Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

Standard Name: Pethick-Lawrence, Emmeline
Birth Name: Emmeline Pethick
Married Name: Emmeline Lawrence
Used Form: Emmeline Pethick Lawrence
Militant suffragist EPL launched and co-edited the weekly journal Votes for Women with her husband, Frederick Pethick-Lawrence , in 1907. The journal began as the official publication of the militant suffrage organisation, the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) , but in 1912 the Pethick-Lawrences distanced themselves from the WSPU and began to publish it independently. During the first half of the twentieth century EPL published a number of suffragist pamphlets, many of them printed versions of speeches she had previously delivered. Speeches she gave in her own defence at the conspiracy trial of 1912 were published in 1913. From 1908 to 1950, she wrote many letters to the editor on a wide variety of national and international political topics. Her autobiography, 1938, largely focuses on the militant suffrage movement and the involvement in it of herself and her husband, as well as on her pacifist activities after World War One.
Photograph of a painting of Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence. She is depicted from the shoulders up, wearing a dark jacket over a pale, choker-necked shirt. Her dark, luxuriant hair is pinned on top of her head. Her expression is serene.
"Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence" null


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Cultural formation Christabel Pankhurst
There is some suggestion that CP may have had lesbian relationships. She excited devotion among her female followers, and at least one—novelist Elizabeth Robins —admitted to falling in love with her. CP also spent much...
Dedications Sylvia Pankhurst
SP reflected on her life and the lives of others during the First World War in The Home Front: a Mirror to Life in England During the First World War, published this year and...
Employer Dora Marsden
By this time Marsden was earning an annual salary of £108. She resigned from the Union after one of its central committees (which included Christabel Pankhurst , Emmeline Pankhurst , and Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence ) refused...
Friends, Associates Emmeline Pankhurst
Keir Hardie , a dear friend of EP 's after her husband's death, introduced her to Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence , a crucial figure in the revivification of the suffrage movement. Her home in Clement's Inn, in...
Friends, Associates Mary Gawthorpe
During her time with the WSPU, MG worked with Christabel Pankhurst (who was twenty-four when Gawthorpe first met her, before she had yet met Isabella Ford ), whom, like Ethel Snowden , she knew from...
Friends, Associates Mary Gawthorpe
Friends, Associates Constance Lytton
Mary Neal , a leader in the folk-dance revival and joint founder with Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence of the Esperance Club for working girls, invited CL to holiday with herself and some of the girls in autumn...
Friends, Associates Constance Lytton
From two days after her stroke until September 1918 she had the joy of a perfect nurse,Nurse Oram .
Lytton, Constance. Letters of Constance Lytton. Elizabeth Edith, Countess of Balfour,Editor , Heinemann, 1925.
That summer CL realised that we loved each other, and no mistake. From that...
Friends, Associates Gladys Henrietta Schütze
Through her early mentor W. Pett RidgeGHS met various literary men: W. W. Jacobs , Barry Pain , Jerome K. Jerome , Hugh Walpole , and Ernest Temple Thurston . Pett Ridge (P...
Friends, Associates Evelyn Sharp
Others with whom she shared this or that memorable experience were the Meynells (Wilfrid , Alice , and Viola ), Clarence Rook and his wife, and Henry W. Nevinson , whom she eventually married...
Friends, Associates Dora Marsden
During the 1920s DM 's primary focus was her writing, which she continued mainly in isolation and under much mental and physical stress. However, she was assisted in this by Harriet Shaw Weaver and Sylvia Beach
Literary responses Sylvia Pankhurst
Save the Mothers was well reviewed. George Bernard Shaw responded enthusiastically to the book, and Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence expressed her pleasure at its positive reception. Vera Brittain also praised it, favourably comparing SP 's activism for...
Occupation Maude Royden
Though unable to attend, she had served on the British Committee for the Congress in April of this year. Of the 180 British women who had planned to attend, only three were able to go:...
politics Stella Benson
SB had been a moderate until the death of the Derby Martyr, Emily Wilding Davison , in 1913. After this she became more militant. When she moved to London in May 1914, she called...
politics Ethel Sidgwick
The Congress, held from 28 April to 1 May, attracted 1,200 women from twelve countries, both warring and neutral, to discuss means of achieving peace. Others meeting with the delegates on the subsequent peace tour...


The Women's Social and Political Union moved its headquarters to London; this relocation was emblematic of its shift away from its Independent Labour Party and working-class origins.
23 October 1906
During a demonstration at the opening of Parliament , eleven Women's Social and Political Union supporters were for the first time arrested and imprisoned: for two months in Holloway .
October 1907
Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst and Emmeline and Frederick Pethick-Lawrence , wanting to maintain control over the Women's Social and Political Union agenda, removed by fiat dissident members of the executive and cancelled the forthcoming annual conference.
October 1907
Votes for Women, the official organ of the Women's Social and Political Union , began publication in London.
March 1908
Mary Louisa Gordon , who had qualified as both a physician and a midwife and had practised medicine in London since 1900, was appointed the first female prison inspector in Britain.
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
21 June 1908
The Women's Social and Political Union organised a Woman's Sunday which involved (according to the Times estimate) between 250,000 and 500,000 people, mostly women. The WSPU called it Britain's largest-ever political meeting.
Early December 1908
A meeting of suffragists at the Albert Hall was marred by violence from both sides: a woman struck a steward in the face with a whip, and women were roughly handled.
28 March 1912
The Conciliation Bill (on suffrage) was defeated in a House of Commons vote, after passing its second reading (the previous year) with a huge majority.
25 May 1912
The Irish Citizen, a suffrage newspaper jointly edited by Francis Sheehy Skeffington and James Cousins , began weekly publication in London.
6 February 1914
The United Suffragists was established as a new organisation open to men and women, militant and non-militant members.
Early August 1914
In response to the support for Britain's war effort pledged by Millicent Garrett Fawcett and other National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies Executive Committee members, several leading members of the Union resigned to form the...
February 1918
Votes for Women, an organ of the Women's Social and Political Union , ceased publication in London.
July 1920
The Irish Citizen ended publication after a British soldier wrecked the press.
6 July 1928
Four days after the Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act received the royal assent, a celebratory breakfast was held at the Hotel Cecil in London.
September 1938
The Woman's National Newspaper began publishing in London; it had claimed to be the first independent newspaper in the world owned and controlled entirely by women.
Doughan, David, and Denise Sanchez. Feminist Periodicals, 1855-1984. Harvester Press, 1987.