Following the outbreak of World War 1 most suffragette movements indicated their intent to suspend militant tactics for the duration of the war. In return the Government extended an amnesty collating a list of all the persons to whom it was granted. Each entry gives the name and dates of arrest of over 1300 people arrested during the campaign for votes for women.
The aim of this project’s is to research each name included in the amnesty record to discover the lives they led; to find their personal campaign for the vote and to reflect on their motives for standing up for a fundamental political right.
This research uses census returns, birth, marriage and death records, newspaper archives and the Suffragette Collection, published by the website http://www.findmypast.co.uk, which were the official files kept by the authorities. These include reports of force feeding or prisoner's demeanour while incarcerated, letters from concerned relatives, medical notes, internal memos between government ministers, the police and judiciary.
As the campaign progressed and the volume of both women and men arrested increased the newspapers did not record every person and, therefore, for some their personal details are lost. Nonetheless they are named in the hope that more information may transpire in the future.
As each letter of the alphabet is completed each individual's information is gathered and added to an interactive map collating the geographical distribution of suffragette membership and alliances.
Some campaigners received family support; others were derided; some came from comfortable homes while others travelled hundreds of miles from working-class towns to protest at the seat of government.
Many of the blogs have, after publication, received further information from relatives. This input is highly appreciated.
A thank you is also due to the Museum of London who has supported this project and permitted the use of their digital archive of photographs and artefacts.