Pankhurst, Emmeline

BORN 14 Jul 1858, Manchester - DIED 14 Jun 1928, London
BIRTH NAME Goulden, Emmeline
GRAVE LOCATION London: Brompton Cemetery, Old Brompton Road, West Brompton (1E)

Daughter of a businessman with radical political views. He was involved in the campaigns against the Corn Laws and against slavery. She was educated in Manchester and Paris.

Back in Manchester she met and married the lawyer Richard Pankhurst, who was twenty-four hears her senior and strongly in favour of women's suffrage. They had four children in six years.

She became a Poor Law Guardian in 1895 and she and her husband were members of the Independent Labour Party. After Richard died in 1898 Emmeline continued her activities and in 1903 she founded the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU). Their slogan was "Votes for Women". Her daughter Chistabel turned into the strategist of the movement.

In 1905 Emmeline Pankhurst and Annie Kenney disturbed a speech of government minister Edward Grey. They were arrested and charged with assault of a policeman. After they were convicted and refused to pay their fines they were sent to prison. In 1907 she moved to London and together with her two daughters she fought for women's suffrage. She was frequently in prison and on hunger-strike. In 1912 alone she went to prison twelve times.

During the First World War the WSPU promised to end their violent protestations and help with the war. In returned the government released all suffragettes. In 1917 she founded the Women's Party together with her daughter Christabel. After the war she gave lectures in the USA and Canada. After her return in 1925 she joined the Conservative Party. Her daughter Sylvia was furious.

Emmeline Pankhurst died in 1928 and that same year women received equal voting rights.


The grave of Emmeline Pankhurst at Brompton Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (24 Mar 1996)


Statue of Emmeline Pankhurst at Victoria Tower Gardens in London.
Picture by Androom (18 Jun 2022)


• Culbertson, Judi & Tom Randall, Permanent Londoners, Robson Books, London, 1991

Panthès, Marie

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 24 Jun 2022