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Actresses’ Franchise League [AFL] (act. 1908–1958) was formed in 1908 as ‘a bond of union between all women in the Theatrical profession who are in sympathy with the Woman’s Franchise Movement’. The organization was itself ‘strictly neutral in regard to Suffrage Tactics’ and membership was open to women who were or had been ‘connected with the Theatrical profession in any of its branches’. The constitution of the league declared its objectives as being to convince members of the theatrical profession of the necessity of extending the franchise to women on the same terms as men. It would campaign by using what it called ‘educational methods’ including propaganda meetings, and plays, sale of literature, and lectures (...

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Anderson, Louisa Garrett (1873–1943), surgeon and suffragette, was born at the house of her paternal uncle, 9 Lyndhurst Road, Hampstead, London, on 28 July 1873, the eldest of the three children and the only surviving daughter of James George Skelton Anderson (1838–1907), shipowner, and his wife, the pioneering physician ...

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Louisa Garrett Anderson (1873–1943) by Francis Dodd © reserved / artist's estate / Royal Free Hospital

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Ansell, Gertrude Mary (1861–1932), suffragette and businesswoman, was born on 2 June 1861 at 1 Vernon Place, Bloomsbury, London, the third child and only daughter of George Frederick Ansell (1826–1880) and his wife, Sarah Cook. Her father, a scientific chemist, had in 1856 been appointed to a clerkship in the ...

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Gertrude Mary Ansell (1861–1932) by unknown photographer, 1914 [police identification photograph issued by New Scotland Yard] © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Baines [née Hunt], Sarah Jane [Jennie] (1866–1951), suffragette and social reformer, was born on 30 November 1866 in Birmingham, the daughter of James Edward Hunt, gun maker, and his wife, Sarah Ann, née Hunt. She started work in a Birmingham small arms factory aged eleven and at fourteen was assisting her parents in ...

Article

Barrett, Rachel (1874–1953), suffragette and newspaper editor, was born on 12 November 1874 at 23 Union Street, Carmarthen, the daughter of Welsh-speaking parents, Rees Barrett, land and road surveyor, and Anne Barrett, née Jones. Educated at a private school in Stroud, she later won a scholarship to ...

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Billinghurst, (Rosa) May (1875–1953), suffragette, was born on 31 May 1875 at 35 Granville Park, Lewisham, London, the second of nine children of Henry Francombe Billinghurst (c.1832–1912), bank manager, and his wife, Rosa Ann Billinghurst, née Brimsmead. At the age of five months she suffered an illness which resulted in paralysis from the waist down. For the rest of her life her legs were strapped in irons and she relied on the use of an invalid tricycle for mobility....

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(Rosa) May Billinghurst (1875–1953) by unknown photographer, 1908 [centre, on her invalid tricycle] Mary Evans

Article

Blathwayt, Mary (1879–1961), suffragette, was born on 1 February 1879, the first of two children of Colonel Linley Blathwayt (1839–1919) and his wife, Emily née Rose (1852–1940). In 1882, when Colonel Blathwayt retired from active service in India, the family moved to live in ...