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"CAPTAIN SWING IN SUSSEX AND KENT: RURAL REBELLION IN 1830"




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"WOMEN OF VICTORIAN SUSSEX: THEIR STATUS, OCCUPATIONS AND DEALINGS WITH THE LAW"



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"NOTABLE SUSSEX WOMEN: THE BIOGRAPHICAL GAZETTEER"



WOMEN IN THANET, KENT  1906-1909



These extracts from the Thanet newspapers give an insight into women's lives and their concerns.

They cover a fascinating era in women's history: the period when the suffrage campaign became increasingly militant, against a background of stories of heroines, criminals, victims, achievers and losers.Great stuff!



1906

6 JANUARY
Miss Gertrude Pantling, 25, of 1 Shah Place was sent for trial to Maidstone for concealing the birth of an illegitimate daughter between 24th and 26th December 1903.

13 JANUARY
"Women sailors are employed in Denmark, Norway and Finland and are found to be excellent mariners. In Denmark and Finland several women are employed as state officials at sea and particularly in the pilot service. They go out to meet the incoming ships, climb nimbly out of their boats, show their official diplomas and steer the newcomer safely into the harbour."

20 JANUARY
"Women disguised as men have often served as soldiers. The following is on a tombstone in Brighton: "In memory of Phoebe Hassel 1713-1821 died age 108. She served for many years as a private soldier in many parts of Europe and at the battle of Fontenoy, fighting bravely, she received a bayonet wound in the left arm."

27 JANUARY
"Two passenger trains on the Northwestern Railway, New York were saved from destruction by the bravery of 16 year old Mary McCall. She was awoken by the sound of a landslide she saw that the line was obstructed by earth, boulders and broken trees The track was sharply curved at that point and so Mary groped her way along the line and waved down the Erie Express by waving her lantern frantically. Then she ran in the opposite direction just in time to wave down another train, which stopped only 50 yards short of the obstruction. If a train had been derailed at that location, it would have fallen down a sharp cliff and into the Susquehanna River."

3 FEBRUARY
George Edmonds, 41, of Augusta Road, was sent to Maidstone Assizes for the sexual assault of an 8 year old girl.

10 FEBRUARY
Joanna Maestrien of Berlin was for 8 years Oporto's leading bullfighter. In 1903 she also won the Lisbon beauty show.

24 FEBRUARY
William Rigden of Cemetery Road was charged by his wife with persistent cruelty to her, and assault. Case dismissed owing to no witnesses.

3 MARCH
Alfred Cooper, 18, was sentenced to three years for a grave offence against a little girl at Ramsgate.

10 MARCH
Benjamin Todd, 20, was sent to Chartham Lunatic Asylum for indecently exposing himself in Ellington Park.

17 MARCH
A meeting of the Ramsgate Women's Liberal Association. President Mrs. M.J. Poole read her paper "The Citizenship of Women."

Thomas Harris of Ramsgate was charged with supplying Atiol for the purpose of procuring a miscarriage of Miss Gertrude Pantling, 25, in 1905. [see 6 January above]

28 APRIL
From the "Echoes from Parliament" column:
The Suffragettes no doubt believe in the political maxim that one must be prepared to make oneself unpleasant to get what one wants... during the discussion of Mr. Keir Hardie's motion for women suffrage, a scene occurred almost unparalleled in the history of Parliament: a speaker was interrupted by cheers and shouts from the Ladies' Gallery... a flag was thrust through the grille and waved at the assembly, bearing the legend: Votes for Women.

21 JULY
"The World of Women" column states that the number of women employed in China in various branches of commercial life is advancing in leaps and bounds. Women work as clerks and book-keepers and are proving themselves superior to men as teachers. Fifteen years ago only 20 percent of trainee teachers were women; now they comprise 85 percent.

24 NOVEMBER
"The Suffragettes have not yet ceased from troubling and indeed shew no signs of tiring. This week's attack on the House of Parliament was led by Mrs. Despard, a white-haired lady whose work in the Battersea slums is well known. An attempt at a demonstration led to the arrest of Miss Milne... meanwhile, those of the sisterhood already in gaol are busily writing articles to be published on their release. The suffragist propaganda is to be carried vigorously into the constituencies of Julius Bertram, Mr. Asquith and Mr. Sherwood as they are opponents."


