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Women and Scotland

Marie-Odile Pittin-Hedon

Women in Politics and Culture

The contribution of the Women’s Freedom League to the cause of women’s suffrage in Scotland

Sarah Pedersen


Teresa Billington was an important figure for the establishment of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in Scotland. So when she led a break-away group in 1907 to form the Women’s Freedom League, the new society found strong support in Scotland. Billington and others, such as the Edinburgh-born Charlotte Despard, broke away from the WSPU in protest at the organisation’s lack of democracy and frustrated by the personality cult of Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst as the leaders of a WSPU "army". This paper investigates coverage of the Women’s Freedom League in the Scottish press between 1907 and 1918 and argues that the organisation was particularly important in offering a different type of "suffragette", particularly during the years of the First World War when its discussion of the possibilities of a negotiated peace were in direct contrast to other voices.

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1We are all familiar with the traditional figure of the "suffragette", usually associated with names such as Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughter Christabel, and the ferocity of suffragette militant actions in the decade before the outbreak of war in 1914. However, in Scotland, as indeed elsewhere in Britain, the campaign for the vote for women was not as clear cut as popular memory suggests. Other organisations, both constitutional and militant, were also involved in the campaign. The aim of this article is to investigate the importance of one of those organisations, the Women’s Freedom League, in the female political sphere in Scotland during the early twentieth century.

2 In 1903, exasperated at the lack of achievement of the campaign for the vote for women that had started in Britain in the mid-nineteenth century, Mrs Pankhurst and her daughters Christabel, Adela and Sylvia, established the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). This group became known as the “suffragettes” – a name coined by the Daily Mail to differentiate them from the constitutional suffragists, who believed in more traditional means of raising awareness of women’s demand for the vote. By the beginning of the twentieth century the leading organisation of the constitutional suffragists was the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS), led by Millicent Garret Fawcett. While constitutional suffragists relied on writing letters to MPs and submitting petitions to Parliament, the militant WSPU used different tactics to raise public awareness of women’s demands and force the hand of the government. Such tactics included interrupting political meetings, accosting government ministers and disrupting the House of Commons. When the women were removed and then arrested for resisting arrest and making a public nuisance, they refused to pay fines and instead were sent to prison – garnering newspaper headlines for their shocking and unladylike behaviour.

3The WSPU’s original birthplace was Manchester, and many of the earliest workers for the cause came from socialist political circles in this city. One of these was Teresa Billington, who originally trained as a teacher, but by 1905 was working as a paid organiser for the Independent Labour Party (Cowman 14). Billington became one of the first paid organisers for the WSPU and was to be a particularly important leader of the suffragettes in Scotland. It was Teresa Billington who co-ordinated press coverage of the first arrests and imprisonment of Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney in 1905, and her relationship with the press was to be an important factor in later events. The Scottish press definitely gave a high profile to Teresa Billington in the first two years of the suffragette movement. She was frequently referred to as a suffragette leader and it was her speeches, actions and meetings that featured heavily in the press, even before she arrived in Scotland.

  • 1 Edinburgh Evening News, 27 April 1906.
  • 2 Dundee Evening Telegraph, 28 May 1906. See also Hawksley 123.
  • 3 Dundee Evening Telegraph, 18 June 1906.
  • 4 Edinburgh Evening News, 23 June 1906.
  • 5 Dundee Evening Telegraph, 18 June 1906.
  • 6 Aberdeen Daily Journal, 18 June 1906.

