Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

PUBLISHED: 14:03 29 March 2017 | UPDATED: 14:15 04 April 2017

Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence (Picture: Weston Museum collection).

Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence (Picture: Weston Museum collection).


The Weston Mercury and Weston Town Council are giving you the chance to nominate which blue plaques will be installed in Weston-super-Mare first. Read these biographies and then cast your votes for your favourites.

Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence :: Suffragette and campaigner

October 21, 1867 to March 11, 1954

Emmeline Pethick’s father, who owned the Weston Gazette, was a ‘natural born rebel’ and she embraced the same attitude.

Emmeline and her family moved to Weston-super-Mare when she was very young.

But she always wanted more for her life than settling down and marrying and so moved to London to help working-class women.

In 1906 she was introduced to suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, and she became the treasurer of the Women’s Social and Political Union.

Although the union had well-stated aims, its leaders were not the best organisers and fundraisers. Emmeline Pethick Lawrence changed that.

She brought in hundreds of pounds in donations, and started the tradition of luncheons for women released from prison – a great publicity tool. She also organised the march on Hyde Park, drawing in thousands of people.

She and her husband Fred formed the union’s newspaper, Votes For Women, and she created the suffragette colours – which were used on souvenirs to bring in even more money.

A falling out with the Pankhursts left Emmeline and Fred ostracised from the movement, but she continued to campaign for votes for women.

She also founded the Women’s International League for Peace.

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