 

Speech of Miss Frances Power Cobbe, St Gteorge's 
HaU, 4 pp. 

A Few Words to Temperance Women on the Women's 
SuFFBAGE Question. By Mrs. Dawson Bums. 4 pp. 


The Pbesent Aspect o? Women's Suffbage Oon- 
SIDEBED. By Arabella Shore. Beprinted from the 
Englishwoman's Review. 43 pp. 

Digitized by 


282 bibuographt. 

The Physical Force Objection to Women's Suffbaqe. 
By Mrs. Wm. Grey. 4 pp. 

Suffrage foe Women HousEHOLDEsa 4 pp. (no 

The Bible and Women's Suffrage. By John Hooker, 
Hartford, Connec Beprinted from a Tract of the Con- 
necticut W.S. Assoc. 22 pp. 


The Future of Englishwomen. By Mrs. A. Suther- 
land Orr. Nineteenth Century. June. 

The Future of Englishwomen. By Mrs. Fawcett 
A Beply. Nineteenth Centwry. 

Some of the Facts of the Women's Suffrage Ques- 
tion. By Helen Blackburn. 15 pp. 

Comments on the Opposition to Women's Suffrage. 
By Helen Blackburn. 11 pp. 

Parliamentary Franchise for Women Katepaters. 
By Augusta Webster. 4 pp. Beprinted from the 

Individual Iibertt for Women. By Viscountess 
Harberton. Macfn4ilan*8 Magazine. 


What Women have a Right to. By Arabella Shore. 
Lectures given in 1879. 12 pp. 

Speech of Mrs. Helen Bright Clark at Bristol, 1879. 
4 pp. 

Rights and Duties of Women in Local (Government 
(read at a Conference in Bristol, 1879). By Miss 
Becker. 11 pp. 

Digitized by 



Thb Enfranchisement of Women: the Law of the 
Land. By Sidney Smith, 1879. 31 pp. 

Opinions of Women on Women's Suffrage, 1879. 
61 pp. 

Should the Paruamentart Franchise be granted 
TO Women Householders ? Paper read at Luton by 
Miss Louisa Bigg, 1879. 4 pp. 

Ought Women to have Votes for Members of 
Parliament ? [By Caroline Ashurst Biggs.] 4 pp. 

Men and Women. By Mrs. Wm. Grey. Fortnightly 
Seview, November. 


The Suffrage for Women. By Emily Pfeiflfer. 
Contemporary Review, February. 

Women's Rights, as Preached by Women. West- 
minster Beview, 

The Duties Women owe to the Pubuc. From 
Edvnbwrgh DaUy Review. 4 pp. 

Electoral Seform. By Wm. Count, Bristol 20 pp. 


Address upon Women's Suffrage in Wyoming, de- 
livered at Assoc. Hall, Philadelphia. By (Jovemor J. 
W. Hoyt 15 pp. Seprint, Manchester. 

Observations on Women's Suffrage. By Viscount 
Harberton. 8 pp. 

The Claims of Women Katepaters to the Parlia- 
mentary Vote. Paper by Mrs. R M. Lynch, reprinted 
from Victoria Magazine by Bromley and Beckenham 
W. S. Committee. 7 pp. 

Digitized by 



Address on Women's Suffeage. Bj the Bev. 
Charles Green, Vicar of St Paul's, Beckenham. 8 pp. 

Women's Suffrage Stories : — 

(1) Mrs. Maybury's Petitdon. By author of 

Bachaers Secret, etc. 11 pp 

(2) Jane Crump's Politics. By a Quiet Woman. 

12 pp. 

(3) A Woman's Duty. By author of Master of 

Wingboume. 12 pp 

(4) Annie's Baby. By Carey Search. 12 pp. 

(5) Mrs. TruiSes on the Woman Question. By 

the author of St Olave's. 11 pp. 

(6) What the Widow Thinks. By Mrs. Chant 

(Poem). 4 pp. 

(7) Where the Shoe Pinchea By a Barrister. 

12 pp. 

(8) Mother and Child- By a Lawyer. 11 pp. 

