Emmeline (Pethick) Pethick-Lawrence

Emmeline (Pethick) Pethick-Lawrence (1867 - 1954)

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Lady Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence formerly Pethick
Born in Clifton, Somerset, England, United Kingdommap
Wife of — married in Town Hall, Canning Town, London, Englandmap
[children unknown]
Died in Gomshall, Surrey, England, United Kingdommap
Profile last modified | Created 14 Nov 2014
This page has been accessed 337 times.

Categories: British Suffragettes | Women's Social and Political Union | United Suffragists.


Emmeline was born in 1867, the second of thirteen children of Henry Pethick and his wife Fanny, whose maiden name was Collen.

She was sent to a boarding school in Devizes aged eight.

Census 1881: Recorded in the household of her parents and four younger siblings in Bristol Road "Trewartha", Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, England. Aged 13 and a Scholar. Also in the household were five servants. Her father was a South American Merchant.[1]

In response to distressing conditions for girls in the London dress trade she started Maison Espérance, a dressmaking cooperative with reasonable working hours and a minimum wage.

From 1891 until 1895 she worked as a "sister of the people" for the West London Mission at Cleveland Hall, near Fitzroy Square. She helped Mary Neal to run the girls club at the mission. In the autumn of 1895 she and Mary Neal left the mission to co-found the Espérance Club, a girls club that would not be subject to the constraints of the mission, and could experiment with dance and drama.

She was treasurer of the Women's Social and Political Union for six years, raising £134,000.

Emmeline married Frederick Lawrence in 1901 and they both took the surname Pethick-Lawrence.

In 1907 the Pethick-Lawrences' started the publication Votes for Women. The couple was arrested and imprisoned in 1912 for conspiracy following demonstrations that involved breaking windows, even though they had disagreed with that form of action.

After her arrest and imprisonment in 1912 she was thrown out of the WSPU and instead joined United Suffragists.

She was present at the 1915 Women's Peace Congress at the Hague.

Emmeline travelled to New York in the United States in 1925 on board the Caronia. She was 57 years of age at the time.[2]

She became Lady Pethick-Lawrence in 1945 when her husband was made a Baron.

She passed away in 1954 at the age of 86.[3]


  1. "England and Wales Census, 1881," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q276-D6QC : 18 August 2016), Emmeline Pethick in household of Henry Pethick, Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, England; from "1881 England, Scotland and Wales census
  2. "New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KX9H-CZQ : 2 October 2015), Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, 1925; citing Immigration, New York, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication T715 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  3. "England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVCN-HG3R : 4 September 2014), Emmeeline Pethick-Lawrence, 1954; from "England & Wales Deaths, 1837-2006,"

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Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence Image 1
Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence Image 1

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