Mayor marks centenary of women’s suffrage

06 February 2018
  • 59 women and men who fought for women’s suffrage are to feature on the plinth of the historic statue

  • Announcement marks 100 years since the first women secured the right to vote in the UK

  • A specially-commissioned exhibition featuring life-sized images of women and men on the plinth of the statue is taking place in Trafalgar Square today

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today revealed that artist Gillian Wearing’s Millicent Fawcett statue is set to feature names and portraits of women and men who were central to the suffrage movement.

Later this spring, the statue of suffragist leader Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square will be unveiled, the first-ever monument to a woman to stand within the central London location.

On the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act (6 February), a landmark victory which gave the first women the right to vote, Sadiq Khan revealed the names of the 59 women and men who will feature on the plinth of the statue. They were all people who dedicated themselves to women’s suffrage and, through their campaigning, helped secure the vote.

To celebrate and highlight the contribution made by the women and men featured on the statue, a specially-commissioned exhibition is taking place in Trafalgar Square today to mark the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act. The exhibition titled ‘Make a Stand’ features life-sized images of men and women included on the plinth of the statue, with images sourced from the Museum of London, LSE, the National Portrait Gallery, the Women’s Library and from other archives and private collections.

The list was compiled by a group of historians, specialists in Women’s History and Suffragette history, the artist Gillian Wearing OBE and a curator from the 14-18 NOW programme with the Mayor’s Office. The names are representative of the geographic, economic and cultural spread of people who made women's suffrage a possibility after many years of campaigning.

Alongside the photographic figures there will be handmade cloth banners featuring iconic slogans of the campaign for the vote, such as ‘deeds not words’. The figures are set against the backdrop of Trafalgar Square, which 100 years ago was an important location for many of the rallies and marches that took place in the struggle to secure the right to vote.

The plinth of the historic statue will include well-known figures like the Pankhursts and Emily Wilding Davison as well as many unsung heroes including:

  • Lydia Becker, who was President of the NUWSS prior to Millicent Fawcett and campaigned for the voting rights of unmarried women and widows.
  • Ada Nield Chew, a working-class factory worker who promoted women’s trade unions and was one of the first Clarion Van speakers.
  • Henrietta Franklin, who was an education reformer and leader of the Jewish League for Woman Suffrage.
  • Edith How-Martyn, who campaigned for birth control and was a key figure in Suffragette Fellowship.
  • Lolita Roy, who was President of the London Indian Union from 1908.
  • Louisa Garett Anderson, a medical pioneer who founded the Women’s Hospital Corps.
  • Rosa May Billinghurst, a suffragette who was part of Christabel Pankhurst’s campaign in the 1918 election. She survived polio and campaigned for the Women’s Social and Political Union in a modified tricycle or on crutches.
  • Annie Kenney, a working-class mill worker who became a leading figure in the Women's Social and Political Union, campaigning in Bristol.
  • Sophia Duleep Singh, a member of the Women's Social and Political Union who campaigned for votes for women. She led a 400-strong demonstration to parliament together with Mrs Pankhurst, and she was the daughter of Maharaja Duleep Singh, the last Maharaja of the Sikh Empire.
  • Jessie Craigen, a working-class speaker. Despite researcher’s best efforts an image of her could not be found, so she is represented as a name without a picture on the statue plinth. Perhaps during this process of highlighting her story, a photo of her will come to light.

The plinth will also feature some of the men who campaigned for women’s suffrage, including Laurence Housman, the founding member of the Men’s League for Women’s Suffrage, and George Lansbury, one of the most well-known male supporters of women’s suffrage in Britain – he helped form the East London Federation of Suffragettes which his daughter-in-law Minnie Lansbury also joined.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “6 February marks an important moment in the history of our city - 100 years since the 1918 Representation of the People Act was passed which gave the first women the right to vote. As part of our #BehindEveryGreatCity campaign I’m really proud to unveil the women and men whose names and portraits will be etched on the plinth of the Millicent Fawcett statue – which will be the first statue of a woman in Parliament Square.

