Suffragettes January 31 1913






Mrs Pankhurst addressed a meeting of members of the Women’s Social and Political Union at the Essex Hall last night. She was accompanied by Miss Annie Kenney and Miss Georgina Brackenbury.

MRS PANKURST, who was received with loud and prolonged cheering, said it was evident that whoever else was in bad spirits the members of that Union were in the best of spirits. She was sure that their spirits would rise still higher when she made her first announcement. Mrs Drummond had been released. (Loud cheers) She walked into Lincoln’s Inn House that afternoon without warning and told them that she had been interviewed by the Governor of Holloway, who informed her that she was at liberty to go, and when she inquired how that had come about she was told that her fine had been paid. (Laughter,) Mrs Drummond asked “By whom?” All the information she could get was that a gentleman had paid the fine, and she left assuring the Governor that in her opinion the fine had been paid by Mr. Lloyd George. Officials especially governors of prisons, were very reticent people, and all that she got in answer to that last inquiry was an enigmatical smile. All that they had to say about it was that whoever paid the fine it was certain that Mrs. Drummond did not, nor did any responsible officer or member of the Women’s Social and Political Union. Mrs. Drummond, she need not say, wanted to attend that meeting, but as she (Mrs Pankhurst) was credited with autocratic powers she thought she might as well exercise them, and she ordered Mrs. Drummond home to bed. (Laughter) Quite seriously she did wisely, because Mrs Drummond was very, shamefully treated, and many people said that if she had not been a woman of indomitable courage the police would have succeeded in what they intended to do, and that was to put Mrs Drummond out of action in the hope that the members of the deputation would become disorganised and not know what steps to take Mrs. Drummond had got to the door of the House of Commons, or as near as possible, because she was posed of extraordinary courage, but the result of the abominable treatment was that she was very far from well, and she was going to rest until Monday. On Monday she would be with them at the Pavilion, and would speak for herself. (Cheers.)

Placed as she was in the responsible position of guiding this movement, she wished to say that for all that women had done and would do she took full responsibility. (Cheers.) They had set before them one restriction only in this warfare, and that was regard for the sacredness of human life, and with that sole exception they held themselves free to use any and every method. (Cheers.) As to what was to be done in the future, to use an historic phrase of the |Prime Minister they would say “Wait and see.” Hitherto they had suffered very few losses, and it was their business to damage the enemy as mush as possible. They were obliged to strike at the enemy, that was to say the Government, through other people. And when they had gone on for a few weeks longer they would have the whole country clamouring for the end of this present Government (Loud cheers.) Presently they would have all the windows baricaded. Let them look at the humour of the situation- shopkeepers barricading their windows against their own customers. The women were no longer wanting to go with petitions to the House of Commons merely to be knocked about. They were saying, “Give me a hammer.” She said to all those women who were strong to the point of carrying a stone, “Bring two with you.” It would soon be all over. What were a few shop windows and letters in pillar-boxes as compared with the saving of the lives of women and children? (Cheers.)

Miss Brackenbury also spoke.

Miss ANNIE KENNEY said that what they demanded from the Labour Party was that they should vote against the Government, not only on the Franchise Bill, but on every other question until they had voted the Government out of office. They had got to make it as uncomfortable for the Labour Party as for the Cabinet until they had go this question settled. Speaking of militant tactics, she said she would like to see a sandwich-board procession marching through London with the words: “Wanted, more Window smashers.” No woman ought to go out without a hammer in her pocket. Let the women who could not break windows do something else. They could all do the pillar-boxes. (Cheers.) But do not let them be too keen and get arrested. It was their duty to create a situation. They wished to see the British Museum and the National Gallery closed and all the shops barricaded. Let them make it like a seige. Everyone could do some little thing to make public life intolerable. The thing was to be militant. (Cheers.)

A member of the audience asked: “Will Mrs Pankhurst deny the statement about the use of revolvers and vitroil?”

Mrs Pankhurst – “It is absolutely untrue that vitriol or revolvers will be used or have been used by any member of the W.S.P.U.”

Consequent on the Archbishop of Canterbury declining, for reasons given, to charge a suffragist with wilful damage at Lambeth Palace, the police yesterday, at Westminster Police Court, framed the charge against the defendant (Henrietta Hunt, forty, married, of Avenue-road, Itchen, Southampton) as “using insulting behaviour, whereby a breach of the peace might have been occasioned.” Mr Barker prosecuted.

Police-constable Arnett deposed that on Wednesday afternoon he saw the defendant “bash” in the front windows of Lambeth Palace with a heavy bottle tied with ribbon supporting a letter addressed to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Six windows were broken, the damage amounting to about £2.

  Inspector Hockings stated that the Archbishop, whom he had seen, did not desire to prosecute for wilful damage, on the ground that it would further the object of the defendant to gain notoriety and publicity. But inasmuch as defendant threatened to go back to the Palace to commit further damage, witness framed the charged against her. Defendant also said she was going to try and interview the King.
Defendant – I mean to say that I will not keep the peace. I will do whatever I can until women get the vote. The Archbishop, the head of the Church, should help us.
Mr Horace Smith said he did not want to listen to speeches of that sort.
Defendant – I do admit smashing the windows, but I don’t know how you can call that insulting behaviour.
Mr. Barker – I think it does amount to that at the house of a person of high position – be it the Archbishop’s Palace or the residence of a Minister.
The Magistrate – I am not prepared to rule it is not, in such circumstance, to be regarded as insulting behaviour. The defendant has raised the point, and I am bound to notice it. It would have been better if she had been charged with the damage, though the Inspector acted rightly in preventing any possible further trouble. Still, there is a little difficulty about it. The defendant, he added, might not find such a lenient person to deal with next time as the Archbishop. He should have sent her to prison most assuredly had she been charged with the malicious damage. Now she would be bound over in 40s. to be of good behaviour for three months.
Defendant – I won’t be bound over. I won’t accept it.
The Magistrate – That will do.
Mr. Barker – What happens if she persists?
Mr. Horace Smith – Fourteen days in prison.
Defendant, refusing to be bound over, was committed to Holloway under powers of the Statute 34, Edward III., Chap.I., “As a loose, idle, and disorderly person, disturbing the public peace.”



The character of the chemical which is being used by the women who have dropped glass tubes into pillar and other boxes is being investigated both by the Post Office detectives and by Scotland Yard. A large number of firms in the West End have put up special protection for their windows, but the most remarkable spectacle is presented by Cockspur-street, where the shipping offices have most of their ground floor glass covered with hoarding. Mr. Lloyd George is to speak to-night as the National Liberal Club, and extra precautions against a raid are being taken.

Letters were damaged in several pillar boxes at Willesden yesterday by a black sticky substance and by acid.

The mischief reported from Croydon was caused by the posting of two small packages, each containing a pair of fragile glass tubes. They did not break on being dropped through the aperture of the letter-box, but do so when the postman turned out his bag at the sorting office. The contents of the tubes, on mixing burst into flames, at the same time giving off a very nauseous odour.

Small bottles containing a black fluid were discovered in letter-boxes in the residential part of Dublin yesterday. The bottles were enclosed in envelopes bearing the words: “Votes for Irishwomen!” Several letters were damaged.


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