THE EDWARDIAN SUFFRAGETTES
The Edwardian Suffragette movement shaped our futures as women entirely.
And without them, we may not have the freedoms we so often take for granted as women today.
Inspiration for JPL’s first collection emerged when Founder and Creative Director Juliana stumbled across an old book about the Suffragette Movement in one of London’s vintage shops, written by no other than Emmeline Pankhurst. Inspiring her both as an empowered woman in her personal life and in her designs, Juliana became fascinated by the era in which women were finally able to have a voice.
This collection is dedicated to the British women who were part of the revolution for our present position in society. Their persistent strength gave us the power to be whatever we want today.
JPL has named the five collection pieces after five extraordinary women of the Edwardian British Suffragette Movement:
The Emily, The Emmeline, The Annie, The Lydia, & The Christabel
In 1906, Emily joined the Women’s Social and Political Union, founded by Emmeline Pankhurst, and quickly became involved in demonstrations in support of women’s suffrage. By 1908 she had given up teaching and was completely dedicated to the movement. In 1909 she received the first of nine prison sentences. She went on many hunger strikes and was force fed on a number of occasions.
Finally, on 4th June 1913, she ran on to the racetrack at the Epsom Derby in the path of King George V’s horse. She was badly injured and died in hospital on 8th June 2013. (sprattonhistory.org)
In 1889, Emmeline founded the Women's Franchise League, which fought to allow married women to vote in local elections. In October 1903, she helped found the more militant Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) - an organisation that gained much notoriety for its activities and whose members were the first to be christened 'suffragettes'. Emmeline's 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, Emmeline was arrested on numerous occasions over the next few years and went on hunger strike herself, resulting in violent force-feeding. In 1913, in response to the wave of hunger strikes, the government passed what became known as the 'Cat and Mouse' Act. Hunger striking prisoners were released until they grew strong again, and then re-arrested. (bbc.co.uk/history)
At the age of thirteen Kenney became a full-time worker at a mill and had to get up at five in the morning to start at six, and finished work at 5.30 p.m. On arriving home she was expected to help with washing, cooking and scrubbing floors.
At an Independent Labour Party meeting in 1905, Annie Kenney and her sister, Jessie Kenney, heard Christabel Pankhurst speak on the subject of women's rights. Annie was extremely impressed with the content of the speech and the two women soon became close friends. Annie decided to join the recently formed Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU).
When the WSPU decided to open a branch in the East End, she was asked to leave the mill and become a full-time worker for the organisation. Annie joined Sylvia Pankhurst in London and they gradually began to persuade working-class women to join the WSPU. (spartacus-educational.com)
She was Secretary of the Manchester National Society for Womens’ Suffrage from 1867 until her death in 1890. She played a key role in the campaign for suffrage, encouraging women to openly campaign and speak publicly. She laid the basis for the early twentieth century suffrage campaign.
In 1870 she and other women founded the monthly Women’s Suffrage Journal which chronicled the progress and frustrations of the national campaign for women’s suffrage with reports on meetings and events organised by local societies and parliamentary debates as well other subjects of interest to progressive women. It also covered events abroad. In her first editorial Lydia wrote that the object was “to extend to every isolated well-wisher the firm grasp of an outstretched hand.” The journal cost 1d. (radicalmanchester.wordpress.com)
Christabel Pankhurst, was the eldest daughter of Richard and Emmeline Pankhurst. A co-founder of the WSPU, she directed its militant actions from exile in France from 1912 to 1913.
After obtaining her law degree in 1906, Christabel moved to the London headquarters of the WSPU, where she was appointed its organising secretary. Nicknamed "Queen of the Mob", she was jailed again in 1907 in Parliament Square and in 1909.
In 1917, Christabel went to Russia in an attempt to stop the country from withdrawing from World War One. And in 1918, the Representation of the People’s Act introduced women’s suffrage for those over 30 years of age. (historylearningsite.co.uk)