One of Bristol’s most famous Suffragettes is to be honoured with another blue plaque – in her adopted home town of Weston-super-Mare.
Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence was a leading Suffragist who was born and raised in Clifton but then moved to Weston as a child.
Although born into a wealthy family – her father was a merchant, town commissioner in Weston and owned the local newspaper there – she went to west London to work as a missionary in deprived areas and quickly became an ardent socialist, fighting to unionise the women workers there.
In the latter part of the 19th century she help found the Suffrage Movement, and held rallies in Weston and Bristol, before becoming a Suffragette when the Suffragists went militant.
Emmeline, along with her sister Dorothy, campaigned for suffrage across Europe and within the USA and suffered violence and intimidation at many public meetings, including a huge rally on Weston beach in 1908.
As the movement became more radical in the 1910s, she was arrested several times, and served sentences in Holloway Prison.
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A blue plaque was unveiled back in 2004 on the house where she was born in Charlotte Street, Bristol, and now one is being put up in her honour on the gate pillar next to Lewisham House in Weston’s Bristol Road Lower, in March, it has been announced.
(Image: Courtesy of Bristol Central Library, Reference Section)
Town Clerk Malcolm Nicholson said: “We are proud to celebrate the life of Emmeline Pethick Lawrence and her sister Dorothy, leading campaigners for women’s suffrage, who spent most of their childhood in Weston.”
To coincide with the plaque unveiling, there will also be a talk about her life, called Stories of Inspirational Women, as part of Weston’s Literary Festival, which will take place on March 6 at 3.30pm in Weston Museum.
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