Panel 6: Leading Suffrage Supporters in Surrey: Peaceful vs Militant

Click on the image to see a larger copy of the original exhibition panel.

Suffrage societies relied upon private donations and membership subscriptions and benefitted from publicity from the support of notable figures in society. In Surrey, the suffrage movement had a number of high profile supporters, including politicians and nobility representing both the peaceful National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) and militant Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) protest.

Thomas Cecil, 2nd Baron Farrer, MP and his wife Lady Evangeline (Eva) of Abinger were active suffragists. Lord Farrer regularly corresponded with supporters of the NUWSS, including Millicent Fawcett. In July 1910 Mrs Humphrey Ward, author and staunch anti-suffragist, wrote to The Times claiming that women did not want the vote, Lord Farrer replied on behalf of the women of Surrey that they very much did. On 2 May 1914, Catherine Marshall, honorary secretary to the NUWSS, wrote to Lady Farrer asking her to lend her influence to the cause by writing to peers to ensure they attended the reading of a Women’s Suffrage Bill at the House of Lords.

Frederick Pethick Lawrence, a barrister and later an MP and his wife Emmeline were pioneers of the suffragette movement providing much of the funding for the WSPU. They even paid bail for some of the suffragettes who were arrested including Ethel Smyth. The couple lived at The Mascot, South Holmwood (now The Dutch House), where they invited suffragettes to recuperate from imprisonment and forcible feeding. Frederick and Emmeline edited the Votes for Women newspaper, established in October 1907, and weekly suffrage meetings were held in Holmwood from 1906 to 1912. Emmeline was treasurer to the WSPU and is credited with devising the Union’s purple, white and green colour scheme. In 1912 Frederick and Emmeline were arrested, as leaders of the WSPU, for inciting a window-smashing campaign. The Mascot and its contents were seized by bailiffs in November 1912 to pay the Pethick Lawrences’ court costs following their prosecution but fellow WSPU members bought their furniture and returned it to them. Whilst imprisoned both Frederick and Emmeline went on hunger strike and were forcibly fed.

Panel 1 – The March of the Women: Surrey’s Road to the Vote

Panel 2 – The Growth of the Suffrage Movement in Surrey

Panel 3 – Suffragists in Surrey: The Peaceful Protest

Panel 4 – Suffragists in Surrey: The Long Road to the Vote

Panel 5 – Suffragists in Surrey: The Great Pilgrimage

Panel 7 – Suffragettes in Surrey: Early Activism

Panel 8 – Suffragettes in Surrey: Militancy Continues

Panel 9 – Suffragettes in Surrey: the Ultimate Sacrifice

Panel 10 – The Anti-Suffrage Campaign in Surrey

Panel 11 – Anti-Suffragists in Surrey: Active Women in the Community

Panel 12 – The March is Over: Women get the Vote!

Click here to read more about The March of the Women project

Click here to read The March of the Women blog

Explore more about Surrey’s road to votes for women and the county’s role in the national women’s suffrage campaign

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