“The plinth will include well-known figures of the suffrage movement as well as those that are less well known. This is an important step in ensuring we highlight the contribution to gender equality made by these 59 women and men.”

Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, Justine Simons, OBE, said: “One hundred years ago today, women who campaigned for the right to vote secured a landmark victory against a system that denied them their fundamental democratic rights. To mark this historic achievement, I am delighted we can announce the names of the 59 women and men who will feature on Gillian Wearing’s statue of Millicent Fawcett. These people fought tirelessly for women’s right to vote and while some of the names are well known, others have been too often overlooked. Through Gillian’s work we will shine a light on their role and inspire Londoners in our continued fight for gender equality.

“The campaign for gender equality has achieved so much over the past 100 years but it is clear there is still a long way to go. We want to honour this moment by bringing these key figures out of the archives in to Trafalgar Square, on the same spot where major speeches took place 100 years ago. This year, together with organisations and industries across London, we will spread the message that Behind Every Great City are women and girls from all walks of life, contributing hugely to the success of our capital.”

Artist Gillian Wearing OBE said: “I am delighted to reveal the names of the women and men who will feature on the plinth of Millicent Fawcett's statue. These were all incredible people and by honouring them in Parliament Square, I believe they will continue to inspire generations to come.”

Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society, said: “It is absolutely right that the Millicent Fawcett statue will honour the whole suffrage movement, so we are delighted to see that women and men, the suffragists and suffragettes who stood together and campaigned for votes for women will again be standing together as part of this memorial.

“As we mark 100 years of women’s votes we must resolve to change women’s lives today and tomorrow by ending the sexism, violence and discrimination they experience.”

Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, said: “14-18 NOW is delighted to commission this new work by Gillian Wearing, the first-ever statue of a woman in Parliament Square. The statue is a powerful way to remember the work of Millicent Fawcett and acknowledge the contributions of the many other people involved in the struggle for universal suffrage. 14-18 NOW’s 2018 season is an ambitious and interactive programme, which we hope will reach new audiences in new ways with events across the UK featuring artists who are reinventing the war memorial as living art that captures our imagination and rests in our memories.”

The statue is being created by Turner Prize-winning artist Gillian Wearing OBE after being commissioned by the Mayor with 14-18 NOW, Firstsite and Inivia. This follows Caroline Criado-Perez’s successful campaign for a statue of a woman in Parliament Square. The statue is being funded through the Government’s national centenary fund.

It is being unveiled as part of the Mayor’s major #BehindEveryGreatCity campaign across 2018 to celebrate the role London played in the movement and to drive gender equality across the capital. The campaign champions the fact that it is the achievements and contributions of women, from all walks of life, which make cities like London great. The campaign slogan #BehindEveryGreatCity is a deliberate play on the feminist slogan used globally in the 60s and 70s, ‘Behind every great man stands a great woman’ and highlights that women instead power great cities.

Throughout 2018, the campaign will highlight London’s story in the history of the women’s suffrage and equality movement, celebrating significant milestones and achievements while identifying and tackling barriers to women fulfilling their potential today. A range of events and celebrations will take place throughout the year, such as at The Museum of London, the home of the world’s largest Suffragette collection.

The Mayor will use the centenary of the Representation of the People Act this year to work with London’s many leading industries – from culture, education and business, to politics and public life – to support the continuing success of women and to push for greater gender equality for women from all backgrounds across the city.

Key facts and dates

1918 - Representation of the People Act

1918 - The Representation of the People Act is passed on 6 February giving women the vote provided they are aged over 30 and either they, or their husband, meet a property qualification

1918 - The Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act is passed on 21 November allowing women to stand for Parliament

1918 - Women vote in a general election for the first time on 14 December with 8.5 million women eligible

1928 - The Equal Franchise Act is passed giving women equal voting rights with men. All women aged over 21 can now vote in elections. Fifteen million women are eligible.