(The above stories were edited by Caroline Ashurst 

A Political Catechism for the Unrepresented Ma- 
jority. 10 pp. (This was written by Miss Schaw 
Protheroe and Mr. John Colby, B.A.) 

A Hansom Amateur. Blackwood's Magasdne. 


Letter to the Ladies of the Women's Sufi^ntge Move- 
ment By Jessie Craigen. 

Opinions of the Press, relating to the discussion of 
Mr. Masons Resolution in the House of Commons, July 
1883. 47 pp 

Digitized by 



STATisrncB about Women's Suffrage. Leaflet. 1 p. 

Women and Bbpressntative GtOvebnmsnt. By Mrs. 
Fawcett. Nineteenth C&niwry, August. 

WoBfBN AND Women's Suffrage. By Sarah Steward. 
National Beview. 

Women and Women's Suffrage. By Henry Cecil 
Baikes. National Beview. 

Women and Women's Suffrage. By Philip Vernon 
Smith. National Beview. 


Women's Suffrage and the Franchisi Bill. By 
Mrs. Fawcett 4 pp. Beprinted from PaU Mall 
Gazette, January 14. 

Women and the New Franchise Bill : a letter to an 
Ulster M.P. By Isabella M. S. Tod. 

The Debate in the House of Commons, June; in 
Committee on the Franchise Bill, on the clause proposed 
by Mr. Woodall for including Women's Suffrage in the 
Bill. Special report, revised and corrected by the 
authors of the speeches (Manchester). 95 pp. 

Women's Suffrage, a Liberal view of the situation. 
By Isabella M. S. Tod. Beprinted from Bnglish/woman's 

Christian Women as Citizens. By Mrs. Lindsay. 
Beprinted from EngliehAooman'e Beview. 

Twenty-five Ebasons for Supporting Women's 
Sufiraga 2 pp. 

A Paper by Sarah Anderson, for the All Sidnts' 
Literary Society, Hatcham. 8 pp. 

Digitized by 



A Catiohism on Women's Sufiraga 2 pp. (Miss 
A Dream of 1900. B7 Cassandra. 11 pp. 


WoBfSN's SuFFRAGS. B7 Mrs. Ashton Dilke, with a 
prefooe by Mr. Woodall, M.P. (Imperial Parliament 
Series, Messrs. Swan Sonnensohein). 122 pp. 

Women AND Women's Suffrage. By Vera. National 
Beview, August. 

List of Paruamentart Friends of Women's Suf- 
frage, April 1886. 12 pp. 


Women's Suffrage Calendar. Edited by Helen 
Blackburn. First year of issue (continued to 1899). 

The late Mr. Fawcett on Women's Suffrage. 4 pp. 

Married Women and the Municipal Franchisb. 
4 pp. 

Women's Suffrage. By Mrs. Chapman. Nineteenth 
Century, April 

Women's Suffrage: a Beply. By Mrs. Fawcett 
Nineteenth Oentv/ry, May. 

Women's Politics. By the Countess of Galloway. 
Nineteenth Century, July. 

Future Supremacy of Women. By Mrs. Lynn 
Linton. National Beview, September. 

Relation of Women to the State in Olden Time. By 
Helen Blackburn. National Beview, November. 

Digitized by 




The Emancipation of Women. WestnUnsUr JBeview^ 


Bbcauss. Collected and edited by Helen Blackburn. 
12mo, 32 pp. Bristol 


(Joldwin Smith. National Review, February. 


A Record of Farliamentart Progress, 1866 to 
1888 (leaflet). 

IiST of Parliamentary Friends of Women's Suffrage, 
April 1888. 

Eeasons for Supporting the Bill Leaflet by Miss 
Emily Davies. 

Opinions of Conservative T4EADKR8 on Women's 
Suffrage. 4 pp. 

A Letter from an EngUsbwoman to Englishwomen 
(Caroline Ashurst Biggs). 4 pp. 

St. Paul on the Woman Movement. Westrrvind^ 
Review, February. 

An Appeal Against Women's Suffrage. MneteerUh 
CerUtt/ry, June. 

Women's Suffrage : a Keply. Fortnightly, July. 

Declaration in Favour of Women's Suffrage, being 
the signatures received at the Office of the Central 

Reply to the Protest in the Nineteenth Centwy. 

