United Suffragists

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The United Suffragists was a women's suffrage movement in the United Kingdom.


The group was founded on 6 February 1914, by former members and supporters of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU). In contrast to the WSPU, it admitted men, [1] and it also admitted non-militant suffragists. [2]

Founder members of the United Suffragists included Louisa Garrett Anderson, H. J. Gillespie, Gerald Gould, Agnes Harben and Henry Devenish Harben, Bessie Lansbury, George Lansbury, Mary Neal, Emmeline Pethick Lawrence, Julia Scurr and John Scurr, Evelyn Sharp, [2] and Edith Ayrton. [1] Louise Eates and Lena Ashwell also became members in 1914, [3] and Ellen Smith who was in the Fabian Society, [4] like H.J. Gillespie, who was the United Suffragists treasurer. [2] Maud Arncliffe Sennett became its first vice-president. [5]

Louisa Garrett Anderson was in the Edinburgh branch, and another branch was in Liverpool, [3] supported by Patricia Woodlock. [6] Helen Crawfurd formed a branch in Glasgow in 1915. [7] Labour Party member Annie Somers was also active in the organisation, [8] and Mary Phillips worked with them during 1915-16, and continued to develop with the Suffragette Fellowship and Six Point Group. [3] Lillian Hicks was a former WSPU militant activist who became secretary of the Hampstead branch. [2]

The United Suffragists organisation adopted Votes for Women as its newspaper; as this was run by Pethick-Lawrence and had formerly been associated with the WSPU, with Evelyn Sharp as its main editor.

Unlike the WSPU, United Suffragists continued to campaign through World War I, and although its newspaper circulation dropped, the organisation itself gradually attracted more members from both former WPSU as well as from the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS). [2]

With the introduction of women's suffrage in 1918, the group dissolved itself, after holding a victory celebration, and also participating in the NUWSS celebrations, and discontinued its newspaper. [2]

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  1. 1 2 "Edith Zangwill". Spartacus Educational. Retrieved 2017-11-06.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Elizabeth Crawford, The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866-1928, p.694
  3. 1 2 3 Atkinson, Diane (2018). Rise up, women! : the remarkable lives of the suffragettes. London: Bloomsbury. p. 535. ISBN   9781408844045. OCLC   1016848621.
  4. "Biographies of new candidates". Fabian News. April 1915.
  5. "Mrs Alice Maud Mary Arncliffe-Sennett / Database - Women's Suffrage Resources". www.suffrageresources.org.uk. Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  6. Crawford, Elizabeth (2013-04-15). The Women's Suffrage Movement in Britain and Ireland: A Regional Survey. Routledge. ISBN   978-1-136-01054-5.
  7. "Suffrage in Glasgow". Votes for Women. 30 July 1915.
  8. Røstvik, ; Sutherland, Ella Louise (2015). Suffragette Legacy. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars. p. 8, Camilla Mørk; Sutherland, Ella Louise (2015). Suffragette Legacy. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars. p. 8.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)