1907

23 JANUARY
Women lost the motion asking for votes on local parliaments by 32 votes. The gallery was "crowded with ladies".

3 MARCH
In the letters column, Ermine K. Taylor of Hyde Park Street, London, writes to ask if any local lady in Ramsgate would administer a branch of the Anti-Suffrage movement.
This request appears to have been answered by Miss Rachael Weigall, as she is mentioned from here on as the Honorary Secretary. Miss Weigall was the only daughter of Lady Rose Weigall (1835-1921), and sister of J.W.W. Weigall, J.P., who in 1903 was Liberal candidate for Thanet. Lady Rose served on local committees and Boards of Guardians, etc., when she was in her 70's, and was evidently forthright, vocal and had great power and influence in Thanet. She was against women's suffrage. She died at her home in Southwood House in 1921.

[After this date the Thanet Advertiser ceased production. Its place was taken by the East Kent Times, from which come the following.]


1909

16 JANUARY
"Woman and the Home" column.
"In the North American Review, the Duchess of Marlborough writes:
'Primitive women were the guardians of their children, the transmitters of name, the custodians of wealth, and in many cases the electors and lawgivers. As organisers and householders they reigned supreme and with them rested the responsibility of providing food when the hunter was unsuccessful. It was their duty to grow the grain and vegetables and prepare them for eating... not only did they cook, but the skin, horns and feet of the animals were theirs to use in various ways. Agriculture and industry were therefore started by women... they were in fact the universal providers. Then apparently as life became less nomadic and men became cultivators of soil they were more at home, and women were driven out by man's unemployed energy.
"It is the necessity to adjust herself to man and to be judged by his individual standard, to conform her whole personality to his way of thinking that has robbed women of the power, strength and influence she could have exerted as a united and independent majority. Why should women have a standard of right and wrong adjustable to the moral sense of the man to whom they might belong by purchase - as in earlier days - by marriage as in modern? How can any logical sequence in mind or action be expected of women under such prevailing conditions? What moral sense can be born of an anomaly? Surely blind obedience is not the school to produce a sense of responsibility or a moral code fit for others than slaves, and it is pernicious in the last degree to a sentient being. The Mohamedian religion degraded women excessively, consigning her as far as psychic qualities are concerned, to the level of beasts, forbidding her hope of future salvation. Man is taught to regard her as conducive to his comfort and pleasure but in no way necessary to the development of those higher flights of his ambition.
"Is this attitude to be traced to the industrial value of women which from the earliest times has induced men to bargain for wives? As they grew richer and the scope of their trade increased, they contracted more than one marriage. This would increase their means of production. Very possibly in patriarchal days this lust for gain and of new conquests and the wish for more descendants lay at the root of the system. An idea has even been projected that if women gain the franchise England will become polygamous women being in the majority by 1 millions, and every woman insisting on part of a husband. But the industrial value of women in the upper and middle classes has so greatly decreased, that it is to be feared that more than one wife will hardly meet with favour in the eyes of a man who has to feed, clothe and amuse her."

23 JANUARY
"Mrs Elizabeth Dickson, village postmistress of Galtonside, has just retired after 31 years service. In 1878 she took up her late husband's duties as postman as well as her own as postmistress, and has walked 130,000 miles delivering letters. In this time she has had only 2 weeks off sick. Although, as a woman, she was not entitled to anything, her case was presented and the department are likely to give her an allowance as an act of grace."

1 FEBRUARY
"Clara Bassett was charged with wilful murder of her illegitimate baby... a lady rose in the courtroom and exclaimed: "Why should she be charged with murder? Women ought to make a united protest against this! The girl ought not to bear all the blame!"