Digitized by 



By Lydia R Becker. Eeprinted from Mawiluslvr 

Speech by the Countess of Portsmouth, Westminster 
Town Hall, July. 

The Appeal against Woioen's Suffrage: a Reply. 
By Mrs. Fawcett and Mrs. Ashton Dilka Nineteenth 
CerUwry^ July. 

The Appeal Against Female Suffrage : a Eejoinder, 
by Mr& Creighton, and Appendix with second list of 
signatures. Nineteenth Centtury, August. 

The Threatened Abdication of Man. By Mrs. 
Lynn linton. National Beview, July. 

Male and Female Created He Them. Miss Wedg- 
wood. Contemporary, July. 

Liberty of the Subject (Female). By N. Arling. 
Westminster Beview, August. 

Women's Suffrage a National Danger : a Plea for 
the Ascendancy of Man. By Heber L. Hart, LL.B. 
195 pp. 

A Few Words to Christl^ Wobien. By Lady 
Stewart 24 pp. small. 

Plain Words on the Woman Question. By Grant 
Allen. Fortnightly, October. 

Speech of the Bight Hon. James Stansfield, M.P., at 


On Some Econoboc Aspects of Women's Suffrage. 
By R. B. Haldane. Contemporary Beview. 

Should Women have the Vote? By Henry 
Dunckley, LLD. Reprinted from the British Weekly, 
Manchester. 12 pp. 

Digitized by 



In a Nutshell. 12mo, 20 pp. [Helen Blackburn.] 

Speech on Women's Suffrage delivered in the House 
of Representatives, New Zealand. By Sir J. Hall, 
KC.M.G. 14 pp. 

The Political Enfranchisement of Women. By 
Justin McCarthy, M.P. 10 pp. 


Women's Suffrage Wrong in Principle and 
Practice : an Essay. By James M*Grigor Allen. 8vo, 
351 pp. 

Memorial to the Eight Hon. W. H. Smith, M.P. 12 

Occasional Paper, June. 24 pp. 

The Emancipation of Women. By Frederick Harri- 
son. FortnigJUly, October. 

The Emancipation of Women. By Mrs. Fawcett. 
ForinigMly, April. 

Address of Thanks (to Sir A K. EoUit, M.P.). Large 
8vo, 27 pp. 

Women's Suffrage Candidates (General Election). 
Issued by Central Committee. 8 pp. 

List of Candidates in favour of the Suffrage. 
Issued by the Central National Society. 12 pp. 

List of M.P.'s in Favour of Women's Suffrage. 
Issued by Central National Society. 10 pp. 

CnriL Eights of Women. By Eva M'Laren. 20 pp. 

Friendly Words to Christian Women on Ebligion 
AND Politics. By Mrs. Chant. 4 pp. 


Digitized by 



A new edition of Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication 
OP THE Rights of Women, with an introduction by Mrs. 
Fawcett, was published by Mr. Fisher Unwin, marking 
the centenary^ of its first appearance. 


Occasional Paper, March. 15 pp. 

Occasional Paper, May, containing the debate in the 
House of Commons. 76 pp. 

The Women's Suffrage Question. By Mrs. Sheldon 
Amos. Contemporary Beview, June. 

The Insurrection of Women: a Criticism. By T. 
P. Bury. Fortnightly Review^ November. 

Law Students' Debating Society of Ireland. 
Women's Suffrage, an Address by the Auditor, C. O'Kane 
Donegan, B. A 25 pp. and Appendix. 

The Partisans of the Wild Women. By Mrs. 
Lynn Linton. Nineteenth Century, March. 

Women's Place in Modern Life. By Juliette 
Adam. Fortnightly Beview, April. 

Female Suffrage. A Letter from the Eight Hon. 
W. E. Gladstone, M.P., to Samuel Smith, M.P. 8 pp. 

Women's Suffrage. A Letter from James Stuart 
to the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P., suggested on 
reading Mr. Gladstone's letter to Mr. Samuel Smith, 
M.P. 15 pp. 

Female Suffrage. The Letter which ought to have 
been written by the Eight Hon. W. K Gladstone, M.P., 
CO Mr. Samuel Smith. [This was written by Mr. 
Morgan-Browne.] 8 pp. 

