|Flying the flag for the suffragette movement|
Oct 22 2009 by George Topp, Lanark & Carluke, Hamilton Advertiser
A PIECE of Clydesdale history, a banner belonging to the Douglas Water Women’s
Guild, recently made a trip to Edinburgh as part of the centenary of the Suffragette
The historic banner was proudly carried in a centenary march along Princess Street
by Claudia Beamish from Pettinain. Janette Robertson of Rigside asked Claudia, the
Labour and Co-operative Party Westminster candidate for the area, to have the
banner in her safekeeping.
Claudia said she was proud to carry their banner as so many women in the ex-mining
village had made a difference long ago to the lives of mining families. The words “Co
-operation is the People’s galleon” are on the banner.
The Scottish Co-op Women’s Guild, of which the Douglas Water group were
members, was set up in 1883 “to educate women in the principles and practices of
Co-operation and to work for the improvement of the status of women.”
It is an Education Auxiliary of the Co-operative Movement and still exists today in
some Scottish communities.
Claudia joined men and women from all over Scotland to march into the future to
continue to fight for better representation of women. In celebration of the centenary,
she led a move to commission a new Scottish Labour banner.
Obituary: Dr Jean Scott Scotsman Newspaper
Published on 19/11/2010 14:07
Dr Jean Scott was a consultant haematologist and pathologist of international
renown, the first Scottish woman elected to the General Medical Council (in 1979).
• Dr Jean Scott MBCLB, MD, FRCPath, haematologist and pathologist. Born: 18
September, 1921, in Airdrie, Lanarkshire. Died: 5 November, 2010, in Pitlochry,
Perthshire, aged 89.
As a woman who broke down many barriers in her profession, or her "calling" as she
saw it, she was once described by one of her male contemporaries as "a modern
As a fighter for women's rights in medicine, she became, first, the Scottish president
of the Medical Women's Federation - the largest organisation of women doctors in
the UK -- and later, in 1984, when she was already retired, its national (British)
president. That made her an ambassador and advocate for all women in the medical
profession. Woe betide a male doctor who suggested, as was not uncommon during
her career, that his women colleagues were not up to the job, or who plagiarised her
original research without giving her credit.
In alleged retirement for almost the past 30 years, she became a driving force in
multiple Scottish organisations and charities, from her local Pitlochry Civic Trust and
conservation movement to the National Trust for Scotland and the Association for the
Protection of Rural Scotland. Although increasingly frail, she fought for the
preservation of her beloved Scotland like a tireless tigress. She was also a Dame of
Grace of the Sovereign Order of St John of Jerusalem, perhaps better known as the
Knights of Malta or the Hospitaller Knights, which pledge "impartial service to the
sick, injured and poor" through such charities as St John Ambulance.
Having gained her MD (Doctorate of Medicine) from Glasgow University in 1948, Dr
Scott worked in many Glasgow hospitals - the Samaritan Hospital, Yorkhill, the old
Rottenrow, the new Glasgow Royal Maternity and latterly the Wolfson Medical School
at Strathclyde University.
As a clinical pathologist, Dr Scott established the first ante-natal blood clinic in the
west of Scotland and did much of the initial research on intravenous and
intramuscular use of iron in pregnancy. She was a relatively new MD and only 28
years old when her first paper was published - on 12 November, 1949 - in the British
Medical Journal, read by doctors around the world. Highlighting the fact that anaemia
in Glasgow was the most common, and often the most serious complication among
pregnant women, it established her as an internationally known expert on the subject.
Countless expectant women over the years, in Glasgow and far beyond, have
benefited from her findings and do so to this day. She was also a founder member of
the Royal College of Pathologists and became a fellow (FRCPath) in 1975.
Jean Mary Neville was born in Airdrie on 18 September, 1921, and went to school in
nearby Coatbridge, where she was dux and girls' sports champion in her final year. At
Glasgow University, she played for the women's hockey first team before graduating
in medicine in 1944. She received her MD (Doctorate in Medicine) in 1948, with
That same year, she married Tom Scott, at the time a Second-Lieutenant in the
merchant navy who was later promoted to Captain. After spending many years at sea,
while Jean lived in Coatbridge and later Barrachnie in Glasgow, Captain Scott was
appointed harbour master at Ardrossan in the early 1960s and the couple settled
there on the Ayrshire coast. Their daughter Marion (now Marion Neigh of Stratford,
Ontario) was born in Glasgow in 1949.
The Scotts later lived in West Kilbride and Giffnock, where Jean was a consultant
pathologist, before retiring to Pitlochry in 1981. Together, at their home, Tiarach on
Clunie Bridge Road, the couple established a magnificent garden with a
comprehensive collection of rhododendron. After her husband's death in 1995, Jean
continued to care fastidiously for the garden, seeing it as a fitting memorial for Tom
and welcoming other "rhodis" - or rhododendron enthusiasts - to walk around.
Despite her formal retirement - her last job was as consultant pathologist at the
Glasgow Royal Maternity Hospital -- she was never one to put her feet up. She
continued to serve on the Disciplinary Committee of the General Medical Council and
launched herself into helping every local organisation she believed in, including the
WRVS (formerly known as the Women's Royal Volunteer Service but now including
many male volunteers), praised nationwide, among other things, for its Meals on
She was a founding member of the Pitlochry Civic Trust in 2001 and was paramount
in establishing the Pitlochry Conservation Area in 2007, when she was already 87 and
frail, campaigning on her bicycle to fight, successfully, the building of a large
supermarket in the centre of the picturesque Perthshire town. According to her good
friend Dr David Cruikshank, who read the eulogy at her funeral on Thursday, "in line
with Jean's ‘waste not, want not' attitude, when she could no longer ride the bike last
year, instead of cycling, she recycled - by shipping it to Malawi for use by some poor
child in need."
Dr Scott was a much-loved member of the Pitlochry Church of Scotland, where she
once served as president of the Women's Guild and where, until her death, she was
known for her old-fashioned insistence on wearing a hat in church. With her only
daughter in Canada, she made many trips to Ontario in recent years, her curiosity
taking her on to other parts of Canada and the US.