4One reason for this is the fact that Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst remained in Manchester in the early months of the establishment of the WSPU, sending Teresa Billington and Annie Kenney down to London to establish a headquarters there. Raising awareness of the campaign for votes for women through press coverage of their activities was one of the key tactics of the suffragettes. Scottish newspapers frequently reported events in London, particularly in connection with Westminster, and so a Scottish newspaper readership soon became familiar with the sayings and doings of Kenney and Billington. Scottish newspapers were less likely to have a press representative in Manchester to cover the activities of those still in that city. In April 1906 the Edinburgh Evening News described Kenney and Billington as the “ringleaders” of militant action at the House of Commons where suffragettes accessed the Ladies’ Gallery and disrupted MPs’ speeches with shouts and flag-waving.1 The two were also described as the leaders of a group of suffragettes in Hammersmith who attempted to prevent the seizure of Dora Montefiore’s goods after her refusal to pay her income tax, citing the Liberal line of “no taxation without representation”.2 Interviews with Kenney and Billington were carried by the Scottish press and their militant actions reported in great detail – as were their physical attributes. An interview in the Dundee Evening Telegraph in June 1906 described how the women had been injured by their run-ins with the police: “Little Miss Kenney and tall Miss Billington groaned in unison. ‘My arms are black and blue all the way with the great thumbs of those policemen, ’ said Miss Kenney, stroking her biceps.”3 In the same month Teresa Billington was sent to Holloway Prison for causing a breach of the peace outside the home of H.H. Asquith, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. To accompany the story Edinburgh Evening News printed a portrait of Billington, describing her as “one of the principal organisers of the Women’s Social and Political Union”.4 In fact, when they travelled to Northampton to disrupt a meeting held by Asquith, Kenney and Billington were at first unable to get into the hall because they were too well known.5 Having managed to gain access, they led a group of suffragettes in the orchestra pit who disrupted the meeting by waving flags inscribed “Votes for Women” and shouting “‘Will Mr Asquith withdraw his opposition to women’s suffrage?’ ‘Asquith the traitor to liberty and justice! ’”. Stewards attempted to remove the women from the hall by force but “[no] sooner had a steward laid hands on Miss Billington than she drew a whip from under her cloak and lashed out on the heads and shoulders of the men. She was seized by three men fighting like a tigress, and incontinently bundled down the steps, shouting at the top of her voice.”6

  • 7 Edinburgh Evening News, 6 August 1906.
  • 8 Dundee Evening Telegraph, 17 August 1906.

5When Teresa Billington was sent to Scotland to campaign in the summer of 1906, she therefore met with an audience who already saw her as a key leader of the suffragettes and was very interested to see this notorious woman. Her arrival in Edinburgh and speeches at meetings throughout the city were reported in great detail. The suffragettes, with their shocking disruptions of political meetings and willingness to go to prison for their beliefs, were news and therefore it is not surprising to find detailed coverage of Billington’s meetings, along with reports of her appearance and manner. Scottish newspapers, however, reported with some surprise on the intelligent and reasoned arguments presented by Billington, her ability to deal with crowds, her feminine appearance and witty responses to hecklers. In Edinburgh the Evening News commented: “Miss Billington is an attractive-looking young lady, whose pleasant appearance would suggest anything but the aggressive characteristics which many may have associated with one who had figured conspicuously in the agitation.”7 The Dundee Evening Telegraph found her “young, charming, soft-voiced, and not devoid of a sense of humour”.8

  • 9 Dundee Courier, 11 September 1906.

6After Edinburgh, Billington moved to campaign in the constituency of “the worst offender”,9 Asquith, then Chancellor of the Exchequer in a Liberal government that had come into power at the start of 1906. The advent of this government had at first led to optimism amongst woman-suffrage campaigners that they would at last achieve the vote. However, despite the fact that over 400 Members of Parliament were pledged to support some form of women’s suffrage, and that a deeply held Liberal belief was “no taxation without representation”, it soon became clear that the new government had no immediate plans to give the vote to women. While many Liberals were in favour of women’s suffrage in principle, there was no strong voice to lead the campaign. On the other side, Asquith was a convinced anti-suffragist.

7It was to Asquith’s constituency of East Fife that Teresa Billington now moved to continue her campaign, being joined there in the autumn by Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney. Again the women’s speeches and interviews were reported in the local press, giving good coverage of their arguments and again demonstrating the speakers’ articulacy and wit. The Fife Free Press gave a verbatim report of the question-and-answer sessions at one of Teresa Billington’s meetings:

  • 10 Fife Free Press, 18 August 1906.

Someone shouted – “You ought to be a Sodger” (laughter).
Miss Billington, remounting the chair, said – “Evidently my friend is under the impression that when a man becomes a soldier he gets a vote. That is a great mistake. As soon as a man becomes a soldier he loses his vote.”

  • 11 Dundee Courier, 10 October 1906.

8One of the reasons for the women’s arrival in East Fife was the scheduled appearance of Asquith at the annual general meeting of the East Fife Liberal Federation that autumn, after which he had agreed to receive a deputation of Liberal women – note not suffragettes– to discuss the issue. Newspapers which had framed the suffragettes’ arrival in the area in military terms as “an invasion” now wrote of Asquith’s “surrender” to the ladies.11

  • 12 Dundee Courier, 16 October 1906.
  • 13 Aberdeen Daily Journal and Edinburgh Evening News, 16 October 1906.

