Emmeline Pankhurst - Leader of the British Suffragette Movement, Timeline and Family

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Emmeline Pankhurst's Personal Details

Emmeline Pankhurst was a leader of the British suffragette movement

InformationDetail
BirthdayJuly 4, 1858
Died onJune 14, 1928
NationalityBritish
FamousLeader of the British Suffragette Movement, Feminists, Activists, Political Activists, Women's Rights Activists
SpousesRichard Pankhurst (m. 1879–1898)
Childrens Adela Pankhurst, Christabel Pankhurst, Francis Henry Pankhurst, Henry Fransis Pankhurst, Sylvia Pankhurst
Universities
  • École Normale Supérieure
Birth PlaceMoss Side, Manchester
Political IdeologyWomen's Party, Conservative Party
GenderFemale
FatherRobert Goulden
MotherSophia Jane Craine
Sun SignCancer
Born inMoss Side, Manchester
Famous asLeader of the British Suffragette Movement
Died at Age69

// Famous Leader of the British Suffragette Movement

Emmeline Pankhurst's photo

Who is Emmeline Pankhurst?

Emmeline Pankhurst was a British political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement. She was born into a family with a tradition of radical politics and married Richard Pankhurst, a lawyer and a firm believer in the social and political emancipation of women and his ideas did a lot to bolster her belief. She founded the Women's Franchise League, which fought to allow married women to vote in local elections. She helped found the more militant Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) - an organization that gained much notoriety for its activities and whose members were the first to be christened 'suffragettes’. Her daughters Christabel and Sylvia were both active in the cause. British politicians, press and public were astonished by the demonstrations, window smashing, arson and hunger strikes of the suffragettes. Like many suffragettes, she was arrested on numerous occasions and went on hunger strike herself, resulting in violent force-feeding. This period of militancy was ended abruptly with the outbreak of World War I in 1914. She turned her energies to supporting the war effort. In 1918, the Representation of the People Act gave voting rights to women over 30. She died shortly before women were granted equal voting rights with men.

// Famous Feminists

Childhood & Early Life

Emmeline was born on 15 July 1858, in Manchester, England, to Robert Goulden, a successful businessman and Sophia Jane Craine, who were politically active folks. She was one of eleven siblings and the eldest amongst her sisters.

An avid reader, she read the Odyssey, The Pilgrim's Progress, Carlyle's The French Revolution: A History, and Stowe’ Uncle Tom's Cabin, and at 15, was admitted to the École Normale de Neuilly in Paris.

Her parents did not give importance to their daughters’ education, expecting them to marry young. Her mother received the Women's Suffrage Journal, and Pankhurst was full of admiration for its editor, Lydia Becker.

Career

She met and began a courtship with Richard Pankhurst, a 44 year old barrister who had supported women's suffrage, freedom of speech and education reform and they wed in 1879.

At her Russell Square home, she hosted a variety of guests including US abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, Indian MP Dadabhai Naoroji, socialist activists Herbert Burrows and Annie Besant, and French anarchist Louise Michel.

In 1888, when Britain's first nationwide coalition of groups advocating women's right to vote, the National Society for Women's Suffrage (NSWS), split, Pankhurst aligned herself with the group called" Parliament Street Society (PSS).

The PSS was reluctant to advocate on behalf of married women. Pankhurst and her husband helped organize the Women's Franchise League (WFL) dedicated to voting rights for all women – married and unmarried in1889.

The WFL was considered a radical organization, since apart from women's suffrage; it supported equal rights for women in the areas of divorce and inheritance, advocated trade unionism and sought alliances with socialist organizations.

She met Keir Hardie, a socialist from Scotland. He was elected to parliament in and in 1893 helped to create the Independent Labor Party (ILP). She resigned from the WLF and joined the ILP.

She distributed food to poor men and women through the Committee for the Relief of the Unemployed. In 1894, elected Poor Law Guardian in Chorlton-on-Medlock, she was appalled by the conditions in the Manchester workhouse.

