Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, Baroness Pethick-Lawrence

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence)
Jump to: navigation, search
Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence
Emmeline Pethick Lawrence, c.1910. (22981177345).jpg
c. 1910
Born 21 October 1867
Clifton, Bristol, England
Died 11 March 1954(1954-03-11) (aged 86)
Gomshall, Surrey, England

Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, Lady Pethick-Lawrence (21 October 1867 – 11 March 1954)[1] was a British women's rights activist.


Emmeline Pethick was born on 21 October 1867 in Bristol. Her father was a businessman. She was the second of 13 children, and was sent away to boarding school at the age of eight.

From 1891 until 1895 she worked as a "sister of the people" for the West London Mission at Cleveland Hall, near Fitzroy Square. She helped Mary Neal to run the girls club at the mission. In the autumn of 1895 she and Mary Neal left the mission to co-found the Espérance Club, a girls club that would not be subject to the constraints of the mission, and could experiment with dance and drama.[2] Pethick also started Maison Espérance, a dressmaking cooperative with a minimum wage, an eight-hour day and a holiday scheme. She married Frederick Lawrence in 1901 after he changed his political views to be more Liberal. The pair took the joint name Pethick-Lawrence and kept separate bank accounts to give them autonomy.[3] She was a member of the Suffrage Society and was introduced to Emmeline Pankhurst in 1906. She became treasurer of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) and raised £134,000 over six years.[4]

Votes for Women was the newspaper she and her husband editted
Pethick Lawrence at left with Women at the Hague in 1915 including Jane Addams and Annie E. Malloy

Pethick-Lawrence started the publication Votes for Women with her husband in 1907. The couple was arrested and imprisoned in 1912 for conspiracy following demonstrations that involved breaking windows, even though they had disagreed with that form of action. After being released from prison, the Pethick-Lawrences were unceremoniously ousted from the WSPU by Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughter Christabel because of their ongoing disagreement over the more radical forms of activism which the Pethick-Lawrences opposed. They then joined the United Suffragists. Emmeline was present at the Women's Peace Congress in 1915 at the Hague. She stood as Labour candidate for Manchester Rusholme in 1918.[4]

In the year 1938 Pethick-Lawrence published her comprehensive memoirs that especially deal with the radicalization of the Suffrage Movement in the eve of the First World War.[5]

In 1945 she became Lady Pethick-Lawrence when her husband was made a baron.[6]

Foundations, organisations and settlements[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence © Orlando Project". cambridge.org. 
  2. ^ Judge, Roy (1989). "Mary Neal and the Espérance Morris" (PDF). Folk Music Journal. 5 (5): 548. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Brian Harrison, 'Lawrence, Emmeline Pethick-, Lady Pethick-Lawrence (1867–1954)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2006 accessed 17 Nov 2007
  4. ^ a b Uglow, Jennifer S. (1985). "Pethick-Lawrence, Emmeline". The International Dictionary of Women's Biography. New York: Continuum. pp. 370–371. ISBN 0-8264-0192-9. 
  5. ^ Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence (1938): My Part in a Changing World. London 1938.
  6. ^ Rappaport, Helen (2001). "Pethick-Lawrence, Emmeline". Encyclopedia of women social reformers. 1. [A – L]. Santa Barbara, Calif. [u.a.]: ABC-CLIO. p. 548. ISBN 978-1-57607-101-4. 

External links[edit]