3 FEBRUARY
"Woman and the Home" column:
"All married women ought to be forbidden to work."
"This is one of the very latest suggestions for the reform of society. The meaning of it is merely that women should be forbidden to go out of their homes and earn wages. No reference is intended to the abundant work of the home itself... but even within that limitation the proposal is not likely to be largely popular, says the Daily Telegraph. In the more highly- cultured ranks of life there are many married women intent on their own artistic or professional careers. Among the poor it is the married womens' labour that keeps the home together."

"Reports from Australia tell us that there they have formed a Wages Board for Women. All employers of women must register. One effect has been that home-workers who used to earn 5 to 8 shillings, will now get 15 to 20 shillings (per week) for the same amount of work."

"Do not want a vote...
"A women"s Anti-suffrage League was formed in Southwood [a district of central Ramsgate]. The Committee were elected: Mrs. Grummant, Mrs. Brunton, Mrs. Snowden, Mrs. Hammond, Miss Castleden, and Lady Rose Weigall. Also present were the Mayoress and Miss Dickens, grand-daughter of the great novelist, who gave the following address:
"Women's work lies in being a good wife, mother and friend, and as long as she interests herself thus what time had she to devote to the study of Imperial politics? There are about 1 million more women than men in England, so the tone of the government would be womanly. It is presumably not denied that women are less virile than men, therefore our government would be less virile than the governments of other countries where men predominate, and the result in cases of conflict would be that the weaker, and that weaker would be England, would go to the wall... Women's suffrage would result in a hugely increased irresponsible vote, ultimately petticoat government, and a weakening of respect for law and order, which is an important bulwark of the state."
Lady Rose Weigall said: "I do not think any benefit would result from women entering Parliament, as men are so jealous they would resent women's interference, if they became mixed up in party politics openly and publicly. It will destroy any good influence that a woman can have."

10 FEBRUARY
Crime statistics for Kent: Police are concerned that the number of women charged with drunkenness has increased in relation to men.


                       MEN      WOMEN

              1904     87        21

              1905     74        19

              1906     71        18

              1907     56        13

              1908     43        20

17 FEBRUARY
Thanet Suffragettes: why women should have the vote.
Mrs. Philip Snowden, wife of the MP, spoke at St. John's Hall, Margate. Mr. G.M. MacFarlane was chairman. Mrs Snowden said: "Until 1832 there was no law in existence that prevented women from voting. Not many did but it should be borne in mind that at the time the total electorate numbered only 600,000. There was a very high property qualification which very few women could maintain. In 1832 women lost the franchise when men substituted the word 'man' for the word 'person' in the lawbooks. In the North of England, the supporters of women's franchise now outnumber the total electorate.
"Men make laws for women in total ignorance of what women themselves want. There is legislation pending even now which would materially injure the prospects of working women. After an unsuccessful bid to rid the barmaids of their employment, next summer Mr. Burns intends to introduce a Bill to stop ALL married women from working - and all this without even consulting them..."
Mrs Snowden asked her audience to imagine the present situation reversed: women had the vote; men did not. "Why," she said, "their revolution, compared to the Suffragette agitation, would be as sunlight to moonlight. Men had the franchise and what have they done? There were 12 or 13 million people living in, or on the verge of, poverty, and the average wage of a working women is 7 shillings a week! Only minors, criminals, lunatics and women were barred from voting. Women are in an even worse position than the Negro of America.
"It was always said that women could do all that is required by influence. Influence is all very well for the fortunate woman, though undignified; but wholly bad for the working woman. The political inequality of the sexes brought about an atmosphere of domination and from that had sprung the double standard of morals. There are many important state problems that will never be tackled until women had the vote.
"It is argued that womens' place is the home. So is a man's place home. He ought to be there when spending his leisure time in the public house or club... if it were not for the women where would all the soldiers and sailors come from? If they wanted women to fight they are quite capable of fighting. Women beat men every time for endurance." In answer to the Rev. Sir C.J.M. Shaw, she said "the suffragette agitation in England has given the impetus to similar movements in other countries. In the USA women were beginning to get indignant about their unclean politics." Further questioned, the speaker admitted she could not condemn the tactics of the militant Suffragettes in their crusade against the Cabinet Minister. She said "women cannot express their opinions at the ballot box and must necessarily adopt some other method."