Talking of her curiosity in all things, Dr Cruikshank ended his eulogy by saying how
she would show up at his family home with obscure documents, medical or other,
which she wanted to discuss or debate. Her favourite phrase was, he said: "You'll be
interested in this…"
Dr Jean Scott, MBCLB, MD, FRCPath, Dame of Grace of the Sovereign Order of St
John, died suddenly at her home, Tiriach, in Pitlochry. She is survived by her daughter
Marion and son-in-law Geoff in Canada.
Scotsman Newspaper. Peter Ross at Large: Back in suffragette city
Published on 10/10/2009 19:59
YESTERDAY afternoon in Edinburgh, a tall and striking young woman of 22 with
bobbed red hair and a deep green crushed velvet cloak, like something out of a
Rossetti painting, is marching through the Meadows and singing about liberation,
anger, and bringing the system down.
"We've justice at our feet as we march down Princes Street," she sings, swinging
hips and head. "Men and women shall be equal in this land."
Well, in fact, what with the tram works, Hazel Streeter won't be walking down Princes
Street, but the sentiment of the song still holds true for her and approximately 3,000
other women on the Gude Cause Procession. Many are dressed in the fashions of
the early 20th century, big bonnets and hats that seem to be made entirely from lace
doilies. "The charity shops did well out of us!" hoots vision in white Mary Boloy, 80,
who has come from Stirling.
Gude Cause is a reenactment of a protest march which took place on Princes Street
on 10 October 1909, when women took to the cobbles to demand the right to vote; it
takes its name from a banner held on that day – A Gude Cause Maks A Strong Arm.
Now, like then, Edinburgh has been transformed into Suffragette City. Women from all
over Scotland have travelled here.
Emily Turnbull, 11, and sister Maria, nine, are local, and are here because Emily has
been reading about the suffragettes in the school holidays. "Lots of people went to jail
for it," she says from within her headscarf, as Maria twirls a parasol, "and at the end a
lady had to kill herself so that people would notice." Emily wanted to show that her
namesake, the martyr Emily Davison, who in 1913 threw herself under the King's
horse at the Derby, was not forgotten.
Gude Cause has attracted women from all classes and political stripes, among them
Nats, Trots, the Scottish Women's Rural Institute and the Auld Reekie Roller Girls,
who zoom along Melville Drive on skates while one of their number, Juicy Lucy,
proclaims, "We're the future of feminism!" Meanwhile, Marianne Hendry, from a group
called Damned Rebel Bitches, based at Tollcross Community Centre, explains their
simple reason for being here: "We're feisty women." Asked her age, she says 66 and
laughs, "I wasn't a suffragette, no' quite. But I remember when I was growing up, I
was sick of the way my mother ran after my dad all the time. I swore that when I grew
up I'd never do that, and I never have."
The march is led by piper Louise Marshall Millington, and two mounted policewomen.
The crowds enjoy the spectacle and support the message. On Teviot Place two
gleeful old women jump up and down. "Isn't this marvellous?" they cry. On North
Bridge, the reception is less warm. "Cannae get a f***in' bus fur yees!" growls a
middle-aged woman .
The original procession, which featured a number of floats showing Mary Queen of
Scots and other historical heroines, was led by Flora Drummond, a frustrated
postmistress from Arran known as "The General". She shocked the locals by riding
astride her horse, carrying a whip, and affecting quasi-military dress. Drummond was
the same height as Kylie Minogue, and had the approximate shape, density and
forward momentum of a curling stane.
The historical record notes that the suffragettes were regarded by onlookers, who
stood ten deep on the pavement outside Jenners, with a mix of fascination and
outright hostility. Flour was flung, speakers were heckled, and a man in the crowd
remarked: "There'll be lots o' pair chaps the nicht, wha'll need to mak' their ain tea."
This, of course, is atypical of Edinburgh, where the assumption is always that one
has had one's tea already.
These Scottish suffragettes were remarkable and vivid. The movement has tended to
be seen and taught as an English phenomenon, but Scotland was key to the fight for
the franchise; two million signatures demanding the right to vote were collected here.
Scots were among the most militant of campaigners. A favourite publicity stunt was to
pour acid on golf courses, though today the putting green on Bruntsfield Links goes
Ethel Moorhead from Dundee was 40 in 1909. An accomplished window-smasher
and hunger-striker, famed for throwing eggs at Winston Churchill. She was treated
brutally and force-fed in the Calton Jail, and the food got into her lungs, causing
double-pneumonia. On her release, in retribution, Whitekirk, a medieval church in
East Lothian, was set on fire.
There were a number of arson attacks associated with the Scottish suffragettes. The
stand at Ayr racecourse and the pavilion of Perthshire Cricket Club went up in smoke,
and a firebomb gutted a classroom in Fettes College. Ethel Moorhead and her friend
Fanny Parker even attempted to set fire to Burns's cottage in Alloway; the suffragettes
seem not to have been in sympathy with Burns, whose attitude to women was
suspect, having freely adapted one of his most famous songs as The Right To Vote
An' A' That.
That song is likely to have been sung in 1909 and is sung again today. It's an
interesting concept, reenacting a protest march. It seems whimsical at first – what's
the point of recreating a call for suffrage when women have had the vote since 1928?
But, actually, it's much more logical than the more familiar concept of battle
reenactment. Battles tend to be fought to force or prevent a physical advance,
whereas protest marches are essentially ideas made flesh, so there's no reason they
shouldn't be reenacted time and again provided the idea itself is still relevant.
In this case, the idea is not simply suffrage, it's equality between the sexes and a
desire that women should reengage with politics. The suffragettes wanted votes for
women; these reenactors want women to value and use the votes for which their
great grannies fought. Gude Cause was prompted by a poll which suggested that
fewer than 45 per cent of women who were registered to vote were planning to do so
at the 2007 Holyrood election, an election which resulted in fewer female MSPs being
elected than in 2003 or 1999.
