Women's Social and Political Union: Huddersfield Branch
The Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) was the main militant organisation campaigning for women's suffrage in the United Kingdom during the early 1900s and was formed in 1903 by Emmeline Pankhurst.
In November 1906, Pankhurst had stayed in town whilst campaigning against the Liberal candidate during the Huddersfield by-election. She returned the following month to speak at an event held in Huddersfield Town Hall on 18 December and the Huddersfield branch of the was formed with around 50 women putting their names forward as members.
The branch met for the first time in January 1907 at Robinson's Cafe, 12 John William Street, Huddersfield. The founder of the WSPU movement, Emmeline Pankhurst, attended the meeting, along with Nellie Martel. The branch's first secretary was Edith Key.
Annie Williams, who had previously been a paid WSPU organiser in Newcastle, became the organiser of the Huddersfield and Halifax branches at the start of October 1911. Her companion Lettice Floyd also moved to the area to join her and had taken up the post of honourable secretary by January 1912. Both women took part in militant activities in London, leading to imprisonment and force-feeding. By the summer of 1912, Williams and Lettice had relocated to Wales.
The following undated lists are recorded in Edith Key's minute book.
|name (as recorded)||address||biographical details|
|Mrs Key (Hon. Secretary)||Regent Place, Bradford Road, Huddersfield||Edith Ann Key (1872-1937) née Proctor|
|Mrs W. Brook (Hon. Treasurer)||Market Street, Paddock|
|Mrs Pogson (Literature Secretary)||50 Lowergate, Longwood|
|Mrs Haigh||28 Bentley Street, Lockwood|
|Mrs Lodge||1 Springdale Place, Crosland Street, Crosland Moor|
|Mrs Shakeshaft||Prospect House, Outcote Bank||Harriet Shakeshaft (1858-1940) née Richardson|
|Mrs Sykes||5 Springdale Street, Thornton Lodge||Annie Maria Sykes (1867-?) née Jepson|
|Mrs Scott||48 Grove Street, Huddersfield|
|Mrs Thewlis||29 Hawthorne Terrace, Calton Street||Eliza Elizabeth Thewlis (1860-1930) née Taylor|
|name (as recorded)||address||biographical details|
|Mrs Bates||West End, Newsome|
|Miss Beevers||12 Charles Street, Crosland Moor||Ellen Beever (1848-1913)|
|Mrs Walter Brook||21 Thistle Street||Mary Brook (c.1859-?) née Taylor|
|Miss Brooke||West End, Wooldale, Thongsbridge||Gertrude Ellen Brook (1885-1970)|
|Mrs Burton||54 Swan Lane, Lockwood|
|Mrs Crawshaw||Whitacre Street, Deighton||Emily Crawshaw (c.1857-?)|
|Miss Dawson||5 Station Lane, Berry Brow|
|Miss L. A. Dawson||5 Station Lane, Berry Brow||Lydia Ann Dawson (1868-1938)|
|Mrs Dransfield||100 Hillhouse Lane||Mary Dransfield (c.1883-?)|
|Mrs Fleetwood||102 Hillhouse Lane|
|Mrs France||19 May Street, Crosland Moor||Emily France (c.1863-1954) née Wordsworth|
|Mrs Willie France||52 Rock Chapel Road, Berry Brow||Lucretia France (1869-1954) née Charlesworth|
|Mrs Hadyn||6 Spencer's Yard, Hillhouse Lane||Clara Ann Hadin (1863-1939) née Moore|
|Mrs Amelia Haigh||Town Gate, Newsome||Amelia Haigh (c.1879-?)|
|Miss E. Haigh||28 Bentley Street, Lockwood||possibly Elizabeth Haigh (c.1852-?)|
|Mrs Hall||9 Leeds Road|
|Mrs Hall||11 Hill Top, Paddock||Hannah Hill (1882-?) née Copley|
|Mrs Hellawell||7 Springfield Place, Swan Lane, Lockwood||Lily Hellawell (1875-?) née Townsend|
|Mrs Hickman||21 New Street, Paddock||Annie Hickman (1873-1960) née Atkinson|
|Mrs Highley||Rock Terrace, West Street, Lindley||Ellen Highley (1848-1929) née Dennison|
|Mrs Hirst||Casson Buildings, Manchester Road, Milnsbridge|
|Mrs Hobson||14 Trevelyan Street, Moldgreen||Mary Jane Hobson (c.1881-?) née Hanson|
|Miss Annie Hopson||Moor End, Lockwood||Annie Hopson (1881-?)|
|Mrs. Horrocks||Oxford Place, Swan Lane, Lockwood|
|Mrs Jackman||Morley Lane, Milnsbridge|