1929 - On 30 May women aged between 21 and 29 vote for the first time. This general election is sometimes referred to as the Flapper Election

FULL LIST OF NAMES

 

                             

 

NAME

DATES

AFFILIATION

REGION

COMMENTS

1

Louisa Garrett Anderson

1873-1943

WSPU/1912imprisoned in Holloway Prison for suffragette activities

London

Medical pioneer, founded Women’s Hospital Corps, Chief Surgeon of Endell Street Military Hospital. Daughter of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson the first woman to qualify as a physician and surgeon and the niece of Millicent Fawcett.

2

Dame Margery Irene Corbett Ashby

1882-1981

NUWSS

London

Liberal politician, and internationalist. Secretary of NUWSS and later President of the International Women’s Suffrage Alliance.  Supporter of the WLM in 70s.

 

3

Margaret Ashton

1856-1937

NUWSS/WLF

Manchester

Manchester-based, WLF, Women’s Trade Union League, member of NUWSS, and chairperson of the North of England Society for Women’s Suffrage.  Manchester’s first woman councillor. Active in women’s peace campaigns during First World War.

4

Minnie Baldock

1864-1954

WSPU

London

ILP member and one of the WSPU’s first London members, involved in setting up Canning Town branch, worked as WSPU organiser.  Stopped active militant work when her health broke down c.1911 but retained membership of Church League for Women’s Suffrage.  Later active in Suffragette Fellowship.

 

5

Lady Frances Balfour

1858-1931

NUWSS

London

Liberal Women’s Suffrage Society and was on the executive committee of the NUWSS.

 

6

Lydia Becker

1827-1890

NUWSS

 

Manchester

President of NUWSS prior to Millicent Fawcett, argued for the voting rights of unmarried women and widows.

7

Rosa May Billinghurst

1875-1953

WSPU / WLF

London Lewisham

Worked for the Women’s Party and for Christabel Pankhurst’s campaign in the 1918 election then later joined Women’s Freedom League and Suffragette Fellowship, disabled and featured in iconic photographs when badly treated on WSPU demonstrations.

8

Helen Blackburn

1842-1903

NUWSS

Ireland/South West

Early campaigner for women’s rights particularly the rights of workers.

9

Nessie Stewart-Brown

1864-1958

NUWSS

North West

Co-founder of Liverpool Women’s Suffrage Society, and led Women’s Liberal Federation branches in Liverpool, and served on WLF executive; co-founder of Liverpool Women’s Citizens Association; anti-vivisectionist; city councillor; Liberal Party candidate 1922; early woman JP.

10

Ada Nield Chew

1870-1945

NUWSS

North West

Working-class, factory worker, promoter of women’s trade unions; ILP, one of first Clarion van speakers.

11

Frances Power Cobbe

1822-1904

London National Society for Womens’ Suffrage 1867

Ireland/ Wales

Irish social reformer, anti-vivisectionist, and suffragist Main activism was in earlier period around Mill’s petition and also campaign for Married Women’s Property Acts.

12

Jessie Craigen

1835-1899

Suffrage speaker around the country

North West

Working-class suffrage speaker.

 

13

Emily Wilding Davison

1872-1913

WSPU

London

WSPU itinerant worker / organizer, also worked at WSPU’s London offices. Died after being hit by George V’s horse at the Epsom Derby. On her death Millicent Fawcett Wrote the words, ‘Courage calls to courage everywhere, and its voice cannot be denied.

14

Charlotte Despard

1844-1939

WSPU/WFL

South East/Ireland

Irish social reformer, NUWSS and then WSPU from 1906 and then WFL, and later pacifist

15

Flora Drummond

1878-1949

WSPU

North West/Scotland

WSPU ‘General’, joined the Pankhursts’ Women’s Party in 1917.

