MAPPING WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE 1911
A Snapshot in time
46 Nicander Road, Setton Park, Liverpool.
Patricia was born in 1875 and was a founding member of the Liverpool WSPU. She was also an active member of Liverpool's Independent Labour Party and sought to bring socialist support to the suffragette cause (see images). In 1906, she joined a deputation of Lancashire women to parliament and was arrested in Parliament Square. She was subsequently imprisoned for 14 days in London's Holloway prison. By 1909, she had become a WSPU organizer in Liverpool and was also imprisoned that year for 3 months in Holloway for being a 'persistent offender' and later with other suffragettes, in Winson Green prison, for harassing Prime Minister Herbert Asquith at Birmingham's Bingley Hall. Patricia went on hunger strike, but began to eat again when threatened with the brutal practice of forcible feeding carried out by prison warders. Patricia was arrested on several occasions during the campaign. Described as a brilliant speaker, in 1910 she addressed the crowds at the WSPU's Hyde Park demonstration. Like numerous suffragettes, she was also arrested but released without charge on 'Black Friday' in November that year - so called because of the police brutality meted out to suffragette protesters. In April 1911 when the census survey took place, and despite being an ardent member of the WSPU, Patricia's name is recorded at home with her family at their modest house in Nicander Road. Did she willingly comply - choosing not to take part in the suffragette boycott of the census? Did her father David fill in her details against her wishes as head of household? Her father was a socialist and very supportive of Patricia's suffragette activities, so this is most unlikely. Perhaps Patricia decided - as did some other suffragettes - that the potential value of the census survey for highlighting social reform issues, such as overcrowding or rates of infant mortality, outweighed the value of the boycott? This would fit with her socialist and Labour party credentials. Whatever her reasons, later that year in November, Patricia was arrested (alongside others) for taking part in window smashing and scuffles with police after trying to make what was described as a 'raid on the House of Commons'. Press reports described how 'there was scarcely a window that escaped attention' on the ground floor of the Treasury in Parliament Street (The Tewkesbury Register, 25 November, 1911). By 1912, her militant actions were tempered perhaps by the WSPU's wish to ensure that their best organizers remained free from prison to continue their propaganda and fund raising work. Source: Elizabeth Crawford, The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide, 1866-1928 (London: 2001).
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