"Woman and the Home" column...
"Manchester University reports that only 11.4 per cent of their 560 women graduates marry. It is a commentary on higher education which will provide our sociologists with much food for reflection, and should dampen our enthusiasm for the 'varsity distinctions for the weaker sex. When women come to prefer the 'ologies to the cares of hearth and home it argues that there is something "rotten in the state of Denmark" It is a high price to pay for progress."

John Burns's advice to girls... as President of the Local Government School Board, he said: "To cook, nurse and keep house and delight in making others happy is your mission, duty and livelihood... better the precincts of the kitchen, varied by the drawing-room, than the purlieus of the music-hall or divorce court."

24 FEBRUARY
Letters to the Editor:
"... the whole assumption that because woman is fitted for the duties of the home she should leave politics entirely to man is a hypocritical one. If woman's place is "home with the kids", is not man's right place in the field, workshop, office or store? It is never suggested that a man is a worse carpenter, a less efficient window cleaner, a less able doctor because he exercises his right of the franchise. Why then should a woman be a less dutiful wife or less loving mother because she visits a polling station once every seven years or so?
But the most silly reason for denying women the vote is the statement that the majority of them don't want it. Well, I don't think it has ever been suggested that women should be dragged off the streets to the polling station... If women are given the franchise, those who desire to vote will do so, and those who don't, won't, and will be no worse off than they are now...
J.D.S."

3 MARCH
"Woman and the Home " column...
"Have things changed for the better in the last 30 years? Then, a girl only obtained permission to drive in a hansom on condition she did not look out of the side windows... as to going on an omnibus! that was, of course, impossible. Thirty years ago it was quite impossible for a lady to get luncheon, or even tea in London except at an hotel. No well brought-up girl could ever go out walking or take the shortest railway journey without a chaperon. The next step towards emancipation was to allow the girl to travel alone, but to heavily tip the guard for keeping the carriage locked up."

24 MARCH
"Woman and the Home" column...
"The Patent Office record which will be presented at the Women's Exhibition... there will be models of inventions made by women in every branch of ingenuity: domestic, scientific, and engineering. Farming and agricultural implements will also be represented. Applications made by women for patents have for several years averaged around 500 annually."

"Superfluous women...
"Miss B.L. Hutchins advances the theory that the excess of women over men is partly due to infant mortality... The census of 1901 shows 1,070,000 more women than men. During the preceding decade the life expectancy was 44.13 years for men and 47.77 years for women. It appears that although physically weaker, women have a more tenacious hold on life than men."

31 MARCH
Women's Suffrage meeting at Ramsgate...held by Ramsgate N.U.W.S.S.
Speakers: Mrs Pember-Reeves, wife of the late Agent General of New Zealand, Miss Kennett, a headmistress from Ipswich, and Mrs Poole. "Mrs Pember-Reeves spoke of her enfranchisement in N.Z., saying that she had now twice voted and that in N.Z. men now even hand the newspaper to their wives first at the breakfast table." (laughter) "Miss Kennett replied to the Anti-Suffragists arguments that women were incapable of thinking "imperially" by saying she did not quite understand what this meant but she did know that "some men thought in imperial pints on polling days." "(laughter)

Mary Ann Todd, 38, of 5 Castle Road, Ramsgate, was charged with attempted suicide. This she had done because her husband "abused me so badly I had nothing to live for."

7 APRIL
"Women's Suffrage meeting organised by the NUWSS...
"There was a large attendance, with Mrs Innes and Mrs Randall-Vickers present. Mrs Vickers wanted to make it clear what the Suffragists were demanding because their friends, the "Antis", were trying to make out that they were asking for many things they did not, in fact, desire. They were not asking to be made eligible to sit in Parliament... she said the "Antis" admitted that women did excellent work on the Boards of Guardians, local councils and other public bodies, but insisted that a woman's proper sphere was the home. It was, she said; but could anyone say what was most likely to take a woman away from her home: constantly attending meetings of local committees, or going to vote once every five years or so?"
[This is obviously a reference to Lady Rose Weigall, active in various public bodies and also on the Anti Suffrage League Committee.]

