The question I was often asked as a child/schoolboy in the 1950s and 1960s. We didn’t know about the Suffragettes. It wasn’t an issue in the post war period, and conflict went on in Korea, Kenya and Vietnam. So the answer I usually gave was
In 1970 I met Ann, and she became the new Mrs Pankhurst in 1973. She has aged much better than me! Then in 1974 the BBC broadcast a series of TV dramas about the Suffragettes and the WSPU, called Shoulder to Shoulder. My first real understanding of the history.
Another Grandson of the original Francis James was Richard Marsden Pankhurst. Cousin of my Great Great Grandfather.
Radical Lawyer, campaigned for women’s rights long before he married Emmeline.
Just a sample of what the Militantsuffragettes did.
Can we clarify and prioritise the problems, and then can we get the message across to Government, to Education, to young women and to young men!
Born in Kent and baptised at St
Margaret's, Canterbury on 30.10.1785
Moved to Cheshire via Clerkenwell
Grandson Francis James Pankhurst
Born 20 April 1845 Stoke on Trent
Fishmonger and Fruiterer
My Great Great Grandfather
Francis James Pankhurst
He was 45, she was 21
Born Stoke on Trent – 1834
Family moved to Manchester
Attended Manchester Grammar School
University of London
Called to the Bar 1867
The First Pankhurst Campaigner for Women’s rights
Richard Marsden Pankhurst
Could not own property – it passed to their husband
Could not make a will
Could not keep her earnings
Could not defend herself in divorce
Could not claim support from her husband
Had no legal control over their children
1866 Wrote the first petition to Parliament seeking
Supported by Lydia Becker
Presented by J S Mill
Municipal Franchise Act 1869
Drafted an amendment to give vote in municipal
elections to unmarried women householders
Drafted the Married Women’s Property Acts 1870
Richard Pankhurst’s Contribution
Born 14.7.1858 – Bastille Day
Radical parents – abolitionists
Mother from Isle of Man
Attended finishing school in France
Five Children – dysfunctional family?
Frank 1884 Died 1888
Harry 1889 Died 1910
Total £272,925 = £22M to £90M in 2013
1913 Major Arson Campaign
She was a Tory
Stood as Conservative in 1928 Election - lost
Didn’t campaign for other than the Vote
What Would Mrs Pankhurst Do?
More hunger & thirst strikes than anyone
Community Worker in War
Nursery, Food distribution, Worked for Churchill in WW2
Socialist, if not Communist
What Did Sylvia Do?
I had two careers
Citizen’s Advice Bureau
Worked with lots of successful women
But lots of women failed to reach their potential
Childcare and career break issues
My Own Experience
The key in both was “You can’t solve the problem if
you don’t understand it”
Do we understand the problem?
Does Westminster understand the Problem?
How do we get it into their thick heads?
Deeds Not Words