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WOMEN IN THANET, KENT  Part 2: 1910-1914



Extracts from the 'Kent Argus'.

1910

1 JANUARY
8 JANUARY
[The candidates were the Liberal Mr Weigall, father of Miss Weigall, who ran the anti-suffrage group, and Norman Craig, Conservative. As soon as Norman Craig was elected MP, he changed his mind and became a supporter of votes for women.]

22 JANUARY
20 APRIL
21 APRIL
23 APRIL
MAY
1 JULY
"At the Royal Pavilion on Friday evening the brilliant Suffragette leader addressed a large crowd among whom were a large number of men. Miss F E Macauley was the organising secretary. Miss Pankhurst delivered an inspiring address and expected the cause to be won very soon. "'Women are going to be outlaws no longer' she said. She also defended the militant tactics of the Suffragettes. Another large meeting was addressed on Saturday at he Thatre Royal."

During 1910 Frederick Mercer of James Street and F. Atkins of Southeastern Road were charged with persistent cruelty to their wives; and H. Ainswoth and John Collins with neglect of their wives and children.


1911

25 FEBRUARY
NUWSS President Mrs. M.J. Poole said the society had existed since 1884 and that she wanted it understood that they did not belong to the militant section and they intended to work along constitutional lines. Mrs Rackham also addressed the meeting, explaining that the WSPU was non-party. At present 408 MPs out of 670 were in favour of Woman suffrage and Sir George Kemp would be introducing a Suffrage Bill on May 5th [this was the second reading of the Conciliation Bill].
She dealt with the history of woman suffrage in the House of Commons and said it was 42 years since the first reading of the Bill. There was a "large attendance at the meeting."

3 JUNE
Mr Housman pointed out that women had in the past more rights but she had gradually lost them. Regarding the Anti-Suffragists view that women were represented already, through their husbands, he said that where they differed the woman was not represented. Mr Housman continued that women had a right to the full development of their faculties and to apply those faculties and choose her own career. By present economic conditions women were forced into marriage, he said, and that was not for the benefit of the race. He also spoke of women's inequality in law, education and equal pay.

15 JULY
9 SEPTEMBER
27 SEPTEMBER
4 OCTOBER
Myrtle Reed

22 NOVEMBER
6 DECEMBER

1912

[There was a lot of violent suffragette activity at the beginning of the year; then in March the Pethick Lawrences were arrested and sentenced to nine months in prison. Christabel Pankhurst escaped to Paris - despite the paper's suggestion that she was in hiding at Margate.]

17 JANUARY
7 FEBRUARY
The NUWSS branch here now has 125 members. At a meeting held in York House, Grange Road by Miss Stokes, the officers were elected. 1911 was said to have been "a year of promise for suffragettes". That the second Concilliation Bill had passed its second reading and by a majority of 167 was good news. Asquith had promised to give it its third reading in 1912. The Branch had also managed to influence Ramsgate Town Council to pass the following resolution:

"That this council approves of the Parliamentary Franchise (Women's) Bill for enfranchisement of women householders and urges the government to grant facilities for its passage into law this session."

28 FEBRUARY
Women teachers in the state of Virginia, USA, are demanding pay equal to men's.

The window smashers.
"At a meeting of the Ramsgate NUWSS on Monday a resolution was passed to protest about the outrageous actions of the militant suffragettes and deplore the damage done..."

27 MARCH
"Interest in the chase for Miss Pankhurst the missing Suffragette leader, has been aroused at Margate owing to a widespread rumour that she is in hiding in the town. A daily paper stated that Police are keeping watch on a house where a heavily veiled woman, said to resemble the missing suffragist arrived a few days ago... Scotland Yard is said to have received more communications as to the supposed whereabouts of Miss Pankhurst than in the case of any other "wanted" person. It will be remembered that she spoke in Ramsgate and Margate."
[She was in Paris]

3 APRIL
Defeat of the Suffrage Bill. Letter from Millicent Garrett Fawcett stating that the NUWSS wishes to make it clear that the Bill only lost by 14 votes and that this was attributable to various causes unconnected with women's suffrage.

17 APRIL
24 APRIL
40 members of the local NUWSS branch met at a social tea. Mrs Wyatt did full justice in castigating Dr Wright which she said was an insult to suffragists and anti-suffragists alike.

Miss Henrietta Quimby has become the first woman to pilot an aeroplane across the channel. She is a 25 year-old U.S. journalist. She flew from Deal to Cape Grisnez.

