Emily Davison

History of the Suffragettes

One hundred years ago this week (Feb 8th 2018) British women were given a voice for the first time.Many Mothers, daughters and sisters could have a say in how their country was run.Back then the Suffragettes up and down the country would stop at nothing to get their voices heard in Parliament. The struggle to win the vote was long and arduous, but in 1918 these brave women won the fight.
One of these courageous women was from Northumberland Emily Wilding Davison. She was born to Margaret and Charles Davison on 11th October 1872 at Blackheath near Greenwich. Her father was a business man and his business took the whole family south . Her Mother Margaret lived in Morpeth before she was married to Emily’s father.
On the death of Charles in 1893 the family returned to Northumberland in Longhorsley. Two years later Emily achieved a First Class honours degree in English Language and English Literature from St Hugh College Oxford. She was not given the degree because she was a woman.
She found work as a governess in 1906 and she joined the Womens Social and Political Union founded by Emmeline Pankhurst to press for womens rights. Within two years she was a chief steward at meetings and by 1910 she was a paid organiser. She gained a reputation as a militant and was jailed on 9 occasions and force fed 49 times.
On the night of the 1911 census she hid in a cupboard overnight in the chapel of the Palace of Westminster so that on the census form she could give her place of residence as the House of Commons.
On Derby day 1913 she stepped out in front of the Kings horse Anmer and suffered fatal injuries. She died four days later.She was buried at St Mary’s in Morpeth on June 15th 1913.She is remembered every year at her graveside on International Womens day held at St Mary’s.
Emily was a fierce campaigner however there are other stories such as delivering food parcels to the poor buying sweets for a young relative took babies out in their prams. A monument is planned for Carlisle Park in Morpeth to commemorate Emily in August 2018 one hundred years after her sacrifice.

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