Celebrating International Women's Day: Suffragette, Emily Wilding Davidson
To mark International Women’s Day on the 8 March, Trustee, Jeanette House visited St Mary’s Church in Morpeth to learn about suffragette, Emily Wilding Davidson.
It is 102 years since the militant suffragette, Emily Wilding Davidson, was tragically struck down by the King’s horse during an equality protest at the 1913 Epsom Derby. She never recovered from her injuries and died four days later. She is buried in a family plot at St Mary’s.
Emily achieved a 1st class Honours at Oxford at a time when women were not allowed a degree. She later went into teaching, but abandoned this when she became increasingly passionate and militant about women’s suffrage. She was imprisoned on nine occasions and force fed a total of 49 times – a horrendous and extremely painful experience. Emily later successfully sued the prison authorities because of her ill-treatment.
Recent research has shown that Emily had a return train ticket secure in her purse and had never intended to end her life so tragically. Clearly she underestimated the speed and ferocity of the horse, with fatal consequences.
Did you celebrate International Women's Day? Leave a comment and tell us about it!
I didn't celebrate International Women's Day. But I went to Aintree on 11th April for the Grand National with my family, this was the first time for me and quite an event. A horse (Seedling) died tragically in front of us after a bad fall at the second to last fence in the first race. The manner in which the race staff concealed the horse and removed him from the track was very startling. I can only imagine the impact that Emily's trampling caused when she was mown down by the horses during the race. Like us I wager that many people there that day were having a very special day out and seeing a young woman fatally injured must have had a deep impact on the race goers.
Incredible to think that women were not allowed to vote - we should all remember this period in our recent history as we cast our votes on 7th May.
Janette's post is most welcome, thank you.