Following the death of her husband in 1898, and left with a significant amount of debt, she resigned from the Board of Guardians and became a paid Registrar of Births and Deaths in Chorlton.

In 1900 she was elected to the Manchester School Board.

In 1908, when she tried to enter Parliament to deliver a protest resolution to Prime Minister H. H. Asquith, she was charged with obstruction and sentenced to six weeks in prison.

The exclusive focus of the WSPU on votes for women was the hallmark of its militancy. The WSPU insisted on separating itself from parties which did not make women's suffrage a priority.

She led a protest march of 300 women in 1910 to meet PM Asquith who refused audience. The women marchers were treated brutally by the police. The incident became known as Black Friday.

Hunger strikes, window smashing, protest marches, courting arrests, and imprisonments became order of the day. In 1912, she was arrested, released and rearrested 12 times, serving a total of about 30 days jail

When the First World War broke out, she called off the suffrage campaign and the government released all suffragist prisoners. She established an adoption home at Campden Hill for babies of single mothers.

Pankhurst visited North America in 1916 and the United States and Canada, raising money and urging the US government to support Britain. She visited Russian and met with Alexander Kerensky, the Russian Prime Minister.

The 1918 Representation of the People Act removed property restrictions on men's suffrage and granted the vote to women over the age of 30 and the WSPU reinvented to become the Women's Party.

She joined the Conservative Party and in 1928 ran as a candidate for Parliament but her campaign was pre-empted by her ill- health.

Major Works

Breaking away from the ILP, in 1903, she and several colleagues founded the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), open only to women and focused on direct action to win the vote.

The efforts of the WSPU bore fruit when The 1918 Representation of the People Act granted the vote to women over the age of 30 and the WSPU reinvented to become the Women's Party.

Personal Life & Legacy

Emmeline married Richard Pankhurst in 1878 and they had five - Christabel, Estelle Sylvia, Francis Henry, Adela and finally Henry Francis - named after his deceased brother. Richard died in 1898 leaving her in great debt.

Her daughters were active with the WSPU, but differences between her and her daughter Sylvia became apparent with the latter cultivating ties with socialists and becoming an unwed mother for which she was never forgiven.

She died on 14 June 1928 due to illness, at the age of 69.

Sylvia's 1931 book, The Suffrage Movement, criticizes her mother's for betraying the movement while Christabel’s book, Unshackled: The Story of How We Won the Vote, described her as selfless to a fault.

Trivia

This British suffragette declared, “We have to free half of the human race, the women, so that they can help to free the other half”.

The BBC dramatized this suffragette’s life in the mini-series, Shoulder to Shoulder, with Welsh actress Siân Phillips playing her character.