Digitized by 



The Futukk Battle: a Eeply by Lady Bowyer to 
Letter from Eight Hon. W. R Gladstone, M.P., on 
Female SuSrage. 


Why Women want the Fbanchise. By Mona 
Taylor. 2 pp. 

Eeasgns why Women want the Vote. By Mrs. 
Morgan-Browne. 1 p. 

Women and Politics. Abstract of an Article by the 
Eev. Canon Kingsley in Macmillan*8 Magazine of 1869. 
8 pp. 

A Eeply to the Letter of Mr. Samuel Smith, M.P., on 
Women's Suffkage. By Mrs. Fawcett. 11 pp. 

Home and Politics : an Address at Toynbee Hall. 
By Mrs. Fawcett. 8 pp. 

Occasional Papek, March. 12 pp. 

The Work of the Central Committee : a Sketch. 
8 pp. Committee list. (This was written for the 
Chicago World's Fair.) 


British Freewomen: Their Historic Privilege. By 
Charlotte Carmichael Stopea Messrs. Swan Sonnen- 
schein. (Social Science Seriea) 196 pp. 

The EifANCiPATiON of Women, its probable conse- 
quences. By Adel Crepaz. Translated from the 
(German, with a letter to the authoress, by the Eight 
Hon. W. H. Gladstone, M.P. Swan Sonnenschein. 
(Social Science Series.) 130 pp. 

Digitized by 



The Rights of Women : a Comparative Study in 
History and Legislation. By M. Ostn^rski Trans- 
lated from the French. Swan Sonnensehein. (Social 
Science Series) 232 pp. 

The Emancipation op Women. By J. Gibson. 
Aberystwith, 1804. 109 pp. 

Speech by the Right Hon. Sir George Grey, KC.R, 
at Westminster Town HalL 3 pp. 

Speech by Rev. J. M. Wilson, Archdeacon of Man- 
chester. Manchester. 10 pp. 

Occasional Paper, March. 12 pp. 

Woman's Nature and Privilege. Translated from 
the German of Hedwig Dohm, by Constance Campbell 
151 pp. 

The Case of the Helots. By L Elizabeth Mostyn. 
1894. 20 pp. Reprinted from the Humanitarian. 

The Truth about Febiale Suffrage in New 
Zealand, By Norwood Young. Westminster Beview, 


Why New Zealand Women get the Franchise 
By Edward Reevea Westminster Beview, January. 

The Citizenship of Women. Socially considered. 
By Louisa Shore. (New edition, published by her 
sister after the death of the writer.) 

List of Candidates Favourable to Women's Suf- 
frage. 1895. 

Occasional Paper, March. 12 pp. 

Occasional Paper, November. 7 pp. 

The Story of the Women's Suffrage Appeal (May> 
4 pp. 

Digitized by 




Final Ebport of the Special Appeal Committee. 
4 pp. 

Speeches at Annual Meeting, Westminster Town 
Hall, July. 15 pp. 

Speeches at National Conference of Delegates of 
Women's Sufirage Societies at Birmingham, October 16. 
14 pp. 

The Plea op Disfranchised Women. By Mrs. 
Swiney, Cheltenham. 4 pp. 

Political Organizations and Women's Suffrage. 
4 pp. 

Parliamentary Echoes. Extracts from Speeches on 
Women's Suffrage in the House of Commons, 32 pp. 

Opinions of Leaders of Eeugious Thought on 
Women's Suffrage. 28 pp. 


Why Working Women Need the Vote. In two 
parts. Published by the Women's Co-operative Guild. 

Jubilee Calendar, edited by Helen Blackburn (being 
an enlarged edition of the Women's Suffrage Calendar). 

Occasional Paper, March. 20 pp. 

Some Supporters of the Women's Suffrage Move- 
ment. 48 pp. 

Words of a Leader, being Extracts from the Writ- 
ings of Miss Lydia Becker. 12mo, 41 pp. 

Women's Suffrage: an Address delivered at the 
Junior Constitutional Club, by Mrs. Fawcett, Nov. 5. 

11 pp. 