28 APRIL
"Votes for Woman" column...
A large meeting addressed by Lady Francis Balfour; organised by NUWSS.
She said: "As long as women are disqualified from voting, it is a stamp and a badge of inferiority. Why have women not got the vote? Why are they not treated as full citizens? Because all over the world in all nations - less perhaps in some than others - they have been considered inferior and classed in the eye of the law with more unfortunate people who are inferior - with paupers, lunatics, idiots and peers!" (laughter) "That is why we want the women to think on this subject."
The meeting was largely attended. Chairman was Coun. A. Radcliffe, and was influentially supported by "a few members of the weaker sex, who were also present among the large audience of ladies." The Chairman was asked why he, as a strong conservative, should be a sympathiser of women's suffrage. He replied that he "could never see the justice of depriving women, who paid rates and taxes, of the right to Parliamentary franchise." He opposed universal suffrage for men and women.
Lady Balfour traced the history of the movement from the start. She referred to Mrs. Henry Fawcett, saying she had given 40 years of her life to the cause. She said the movement began with the question of the repeal of the Corn Law; then in 1867 J.S. Mill wrote his great book which had so much to do with women workers. Then came the Primrose League, which put men and women on an equal footing, then the Women's Liberal Association. She said the Liberal party owed a great deal to women. [The liberals were in power at the time]. In 1892 [Prime Minister Balfour] had stated that it was impossible for him to declare that women were unfitted to take their share in the constitution of the country. Many bills had been introduced by private members with the idea of giving women the vote.
"Regarding the militant Suffragettes, Lady Balfour said they were only following those men who fought for the franchise in 1832 and 1867. She referred to those "well-to-do women who had never felt the pinch of care and want," and who said "why should we care about a vote?" These women, she said, "would not open their eyes and see the sufferings of their sisters." "

George Young of 82 South Eastern Road was charged with cruelty to his wife. Among her injuries were a black eye, bruises and kickings. Her doctor testified that this was true. He had also tried to strangle her and had threatened her with a dagger. The housemaid and a neighbour testified to this. The husband promised to be good and the case was dismissed.

2 JUNE
Walter Goldsmith, a hawker of no fixed abode, was seen hitting a woman at Birchington. The people who saw him took matters into their own hands: they gave him a black eye and ducked him in the pond. Then about 50 people set about him, hitting and kicking him.

9 JUNE
"Woman and the Home" column...
"The Hardwicke society recently held a debate at which it was carried by a large majority that women should not be allowed to serve on juries."

16 JUNE
"Woman and the Home" column...
"Man retaliates.
"What will be the condition of our marriage rate if the "Masculine League" just formed in Paris secures members in England? Everyone who joins it pledges not to marry any woman who competes with men in any field of professional labour...
"Henceforth, supposing this cruel league to grow, for a woman to take up professional work at all now means that she practically vows herself to the celibate life. But suppose women take fright and give up the legal, medical, secretarial and other work. What is to be done with them? With the country full of starving daughters do men suggest what matters would mend? Either all women must marry to be kept or must keep themselves. If they are to be boycotted, because they try to do the latter while waiting for the former, an impasse is arrived at. Apparently the only plan that can be satisfactorily adopted is to drown all the girls at birth except one in a every family a la Chinois."

"Women's independence...
Mrs. Creighton says, "The chief thing to be realised about the independence of modern women is that in gaining it they have lost a lot of charm. They are TOO capable, they are too clearly able to take care of themselves. There is something aggressive in their perfect ease... perhaps their independence is too new for them to be able to wear it gracefully. Perhaps we have got too accustomed to considering helplessness as an almost necessary part of the charm."

7 JULY

A MEETING will be held in the
PAVILION, BROADSTAIRS on
TUESDAY JULY 13th at 7.45p.m.
Under the auspices of the
WOMEN'S FREEDOM LEAGUE
Principal speaker is
MRS. HOLMES
Free seats also reserved at 1/-, 6d, 3d

[Mrs. Holmes was on the National Executive Committee of the Women's Freedom League]

"Woman and the Home" column...
"Reading has just elected the first woman to its Watch Committee. ... it stands to reason that half the population in whose interests the Watch Committees are formed ought to have a representative on them."