Great strides have been made since 1909, of course, and Fiona Hyslop, at the front
of the march, tells me how remarkable she finds it that the site of Calton Jail, where
suffragettes were imprisoned and force-fed, is now the site of St Andrew's House in
which she and other women are government ministers.
There's a feeling, though, that in Scotland we're going backwards. But organisers
hope that Gude Cause will politicise a new generation, that the radicalism it
celebrates will prove highly infectious among young women – a sort of quine flu. It
seems to be working. "I've never voted before. I didn't understand politics," says
Amanda Alston, 25, from Grangemouth. "But now I've learned about the suffragettes,
and the horrible way they were punished, I definitely will vote at the next election."
"Everyone's reading something different into this march," says Marylou Anderson, 32,
a youth worker from Burntisland, who has been overseeing the making of banners. "I
don't see it as strictly a reenactment at all. The idea has grown. For me it's
highlighting what's going on in the world and what has still to be achieved."
She mentions the need for women to stop thinking their path through life must mean
meeting the perfect man and having children, while also trying to sustain a career.
Lots of the other marchers mention this work-life balance, as well as sexual violence,
and the continuing pay gap between the genders. "Why do men have such big
packets?" asks one placard."
Many of the banners are green, white and purple – the colours of the Women's Social
and Political Union, the militant group founded by the Pankhursts. Green stood for
hope, white for purity, and purple for "the royal blood that flows in the veins of every
suffragette". The colours were also chosen with a view to how striking they would look
en masse. The WSPU were very aware of image and what we would now call spin.
That is perhaps why the suffragette "brand" is still strong.
There's something about the disparity between the formal Edwardian clothes and the
sometimes aggressive direct action of the women wearing them that continues to
inspire protestors. The eco-awareness group Climate Rush last month dumped horse
manure on Jeremy Clarkson's drive while dressed as suffragettes. In March, Leila
Deen, of anti-aviation campaigners Plane Stupid, compared herself to a suffragette
after throwing green custard over Peter Mandelson.
Some marchers have more personal motives. On the Royal Mile Marsali Taylor, 50,
shows me a small gold badge on her left lapel and explains that she has travelled
here from Shetland to honour the woman to whom it belonged. When she was
growing up, Ysabel Birbick was an old lady she called aunty. Later, Taylor discovered
she had been an ambulance driver in the first world war, working in Serbia for an all
-women medical unit run by Edinburgh's Dr Elsie Inglis and funded by Scottish
suffragettes. She won a medal for changing a tyre under machine gun fire. So Taylor
is here to remember Birbick and is having an emotional day. "It's nice to be able to
come out and show we appreciate what all those women did for us," she says.
Then the music starts up again and the procession heads for Calton Hill. "Votes for
women, it's just the beginning," they sing. "You haven't seen anything yet."
The Guardian Newspaper, Vanessa Thorpe
The Observer, Sunday 26 May 2013
Truth behind the death of suffragette Emily Davison is finally revealed
Hi-tech film analysis suggests Emily Davison's motives when she collided with the
king's horse in 1913 were misunderstood
Emily Davison, left, and jockey Herbert Jones fall to the ground after her collision with
the King's horse, Anmer. Photograph: Hulton Archive
As an emblem of women's emancipation Emily Wilding Davison has always been
controversial. The suffragette who was fatally injured at the Epsom racecourse during
the Derby 100 years ago under the hooves of the king's horse has been saluted by
some as a brave martyr and attacked by others as an irresponsible anarchist. Now
detailed analysis of film footage of the incident has shed new light on the contentious
moments on 4 June 1913 that were to go down in the history of political protest.
Despite the fact that film technology was in its early days, the incident was captured
on three newsreel cameras and a new study of the images has shown that the 40-
year-old campaigner was not, as assumed, attempting to pull down Anmer, the royal
racehorse, but in fact reaching up to attach a scarf to its bridle.
The analysis, carried out by a team of investigators for a television documentary to be
screened tonight on Channel 4, also indicates that the position of Davison before she
stepped out on to the track would have given her a clear view of the oncoming race,
contrary to the argument that she ran out recklessly to kill herself.
Presenter Clare Balding and investigators Stephen Cole and Mike Dixon returned to
the original nitrate film stocks taken on the day and transferred them to a digital
format. This was done so that they could be cleaned and so that new software could
cross-reference the three different camera angles.
"It has been such an extraordinary adventure to discover more about her, about what
she stood for, about the suffragette movement," said Balding this weekend on her
work with the team making Secrets of a Suffragette.
"It is hugely significant as a moment in history, a moment that absolutely sums up the
desperation of women in this country who wanted the vote."
Historians have suggested that Davison was trying to attach a flag to King George V's
horse and police reports suggested two flags were found on her body. Some
witnesses believed she was trying to cross the track, thinking the horses had passed
by, others believed she had tried to pull down Anmer. The fact that she was carrying a
return train ticket from Epsom and had holiday plans with her sister in the near future
have also caused some historians to claim that she had no intention of killing herself.
In 2011 the horse-racing historian Michael Tanner argued that as Davison was
standing in crowds on the inside of the bend at Tattenham Corner it would have been
impossible for her to see the king's horse.
But new cross-referencing between the cameras has revealed, say the C4
programme makers, that Davison was closer to the start of Tattenham Corner than
thought and so had a better line of sight. In this position she could have seen and
singled out Anmer.
Historians have suggested that Davison and other suffragettes were seen "practising"
at grabbing horses in the park near her mother's house and that they then drew lots
to determine who should go to the Derby.
After colliding with Anmer, Davison collapsed unconscious on the track. The horse
went over, but then rose, completing the race without a jockey. Davison died of her
injuries four days later in Epsom Cottage Hospital.