9However, in the event, Asquith’s meeting with the Liberal women’s deputation was disappointing, with the Chancellor of the Exchequer refusing to support women’s suffrage and suggesting that women needed to “work out their own salvation”. Again, it was Billington’s reaction to Asquith’s dismissal of the women’s demands that was published in the Scottish newspapers. The Dundee Courier quoted Billington’s claims at a meeting in Glasgow that “The suffragettes would work out their salvation, even if they drove Mr Asquith from East Fife”12 with no mention of the fact that Mrs Pankhurst also spoke at the meeting. The Edinburgh Evening News and Aberdeen Journal also focused on Billington’s speech with only brief acknowledgements at the end of their reports of the presence of Mrs Pankhurst.13 The suffragette leadership returned to Scotland in 1907 to campaign at several by-elections that year. However, while Teresa Billington loyally supported Mrs Pankhurst and Christabel during their Scottish appearances, cracks were beginning to appear beneath the surface between the autocratic Emmeline and Christabel, who increasingly came to see the WSPU as an army led by themselves in pursuit of the one cause, and others, many of whom came from the socialist roots of the movement. They were frustrated by the new personality cult and wished to see a more democratic approach to the conduct of the campaign. Krista Cowman suggests that Teresa Billington’s own dissatisfaction with the Pankhursts may have been heightened by her removal as campaign leader at the 1907 by-election in Aberdeen in favour of Mrs Pankhurst (Cowman 151). Lindy Moore adds that Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst might have felt some concern during that campaign about the Aberdeen press’ description of Teresa Billington as the leader of the suffragettes. A movement away from their Labour Party roots by Christabel and Emmeline added to concerns about the direction of the WSPU felt by women such as Teresa Billington, the Edinburgh-born Charlotte Despard, Edith How Martyn and Annie Cobden Sanderson. Teresa Billington was now living in Scotland, having recently married a Scotsman, and so used her influence in the country to agitate for demands for reform and a new constitution at a planned WSPU annual general meeting in the autumn of 1907. In response, Emmeline Pankhurst invited those who were not happy with the way in which the WSPU was run to leave and form their own society. Around one-fifth of the society’s members left and thus the Women’s Freedom League was born in October 1907.

10Suffragettes now had the choice of two societies, and it is not surprising to find that a good number of Scottish suffragettes followed Billington-Greig, as she was now known having married Frederick Greig in February 1907, into the new Women’s Freedom League. Billington-Greig was extremely influential among Scottish suffragettes, having been an early organiser in the country, being well known in the Scottish press and now living full-time in Scotland. In addition, it is clear that the Glaswegian branch of the WSPU in particular was closely affiliated to the Independent Labour Party (ILP) and thus some members may have been drawn to the more democratic approach of the Women’s Freedom League. Elspeth King notes that many ILP members were also WSPU organisers and that the establishment of the Glasgow branch of the WSPU in 1906 had coincided with the launch of a new radical weekly newspaper, The Forward. This was the main publication of the ILP in Scotland and from its first issue the WSPU had the support of its editor Tom Johnston. Teresa Billington-Greig’s new husband was based in Glasgow, where he was employed as manager of a billiard-table manufacturer, but was originally from Aberdeen where he had been involved in socialist politics. Teresa had stayed before her wedding at the house of Mrs Bream Pearce, who wrote for The Forward under the pen name Lily Bell and was an early member of the Glasgow WSPU (Crawford 240). All of these connections with the ILP would have made the new Women’s Freedom League more attractive to women such as Eunice Murray, Anna Munroe and the actress Maggie Moffat, who now moved to the Women’s Freedom League, which established a Suffrage Centre with a bookshop and tearoom in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow (King 109).

  • 14 Mitchell Library, Glasgow, 891036/1/1. Suffrage Executive Committee Minute Book 1902-1905. 4 Septem (...)

11Despite the appeal of leaders such as Teresa Billington-Greig and Charlotte Despard, however, not all WSPU members moved to the WFL. Over the next six years we see a variety of movements between both the constitutional and militant societies – and not all movements were voluntary. The Glaswegian artist Helen Fraser, who had been recruited by Teresa Billington on her first visit to Scotland and became organiser of the Scottish Federation of the WSPU, was removed from her office in 1908 for her criticism of the growing violence of the WSPU campaign, which now included arson and window-smashing. She was hired instead as a Scottish organiser by the constitutional NUWSS, despite the protests of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Suffrage Society, who felt that they ought to have been consulted and that the appointment of an ex-militant could not be acceptable.14 Caroline Phillips, secretary of the Aberdeen branch of the WSPU, was also removed from her position by the Pankhursts because of her attempts to negotiate with the local Liberal Women’s Federation. Phillips had pleaded with Mrs Pankhurst to allow her some leeway in her conduct of the local campaign in Aberdeen, but Emmeline and Christabel were determined to impose the will of the London headquarters on all local branches and Phillips was quickly removed (Pedersen 99–105). On the other hand, Muriel Scott and her sister Arabella were originally members of the Women’s Freedom League but became more sympathetic to the stronger militancy of the WSPU and moved in the other direction. Other women managed membership of several societies. The Glaswegian Janie Allan contributed funds to a wide variety of suffrage societies, both constitutional and militant, although there is a suggestion that her attempts to work independently and negotiate with local politicians in Glasgow also led to Pankhurst disapproval (King 130).