Thomas Relf of Dumpton was bound over in the sum of 5 pounds for threatening to kill his wife.

14 JULY
"VOTES FOR WOMEN... eloquent speech by Mrs. Holmes...
"The Suffragettes, who are conducting an active campaign in Thanet laid siege to Broadstairs this week. An open-air meeting was held in the Rose Inn Yard. Announcements were chalked on pavements all over the town.
"Mrs. Holmes spoke of the desire for liberty and self-government: a right to say under what conditions they should live and what laws one should obey and what punishments should be inflicted on those who break the law. She said: "It behoves every self-respecting woman to find out how her existence was considered a menace to the state. Why were women insulted with this mental and moral disqualification? Why should she be linked with lunatics and criminals? Women are justified in their existence, and perform the duties of citizenship. Women suffer in the Industrial world, and in the legal world, in a great many ways... women have suffered grievously from not having the vote. It is a political axiom that the interests of the unrepresented went to the wall... We are not pleading any privilege, but demand what we have a perfect right to have." (applause) "Women have been asking for the vote for the last sixty years... because they behaved nicely and asked in a ladylike manner no attention was paid to them.
"The life of working women in this country is little better than slavery... women in cities work 19 hours a day for a shilling a day." She spoke of the plight of girls with unwanted pregnancies thus: "Hundreds of girls who have committed a crime under the circumstances of mental and physical conditions only to be understood and grasped by women are tried by juries of men, the cases put by men and defended by men and judged by men. That girl could be sentenced to death or prison and they all knew there had been a partner in the crime who was morally as guilty as the girl, though the law cannot touch him." The speaker was loudly applauded."

28 JULY
Letters to the editor...
Miss Rachael Weigall announces that she is the Honorary Secretary of the Women's National Anti-Suffrage League (WNASL).

4 AUGUST
Letters to the editor...
Janet H. Stephens announces the presence of the Isle of Thanet Women's Suffrage Society, and gives a list of eight committee members.

"Woman and the Home" column...
Advice to men:
Don't let go of the reins. A woman plays with an obliging man but respects a masterful one.
Don't let a woman know the extent of her power over you, or she may rule instead of serving.

1 SEPTEMBER
"Woman and the Home" column...
The rights of Married Women.
In a letter to the Times, Lady McLaren argues that the new Budget proposals make a new and unexpected attack upon the rights of women. The Bill provides that persons with an income of over �5000 per year are liable to a super-tax of 6d in the pound. Married women will have their incomes added to that of their husbands and if the united income is over �5000 the super-tax will have to paid. Unmarried persons or others who choose to share living expenses will be exempt. The tax laws also provide that despite the Married Women's Property Acts now being law, "the income of a married woman is deemed to be the husband's income." This proceeds from the legal fiction that husband and wife are one person. "The law further involves a new injustice: in the case of tax returns... 'The income of a married woman must be returned by her husband.' Consequently, every wife from this time onwards must reveal the exact amount of her income to her husband... Men would keenly resent any law which obligated them to reveal their income to their wives.

8 SEPTEMBER
"Woman and the Home" column...
Women's brains...
Professor Armstrong said at Winnepeg that "the most disquieting feature of the times is the revolt of women against their womanhood, and their claims to be on an equality with man and to compete with men." His chief cause of grievance is the recent application of women who have clearly shown their qualifications for the distinction, to be made fellows of the Chemical Society. "Such women should be firmly discouraged." He would give women no honour where honour is due to them for chemistry, medicine or scientific ability of any kind. "As soon as any such ability is detected it should be nipped in the bud," he said. Women have no business to use any mental gifts save in the way which makes them practically men's slaves, the paper comments. "Their brains," said the Professor, "must be hoarded so they can be transmitted to their sons".