16

Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy

1833-1918

Women’s Franchise League (only figure head in WSPU)

Manchester

Secretary of Married Women’s Property Committee, Secularist and sexual radical, lived in ‘free love’ union with Ben Elmy (reluctantly married when her pregnancy scandalized other feminists) Ladies’ National Association (which campaigned against the Contagious Diseases’ Acts) Honorary Secretary of Manchester Society for Women’s Suffrage, and founding member of Women’s Franchise League, and Women’s Emancipation Union, early member of WSPU and marched in many of its large demonstrations.

17

Isabella Ford

1855-1924

NUWSS

Leeds

Trade unionist and member of the ILP, helped found Leeds Women’s Suffrage Society; executive of the NUWSS, and pacifist.

18

Henrietta Franklin

1866-1964

Jewish League for Women’s Suffrage

London

Education reformer and leader of Jewish League for Woman Suffrage.

19

Mary Gawthorpe

1881-1973

WSPU

Leeds

Women’s Labour League then WSPU, co-founder of radical newspaper The Freewoman, later became union organizer & suffrage worked in USA after WW1.

20

Teresa Billington-Greig

1877-1964

WSPU / WFL

Lancashire

School teacher, one of first paid members of WSPU later co-founder of WFL.

21

Margaret Haig, Viscountess Rhondda

1883-1958

WSPU

Wales

WSPU, secretary of Newport branch, founder of Time and Tide and the Six Point Group, inherited father’s title and fought for rights of women to sit in House of Lords.

22

Anna Haslam

1829-1822

Irishwomen’s Suffrage and Local Government Association

Ireland

Co-founder of the Irishwomen’s Suffrage and Local Government Association. 

23

Rev Claude Hinscliff

1875-1964

Church League for Women’s Suffrage

London

Member of Men’s League for Women’s Suffrage, founded the Church League for Women’s Suffrage with his wife Gertrude. He officiated at Emily Wilding Davison’s funeral.

24

Laurence Housman

1865-1959

Men's League for Women's Suffrage

London

Radical playwright, socialist, pacifist and founding member of the Men's League for Women's Suffrage.

25

Elsie Inglis

1864-1917

NUWSS

Scotland

Scottish doctor and suffragist.  Women’s Liberal Federation and Federation of Scottish Suffrage Societies, founder Scottish Women’s Hospitals.

26

Annie Kenney

1879-1953

WSPU

North West /South West

Working-class, mill worker, WSPU, most of her WSPU career in Bristol

27/28

Minnie Lansbury

And George Lansbury

1889-1922

WSPU/ELFS

 

George was the most well-known male supporter of women’s suffrage in Britain and helped form the East London Federation of Suffragettes which Minnie joined.

29/30

Frederick and Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

Frederick (1871-1961) Emmeline

(1867-1954)

WSPU / US

London

Editors of Votes for Women;

Provided the premises for WSPU offices in London in 1906. Ejected from WSPU in 1912, then joining United Suffragists.

31

Mary Lowndes

1856-1929

NUWSS

London

Artist founder of Artist Suffrage League in 1909.

32

Edith How-Martyn

1875-1954

WSPU / WFL

South West

Birth control campaigner, key figure in Suffragette Fellowship, post-war organization dedicated to collecting material about the militant suffrage campaign to promote its history.

33

Catherine Marshall

1880-1961

NUWSS

London/North West

International Women’s Suffrage Alliance, Liberal, pacifist

34

Mary MacArthur

1880-1921

 

Scotland

Scottish trade unionist and suffragist, National Federation of Women Workers.  Parliamentary candidate in 1918.

35

Chrystal MacMillan

1872-1937

NUWSS

Scotland

Scottish Liberal politician, barrister, and NUWSS, and internationalist.

36

Eva McLaren

1852/53-1921

NUWSS/WFL

Yorkshire

A leading member of Women’s Liberal Federation

37

Priscilla Bright McLaren

1815-1906

NUWSS

Yorkshire

Anti-slavery movement and women’s suffrage. Executive member of NUWSS.

38

 

Edith Mansell-Moullin

1859-1941

 

Wales

Founded the Cymric Suffrage Union for Welsh women.