12Thus, the Scottish suffrage picture is a confusing and inter-connected one, and it is not easy to distinguish between members of different societies or even between constitutional and militant suffragettes. It is not surprising to find that different suffrage organisations shared memberships, or that women attended meetings and demonstrations organised by more than one society since all had the same goal, albeit different tactics. In small Scottish towns with only a minority of women brave enough, interested enough or with sufficient leisure time to attend suffrage meetings, women must frequently have seen the same faces on and off the platform at different events, and friendships between members of different societies, sharing many of the same values, were common.

  • 15 Dundee Courier, 8 May 1908.

13Confusion was therefore one product of the split in the militant campaign. In April 1908 a by-election in Kincardineshire attracted not only the WSPU and the WFL but also the local Working Women’s Political Union (WWPU), which supported the Labour candidate and campaigned for full manhood suffrage. All three women’s groups hired motorcars to drive around the streets plastered with placards, creating confusion on the part of onlookers as to which car belonged to which organisation. The different aims of the two suffrage societies and the WWPU added to the confusion. The following month a by-election was held in Dundee, with Winston Churchill attempting to gain a parliamentary seat having lost a recent by-election in Manchester. Again, both the WSPU and WFL arrived in the city to campaign. One member of the WFL, Mary Molony, introduced the disruptive tactic of ringing a large dinner bell whenever Churchill tried to speak at open-air meetings. While Molony was a member of the WFL, it is obvious from the outburst of condemnation in the Dundee press that the niceties of distinction between different militant suffrage organisations were ignored by most and that the “suffragettes” as a whole were condemned for her actions. The outcry eventually forced Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst to write to the newspapers to condemn Molony’s actions, stating “we have never interrupted, nor intend to interrupt or be present at, Mr Winston Churchill’s meetings” and that “these women are not members of the Women’s Social and Political Union, and we do not accept any responsibility for their action”.15

  • 16 Aberdeen Free Press, 7 December 1908.
  • 17 Dundee Courier, 10 January 1910.

14That this confusion between the different suffrage organisations and their tactics was frequent is evident in the coverage of the issue in the newspapers, but it is also clear that the Women’s Freedom League was very active in Scotland. Teresa Billington-Greig wrote to the newspapers to disassociate the WFL from the WSPU disruption of a Lloyd-George meeting in Edinburgh in December 1908.16 Anna Munro of the WFL was reported explaining to a heckler that it had been a WSPU meeting at a hall in Fife that had recently been broken up, explaining that, in comparison to the larger WSPU, the WFL “cannot afford to take halls”.17 An account of a meeting of the Women’s Freedom League in Glasgow in 1912 described how the Rev. James Barr of Govan, who had been invited to preside, opened the meeting by attacking the militant tactics of “a section of the suffragettes”, remarking that the scenes of violence had brought discredit to the women’s cause. Mr Barr was surprised at the negative response he received from his audience to this statement.

  • 18 Motherwell Times, 26 April 1912.

He remarked that the scenes of violence had brought some discredit on the women’s cause. (Cries of “Not at all.”) They were not there that night because they approved of those scenes of violence. They were there in spite of them. (Interruption.) They were there because they believed that their cause was strong enough to survive them, and because they were not ashamed to associate themselves with that cause even when it was under a cloud. They would make no headway with their cause until they not only claimed that they had no part in those scenes of violence – (hisses and interruption) –but that they were brave enough to utter their clear and loud protest against them as disastrous to their cause as they were dishonourable to womanhood.18

  • 19 Dundee Courier, 18 August 1914.
  • 20 Dundee Courier, 4 February 1915.