At the funeral of the leading suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst in 1928, the jockey who
had ridden Anmer that day, Herbert Jones, laid a wreath "to do honour to the memory
of Mrs Pankhurst and Miss Emily Davison". Jones had suffered a mild concussion in
the 1913 collision, but afterwards claimed he was "haunted by that poor woman's
In 1951, his son found Jones dead in a gas-filled kitchen. The jockey had killed
The Diary Review
A vast, international and unrivalled collection of diary extracts - from around 500 diarists. Saturday, June 21, 2008
The Suffragette Times
Saturday 21 June 1908, one hundred years ago today, 200,000-300,000 supporters of
the women’s suffragette movement converged on Hyde Park, London. It must have
been an important event for the movement, but online I can find no first hand diary
reference to it. Although there are a few suffragette diaries, which do shed some light
on the movement (a bit too much perhaps), there seems to be a surprising dearth of
them in general.
In her biography of Emmeline Pankhurst, the leader of the Women’s Social and
Political Union (WSPU) at the time, June Purvis writes about the 21 June
demonstration: ‘There were several bands and 700 banners fluttering in the breeze
on this brilliantly sunny day, including a banner with the picture of the WSPU leader
declaring her to be a Champion of Womanhood Famed For Deeds of Daring
Rectitude’. One of the chief speakers was Mrs Pankhurst’s daughter, Christabel, who
claimed the demonstration would convince the government that public opinion was on
their side. Another speaker, Annie Kenney, a working-class activist from Oldham, said
it showed the movement had the support of men as well as women. (There’s some
great postcards reproduced on the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, website.)
That day, a century ago, sounds a genteel affair, but the suffragette movement was
nothing of the sort. According to Votes for Women: The Virago Book of Suffragettes,
‘it was a bloody and dangerous war lasting several decades, won finally by sheer will
and determination in 1928’. By drawing on diary extracts, as well as newspapers,
letters, etc. the book’s editor, Joyce Marlow, allows the women themselves to tell the
An alternative view of the movement comes from the diaries of Mary Blathwayt. These
have not been published but Vanessa Thorpe wrote an article for The Observer a few
years ago based on Professor Martin Pugh’s examination of the diaries. The article
was titled Diary reveals lesbian love trysts of suffragette leaders, and claimed that ‘the
complicated sexual liaisons - involving the Pankhurst family and others at the core of
the militant organisation - created rivalries that threatened discord’. Pugh believes,
the article says, that Christabel was the most classically beautiful of the Pankhurst
daughters and was the focus of a rash of ‘crushes’ across the movement, and that
she was briefly involved with Mary Blathwayt herself, but was probably supplanted by
Many of these trysts apparently took place at the Blathwayt home, Eagle House, near
Bath. There is biographical data about Mary Blathwayt in The Woman’s Suffrage
Movement: A Reference Guide 1866-1928 by Elizabeth Crawford. And there is some
information about Eagle House, and some photographs of the women, on the
University of West of England website. Blaythwayt’s diary is held by the
On the other side of the ‘war’ were the anti-suffrage campaigners, such as Alexander
MacCallum Scott. He became a Liberal MP in 1910, and during the First World War
was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Winston Churchill. In the 1920s, he switched
to the Labour Party. In his diaries (1909-1914), held by the University of Glasgow, he
frequently discusses his activities as a member of the anti-suffrage committee in the
Liberal Party. There is some useful information about MacCallum Scott and his
diaries on the university’s Special Collections website.
Scott, Alexander MacCallum (1874–1928), politician and author
by Cameron Hazlehurst
© Oxford University Press 2004–13 All rights reserved
Scott, Alexander MacCallum (1874–1928), politician and author, was born on 16 June
1874 at Boathouse, Blantyre, Lanarkshire, the first of three children of John Scott
(1815–1888), a fruit grower and sometime shopkeeper, and his second wife,
Rebecca MacCallum (d. in or after 1926). His father—a United Presbyterian church
elder, temperance stalwart, and member of the local school board—left an enduring
impression. Rebecca Scott, widowed with an income of £150 a year, was ambitious
for her oldest child.
Educated at Polmont public school and Falkirk high school, Scott went to Glasgow
University where he was a contemporary of John Buchan, W. M. R. Pringle, Robert
Horne, and H. N. Brailsford. He was active in Liberal clubs and the students'
representative council, and president of the union during 1896–7. Graduating in law
in 1897 he ate his dinners at the Middle Temple, and from 1908 practised
sporadically on the western circuit. Purposefully engaged in Liberal politics, he
served as secretary of the League of Liberals against Aggression and Militarism
(1900–03), becoming secretary of the New Reform Club and a Lewisham borough
councillor (1903–6). In spite of these successes, he was beset with a sense of
isolation. Social intimacy with clever radical contemporaries like Brailsford, Francis
Hirst, and J. L. Hammond was tentative and transient.
Eager to supplement his income, and consolidate his credentials as a radical
commentator, Scott published The Truth about Tibet in 1905. Extensive travel in
Scandinavia and Russia resulted in two books in 1908, Through Finland to St
Petersburg and Licensing in Scandinavia. Beyond the Baltic (1925) later recorded his
observations, including meetings in Kaunas, Lithuania, with former ministers of the
Belarusian Democratic Republic, and devoted a chapter to ‘White Russia’ (Belarus),
a nation ‘concealed behind the present colours of the map of Europe’ (Belarusian
Chronicle, no. 3, spring 1998). Planned books on democratic theory, architecture, and
many other subjects were never written. But, believing that Winston Churchill was
‘born to greatness’, Scott turned a series of magazine articles into a biography whose
proofs were read by Churchill before its publication in 1905. Over the next two
decades he wrote political columns in The Observer, The People's Journal, and
Scott's appointment in 1909 as private secretary to the secretary for Scotland, John
Sinclair, first Baron Pentland, helped open the door to a parliamentary career. The
unexpected retirement of his friend James William Cleland created a vacancy in the
safe Liberal seat of Glasgow Bridgeton. Scott entered the House of Commons in
December 1910, having married Jessie, daughter of Dr John Hutchison, former
rector of Glasgow high school, earlier in the year.