Digitized by 



Women's Suffragb in the " Queen's Year." By Mrs. 
Carmichael Stopes. 18 pp. 


Women's Suffrage in the Light of the Second Beading 
of 1897. By Helen Blackburn. 19 pp. 


Women's Suffrage in Parliament. By Mrs. Faw- 
cett and W. EadcliflFe Cooke, M.P. Eeprinted from the 

The Working of Women's Suffrage in New 
Zealand and South Australu. Speeches by Hon. 
W. P. Keeves and Hon. J. A. Cockburn, Agents General 
16 pp. 

Speech at the Women's Debating Society, Owens 
College, Manchester, by Mra Fawcett Manchester. 

Speeches at the Great Meeting held in Queen's Hall, 
London, on 26th June 1899. 


Facts and Opinions on Women's Suffrage. (Gen- 
eral Election, October 1900.) 

Some Reasons why Working Women want the Vote. 
(Leaflet) By Edith Palliser. 


War Taxation and Women. (Leaflet.) By Mrs. 
Taylor (of Chipchase). 

Digitized by 



Abbesses, the four great, 5. 
AUxtmdra Magazine^ 61. 
Amberley, Viflcountess, lecture, 
104, 209; President, Bristol 
Society, 118 ; death, 118. 
Amos, Prof. SheldoD, 118. 
Anstey, Chisholm, researches into 
\egii position, 68. See Letters. 
Appeal to the Oonrts 82 ; Times' 
article on, 88. 
„ to the CJourt of Common 

Pleas, 83. 
,, Supreme Court, Scotland, 

„ of One-Half the Human 
Race," W. Thompson, 
„ Women's Special, 197, 
200 ; shown in West- 
minster Hall, 202. 
Arnold, Mrs. Arthur, paper by, 

Ashworth, Miss Lilias {see 
Hallett), recollections of early 
meetings, 109. 
Asteil, Mary, 7. 
Australia, 230 and 287 to 244. 

Balfour, Right Hon. A. J., 
speech at bury, 198 ; in House 
01 Commons, 195 ; to Primrose 
League, 219. 

Balfour, Lady Prances, 208, 214. 

Beach, Right Hon. W. B., 221. 

Becker, Miss, early life, 25 ; 
visit to Germany, 26 ; botanical 
work, love of flowers, 129, 130 ; 

School Board, 108, 225. See 
Letters, Meetings, Parliamen- 

Beddoe, Mrs., 67. 

Beedy, Miss, 126, 127. 

Begg, F. Faithftill, M.P., 209, 
210, 221. 

Bemers Club, 121. 

Biggs, Caroline Ashurst, as a 
young worker, 64 ; tours of 
meetings, 125 ; death, 279. 

Bodichon, Mrs., 48, 58. 

Borthwick, Sir Algernon, 194, 198. 

Boucherett, Miss, founded Society 
for Employment of Women, 50, 
224 ; helped first petition, 53. 
See Letters. 

Bright, Jacob, M.P., 59; debate 
on Bill, 105 ; letter re Central 
Committee, 119 ; on Household 
Suffrage Bill, 181. 

Bright, Mrs. Jacob, 89, 225. 

Bright, Right Hon. John, opposes 
Bill, 141. 

British Freewomen (Mrs. StopesX 

Burbury, Mrs. Wm., 121. 

Caimes, Prof., 105. 

Canada, British Association in, 

address to Sir J. A. Macdonald, 

166, 228. 
Candidates, letter to (1868), 86. 
Carpenter, Miss Mary, 224. 
Cecil, Lord Robert, 46. 
Central Committee formed, 119. 

See Chart, p. 57. 


Digitized by 




GUims to be registered, 73. 
Clark, Mrs. Helen Bright, at 

Leeds, 160. 
Clifford, Anne, 6. 
Oobbe, Frances Power, 63, 187. 
Cobden, Mr. Richard, on women's 

fraoohise, 17. 
Cobilen, Miss Jane, at Leeds, 160. 
Coleridge, Sir J. D., in Court of 

Common Pleas, 84. 
Conservative Associations, Na- 
tional Union of, Birmingham, 

Co-operative Guild, Women's, 

Oorlett, Barbara, 128, 224. 
Corn Law agitation, women's part 

in, 15. 
Court of Common Pleas, 83. 

