Leeds Mercury (26/Mar/1907) - The Suffragettes: Two Huddersfield Women Who Took Park in the Raid

The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.


Two Huddersfield Women Who Took Part in the Raid.


More suffragettes appeared at Westminster yesterday, when the cases remanded from Thursday were dealt with.

Miss Ellen Brook is from Huddersfield, and the police said she was walking at the head of the procession which sought to gain admittance to the House last Wednesday, linked arm in arm with others, and shouting, "Votes for women."

"That’s just what I wanted," Miss Brooks told the police when arrested.

She was fined 20s. or fourteen days.

Miss Mary King Townend is also from Huddersfield, and the police evidence was to the effect that she held a constable with one hand and clutched the railings at St. Stephen's with the other.

"In fact," was the officer’s remark yesterday, "I had to arrest her in order to get rid of her."

Defendant, giving evidence on her own behalf, said she was walking quietly along when eight policemen tried to hustle her off the pavement, and in order to retain her balance she clung to the railings, and she was promptly arrested.

Answering Mr. Muskett, prisoner said she was nineteen years of age.

How long have you taken part in the movement? Ever since I began to think for myself.

When was that? When I was seventeen.

Fined 20s. or fourteen days.

Another suffragette, Miss Evelyn Armstrong, is, like little Dora, only seventeen years of age ; but when she was brought up she expressed her willingness to go home to Blackpool if her expenses were paid.[1]

The Magistrate: Well, I shall send you with a mission woman to take care of you, and she will take you to your sister’s address. The charge against you is withdrawn, and you can go home to your friends.

Defendant then left the dock.



Little Dora Thewlis, the seventeen-year-old "suffragette" from Huddersfield who was arrested for demonstrating outside the House of Commons last week, comes up before Mr. Horace Smith at Westminster again to-morrow.

When she made her first appearance last Thursday, it will be recollected, Mr. Smith remarked upon her tender age, and also stated he intended writing to her parents upon the matter.

The following is a copy of the. letter which (as we reported yesterday) the magistrate wrote:—

Westminster Police-court.
Dear Sir.
I am directed by Mr. Horace Smith, magistrate, of this court, to inform you that your daughter Dora was charged at this court yesterday with disorderly conduct and resisting the police in connection with the agitation for votes for women.
The magistrate was reluctant to fine a girl so young, and wishes me to point out that there are grave risks involved in her coming up to London under such circumstances, unaccompanied by either of her parents, or, as far as appears, any adult relation or friend.
If you will make arrangements for her definitely consenting to return home next Wednesday, the magistrate is willing that her fare shall be paid out of our poor box, if this is necessary.
Perhaps you will communicate with your daughter and also with me, unless you or her mother can come here on Wednesday by half-past eleven. The case can be kept back until later in the day if you should wish it.

Mrs. Thewlis has replied to this letter, but she refuses to make any statement concerning the advice she had given her daughter.

Little Dora, in conversation with her friends, has expressed her intention of going to prison, and when she comes up to-morrow she intends to plead guilty.

"I came to London last week with the full consent of my parents," she has told her fellow-suffragettes, "who, of course, knew what my object was.

"My mother could not come, and as I thought the family ought to be represented, I decided to come myself. I am old enough to take care of myself."

Mrs. Thewlis has decided to come up to London to-morrow, when she will support her daughter’s wish to receive the same treatment as the others.

Referring to the "grave risk" mentioned in Mr. Horace Smith’s letter, the suffragette leaders in London told a Press representative yesterday afternoon that there was not the slightest danger attaching to any one's visit to London.

They were all willing to take care of their comrades from the provinces. As soon as the latter reach London they are taken to the private residences of their fellow-suffragettes, and stay there as long as they remain in town. Their expenses, from the time they leave the North until they return, are practically nil.


  1. Evelyn Armstrong's desire to return home to Blackpool was due to the fact her father had died whilst she'd been detained in prison in London.