Emmeline (Goulden) Pankhurst

Emmeline (Goulden) Pankhurst (1858 - 1928)

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Emmeline Pankhurst formerly Goulden
Born in Chorlton, Lancashire, Englandmap
Wife of — married in St Luke, Weaste, Lancashire, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Hampstead, London, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 30 Apr 2014
This page has been accessed 3,816 times.

Categories: Notables | Activists and Reformers | Chorlton, Lancashire | Women's Franchise League | Women's Social and Political Union | Fabian Society | Feminism | This Day In History June 14 | British Suffragettes | This Day In History July 15 | Famous English People.

Emmeline (Goulden) Pankhurst is notable.
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Emmeline (Goulden) Pankhurst was a part of the Suffragette Movement.
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Emmeline Pankhurst was a British political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement who helped women win the right to vote.
Suffragette Brooch
Emmeline Pankhurst

Emmeline Pankhurst, daughter of Robert Goulden and Sophia Jane Craine was born on July 14, 1858 at Chorlton in Lancashire, now known as Moss Side in Manchester.[1] Her family had a tradition of radical politics, and she stepped into that mould becoming a passionate campaigner for women's right to vote.

On December 18,1878, Emmeline married Richard Marsden Pankhurst,[2] leading barrister, who at the time was 24 years older than her. Richard Pankhurst was a supporter of the women's suffrage movement. Together they had five children, his death in 1898, was a great shock to Emily.

Previously on January, 1 1889, Emmeline, with the help of her husband, had founded the Women's Franchise League,[3] which fought to allow married women to vote in local elections. Fourteen years later in October 1903, she helped found the more militant Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) - an organisation that gained much notoriety for its activities and whose members were the first to be christened 'suffragettes'.[4] She led a passionate group of women who often clashed with police and with the public. They disrupted public meetings, broke shop windows, set post boxes and buildings on fire and staged noisy protests.

On 18 and 23 November 1910, during demonstrations outside the Houses of Parliament, there was violence and arrests. The police were accused of behaving with unnecessary brutality and the 18th became known as Black Friday.[5]

Like many suffragettes, Emmeline was arrested on numerous occasions over the next few years and went on hunger strike herself, resulting in violent force-feeding.[6] In 1913, the campaign stepped up and Emmeline was imprisoned for three years for her part in planning protests,[7] defending the militant tactics on the grounds that:

The condition of our sex is so deplorable that it is our duty to break the law in order to call attention to the reasons why we do.

In 1913, in response to the wave of hunger strikes, the government passed the Prisoners (Temporary Discharge for Ill Health) Act 1913, which became known as the 'Cat and Mouse' Act. Hunger striking prisoners were released until they grew strong again, and then re-arrested.[8]

This period of militancy was ended abruptly on the outbreak of war in 1914, when Emmeline turned her energies to supporting the war effort.

What is the use of fighting for a vote if we have not got a country to vote in

In February 1918, the Representation of the People Act gave voting rights to women over 30 in local general elections.[9]

After the First World War Emmeline spent several years in the USA and Canada lecturing for the National Council for Combating Venereal Disease. When Emmeline returned to Britain in 1925 she joined the Conservative Party and was adopted as one of their candidates in the East End of London.

Emmeline died on 14 June 1928,[10] a few weeks after the Representation of the People Act (1928) establishing voting equality for men and women was passed. She was buried at Brompton Cemetery in London, one of the country’s oldest garden cemeteries.[11]

Emmeline was commemorated two years later with a statue in London's Victoria Tower Gardens.
Women's Suffrage Badge


  1. "England and Wales, Birth Registration Index 1837-1920", index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/26BJ-C8P : accessed 01 May 2014), Emiline Goulden, 1858.
  2. "England, Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire, Parish Registers, 1603-1910," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FMRT-YTT : accessed 01 May 2014), Richard Marsden Parkhurst and Emmeline Goulden, 18 Dec 1879, Marriage; citing Eccles, Weaste, Lancashire, England, Archives Central Library, Manchester; FHL microfilm 2356043.
  3. Emmeline Pankhurst, My Own Story (N.Y.: Hearst International Library, 1914, Kraus Reprints, 1971), pp. 4-9, 270-283.
  4. 20th Century London. Women's Social and Political Union (W.S.P.U.). (http://www.20thcenturylondon.org.uk/womens-social-and-political-union-w-s-p-u accessed May 1, 2014).
  5. The Times newspaper (on line). 19 Nov 1910, page 10. (http://www.heretical.com/suffrage/1910tms1.html accessed 1 May 2014)
  6. Force Feeding Suffragettes Explaination of the process of force feeding.
  7. Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.0, 04 May 2014), April 1913, trial of PANKHURST, Emmeline (53) (t19130401-67).
  8. Prisoners (Temporary Discharge for Ill Health) Act 1913. 1913 Cat and Mouse Act. Parliamentary Archives, HL/PO/PU/1/1913/3&4G5c4.
  9. Representation of the People Act 1918. Parliamentary Archives, HL/PO/PU/1/1918/7&8G5c64.
  10. Ancestry.com. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966 [database on-line]. Original data: Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England. London, England. Emmeline Pankhurst; Death: 14 Jun 1928; Probate: 25 Jul 1928.
  11. Find A Grave Emmeline Pankhurst memorial

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Memories: 5

On 7 May 2014 Michele Bergin wrote:

Below are famous quotes of Emmeline Pankhurst.

On 7 May 2014 Michele Bergin wrote:

Trust in God: She will provide.

On 7 May 2014 Michele Bergin wrote:

Justice and judgment lie often a world apart.

On 7 May 2014 Michele Bergin wrote:

We are here, not because we are law-breakers; we are here in our efforts to become law-makers.

On 7 May 2014 Michele Bergin wrote:

We have to free half of the human race, the women, so that they can help to free the other half.

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No known carriers of Emmeline's mitochondrial DNA have taken an mtDNA test and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Images: 4
Emmeline Pankhurst
Emmeline Pankhurst

Votes for Women Poster
Votes for Women Poster

Mrs Pankhurst
Mrs Pankhurst

Emmeline Pankhurst in 1913
Emmeline Pankhurst in 1913


On 23 Jun 2017 at 22:53 GMT Lianne (Irwin) Trevarthen wrote:

There is also a photo (creative commons licence applies) of the statue unveiling ceremony in 1930.



On 23 Jun 2017 at 22:51 GMT Lianne (Irwin) Trevarthen wrote:

Is there any particular reason for Emmeline Pankhurst not being in the Notables project? Do activists and reformers project profiles automatically get added to Notables?

Emmeline is 38 degrees from Rosa Parks, 33 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 28 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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