The next entry on the arrest record is Mrs Margaret Shaw Brown or in a margin entry Margaret Hopkins. As is often the case, the alias given is, in fact, her maiden name. Margaret Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins was born in Falmouth, Cornwall in 1866. As given on her marriage certificate, her father's name was Charles, whose occupation was given as engineer. Margaret is recorded on the 1881 census at school in Saltash, Cornwall. In October 1888, she married John Shaw Brown Akyhab, Bengal, India, a municipal secretary. An announcement was placed in the Dundee Courier citing that John was to wed Maggie. Less than six years later, John died in Burma.
It appears that Margaret returned to England and trained as a midwife. The 1920 Midwives Roll records Margaret as qualifying in November 1905. In the same year, Margaret is also included in the register of Physiotherapy and Masseurs. On the evening of 10 February 1914, Emmeline Pankhurst addressed a crowd of over a thousand from the second-floor window of the London home of the Brackenburys (see earlier blog), 2 Campden Hill Square, which was used as a nursing home and headquarters from time to time by the WSPU. During her speech, Emmeline announced her intention to shortly leave the property, challenging the police to re-arrest her as she was out on release from prison under the Cat and Mouse Act's provisions. In the dark and gloom of a winter's evening, the police struggled to identify Emmeline from among a small group who left the house, which was not aided by the crowd growing increasingly hostile. One policeman described the 'flourishing of clubs and shouting in an excited manner.'
The police arrested one woman, 'dressed to resemble Mrs Pankhurst' but turned out to be a Mrs F E Smith. As they did so, the crowd surged forward, felling not only some of the police officers but also their prisoner. Eventually, the police managed to remove Mrs Smith to the local police station. While the scrummage ensued at the front of the house, Emmeline escaped from the rear. Six other women were arrested, including Margaret, who protested at court at having her fingerprints taken when on remand at Holloway Prison. 'What proof have you that my name is Mrs Shaw Brown? I want to protest against my fingerprints being taken in Holloway. Is it legal, Sir?' Margaret asked the Magistrate. Margaret, charged with obstruction, was fined ten shillings or seven days in prison.
Margaret was arrested for a second time the following month for breaking windows of, Reginald McKenna, the Home Secretary's, residence in Smith Square. She was sentenced to two months with hard labour on 14 March. A report dated 16 March notes that while Margaret was on hunger strike, no attempt had been made to force feed her.
Only three days later, Margaret was released from prison under the Cat and Mouse Act in an ambulance in a 'very weak condition.' The Woman's Dreadnought reported that Margaret was re-arrested on 19 June, while The Suffragette notes that she was returned to Holloway Prison earlier, went on hunger strike and was re-released under the Cat and Mouse Act on 20 June. The following week's edition of The Suffragette noted that Margaret 'has been very much reduced by her imprisonment. For some days after her release, she was in a state of fever, and she is now weak and nervously shocked. It will be some weeks before she is well again.'
From 1919 to 1922, Margaret is registered on the electoral roll living in Melvin Hall, a substantial block of flats, in Golders Green. The last record of Margaret is living in Devon.