Emmeline Pethick Lawrence

Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence © Dorking Museum

Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence was one of the leaders of the ‘suffragette’ campaign. Imprisoned six times, she was treasurer of Mrs Pankhurst’s Women’s Social and Political Union and jointly edited ‘Votes for Women’ magazine.

Emmeline believed that the outbreak of war proved the folly of leaving the destiny of nations in the hands of men alone. In late 1914 she went on a suffrage speaking tour of the United States. The following year she travelled to the Women’s Peace Conference in the Hague and became treasurer of the British section of the Women’s International League. She spent the rest of the war campaigning for peace.

In the 1918 general election Emmeline stood as the Labour Party candidate in Rushholme, Manchester. She advocated a just settlement for the defeated nations in the interests of achieving permanent peace. In voting for parties determined to punish Germany, she felt, the nation had voted for another war.

In 1919 Emmeline led public protests against the naval blockade of Germany that was causing widespread starvation. It was out of these protests that the charity Save the Children was established.

More information on Emmeline’s life and work.

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