„ Revision, Manchester, 77 ; 

Ormskirk, 79 ; Scotland, 85. 
Courtney, Leonard, and Old 

London Committee, 121 ; takes 

Bill, 145. 
Crosskey, Dr., at Leeds, 159. 
Craigen, Jessie, 126. 
Curiosity at women speaking, 110. 

Davies, Miss Emily, 52, 53, 223. 

Debates and Divisions. See 
Charts, pp. 110 and 168. 

Demonstrations of women, 152. 

Denman, Lord, Bill in Lords, 174. 

Devonshire, speech of Duke of, 

Disraeli, Mr., sneech on W.S., 
53 ; letter to Mr. Gore Lang- 
ton, 125 ; peerage, 145. 

Downing, Helena, death of, 166. 

Edwards, Col. Heathcote, M.P., 

Hon. Sec., Parliamentary 

Committee, 173. 
Eighteenth century, group of 

women, 10. 
Englishwoman* s JowmcU, 46, 48. 

,, MevieWf 61. 

Fathers of the House of Commons, 


Fawcett, Prof., 55, 62, 105. 
Fawcett, Mrs., 63; first speech, 91 ; 

speeches in Brighton, Dublin, 

105 ; tour in the West, 108, 

194, 208, 225. - 
Feast, Mrs., 122. 
Fielding, Viscount, speech at 

N.U.C.A., 193. 
Forsyth, W., Q.C., takes BiD, 

134 ; introduces proviso, 135. 
Fox, W. J., M.P., on women's 

franchise, 17. 
Freedholders, freemen, 11. 

Gladstone, Right Hon. W. E., 
memorial to, 117 ; in debate, 
106, 162, 191 ; letter to Mr. 
S. Smith. 196. 

Gore Lan^n, Lady Anna, 113 ; 
deputation to Sir Stafford 
Northcote, 142 ; meeting at 
Langton House, 143. 

Gore Langton, Mr. W., and 
memorial to Mr. Disraeli, 124. 

Grey, Mrs. Wm., speech at 
Lan^n House, 144. 

Grote, Mrs. Geor<?e, speech of, 105. 

Gumey, Right Hon. Russell, 89, 

Hallett, Mrs. Ashworth, 142, 
194 212. 

Hare, Miss (Mrs. Westlake), 62. 

Haslam, Mrs., 129, 216. 

Haslam, Mr., 216. 

Henley, Right Hon. J. W., M.P., 
speech by, 124. 

Hill, Mr. Commissioner Daven- 
port, 66. 

Hill, Misses Davenport, 67. 

Inheritance, early laws of, 3. 
Integrity of Franchise, Committee 

for Maintaining, 140. 
Irby, Miss A. P., 163. 
Ireland, tour in, 128; Local 

Government in, 216. 

Jameson, Mrs. , lectures, 44 ; 
letter to Lord John Russell, 46. 
Jex Blake, Dr. Sophia, 163. 

Digitized by 




Johnson, Miss Mary, 72, 122. 
JounuUf Wbmenrs Sfuffrage^ 

started, 101 ; closed, 

„ £ngli8hwoman*$, 46, 48. 
** Justitia," 20 ($ee Pochin). 

Kane, Sir Robert, 105. 
Kensington Society, The, 57. 
Keys, House of, 155. 
Knight, Anne, 19. 
Rnightley, Lady, of Fawsley, 196. 

Law Times, article in, 58. 
Leaflet, the earliest, 19. 
Lectures, Miss Becker's first tour, 

90 ; in Isle of Man, 155. 
Leigh Smith. See Bodichon. 
Lewin, Miss Sarah, 51, 187. 
Letters, Miss Bbckxr to Mr. 

Anstey, 17 ; to Mrs. 

Bodichon ; Miss Bou- 

cherett, 75, 79, 91 ; 

Hon. H.A. Bruce, 94 ; 

Mr. Eastwick, 185 ; 

Mr. Foreyth, 187 ; 

Mrs. Hallett, 148 ; 

Mrs. M*Laren, 147; 

Prof. Newman, 76 ; 

Mr. Hugh Mason, 

150 ; Mrs Pennington, 

80 ; Lord Salisbury, 

92; Mr. Stansfeld, 

149; Miss Taunton, 81. 
,, Mr. DiBRASLi to Mr. 

