The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide, 1866-1928

By Elizabeth Crawford | Go to book overview

U

ULVERSTON (NUWSS) In 1913 the society was a member of the NORTH-WESTERN FEDERATION OF THE NATIONAL UNION OF WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE SOCIETIES. Secretary (1913) Miss L. Stirling, Skelfleet, Ulverston, Lancashire.

UNION OF PRACTICAL SUFFRAGISTS Finally formed within the WOMEN’S LIBERAL FEDERATION in 1896. At a council meeting of the WLF in 1893 Anna Maria PRIESTMAN had moved an amendment to the suffrage resolution, in favour of the “test question”, that is, that potential Liberal candidates should be questioned as to their intention of supporting women’s enfranchisement if elected. The corollary was that Women’s Liberal Associations would then only campaign for candidates who could affirm their support. This amendment was defeated and in 1894 those in favour of putting the test question formed themselves into a small organization, with Anna Maria Priestman as president and Miss Tanner as secretary. By 1895 the group called itself the “Practical Suffragists”; Miss Julia Cameron and Miss Gertrude Woodward were its secretaries. Elizabeth Wolstenholme ELMY invited the Practical Suffragists to a drawing-room meeting of the WOMEN’S EMANCIPATION UNION in December 1896. In 1896 the Test Question Resolution was again drawn up before the WLF council meeting. However the Southport WLF, whose president was Eva MCLAREN, had tabled such a resolution, which although different was to much the same effect, and this was adopted by the Practical Suffragists and moved by Lady GROVE. The motion was lost; on 10 June 1896 a meeting was held at which the “Practical Suffragist Committee” was merged in the existing “Union of Practical Suffragists within the WLF”. The Union’s objective was “To induce Women’s Liberal Associations to work for no Liberal Candidate who would vote against Women’s Suffrage in the House of Commons”. As Valentine Munro-Ferguson wrote in a leaflet published by the UPS in 1896, “We have shown enough benevolence in politics, let us now make Woman’s Suffrage the price of Woman’s Work”. In 1897 after the women’s suffrage bill had passed its second reading by a large majority the committee decided with reluctance not to bring a test resolution that year at the WLF meeting. In 1898 a number of associations sent up resolutions to the annual WFL council meeting in favour of “Union” policy. The one that appeared on the agenda was that put forward by the Cuckfield WLA. It was moved by Florence BALGARNIE, supported by Lady Grove and Eva McLaren, and Mrs Mill Colman (sister to John Stuart MILL). It was again defeated, although by less than anticipated.

In 1898-9 the executive committee of the Union of Practical Suffragists comprised Ursula BRIGHT, Annie Leigh BROWNE, Mrs Gardner, Alison GARLAND, Lady Grove, Mary Kilgour, Miss Lile, Eva McLaren, Louisa MARTINDALE, Laura Morgan-BROWNE, Mary PRIESTMAN, Miss Ryley, Harriot Stanton BLATCH, Miss Tanner, Jane Cobden UNWIN, “Gwyneth Vaughan” and Mrs Williams. The Union issued a flood of pamphlets including ones by Ursula Bright, Dora MONTEFIORE and Mary Kilgour. Anna Maria Priestman’s pamphlet Women and Votes was published c. 1896. In 1903 the Union of Practical Suffragists was dissolved after the WLF agreed to give its support only to candidates who were in sympathy with women’s enfranchisement. However, this success was short-lived, for two years later the debate over the test question was reopened and in 1908, with the same objective, the FORWARD SUFFRAGE UNION was formed.

President (1898-9) Anna Maria Priestman; honorary treasurer (1898-9) Mona TAYLOR, Chipchase; honorary secretary (1898-9) Mrs Leeds, Tower House, Birdhurst Road, Croydon, Surrey, who with her husband had been in the previous years a member of the executive committee of the CENTRAL NATIONAL SOCIETY FOR WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE.

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The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide, 1866-1928
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Illustrations vi
  • Introduction ix
  • A 1
  • B 24
  • C 90
  • D 156
  • E 182
  • F 212
  • G 235
  • H 256
  • I 299
  • J 303
  • K 313
  • L 331
  • M 363
  • N 434
  • O 472
  • P 485
  • Q 585
  • R 586
  • S 613
  • T 671
  • U 693
  • V 697
  • W 699
  • Y 763
  • Z 766
  • Appendix - The Radical Liberal Family Networks 767
  • Acknowledgements 769
  • Archival Sources 771
  • Select Bibliography 774
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