In the Commons Scott set out to overcome ‘the frowning battlements of the Inner ring’
(diary, 18 Dec 1912). His diary records a relentlessly self-critical and despondent
back-bench existence. Always on the lookout for causes to make his own, he wore his
radicalism conspicuously, advocating a minimum wage and reforms in housing,
education, and the poor law. He was a vocal devolutionist, a founding executive
member of the Liberal foreign affairs group in 1911, but most visible as a tirelessly
immovable anti-suffragist. Philip Snowden, for one, did not think he went down well.
Scott was, he recalled, ‘a strange character. He always struck me as having the
typical Scottish metaphysical mind. He spoke with great deliberation. He seemed as
though he was laboriously dragging out his words, not from his head but from his
chest’ (Snowden, 1.313).
Disillusioned by Asquith's wartime leadership but never seduced by Lloyd George,
Scott sensed that there might yet be a great role for Churchill. He produced Winston
Churchill in Peace and War in spring 1916. Churchill read the proofs, telling his wife
that the notes he had provided made him ‘feel how important it is for me to put on
record a full & complete account of this gt series of war events’ (Gilbert, 1479). Scott
had concluded that political adversity had taught his subject restraint and an
understanding of the long game, a game that he too had long sought to play.
At Churchill's request Scott joined the back-bench malcontents of the Liberal war
committee, and provided candid assistance in preparing the former first lord's
evidence for the Dardanelles commission. Late in 1916 Scott was chosen as
secretary by the Scottish unofficial Liberal members. He declined an invitation in
January 1917 to become parliamentary private secretary to the new secretary for
Scotland, Robert Munro. But on Churchill's return to office later that year he joined
him as parliamentary private secretary at the Ministry of Munitions and followed him
to the War Office. To the discomfort of both men, he severed the link with Churchill in
1919 as a blind alley he could not afford (diary, 20 Nov, 14 Dec 1919).
A vote against Asquith in the debate (9 May 1918) on the allegations by General Sir
Frederick Maurice that Lloyd George had misled the Commons about the state of the
army in France ensured Scott's return as a couponed Liberal in 1918. Twelve years of
hope for office were finally rewarded in mid-1922 when at Churchill's suggestion
Lloyd George made him the coalition government's Scottish whip. Churchill's
proposal that Scott also become parliamentary secretary for the Scottish board of
health was not taken up.
Scott had defeated James Maxton at the general election of 1918 but had no chance
of repelling him in the Glasgow Labour surge of November 1922. As the reunited
Liberal Party candidate for Glasgow Partick in December 1923 Scott ran a poor third
after openly criticizing the Liberal leadership for offering only a ‘blank negative to
Socialism’ (Lyman, 254). Persuaded that Labour, not a disintegrating Liberal Party,
was where radicals now belonged, he joined the Labour Party, Independent Labour
Party, and the Fabian Society late in 1924. Two years later he was adopted as
prospective Labour candidate for East Aberdeenshire, the seat held by the colourful
progressive tory Robert Boothby.
Both Scott—an early supporter of ‘aeroplaning’ (diary, 2 Jan 1912)—and his wife were
killed in a plane crash into the Puget Sound while flying from Victoria, British
Columbia, to Seattle on 25 August 1928. Their only child, a son, survived them.
Assessing his own political career, Scott attributed his failure to penetrate the inner
ring to his lack of wealth, powerful friends, personal magnetism, and ‘intellectual
power to force my way’ (diary, 3 Dec 1921). He might fairly have added the misfortune
of entering a parliament already replete with ambitious and abler men.
A. M. Scott, diary, U. Glas. L. · Dod's Parliamentary Companion · ‘Mr A. MacCallum
Scott, MP’, Lloyd George Liberal Magazine, 1/8 (May 1921), 456 · WWW · WWBMP ·
Liberal yearbook · private information (2004) [J. H. MacCallum Scott, son] · C.
Hazlehurst, Politicians at war, July 1914 to May 1915 (1971) · J. Adam Smith, John
Buchan (1965) · I. G. C. Hutchison, A political history of Scotland, 1832–1924 (1986) ·
A. J. Dorey, ‘Radical liberal criticism of British foreign policy, 1906–1914’, DPhil diss.,
U. Oxf., 1964 · A. J. A. Morris, Radicalism against war, 1906–1914 (1972) · B.
Harrison, Separate spheres: the opposition to women's suffrage in Britain (1978) · M.
Gilbert, ed., Winston S. Churchill, companion vol., 3/2 (1972) · P. B. Johnson, Land fit
for heroes: the planning of British reconstruction, 1916–1919 (1968) · R. W. Lyman,
The first labour government, 1924 (1957) · C. Coote, A companion of honour: the
story of Walter Elliot (1965) · T. Wilson, The downfall of the liberal party, 1914–1935
(1966) · CAC Cam., Churchill papers · P. Snowden, Autobiography (1934)
U. Glas. L., corresp., diaries, journals, and papers | CAC Cam., Churchill papers
photograph, c.1921, repro. in ‘Mr A. MacCallum Scott, MP’, 456
Wealth at death
£7921 18s. 9d.: confirmation, 24 May 1929, CCI
© Oxford University Press 2004–13 All rights reserved
Cameron Hazlehurst, ‘Scott, Alexander MacCallum (1874–1928)’, Oxford Dictionary
of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
[http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/72181, accessed 26 May 2013]
Alexander MacCallum Scott (1874–1928): doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/72181
Marion Gilchrist (doctor) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Marion Gilchrist was born on 5 February 1864 at Bothwell Park farm, to Margaret and
William Gilchrist, a prosperous farmer, and was the younger sister of the Scottish
agriculturalist, Douglas Alston Gilchrist. Educated at Bothwell Primary School, Marion
Gilchrist (as had her brother before her) entered Hamilton Academy, the prestigious
fee-paying school in nearby Hamilton, South Lanarkshire. In 1887 Gilchrist
matriculated at Queen Margaret College, University of Glasgow, as an arts student
and having begun the examinations while at Queen Margaret College, she attained
LLA, awarded by the University of Saint Andrews in 1890, in which year she enrolled
at the new Queen Margaret College Medical School. In July 1894 Gilchrist was to
become the first woman to graduate from Glasgow University and the first woman to
qualify in medicine at a Scottish university, graduating MB and CM.