39

Dora Montefiore

1851-1933

NUWSS

South East

Served on executive of the NUWSS and then joined WSPU, and Women’s Tax Resistance League

40

Catherine Courtauld Osler

1854-1924

NUWSS

Birmingham

President of Birmingham Women’s Suffrage Society

41/42

43/44

The Pankhursts

 

WSPU

 

Emmeline, Christabel, Sylvia and Adela

45

Agnes Pochin

1825-1908

 

Cheshire

First woman to speak about women’s suffrage on a public platform.

46

Eleanor Rathbone

1872-1946

NUWSS

North West

Liverpool, charity work, NUWSS then NUSEC, first woman to be elected to Liverpool City Council, later Independent MP (for one of the University constituencies).

47

Sarah Reddish

1850-1928

NUWSS

North West

Bolton-based trade unionist

48

Annot Robinson

1874-1925

NUWSS

Scotland

Born in Scotland, NUWSS and pacifist.

49/50

Esther Roper and Eva Gore-Booth

Esther  (1868-1938) Eva (1870-1926)—

NUWSS

Eva (Ireland)

Ester (North West)

Involved in Manchester suffrage movement. Eva Gore-Booth was the younger sister of Constance Gore-Booth, later known as the Countess Markievicz, who in turn was the first woman elected to the British House of Commons. As an Irish Nationalist, she did not take her seat.

51

 

Lolita Roy (mrs P L Roy)

1865-

 

 

President of the London Indian Union from 1908

 

52

Agnes Maude Royden

1876-1956

NUWSS / Church League for Women’s Suffrage

North West / London

Settlement work in Liverpool then London, NUWSS, edited Common Cause, Church League for Women’s Suffrage,  preacher, pacifist, later campaigned for ordination of women.

53

Julia Scurr

1873-1927

ELFS/US

London

Socialist, Poor Law Guardian, East London Federation of Suffragettes, and then United Suffragists

54

Maud Lady Selborne

(1858-1950

 

London

Conservative and Unionist Women’s Franchise Association

 

55

Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington

1877-1946

Irish Women’s Franchise League

Ireland

Irish nationalist and suffragist. Founder of the Irish Women’s Franchise League

56

Sophia Duleep Singh

1876-1948

WSPU

 

Indian family, WSPU

57

Ray Strachey

1887-1940

NUWSS

London

Liberal, NUWSS, writer.

58

Helena Swanwick

1864-1939

NUWSS

North West

NUWSS, editor of Common Cause; internationalist, pacifist.  Mainly metropolitan base.

59

Ellen Wilkinson

1891-1947

NUWSS

North West

NUWSS in Manchester, Labour Party, MP for Jarrow.

 

 

Notes to editors

Sadiq Khan has launched the #BehindEveryGreatCity gender equality campaign to champion the fact that it is the achievements and contributions of women, from all walks of life, which make cities like London great. It coincides with the 100 year anniversary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which gave some women the vote, and was introduced thanks to the campaigning of suffragists and suffragettes. The Mayor will use the centenary to work with London’s many leading sectors – from culture, sport, education and business, to politics and public life – to support the continuing success of women and to push for greater gender equality for women from all backgrounds across the city. To find out more, visit www.london.gov.uk/behindeverygreatcity

14-18 NOW

14-18 NOW is a programme of extraordinary arts experiences connecting people with the First World War, as part of the UK’s official centenary commemorations. It commissions new work by leading contemporary artists across all art forms; the programme has included over 200 artists from 35 countries, with commissions taking place in 160 locations across the UK. Over 30 million people have experienced a project so far, including 7.5 million children and young people. 16.7million people took part in LIGHTS OUT in 2014, and 63% of the population were aware of Jeremy Deller’s 2016 work ‘We’re here because we’re here’. The UK tour of the iconic poppy sculptures by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper have been seen by over 3.5 million people to date. 14-18 NOW has won many awards for its work, including the National Lottery Heritage Award 2017, a Museums Heritage Award and the Chairman’s Award at The Drum Social Buzz Awards 2016. It is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and by additional fundraising.