Margaret, Lady Rhondda, lived a life of wealth and privilege but she was not afraid to stand up for her beliefs as well as support them financially. An only child, she was strongly influenced by her parents Sybil Haig – an active suffragette and David Thomas a Welsh businessman and long standing liberal MP. She was Secretary of the Newport branch of the Women’s Social & Political Union (WSPU) and she joined in with a number of militant and even violent actions, including protest marches and attempting to blow up a postbox. She spent a brief spell in prison before being released after going on hunger strike. Continue reading Margaret Haig Thomas, Lady Rhondda
Sophie Duleep Singh was an Indian princess, turned rebel suffragette, who marched alongside Emmeline Pankhurst and dedicated her life to the cause of votes for women.
Sophia was born on 8th August 1876, at her family’s stately home in Suffolk. But she was no normal English aristocrat; her father was Maharaja Duleep Singh – the last king of the Sikh empire, who was withdrawn from his throne (after the British Empire conqured the Punjab), and was exiled from India to England a couple of years later when he was still just a teenager. He brought with him the famous Koh-i-noor diamond, which now sits in the crown jewels. He converted to Christianity and enjoyed the favour of Queen Victoria. When Sophia was born she (the Queen) became her godmother. Continue reading Sophia Duleep Singh
Muriel Matters was an actor & suffragist who became known for her daring stunts in the campaign for votes for women. She was born in South Australia 1877 and was the third oldest of 10 children. She studied Music at the University of Adelaide.
in 1894, when Muriel was a young woman, the colony of South Australia became the first self-governing territory to give women equal franchise on the same terms as men; young women like Muriel could not only vote at state elections but could also nominate for a seat in Parliament. Continue reading Muriel Matters – Suffragette Shero
Ethel Smyth was a composer, suffragette and writer known for her passionate public and private life.
Born on 23rd April 1858 Ethel developed an interest in music from a young age. At 12, when she learned that her governess had studied music at the Leipzig Conservatory in Germany, she decided that was where she needed to go.
Unfortunately her father saw things differently, and was completely against the idea. He even stopped her music lessons to try and change her mind. Ethel was having none of it, and over the next seven years she persistently pressured her father; refusing to eat, locking herself in her room, skipping church and other social occasions until he finally gave in! At the age of 19 she finally left to attend the music school.