Later life and the suffragette movement
Specialising in ophthalmology, Gilchrist was appointed Assistant Surgeon for
Diseases of the Eye at the Glasgow Victoria Infirmary, a post she was to hold from
1914 to 1930, and in 1927 she was also appointed an ophthalmic surgeon at
Redlands Hospital for Women, Glasgow. Gilchrist also gave of her time on a
voluntary basis as physician (1903–11) to Queen Margaret College Settlement's
Invalid Children's School.
Gilchrist was one of the founding members of the Glasgow and West of Scotland
Association for Women's Suffrage (1902), which she left in 1907 to join the Women's
Social and Political Union and the Women's Freedom League. In 1922 she was
elected President of the Glasgow and West Scotland Association of the Medical
Women's Federation; becoming also a leading member of the British Medical
Association (and the first woman chairman of its Glasgow division), and a trustee of
the Muirhead Trust.
© Oxford University Press 2004–13
All rights reserved: see legal notice Oxford University Press
Crawfurd [née Jack; other married name Anderson], Helen (1877–1954), suffragette
and communist, was born at 175 Cumberland Street, Glasgow, on 9 November 1877,
the fourth of seven children of William Jack, a prosperous master baker, and his wife,
Helen Kyle. Her parents had been married in Glasgow in 1872, but Helen spent most
of her childhood in Ipswich, and returned with her family to Glasgow only at the age of
seventeen when her schooling finished.
Helen's political education was fostered by the involvement of her parents with the
Conservative Party; both occupied platform seats at the large Conservative Party
meetings in Ipswich and her father represented tory interests in his union, the
Operative Bakers' Association. The family's political discussions were combined with
religious fervour. William Jack was a strict Presbyterian, in the Church of Scotland,
and his wife was a devout Methodist. Their Glasgow upbringing encouraged a strong
antipathy towards Irish Catholics. Helen read the Bible avidly and also attended
evangelical Sunday school meetings in Glasgow. On 19 September 1898 Helen
married a widower, the Revd Alexander Montgomery Crawfurd (1829/30–1914), a
staunch campaigner for temperance reform in Scotland and an opponent of
Against this background Helen developed an early interest in the women's
movement. Inspired by Josephine Butler's works on the Contagious Disease Act of
1867, she joined the suffrage movement about 1900 and lent her burgeoning
debating skills to group discussions on sexual inequality and political and educational
discrimination. In 1910 she joined the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU),
formed seven years earlier to secure the franchise for women, and she soon became
a proponent of the militant tactics adopted by the Pankhursts. In 1912 she was
sentenced to one month's imprisonment in Holloway gaol in London for smashing the
windows of the residence of the Liberal minister of education in Piccadilly. She was
given the same penalty in Glasgow in the following year, for a similar attack on the
army recruiting office and for fighting with police at a meeting attended by Mrs
Emmeline Pankhurst at St Andrew's Hall. This gave rise to her first hunger strike,
which lasted for eight days before she was released under the so-called Cat and
Mouse Act—the Prisoners (Temporary Discharge for Ill-Health) Act of 1913.
Hardened by these experiences, before the First World War Helen Crawfurd became
one of the most popular speakers in the Scottish suffragette movement. She
continued to campaign and to suffer imprisonment, most notoriously for her alleged
responsibility for a bomb explosion at Glasgow Botanic Gardens in the summer of
1914. On each occasion she used the hunger-strike technique for propaganda
purposes, buoyed up other female prisoners such as Sylvia Pankhurst. She left the
WSPU soon after the outbreak of the war, however, owing to its pro-war position.
As with many other women in this period Crawfurd's feminist efforts merged with
socialist principles. Her political awareness was influenced partly by the radical plays
of Henrik Ibsen, George Bernard Shaw, Maksim Gorky, and others performed by the
Glasgow repertory theatre. She was also deeply affected by the disparity in living
standards of people in the slums of Glasgow compared with those of Ipswich's
inhabitants. ‘These skilled creators of the city's wealth were living in squalor, in
houses unfit for human beings’, she wrote in her memoirs. ‘I began to think there
must be something wrong with a system that could allow this’ (Memoirs, 29).
Although she had in the course of her married life gradually rebelled against much of
her religious upbringing, because of the perceived low status accorded women in the
Bible, Crawfurd held on to the scripture's egalitarian pronouncements to produce a
form of Christian socialism. In 1914 she joined the Independent Labour Party (ILP).
During the First World War, Crawfurd established herself as a national political
figure. This was based on her leading role in the anti-war movement and her
activities to improve Glasgow's housing for the working classes. In November 1915
she and Agnes Dollan, a close friend and fellow suffragette, established the Glasgow
branch of the Women's International League—a predominantly middle-class
pressure group opposed to the war, without party affiliations. In June 1917 they
helped to form the Women's Peace Crusade, with Crawfurd as honorary secretary, in
order to forge a more working-class and militant opposition to militarism. The two
women also worked together in the Glasgow rent strikes of 1915. As secretary of the
Glasgow Women's Housing Association, Crawfurd became a high-profile figure in
urging housewives at mass rallies in Govan and Partick to resist rent increases. This
resulted in the Rent Restriction Act in December 1915 and, along the way, Crawfurd's
forging of strong links with the shop stewards' movement.
A measure of Crawfurd's increased standing was her appointment as vice-chairman
of the Scottish divisional council of the ILP in 1918. In the immediate aftermath of the
war, however, she grew increasingly disillusioned with what she saw as the ILP's lack
of radicalism, and she was attracted instead by the movement to set up a British
Communist Party, headed by Tom Bell and Arthur MacManus. Initially she worked to
establish a communist faction within the ILP and travelled in her official capacity as a
visitor to Moscow in July 1920 to attend the Second Congress of the Third
Communist International. There she met a number of friends, including Sylvia
Pankhurst and Willie Gallacher. During her stay she even managed to interview
Lenin, who spoke of recruiting women into the Communist Party.
