Frances Baker was arrested following the stone throwing protest of November 1911 and was sentenced to five days imprisonment. She is recorded as living in Harley Street, London. No further information has been found.
Jessie Baker was arrested on July 30th 1909 following a disturbance outside the Edinburgh Castle in Limehouse. Originally a gin palace the building had been acquired by Thomas Barnardo for conversion into a meeting place for the local community. Lloyd George, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, addressed a crowd of four thousand there to sell his People’s Budget intended to bring about social reform. A group of women gathered outside with the intention of drawing attention to the suffrage cause. Many were eager to hear Lloyd George and the hall was packed with people spilling out into the street. The women arrived in a wagonette but their progress was stopped by the police. In their attempts to break through the cordon a policeman’s hat was knocked off. In the ensuing melee thirteen women and one man were arrested. One of those women was Emily Davidson who later ran onto the race course at Epsom. Emily shouted “Votes for Women” whilst trying to penetrate the cordon. Refusing to move on the police arrested her. Jessie leapt forward crying “Let her go; do not take her.” She in turn was arrested and charged with an attempted rescue. In court she was imprisoned for fourteen days having refused to be bound over to keep the peace. No other details are given to enable Jessie to be traced any further.
Lizzie Baker was arrested in Dublin, Ireland on August 7th 1912. This name is another used by Jennie Baines [see the previous blog]. She had travelled to Ireland to join in protests connected with Asquith’s visit to the country. During which a hatchet was thrown at his carriage and a burning chair tossed over the balcony at the Theatre Royal. Arrested, a search of her lodgings revealed flammable liquid and gloves but no direct connection with the crimes could be made. The charge was reduced to damaging property to which she pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven months hard labour. As before and after she went on hunger strike but was freed after only a few days when the doctors felt unable to force feed her without damaging her already precarious health.
Ethel Violet Baldock was born in 1893 in Gravesend, Kent to Samuel and Frances. When she was only six years old her mother and her elder sister who was next in age to her died within weeks of each other. By Christmas of that year her father had married again. The youngest of six daughters Ethel also had two younger brothers. By 1911 her eldest sister Florence had married and Ethel moved in with her sister and husband working at a hotel in Tunbridge Wells as a housemaid and waitress. Ethel was arrested in March 1912 alongside Violet Bland for breaking a window valued at £10 at the Commercial Cable Company’s premises in Northumberland Avenue. Her exact sentence has not be ascertained but she was imprisoned. Three years later she married Arthur Hodge and they went on to have one child. Ethel died in 1939.
The next two entries are for Lucy A Baldock and Minnie Baldock who are in fact one and the same person. Born Lucy Minnie Rogers in 1864 in Poplar, East London she was commonly known as Minnie. Her father worked as a cooper making barrels. In 1888 she married Henry Baldock and within two years they had their first child Henry Rogers. Her husband usually known as Harry was on the 1891 census return a general labourer in the East End. Their second son, John known as Jack, was born six years later. By the early 1890s the family had moved to West Ham and Harry became involved in local politics being elected a councillor for West Ham. The local member for Parliament was Keir Hardie, a Liberal Labour. Many started to lobby for the foundation of a Labour Party for the working class to ensure that they had true representation. In 1893 the Independent Labour Party was founded with Keir Hardie as its leader. The aim being “to secure the collective ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange.”
Through Harry’s involvement Minnie forged friendships with Keir Hardie and Charlotte Despard. Along with Keir Hardie in 1903 she organised a meeting protesting at the low pay of women and she assisted in the administration of the West Ham Unemployed Fund. Two years later inspired by Charlotte Despard’s involvement with the Board of Guardians, founded to distribute aid to the poor and one of a few municipal organisations to which a woman could be elected, she stood for election to the board as an Independent Labour candidate. Like Charlotte she joined the Women’s Social and Political Union establishing a branch in Canning Town, East London in early 1906.
Minnie lobbied Asquith and Campbell-Bannerman at meetings and at their homes. In July 1906 a group of women protested outside Asquith’s home in Cavendish Square. Three were arrested. In court Minnie pointed out that the protest had been peaceful and ladylike. The magistrate was of the clear view that in any event their actions were agitation and ordered them to be bound over to keep the peace for twelve months. On their collective refusal to accept they were taken to Holloway Prison to serve six weeks.
On her release Minnie continued to be an active speaker on the question of suffrage. She was arrested again following a protest in the lobby of the House of Commons in February 1908 charged with behaviour which led to a breach of the peace. Refusing to be bound over she was imprisoned for four weeks. It was a movement of solidarity and other suffragettes ensured her young son, Jack, was cared for whilst she was in prison. Maud Arncliffe Sennett sent him toys.
In 1909 she took part in the campaign in the West Country alongside her continuing East End activities. Like many she does not appear on the 1911 census although the rest of her family are recorded, all three were employed in the shipping industry in the London docks. Her activities came to an end when she was taken seriously ill in 1911. She and Harry moved to Southampton where her mother’s family had originated from. She died in 1954.