Qore Langton, 124 ; 

Mr. Oladstonb to Mr. 

Woodall, 162 ; Mr. 

T^OODALL to Mr. 

Gladstone, 162; Mr. 

Wtndham to Central 

Committee, 206. 
Local Qovemment Acts, 204, 216. 
Maxwell, Lily, voted for Mr. 
Bright, 69. 

M'Uren, Mrs., 64, 152. 
M'Laren, Miss Agnes, 86 ; 

lecture tours, 108, 127. 
M<Lar«n, W. 8. B., M.P., at 

Leeds, 160; Hon. Sec, Parlia- 
mentary Committee, 178 ; 
amendment to Local Qovem- 
ment Act, 205. 
Macdona, 0., M.P., Women's 

Suffrage Bill, 203. 
Man, Isle of, movement in, 155 ; 
proclamation on Tynwald EUll, 
158 ; elections, 158. 
Manners, Lord John, 164. 
Manning, Mrs., 51 ; Miss, 52. 
Memori^ of women to Mr. 
Disraeli, 124 ; Mr. 
Gladstone, 123. 
„ of M.P.'8 to Mr. Gkd- 
stone, 160, 162; of 
ladies to M.P.'s, 168. 
,. to Marquis of Salisbury, 
93 ; to Right Hon. 
W. H. Smith, 189; 
Right Hon. A. J. 
Balfour, 216. 
Meetings, public, first held in 
support of W.S., 71 ; First 
Annual (Manchester), 82 ; first, 
in Birmingham, 72 ; Bristol, 
118 ; London, 90 ; Queen's Hall 
(1899), 215. 
Mill, James, Essay on Govern- 
ment, 12. 
Mill, Mrs., article in Weetmineter 

Review, 20. 
Mill, John Stuart, M.P., election, 
52 ; presentf'd petition, 58 ; 
movea for electoral returns, 57 ; 
moved amendment, 61 ; loss of 
seat, death, 182. 
Moore, Mrs. R. R., 187. 
Municipal Corporations Act ( 1 885), 

Ditto, amendment (1869), 91. 
Mylne, Mrs. John, recollections, 

Nassau Senior,*^ Mrs., 224. 
New Zealand, 208, 229, 284. 
Newmsn, Prof. F. W., 65, 104. 
Nichol, Mrs. Pease, 15. 
Nightingale, Florence, 117, 228. 


Digitized by 




Northcote, Sir Stafford, depute- 
tion to, 142; speech in 
House of OommoDS. 

Opposition whips, 118, 189. 
Overaeers, letter ^om Sal ford, 77. 

Palliser, Miss E.lith, 207, 215. 

Pankhurst, Dr., Court of Common 
Pleas, 84. 

Parkcs, Bessie Rayner (Madame 
Belloc), 47, 49. 

Parliamentary Committee, 78. 

„ Conditions, changes 

in, 194. 

Petitions, text and signers of first, 
64 ; presented, 56 ; women house- 
holders, 60; married women's 
property, 47 ; numbers of, 
139; value of, 103; factory 
workers, 215. 

Pochio, Mrs., pamphlet, 20 ; first 
meetin^r, 72. 

Policy, statement of, 71. 

Political organizations, resolutions 
of, 190 (note). 

Practical suffragists, 215. 

Priostman, Mis^i, raises £1000, 
146 ; Bristol Women's Liberal 
Association, 171. 

Primrose League, 172 ; work of 
ladies on, 218. 

Proctor, Adelaide Anne, 51. 

Protest in Nineteenth Century, 

Punch, 141, 192. 

Queens, Sovran rights of, 8, and 
see Appendix, 245. 

Reform Act, 1882, 12. 

,, Conference, London, Bir- 
mingham, Leeds, 159. 
Reid, Mrs. Hugo, A Plea for 

Women, 14. 
Revising Barristers, Manchester, 

78, 80 ; Ormskirk, 76 ; Sal- 

ford, 78. See Appendix, 258. 
Robertson, Miss A., 86, 105. 
Romilly's, Lord, Act, 78, 76. 
Roper, Miss, 224. 