When the vote for the affiliation of the ILP to the Communist International was
rejected at the national conference of the ILP in 1920, Crawfurd left to join the
recently established Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB). She was appointed to
the executive committee within a year and concentrated from the outset on increasing
female membership in the party. Her propaganda expertise led to her editing a
separate women's page in the CPGB's official newspaper, the Communist, and a part
in the creation of the Sunday Worker, which disseminated left-wing views in the
Throughout the 1920s Crawfurd's political activities ranged further afield. In 1922 she
became secretary of the Workers' International Relief Organisation, formed to assist
economically distressed areas such as the Volga province in Russia. Her
international reputation as a political organizer grew as she visited countries such as
Ireland, where she supported the quest for home rule, and Germany, where in 1924
she addressed an audience of 10,000 people on behalf of the German Communist
Party. She also helped to set up a number of international trade union and socialist
conferences, such as the League Against Imperialism in Brussels in 1927. Following
several further visits to Russia, Crawfurd consistently expressed loyal admiration for
Stalinism, dismissing the Trotskyists as ‘disgruntled elements’ (Memoirs, 341). At
home she gave active support to the 1926 general strike in terms of food distribution
and speeches. She also stood (unsuccessfully) as a Communist candidate in general
elections: first in 1929, for the Bothwell division of Lanarkshire, where she polled
1677 votes; and second in 1931 for North Aberdeen, obtaining 3980 votes.
During the 1930s Crawfurd was closely associated with the Communist Party's front
organization, Friends of the Soviet Union. However, she switched the bulk of her
attention to fighting the spread of fascism in Europe. In 1933 she became honorary
secretary of two committees to combat fascism and antisemitism in Scotland, and in
1938 she organized the Peace and Empire Congress which sought to launch a co-
ordinated peace movement throughout the British Commonwealth. When war broke
out, like many members of the CPGB her stance was somewhat ambiguous.
Answering critics who argued that the Communist Party only supported Britain's war
effort when Germany attacked Russia in 1941, she retorted that her fellow
communists had to be convinced that Britain was prepared to fight fascism and not to
co-operate with it (Memoirs, 374). Her ambivalence was perhaps illustrated by her
retirement during the war to a cottage in Dunoon.
Helen Crawfurd was tall and robust and renowned for wearing stark, black dresses at
public meetings. A personal assessment of her career as a feminist and leading
radical was made by a fellow party member, who praised her high intelligence and
sterling character as a militant and fighter. ‘A fluent speaker and sympathetic
personality’, wrote Tom Bell, ‘she is just as at home addressing a meeting of
thousands as she is in conversation with the working class housewife … Had she
been self seeking and opportunist I feel certain she could have been among the first
women members of Parliament’ (Bell, 258).
Crawfurd's last years included a two-year stint as Dunoon's first woman councillor,
immediately after the end of the war, and she continued her commitment to the
communist cause through the establishment of a local discussion group on Marxist
literature. Having lost her first husband in 1914, she married a steel-master and
CPGB member from Coatbridge, George Anderson (d. 1951). She died childless at
her home, Mahson Cottage, Kilbride Avenue, Dunoon, on 18 April 1954.
H. Corr, ‘Crawfurd, Helen’, Scottish labour leaders, 1918–39: a biographical
dictionary, ed. W. Knox (1984) · T. Bell, Pioneering days (1941) · memoirs of Helen
Crawfurd, Marx Memorial Library, London · W. Gallacher, Revolt on the Clyde: an
autobiography (1936) · b. cert. · m. cert. · d. cert.
Marx Memorial Library, London
© Oxford University Press 2004–13
All rights reserved: see legal notice Oxford University Press
Helen Corr, ‘Crawfurd , Helen (1877–1954)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography,
Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Sept 2010
[http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/40301, accessed 26 May 2013]
Helen Crawfurd (1877–1954): doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/40301
The Scotsman Newspaper
Stories from the Scotsman
Scotland's forgotten sisters
IF YOU spent the last two Sunday evenings watching Stephen Poliakoff’s Edwardian
drama The Lost Prince, you may remember a scene when a young woman threw
herself at Queen Mary’s feet, begging her attention to a pressing social concern. The
Queen daintily and imperiously stepped over her prone form. Another moment in the
drama featured an elegant woman chained to the palace railings, an image that will
forever be entwined with one movement alone - the struggle for women’s suffrage. Yet
instant recognition of iconic images often comes with a cost.
The suffragette campaign scourged the politicians of the day and shook up the skirts
of its women. To many, it was a cause led by the chattering classes, women of
privilege who were hopelessly out of touch with how people in the slums and factory
towns lived. To others, it was tinged with a sense of glamour, fronted by an enigmatic
tyrant - Emmeline Pankhurst, founder of the Women’s Social and Political Union -
who had a charismatic hold over her nubile army of women. Whatever you believe,
there’s one recurring idea that most of us are guilty of accepting - that the movement
was confined to London.
Four years ago, a ground-breaking book by the late Leah Leneman swept away this
myth with all the force of a Dyson vacuum cleaner. Far from being disinterested or
content with their lot, Leneman proved that the Scottish suffrage movement was
active and influential from Shetland to Stranraer, Oban to Montrose. It also displayed
considerable autonomy and independence from Pankhurst’s WSPU. Indeed, they
were indebted to their Scottish sisters, not least because the then-prime minister,
Asquith, alongside other prominent members of the government such as Richard
Haldane and Winston Churchill, held Scottish seats. If the English movement
produced endless biography fodder - from Emily Wilding Davison, who threw herself
under the King’s horse, to the Pankhursts again - many biographies are still waiting to
be written about the indefatigable Scots.