15 At this point some of the platform party threatened to leave the stage to disassociate themselves with Mr Barr’s remarks. It then transpired that Mr Barr thought that the Women’s Freedom League was a non-militant organisation. When a member of the platform party at a militant suffragette meeting was unsure of the status of the society he was addressing, it can be seen that, by 1912, confusion about the tactics and status of individual suffrage societies in Scotland was rife. With the involvement of experienced publicists such as Teresa Billington-Greig, the Women’s Freedom League attained a comparatively high profile within the Scottish press, but – as a whole – the suffrage movement suffered from a growing tendency to describe and dismiss all women who campaigned for the vote as “suffragettes” and an increasingly hostile environment in which neither press nor politicians were willing to distinguish between the constitutional suffragists, the violent militancy of the WSPU and the more passive resistance of the Women’s Freedom League, focused on actions such as a refusal to pay taxes. The WFL was particularly involved in the organisation of the boycott of the census in 1911, acting on the basis that women who could not vote, should not be counted (Liddington). Both militant societies declared an end to militancy at the outbreak of war in August 1914. However, while Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst turned their attention to the recruitment of men for the forces and campaigns for women’s war work, it is important to note that the Women’s Freedom League continued its campaign for women’s suffrage throughout the war, reaffirming “the urgency of keeping the Suffrage flag flying, and especially now, making the country understand the supreme necessity of women having a voice in the counsels of the nation”.19 Scottish branches held meetings on the subject of women’s suffrage throughout the war, and speakers such as Nina Boyle continued to insist that “The Freedom League… is never for one moment to haul down its suffrage colours, and it is woman’s duty to think what her position is to be after the war, and to see that her sex does not come out on the wrong side.”20

16In December 1914 Eunice Murray spoke on “Women and the War” in Dundee, arguing that “no country would have ever embarked upon war if the women had had a say in the government of the country”. Throughout the war, press reports of Women’s Freedom League meetings returned to this idea of women’s natural abilities as peacemakers – in February 1916 another meeting in Dundee heard Anna Munro stating that “in the past woman’s natural outlook was towards peace and the building up of the homes of the people, and it was because of that outlook that they wanted women in the councils of the nations.”

  • 21 Aberdeen Daily Journal, 15 May 1916.

17 This stance was not necessarily a popular one. WFL leader Charlotte Despard’s association with the Anti-Conscription League of 1916, and her advocacy of a peace by negotiation led to criticism in the newspapers. The Aberdeen Daily Journal described the League’s “invidious campaign” with scorn as “fighting by passiveness rather than by activity for a lost cause”.21 Nonetheless Mrs Despard’s speeches on the subject of peace were reported in some detail in the Scottish press, giving her a good chance of getting her points across to newspaper readers. When she addressed a meeting in Perth in October 1915, the Dundee Evening Telegraph reported:

  • 22 Dundee Evening Telegraph, 11 October 1915.

She said that many people said that the present moment was not the time to speak about peace; that they should crush the enemy, and then think of peace. She disagreed with that. At the present moment they ought to be working for and thinking about peace. The attitude of woman towards war should be one of the very sternest disapproval. She should like to see a crusade of women against war, and it would be bound to cease.22

18In 1915 the Women’s Freedom League established the Women’s Peace Council for a negotiated peace, with members including Charlotte Despard, Teresa Billington-Grieg and the Glaswegian socialist Helen Crawfurd. Crawfurd and Despard were also among the founders of the Women’s Peace Crusade, which started in Glasgow in July 1916 and spread across the country in 1917. A grassroots socialist movement, the Peace Crusade aimed to demonstrate publically women’s demand for a negotiated peace and the end to war.

  • 23 Aberdeen Daily Journal, 9 February 1917.
  • 24 Dundee, Perth, Forfar and Fife People’s Journal, 13 October 1917.

19The Women’s Freedom League also continued to campaign on other issues relating to women’s welfare throughout the war, often working in tandem with other campaigners such as members of the NUWSS, the Northern Men’s Federation for Women’s Suffrage and Sylvia Pankhurst’s East London Federation of Suffragettes. (Sylvia Pankhurst also had concerns about the WSPU’s movement away from its socialist roots and had parted from her mother and sister in 1914, establishing the East London Federation of Suffragettes soon after). What is striking about the Scottish press reports of such campaigns is the omission of any mention of the WSPU. The same is true of the newspaper reports of celebrations of the partial achievement of women’s suffrage in the Electoral Reform Bill of 1917, which in 1918 became the Representation of the People Act. Qualified women over the age of 30 could now vote in parliamentary elections. Although the Bill did not propose equality with men – all men over the age of 21 were to be given the vote – the majority of women’s suffrage campaigners were happy to support the Bill as a first step to full equality. In a letter to the press signed by representatives of 17 suffrage societies, including the Women’s Freedom League (but not the WSPU) they heartily welcomed the proposed reform. While acknowledging that those societies who aimed for full equality with men could not be entirely satisfied, all societies welcomed “the removal of the sex barrier”.23 While she added her signature to the letter, in a speech in Dundee in October 1917 Mrs Despard stated that “She hoped and trusted that the Women’s Freedom League would not rest satisfied, but would push on until their primary object was attained, and the vote was given to women on the same terms as it was granted to men.”24