Salisbury, Mnrauis of, on Lord 
Denman*s Bill, 174 ; at United 
Club, 193. Su Cecil, Lord 

Saturday Review, article in, 67. 

Scatcherd, Mrs.. 155. 

School Boani, first election, 108. 

Slave Trade Convention, 15. 

Smith, Mrs. J. W., 59, 64. 

Social Science Association, 46, 58. 

Southport municipal voters,98. 

Speakers, list of, 126 ; at the 
demonstrations, 154. 

Steinthal, Rev. S. A., 59. 

Stevenson, Flora, 225. 

Stevenson, Louisa, 225. 

Stopes Mrs., BriHeh Freeuxmun^ 

Sturge, Emily, 171, 225. 

Supporters (in 1870), 95. 

Taylor, Mrs P. A., 59, 64. 
Taylor, Miss Helen, 52. 
Taylonr, Miss Jane, 108, 127. 
Thomasson, Mr. Thomas, 89. 
Times, article in, 83 ; letter to, 

Tod, Isabella M. S., 127. 180, 

141 ; death, 209. 
Trades Union Congreos, resoln- 

tion at, 165. 

Yilliers, Right Hon. 0. P., 18, 

Wigham, Miss Elisa, 56. 

Wilkinson, Miss J. G., 166. 

Wolmer, Viscount, takes leader- 
ship, 201 ; amendment to 
Registration Bill, 202. 

Wolstentholm, Miss, 52 ( Mra. 
Elmy), 225. 

Women's Liberal Associations, 
171. 172, 196. 
,, „ Unionist Asso- 

ciation, 172. 

Work, new scheme of, 215. 

Wyndham, Mr. George, M.P., 
leader of Bill, 206; letter to 
Central Committee, 206. 

Digitized by 


(National Union ov Womxn's Suffbaos Sooistiib.) 

To obtain ihe Parliamentary Franchise for Women on the 
same terms as it is or may be granted to men. 

Office :—2S Millbank Sfbeet, Westminbtsb, S.W. 


MiM Obat ALLIM. 
The Lady Franois BALioum. 
Mn. William Biyah. 
Mi« HILXH Blaoeburm. 

lilu Sharmah Crawford. 

MiM Bmut Dayirs. 

MxB. Hbrrt Fawoitt, LL.D. 



Mn. P. Hbboh-Maxwbll. 

MlM Holland. 


Mn. Bya M'Larbh. 


Mn. Broadlbt Rbid. 
Mn. Oborob Bbnwiok. 


Mn. STBRLora. 


PntidetU-ThB Lady Frahobs Baltour. 

Chairman cfCimmUtǤ-~Mn. Hrhrt Fawobtt, LL.D. 

Viet^hairman—MTB, Russbll Cookb. 

Hon. Treaturer—Mn. Stbruho. 

AoTftory— MlM Bdith Pallibbr. 

AstUtant Seeretary—liiaM Dbua B. Wilkih. 

Bonfoff— LOBDOH AND CouNTT BAKE (WeftmiiMiter BnnohX 

A%tdUor~-U\aM M. Harru Smith, PdMIo Aooonataot 

The/oUowing Women's Smfrage Societies wre included in the 
National Union: — 

Birkenliead Rnd WimlL Binnlnghan). Bournemontb. 

Bristol and West of England (Q^— 69 Park Street, Bristol). 
Central Society (Q^— 28 Millbank Street, Westnunster). 
Cambridge. Cheltenbam. 

Edinburgh National Society for Women's Soffirage. 
Leeds. Leicester. LiYerpooL 

Mansfield. Newcastle-on-Tyne and district 

North of England Society (Q^Eee—Queen's Chambers, 5 John Dalton 

Street, Manchester). 
Nottinghamshire. Soathport and district. York. 

The Irish Women's Suffrage and Local Goyemment Association 
(125 Leinster Road, Dublin) unites Local QoYemment work with 
Snffnge work, and acts in co-operation with the Union. 

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