22 SEPTEMBER
Will Bolton of Ramsgate charged with "threatening to bash out his wife's brains". Bound over in the sum of �10 for six months.

"Woman and the Home" column...
The Suffrage campaign.
Miss Cicely Hamilton, [1872-1952. Author, "Marriage as a Trade"] the famous playwright is an ardent suffragette. She says in a letter to a daily paper "anyone really conversant with the movement would have discovered that the suffragist is out for a good deal more than just the vote. That is merely the outward sign of a desire for something considerably more important. It is merely one of the inevitable results of the greatest discovery of the age: the discovery by women of their own identity... the real work of the suffragist is not the gaining of votes; it is the production of women that want them."

"Woman and the Home" column...
At The Bank of England a protest has been raised against women clerks... not because they are not efficient, but because the men say "women are incapable of keeping secrets."

13 OCTOBER
Mrs Pankhurst, writing in "Votes for Women" says: "Were it possible for them to inflict still greater tortures on our women even to the taking of life itself, it would a triumph over them. For the spirit which is in women today cannot be quenched... it is stronger than all the tyranny, cruelty and oppression." Mrs Pethick Lawrence writes: "There are thousands of women in this movement ready to lay down their lives for the cause."

"Women's Suffrage: a male advocate's address".
"Capital addresses were given by Mr Baillie Weaver and Miss Abadam; the former, in a clear, logical speech demolished many of the arguments of the Anti-suffragists. Miss Abadam also delivered an eloquent and feeling address. Councillor Radcliffe, in the Chair, explained that the NUWSS was working on constitutional lines and he was afraid the extreme militants had retarded the cause and was no doubt the reason they had not obtained so many recruits lately. Mr Weaver spoke of women's contribution to the British Empire and said that in times of war, if the country was defeated, women stood a special sex risk that men did not run. In reply to the "Anti's" arguments that women were not competent to have a vote, and also the objection that they do not serve in a military capacity, he replied that men did not have to prove either of these in order to vote. Miss Abadam said if women were granted the vote they would be able to obtain better wages and help prevent many of the tragedies that happened day and night. "The demand for women's suffrage is the greatest movement of the present time."

20 OCTOBER
"Edith Washford, charged with attempting suicide, said she had four children aged 9, 7, 5 and 3 and that her drunken, violent husband threatened to kill them all. He admitted this. He was drunk in court. She was released and told to seek police protection if her husband threatened her again. The husband was later given 14 days hard labour for being drunk in court.

10 NOVEMBER
"Woman and the Home" column...
Reports of the Bermondsey by-election where women attempted to destroy voting papers..."it gives the enemy such a splendid chance to argue that women are far too hysterical to vote. We know full well that men do tactless, foolish or even illegal things when in the heat of political warfare, but women are supposed to have more control over themselves... a woman always weakens her cause when she lays aside her femininity".

"We shall be delighted to welcome Mrs. Fawcett, especially as she is so well-known as a great worker for the women's movement...it will be remembered that her sister, Dr Garrett Anderson was elected last year as the first Lady Mayor, and was also the first woman to enter the medical profession."

MRS DESPARD OF THE WOMEN'S FREEDOM LEAGUE gave an eloquent speech at Margate. Mr G.N.Hester presided over a large audience. The Chairman announced that the society had been formed in Thanet to embrace both the militant and non-militant sections of the women's movement. He thought it disgraceful that Anti-suffrage women were running down the suffragists who were fighting for women's rights. Rev. G. Hinscliff spoke for the suffrage. Mrs Despard said the movement was getting stronger and stronger, and that some of the best men were with them. She said that the cause was not anti-men; the WFL which she belonged to was helping to make women equal with men and bring about women's economic freedom. Her speech ended with loud applause.

22 DECEMBER
Woman suffrage policy...
The following is the election policy of the NUWSS: "to help no candidate unless they declare themselves to be supporters of votes for women, and pledge to oppose extending the franchise to all adult men if this does not include women." A petition is held with the Hon.Sec of the NUWSS at 8 Royal Crescent, Ramsgate.


Copy-typed by Julian Rhodes.

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