20Joint celebrations were held throughout Scotland on the achievement of the principle of women’s suffrage, with speeches from the representatives of different constitutional societies and the Women’s Freedom League. For example, a commemoration ceremony in Kelvingrove Park where a “suffrage oak” was planted was organised by the constitutional Glasgow and West of Scotland Society with Eunice Murray of the WFL as speaker, but again with no mention of any direct representation from the WSPU.

21This introduction to the Women’s Freedom League in Scotland has of necessity been brief. However, I would argue that the WFL was an important element within the campaign for women’s suffrage in Scotland and that it is important not to allow the figure of the Scottish suffragette to be entirely dressed in WSPU colours. The WFL stemmed from a more democratic, sometimes socialist, wing of the movement, contained women who were open to the possibilities of co-operation and negotiation, and – in contrast to the WSPU– continued to specifically campaign for the vote during the war, making a constant connection between a female voice in world affairs and the peace movement. Because of their comparatively high profile in Scotland and the leadership of women such as Teresa Billington-Greig, a closer examination of those described as “suffragettes” in the Scottish press finds that many of them were actually members of the Women’s Freedom League.



Cowman, Krista, Women of the Right Spirit: Paid Organisers of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) 1904-18, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007.

Crawford, Elizabeth, The Women’s Suffrage Movement in Britain and Ireland: A Regional Survey, London: Routledge, 2013.

Hawksley, Lucinda, March, Women, March, London: Andre Deutsch, 2013.

King, Elspeth, The Hidden History of Glasgow’s Women, Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing, 1993.

Liddington, Jill, Vanishing for the Vote: Suffrage, Citizenship, and the Battle for the Census, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014.

Moore, Lindy, “The woman’s suffrage campaign in the 1907 Aberdeen by-election,” in Northern Scotland, vol. 1, no. 1, 1982, 155–178.

Pedersen, Sarah, The Scottish Suffragettes and the Press, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.


1 Edinburgh Evening News, 27 April 1906.

2 Dundee Evening Telegraph, 28 May 1906. See also Hawksley 123.

3 Dundee Evening Telegraph, 18 June 1906.

4 Edinburgh Evening News, 23 June 1906.

5 Dundee Evening Telegraph, 18 June 1906.

6 Aberdeen Daily Journal, 18 June 1906.

7 Edinburgh Evening News, 6 August 1906.

8 Dundee Evening Telegraph, 17 August 1906.

9 Dundee Courier, 11 September 1906.

10 Fife Free Press, 18 August 1906.

11 Dundee Courier, 10 October 1906.

12 Dundee Courier, 16 October 1906.

13 Aberdeen Daily Journal and Edinburgh Evening News, 16 October 1906.

14 Mitchell Library, Glasgow, 891036/1/1. Suffrage Executive Committee Minute Book 1902-1905. 4 September 1908

15 Dundee Courier, 8 May 1908.

16 Aberdeen Free Press, 7 December 1908.

17 Dundee Courier, 10 January 1910.

18 Motherwell Times, 26 April 1912.

19 Dundee Courier, 18 August 1914.

20 Dundee Courier, 4 February 1915.

21 Aberdeen Daily Journal, 15 May 1916.

22 Dundee Evening Telegraph, 11 October 1915.

23 Aberdeen Daily Journal, 9 February 1917.

24 Dundee, Perth, Forfar and Fife People’s Journal, 13 October 1917.


Professor of Communication and Media at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. Her research focuses on gendered use of the media, and covers both contemporary sources, such as the online discussion forum Mumsnet and Twitter, and historical sources. Her PhD thesis investigated Edwardian women’s letters to the correspondence pages of daily newspapers in Aberdeen and, since this time, she has published on Scottish women’s response to the First World War and the suffrage movement. Her book, The Suffragettes and the Scottish Press, was published in 2017 by Palgrave Macmillan and she published an edition of the correspondence of Scottish suffragette Caroline Phillips in 2018.

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