Emily Clarke was arrested in February 1914. Emmeline Pankhurst, from a balcony at Glebe House in Chelsea, addressed a crowd of around one thousand. Emmeline was out on licence under the Cat and Mouse Act, so the police were out in force. At the conclusion of proceedings, women exited the house surrounding a woman they wished the police to believe was Emmeline Pankhurst. The police stated that the women used Indian clubs to attack them and protect the decoy.
Later, the 'real' Emmeline exited accompanied by a small number of bodyguards and managed to depart in a taxi. Emily and Norah Neville were part of the bodyguard. Emily, described as elderly, was charged alongside Norah with disorderly behaviour. A constable gave evidence stating that the women shouted ‘Charge girls’ as they rushed towards plainclothes officers brandishing Indian clubs and rolling pins. The two other women charged were Cicely Sewell and Ruth Underwood.
Emily had a head wound that the police testified had been caused by an accidental blow by Norah. Both women denied speaking or striking anyone accidentally or not. The constable produced a rolling pin which, he claimed, had blood on it. The magistrate responded ‘I don’t want you to be too realistic, constable. As long as there is no blood on your truncheon, it’s alright’.
Emily was clear this evidence was untrue, and she had been struck by a plainclothes officer. Found guilty Emily was bound over to keep the peace and fined £10. Refusing to accept this, Emily was sentenced to three days in gaol.
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