22 MAY
[She was later a Labour MP.]

5 JUNE
"Woman and the Home" column...
As strong as death.
Miss Gertrude Atherton, the American author, says: "The English Suffragette is the highest type of modern woman; strong, sane, with a powerful, complex brain; with a tendency toward sexlessness and an obsessing desire to stand alone in complete independence. She is at the top of the earth, the very acme of feminine development."

18 JULY
The body of a new-born child was found in Margate. It had been strangled with a bootlace.

7 AUGUST
Indignation has been aroused by Wandsworth Council's decision to appoint women as librarians.

14 AUGUST
21 AUGUST
Edward Christian was fined 1 for assaulting his wife.

"Several batches of militant suffragettes have been "visiting" Mr Churchill at Sandwich..."

28 AUGUST
4 SEPTEMBER
The house of Mrs Snowden, the anti-suffrage campaigner, was struck by lightening.

9 OCTOBER
16 OCTOBER
Wandsworth council has changed its mind and decided not to employ women as librarians while there are men without jobs.

'Woman and the Home" column...
A woman prison governor has been appointed in Berlin. Although she is expected to do exactly the same duties as her male confreres she will not receive the same pay. Why is a woman paid less than a man for the same work? The Saturday Journal says that a vast amount of men have dependents, and: "even when single, a man cannot live as cheaply as a woman. The woman's food costs her less, and strange as it may seem, her dress costs her less."

There are now 175 woman doctors in Germany. 5 are widows, 42 married and 78 single.

30 OCTOBER
Elizabeth Pritchard, 19, is charged with letting her llegitimate baby die at birth.

There are now 14 women on the Finnish Parliament.

4 DECEMBER
Tar in pillar boxes in Margate was generally regarded as being the work of the militant suffragettes.

11 DECEMBER
"... is there any way the government could show its appreciation and approval of the admirable work done by women in many directions? Nothing would satisfy the extremists, of course, but the vote."

PILLAR BOX OUTRAGE
A bottle of staining fluid placed in a pillar box outside the Royal Hotel is attributed to the women's suffrage movement.


1913

The Blue Book, issued in connection with the 1913 Census.
In England and Wales there are 4,830,734 women in paid employment (and 11,463,665 men). Of the women 680,191 are married, 411,011 are widows and 3,739,532 are single.
In the following occupations women outnumber men: bakers, bookbinders, button makers, cartridge and firework makers, cardboard box makers, chocolate makers, celuloid makers, corset makers, cooks (not domestic), dressmakers, envelope makers, flower makers, glove makers, hospital service, indoor domestics, jam and sweet makers, laundry workers, lodging house keepers, matchbox makers, milliners, needle and pin makers, nurses, paper bag makers, rag dealers, shirt makers, waiters (not domestic). In teaching, women outnumber men by 187,283.
There are (women): 4,204 painters and sculptors, 24,272 musicians and singers, 9,171 actresses, 477 doctors, 5,689 literary,scientific and political, 3 clergy, 117,057 commercial clerks, 231 blacksmiths, 42 coal heavers, 25 bailiffs, 1 coachman, 1 cabdriver, 2 woodmen, 6 shepherds, 7 coal miners, 159 tin miners, 3 shipwrights, 4 bricklayers, 14 masons, 56 carpenters, 358 barge pilots on rivers and canals, 10,971 dairy keepers, 11,881 butchers, 53,638 grocers, 15,376 costermongers, 10,000 tobacconists, 20,000 independent farmers, 96,850 farm workers, 3,519 gardeners & florists, 5,010 photographers, 4,031 insurance agents, 6,476 bank officials, 4,031 merchants/agents/accountants, 86 plumbers, 5 gasfitters, 3 navvies, 70 paperhangers, 166 painters/decorators, 657 cabinetmakers and 605 boatmen and pilots.

8 JANUARY
No less an authority than the Times has flung the privileges of married women back in their teeth as a reason they should not have any rights. "That her husband has to pay her debts, that he is liable for her torts committed by her, that he is liable for her costs even if he sucessfully divorces her, that she cannot be made bankrupt. These privileges are generally not mentioned by those demanding a change in the legal position of women." Pearl Humphrey says: "Why should women who are fighting for their rights waste their time on denouncing privileges. If they work for equality it stands to reason that they are not working for privileges; it would be a contradiction in terms."

"A correspondent to the Standard declares that the reason there are no wonderful women musicians or artists is because no assistance or encouragement is given to girls clever in those lines... she would receive no help whatsoever... that would not get her a husband, she would be admonished that such doings were unladylike."

