Mary Scawthorn (1863-1956) née Shaw


Mary Shaw was born on 19 December 1863 in Slaithwaite, the daughter of plasterer and painter Nathaniel Shaw and his wife Mary (née Hirst).[1]

She married weaver Joe Scawthorn[2] of Marsden, son of Joseph Scawthorn, on 2 February 1889 at St. Bartholomew, Marsden. The couple lived in Gladstone Buildings, Marsden, and had 6 known children:

  • Hartley Scawthorn (1889-1896)
  • Regina Scawthorn (1890-?)[3]
  • Doris Scawthorn (1894-?)[4]
  • Lewis Scawthorn (1897-1981)[5]
  • Wilfred Shaw Scawthorn (c.1899-?)[6]
  • Lois Scawthorn (1900-1989)[7]


Mary was a Suffragette and is believed to have been member of the Marsden branch of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU).[8]

She was one of five local branch delegates who attended the WSPU rally and subsequent march on Parliament which took place on 13 February 1907 — the other delegates being Mrs. Mosley (Deighton), Mrs. Hellawell (Lockwood), Ellen Beever (Crosland Moor) and Annie Sykes (Thornton Lodge). Ellen Beever and her niece-in-law, Annie Syles, were amongst those arrested.[9]

Following the failure of the second reading of Willoughby Dickinson's Bill on 8 March 1907, she was one of the delegates who travelled to London on 19 March to attend the demonstration and march on Parliament which was held the following day. She was one of several women from Huddersfield who were arrested during the repeated attempts to break through the police lines and was sentenced to 14 days in Holloway Prison. The others who were arrested on the day were:

She was released from Holloway on the morning of Wednesday 3 April 1907.[10]

Later Life

The Scawthorn family emigrated to the United States in July 1912, sailing from Liverpool to Boston, Massachusetts, aboard the Franconia.[11]

Joe Scawthorn died in 1936 and was buried at Oak Grove Cemetery, Pawtucket, Providence County, Rhode Island.[12]. Mary died in 1956 and was buried alongside her husband.[13]

Further Reading

Notes and References

  1. Plasterer Nathaniel Shaw (son of John Shaw deceased) married Mary Hirst (daughter of weaver Joseph Hirst) on 1 May 1854 at Huddersfield Parish Church. Mary died in October 1875.
  2. Born 2 July 1863.
  3. Baptised 31 December 1890 at Marsden. Married Charles R. Lingo in 1913 at Fall River, Massachusetts.
  4. Born 8 July 1894. Married name Kelley. Died 25 January 1997 in Norfolk County, Massachusetts (Find a Grave).
  5. Died in Florida.
  6. Was residing in Pawtucket, Providence, Rhode Island, at the time of the 1940 US Census with his wife Mabel.
  7. Married name Fuller. Died 1989 in Providence, Rhode Island.
  8. Mary isn't listed as a member of the Huddersfield branch in Edith Key's minute book which covers the years 1907 to 1909.
  9. "The Yorkshire Suffragettes" in Leeds Mercury (15/Feb/1907).
  10. "Local Suffragettes Released" in Huddersfield Daily Examiner (04/Apr/1907).
  11. Women's Suffrage in Kirklees: Mary Scawthorn.