// Famous Women's Rights Activists

Emmeline Pankhurst biography timelines

  • // 15th Jul 1858
    Emmeline was born on 15 July 1858, in Manchester, England, to Robert Goulden, a successful businessman and Sophia Jane Craine, who were politically active folks. She was one of eleven siblings and the eldest amongst her sisters.
  • // 1878 To 1898
    Emmeline married Richard Pankhurst in 1878 and they had five - Christabel, Estelle Sylvia, Francis Henry, Adela and finally Henry Francis - named after his deceased brother. Richard died in 1898 leaving her in great debt.
  • // 1879
    She met and began a courtship with Richard Pankhurst, a 44 year old barrister who had supported women's suffrage, freedom of speech and education reform and they wed in 1879.
  • // 1888
    In 1888, when Britain's first nationwide coalition of groups advocating women's right to vote, the National Society for Women's Suffrage (NSWS), split, Pankhurst aligned herself with the group called" Parliament Street Society (PSS).
  • // 1889
    The PSS was reluctant to advocate on behalf of married women. Pankhurst and her husband helped organize the Women's Franchise League (WFL) dedicated to voting rights for all women – married and unmarried in1889.
  • // 1893
    She met Keir Hardie, a socialist from Scotland. He was elected to parliament in and in 1893 helped to create the Independent Labor Party (ILP). She resigned from the WLF and joined the ILP.
  • // 1894
    She distributed food to poor men and women through the Committee for the Relief of the Unemployed. In 1894, elected Poor Law Guardian in Chorlton-on-Medlock, she was appalled by the conditions in the Manchester workhouse.
  • // 1898
    Following the death of her husband in 1898, and left with a significant amount of debt, she resigned from the Board of Guardians and became a paid Registrar of Births and Deaths in Chorlton.
  • // 1900
    In 1900 she was elected to the Manchester School Board.
  • // 1903
    Breaking away from the ILP, in 1903, she and several colleagues founded the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), open only to women and focused on direct action to win the vote.
  • // 1908
    In 1908, when she tried to enter Parliament to deliver a protest resolution to Prime Minister H. H. Asquith, she was charged with obstruction and sentenced to six weeks in prison.
  • // 1910
    She led a protest march of 300 women in 1910 to meet PM Asquith who refused audience. The women marchers were treated brutally by the police. The incident became known as Black Friday.
  • // 1912
    Hunger strikes, window smashing, protest marches, courting arrests, and imprisonments became order of the day. In 1912, she was arrested, released and rearrested 12 times, serving a total of about 30 days jail
  • // 1916
    Pankhurst visited North America in 1916 and the United States and Canada, raising money and urging the US government to support Britain. She visited Russian and met with Alexander Kerensky, the Russian Prime Minister.
  • // 1918
    The 1918 Representation of the People Act removed property restrictions on men's suffrage and granted the vote to women over the age of 30 and the WSPU reinvented to become the Women's Party.
  • // 1918
    The efforts of the WSPU bore fruit when The 1918 Representation of the People Act granted the vote to women over the age of 30 and the WSPU reinvented to become the Women's Party.
  • // 1928
    She joined the Conservative Party and in 1928 ran as a candidate for Parliament but her campaign was pre-empted by her ill- health.
  • // 14th Jun 1928
    She died on 14 June 1928 due to illness, at the age of 69.
  • // 1931
    Sylvia's 1931 book, The Suffrage Movement, criticizes her mother's for betraying the movement while Christabel’s book, Unshackled: The Story of How We Won the Vote, described her as selfless to a fault.

// Famous Activists

Emmeline Pankhurst's FAQ

  • What is Emmeline Pankhurst birthday?

    Emmeline Pankhurst was born at 1858-07-04

  • When was Emmeline Pankhurst died?

    Emmeline Pankhurst was died at 1928-06-14

  • Where was Emmeline Pankhurst died?

    Emmeline Pankhurst was died in Hampstead, London

  • Which age was Emmeline Pankhurst died?

    Emmeline Pankhurst was died at age 69

  • Where is Emmeline Pankhurst's birth place?

    Emmeline Pankhurst was born in Moss Side, Manchester

  • What is Emmeline Pankhurst nationalities?

    Emmeline Pankhurst's nationalities is British

  • Who is Emmeline Pankhurst spouses?

    Emmeline Pankhurst's spouses is Richard Pankhurst (m. 1879–1898)

  • Who is Emmeline Pankhurst childrens?

    Emmeline Pankhurst's childrens is Adela Pankhurst, Christabel Pankhurst, Francis Henry Pankhurst, Henry Fransis Pankhurst, Sylvia Pankhurst

  • What was Emmeline Pankhurst universities?

    Emmeline Pankhurst studied at École Normale Supérieure

  • What is Emmeline Pankhurst's political ideology?

    Emmeline Pankhurst's political ideology is Women's Party, Conservative Party

  • Who is Emmeline Pankhurst's father?

    Emmeline Pankhurst's father is Robert Goulden

  • Who is Emmeline Pankhurst's mother?

    Emmeline Pankhurst's mother is Sophia Jane Craine

  • What is Emmeline Pankhurst's sun sign?

    Emmeline Pankhurst is Cancer

  • How famous is Emmeline Pankhurst?

    Emmeline Pankhurst is famouse as Leader of the British Suffragette Movement