15 JANUARY
The NUWSS held a meeting at the Royal Sailors Rest. Miss Bertha Kennett MA spoke to a large and enthusiastic gathering. She gave a long speech about women's suffrage, outlined the history of the movement and said that there are now 350 branches of NUWSS, and there are another 20 separate societies as well. "Seven times the Suffrage Bill has had a second reading, only to be refused further facilities by the government of the day." She gave an able speech. Many new members joined the branch, which has made great progress during the past year.

29 JANUARY
5 FEBRUARY
Railwaymen from East Kent participated in an imaginary Suffragette riot on Thursday. At a mock political meeting a number of Suffragettes caused a riot, and the railwaymen followed them into the street. A fight ensued. Contestants have to explain the probable injuries and how to treat them. This was one of the most difficult tests at the annual competitions. The result was: 1st Deal; 2nd Faversham; 3rd Ramsgate.

"Woman and the Home" column
Schoolmistresses are paid 10 - 15 p.a. less than men, yet they have the same amount of work plus they additionally teach needlework. They are paid less simply because they are women.

[On July 26th 1913, two hundred women of Kent joined the massive "Pilgrimage" organised by the NUWSS, and took part in a mass demonstration in Hyde Park designed to show the Liberal government how strongly women felt they should have a vote.]

The 1913 Ramsgate NUWSS report stated that there were 191 members in the Ramsgate Branch and 118 in Margate. The total income for the Kent Federation was 540 (worth approximately 130,000 today) and for the Ramsgate Branch was 42 (10,000 today) plus 7 10s collected in the street for the Pilgrimage (1,800 today).

19 FEBRUARY
Writing in the Women's Industrial News, Miss Zimmerman says that in the tailoring trade women are paid 3 1/2d per hour, men 6d; women 13s 10d for a 51 hour week; men 25s 6d for exactly the same work.

MILITANTS ON THE GOLF LINKS
Two of the greens on the Royal St Georges Limes at Sandwich have been damaged by militant Suffragettes using sulphuric acid. Holes had been scooped out as though with a trowel, and papers inserted bearing the words: "VOTES FOR WOMEN".

12 MARCH
19 MARCH
2 APRIL
9 APRIL
16 APRIL
23 APRIL
News of militant suffragette activities has evidently reached the Young Blood of Minster, who planted a hoax bomb wrapped inside a copy of "The Suffragette" at Minster Parish church. This stupid act was attributed to "the youths of the village."

7 MAY
14 MAY
21 MAY
18 JUNE
An extremely interesting meeting was held by the NUWSS... the speaker was Frau Anker, who spoke of the franchise in her native Norway, which was granted in 1907 (limited), and then on June 13th this year universal adult suffrage was granted.

25 JUNE
The NUWSS is planning a women's suffrage pilgrimage, marching to London to a mass rally in Hyde Park on 26th July. The programme of the Thanet division includes open-air meetings at Margate on July 1st, Broadstairs on 2nd, Ramsgate on 3rd and Minster on 4th. "Every pilgrim will have in her heart a deep sense of reverent happiness that it has fallen to her lot to have the chance of dedicating herself to one of the greatest movements which has ever taken place in the history of the world".

2 JULY
Miss Griffith Jones addressed an open-air meeting at Garlinge on Monday.

Mme Dieulafoy the celebrated explorer and feminist... said the French ministries of War and Marine employ 155,880 women.

9 JULY
16 JULY

[No report was given of Lloyd George's country house being firebombed by Suffragettes in February, nor of suffragette Emily Davison who died after she threw herself under the Kings horse at the Derby in June.]

23 JULY
The first Suffragist meeting ever held in Minster took place on Friday. Miss Griffith Jones addressed the crowd. In Birchington Square the local Suffragists held a very successful meeting.

3 SEPTEMBER
THE REASON WHY WOMEN WANT THE VOTE
Mrs Snowden delivered a brilliant address at Ramsgate. The Congregational Hail was full to the doors and there was barely standing accommodation. She said that the Ramsgate branch of the NUWSS now had 160 members.

1914

14 JANUARY
RAMSGATE SUFFRAGISTS... THE YEAR''S WORK
At the AGM of Ramsgate NUWSS at Foresters Hall, Mrs Chaning Pearce said that new ground had been broken with the new branches opening at Margate, Broadstairs and Minster. This of course meant the loss of members from the Ramsgate branch but even with that the membership had still risen, and now stood at 190, and the new "Friends of Women's Suffrage" numbered 53.

[It was noted that Miss Stancomb-Wills had been appointed to the Town Council last year. Ten years later she was Mayor of Ramsgate.]

25 MARCH
1 APRIL

Copy-typed by Julian Rhodes.

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