There was Ethel Moorhead, who symbolically smashed a glass case at the Wallace
monument near Stirling. One of the movement’s wittiest and more militant
personalities, she once marched into a classroom with a dog-whip to attack a male
teacher who had ejected her from a meeting. She was later imprisoned for attempted
arson. Then there was Lilias Mitchell, who cheekily replaced the marker flags at
Balmoral Golf Course with new flags painted in the WSPU colours. Or Arabella Scott,
who tried to set fire to Kelso racecourse before enduring five weeks of enforced
feeding at Perth Prison.
Action in Scotland was varied and widespread. Telegraph and telephone wires were
cut, and on one occasion a portrait of the King was slashed at the Royal Academy.
Lanarkshire mansions were burnt to the ground and corrosive acid was poured
through letter boxes across the country. Often, the tactics seemed to brilliantly
subvert the domestic activities the anti-suffragists were expected to do in the course
of a normal day: cayenne pepper was thrown at the prime minister, and they’d smear
black treacle on shop windows to deaden the sound of their being smashed. But not
all activity was militant. Scotland was also the scene of tireless campaigning from
leading suffragists (those who fought for the vote through constitutional or non-
militant means, as opposed to suffragettes, who were known for espousing militant
In 1917, an electoral reform bill giving votes to certain women over 30 was passed in
the Commons, but not until 1928 were all women given equal voting rights. Yet as we
approach our parliament’s second elections since devolution, many of Scotland’s
women are not expected to vote. While it seems inconceivable that only 75 years ago
women were not deemed capable of doing so, it is equally staggering that such high
proportions of women are now so apathetic about voting. What would the suffragists
and suffragettes of yesteryear think? More specifically, what do the descendants of
women who were central to the movement think? Have they continued the fight for
gender equality in their own lives? Or have they been overshadowed by their
matriarchs? And what about the women whose ancestors played a more modest
Anne Balfour-Fraser recalls two of her relatives talking about their roles in the drama.
Her grandmother, Lady Betty Balfour, was a member of the National Union of
Women’s Suffrage Societies and president of the non-militant Conservative and
Unionist Women’s Franchise Association in Edinburgh. She also chaired Pankhurst’s
1911 meeting at Nairn, and when militant suffragettes torched the medieval church of
Whitekirk in East Lothian (a symbolic action, according to Leneman, in response to
"medieval" practices such as force-feeding in Scottish prisons), Lady Betty chaired a
restoration fund. "She was morally supportive of the suffragettes, but thought that they
could achieve the vote without smashing things," says Balfour-Fraser. Instead, Lady
Betty used her influence within her "highly political and intellectual" circle, where she
thought it would have some effect.
Her sister, however, took quite a different tack. Lady Constance Lytton (Balfour-
Fraser’s great-aunt) was a well-known figure in the WSPU, and was imprisoned
several times for window-breaking. After her first imprisonment, she was outraged to
discover she’d won an early release because of her family’s status, and when
arrested subsequently, she gave false identities. During a 14-day prison sentence she
suffered enforced feeding on five occasions, a gruesome experience which she
details in her book Prisons and Prisoners. Two wardresses held her down while a
doctor clamped open her mouth with a steel implement. "A tube which seemed to me
much too wide and something like four feet in length" was forced down her throat,
causing instant vomiting. Ninety-five years later, Balfour-Fraser says these force-
feedings destroyed Lady Constance’s health for the rest of her life, and that she
certainly died prematurely because of this.
Her great-aunt’s sacrifice and grandmother’s campaigning left an indelible mark on
Balfour-Fraser’s life, not least on election days. "I have always voted," she stresses.
"If I didn’t, my grandmother would have thought it dreadful, that it was every woman’s
responsibility to make her opinion and make it count."
Balfour-Fraser spent the Second World War in a laboratory, analysing aluminium
from crashed aircraft. After the war she studied singing at the Royal Academy of
Music, but realising it wouldn’t become a career, she started her own production
company, Balfour Films, and went on to produce more than 100 films. When asked
whether she championed female directors - just as her grandmother went on to
encourage female composers such as Ethel Smyth - Balfour-Fraser replies, "Not
specifically. I wanted the best person for a job."
But one day she was woken in the early hours by an American television company.
"They had been given permission to make a film about Simone de Beauvoir, but on
one condition," she recalls. "The entire crew had to be women."
Balfour-Fraser didn’t agree with all of de Beauvoir’s ideas, but she was struck by her
risky and determined campaigning for the legalisation of abortion. Does she consider
this to be one of the next great landmarks in gender equality, after female suffrage?
"The Women’s Property Act was immensely important, as it meant that you didn’t
automatically lose rights to your property as soon as you got married. But the
acceptance of planned parenthood has made an enormous difference to the life of
women," she says.
In fact, Balfour-Fraser went on to make a number of films for the International
Planned Parenthood Federation as well as the Family Planning Association -
following another family tradition - since Lady Constance was an outspoken supporter
of Marie Stopes. What would Lady Betty and Lady Constance think of women’s lives
in today’s Scotland?
Have we achieved genuine emancipation? “Women can achieve everything, but it’s
appallingly hard work, and it shouldn’t be as difficult as it is. You need a cultural
change, but I don’t quite know how to achieve it.” What’s frustrating, she concludes, is
that women aren’t fighting prejudice from men, but all too often are thwarted by
“prejudice from other women, too”.
Another leading suffragette who participated in window-smashing raids and
subsequent prison hunger strikes was Helen Archdale, a woman who could have
been born wielding a hammer. Her mother and father (Alexander Russel, an editor of
The Scotsman) were stalwart fighters for Edinburgh women students’ campaign for
A member of the WSPU, Archdale was imprisoned in Dundee for breaching the
peace, but released four days later after going on a hunger strike. Archdale was
particularly close to Pankhurst and assisted her in compiling a database of active
suffragettes during the war years. After the First World War she broadened her
feminist activities further by becoming president of the Equal Rights International
Committee at the League of Nations in Geneva, and editing Time and Tide, a feminist
sociopolitical magazine that attracted writers such as TS Elliot and Rebecca West.
Her daughter, Betty Archdale, inherited her mother’s sense of justi