|Mrs Lee||15 Moors Yard, South Parade||possibly Mary Lee (c.1864-?)|
|Miss Livesey||116 Moor End|
|Mrs Joe Livingstone||Birch Road, Berry Brow||Sarah Fearnside Livingstone (1879-1962) née Wood|
|Miss Lodge||8 Springfield Place, Swan Lane, Lockwood|
|Miss Lowenthal||The Grange, Edgerton||Bertha Susan Löwenthal (1856-1920)|
|Miss Marsden||30 Charles Street, Crosland Moor|
|Miss Mellor||69 Swan Lane, Lockwood|
|Mrs Mellor||Morley Lane, Milnsbridge|
|Mrs Morton||107 Yews Hill Road|
|Mrs Morton||Moor End House, Moor End Road||Sarah Jane Morton (c1872-?) née Taylor|
|Mrs Mosley||20 Cherry Nook Road, Deighton||Annie Elizabeth Mosley (c.1851-1918)|
|Mrs Pinnance||Royds Hall, Paddock||Elizabeth Ann Pinnance (1879-1959) née Shaw|
|Mrs Roberts||Cliffe Terrace, Cliff End, Longwood|
|Miss Rhodes||Crosland Road, Oakes||Probably Clara Rhodes (1855-1933) née Beaumont|
|Miss E. Rhodes||Crosland Road, Oakes||Probably Emily Jane Rhodes (1885-1959)|
|Mrs Smith||Bank Terrace, Outcote Bank||Probably Sarah Elizabeth Smith (c.1865-1923) née King|
|Miss Smith||Bank Terrace, Outcote Bank||Probably Ellen Smith (1888-?)|
|Mrs Spivy||94a Hillhouse Lane||possibly Selina M. Spivy (c.1847-1910?)|
|Mrs Stead||114 West End, Newsome|
|Miss G. Swallows||21 Daisy Street, St. Andrews Road||Annie Gertrude Horrocks (c.1887-?) née Swallow|
|Miss Sykes||6 Primitive Street||Ann Sykes (1870-1942?)|
|Miss Dora Thewlis||29 Hawthorn Terrace, Calton Street||Dora Thewlis (1890-1976)|
|Mrs Wagstaff||24 Bentley Street, Lockwood||Laura Wagstaff (c.1861-?)|
|Miss A. Williams||89 Moor End Road, Lockwood||Alice Williams (1880-?)|
|Mrs Wilson||3 Cross Cottages, Marsh|
If you are able to help provide details for any of the members, please get in touch!
- Articles from the Votes for Women newspaper relating to the Huddersfield area
Notes and References
- Wikipedia: Emmeline Pankhurst.
- "The Women Suffragists in Huddersfield" in Huddersfield Daily Examiner (19/Dec/1906).
- Rebel Girls: Their Fight for the Vote (2006) by Jill Liddington, pages 115-116.
- Wikipedia: Nellie Martel
- "Huddersfield" in Votes for Women (20/Aug/1908).
- According to The Militant Suffragette Movement in York (2007) by Krista Cowman, the "At Home" meetings were pioneered by Mary Gawthorpe at the Manchester WSPU branch.
- "Halifax and Huddersfield" in Votes for Women (08/Sep/1911).
- Wikipedia: Lettice Floyd.
- "Halifax and Huddersfield" in Votes for Women (17/Nov/1911) and Votes for Women (19/Jan/1912).
- The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866-1928 (2003) by Elizabeth Crawford.
- West Yorkshire Archive Service (reference: WYAS225).
- The name spellings in the first column are as recorded by Key.
- Aunt of branch member Miss Sykes of 6 Primitive Street.
- Unmarried and listed at 45 Bentley Street in the 1901 Census.
- Wife of farmer Alfred Rhodes who is listed on Crosland Road in the 1900 Directory.
- Daughter of farmer Alfred Rhodes and his wife Clara of Lindley.
- Bank Terrace appears to have been a row of properties on the eastern side of Outcote Bank near to the junction with South Parade.
- Born Keighley, wife of railway employee Tom Harry Smith. They lived on Outcote Bank in the early 1900s. She died 1 February 1923.
- Born 11 December 1888, daughter of the above Sarah Elizabeth Smith and railway employee Tom Harry Smith. Ellen married Wilfred Dale in June 1907. Possible death index entries in the Huddersfield area for 1945 & 1961.
- Born 28 October 1870, Holmfirth, daughter of John Sykes & Mary Beever, she worked as a rug weaver. The Sykes' are recorded at 6 Primitive Street in the 1901 & 1911 Censuses. She seemingly never married and is recorded at that address in the 1937 Directory & 1939 Register. Probably died Q3 1942 Huddersfield. Her aunt was branch member Ellen Beever.
- Wife of woollen weaver Sam Wagstaff. She died prior to the 1911 Census.