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

By Elizabeth Crawford | Go to book overview

V

VARLEY, JULIA (1871-1952) Granddaughter of a Chartist, she was a half-timer working in a mill when she was 12, later becoming a weaver. She joined the Bradford branch of the Weavers and Textile Workers’ Union and was soon its secretary. She was a member of the WOMEN’S FRANCHISE LEAGUE in 1889, attending its public meeting in November at the Westminster Palace Hotel, subscribed to the WOMEN’S EMANCIPATION UNION in 1893, and in February 1899 is recorded by Elizabeth Wolstenholme ELMY as attending one of that society’s meetings. From 1899 until 1906 Julia Varley was the first woman member of the executive committee of the Bradford Trades Council. From 1904 until 1907 she was a poor law guardian in Bradford. She was a member of the WOMEN’S SOCIAL AND POLITICAL UNION and imprisoned in Holloway for two weeks in February 1907, having been arrested during the demonstrations surrounding the Women’s Parliament on 13 February, and was in Holloway again in April 1907, probably as a result of the disturbances surrounding the deputation from the second Women’s Parliament on 20 March. Her sister, Mrs Barrett, was also arrested on 13 February. In 1908 Julia Varley joined the staff of the National Federation of Women Workers as an organizer, setting up a branch in Cadbury’s Bournville factory. In 1909 she was elected a delegate to the Birmingham Trades Council and in 1911 stood as a Socialist candidate in Kings Norton in the election for the new town council of Greater Birmingham. Julia Varley does not appear again as a WSPU activist; she doubtless disagreed with the WSPU’s break with the Labour Party shortly after her last imprisonment. However, in 1912 she was a member of the BIRMINGHAM WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE SOCIETY, presumably influenced by the NUWSS Election Fighting Fund policy, by which support was given to Labour Party candidates. In the 1920s she was a vice-chairman of the joint committee of the Industrial Women’s Organizations and regularly addressed meetings of Lady RHONDDA’S Women’s Industrial League.

Address: (1952) 42 Hay Green Lane, Bourneville, Birmingham.

Bibliography: L. Middleton (ed.), Women in the Labour Movement: The British Experience, 1977.

VENTURI, EMILIE (?1826-93) Daughter of W.H. Ashurst, sister of Matilda Ashurst BIGGS and Caroline STANSFELD, friend of Mazzini and George HOLYOAKE. She signed the 1866 women’s suffrage petition, and subscribed to the ENFRANCHISEMENT OF WOMEN COMMITTEE, 1866-7. She was a member of the executive committee of the CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE NATIONAL SOCIETY FOR WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE on its formation in 1871, and was probably the anonymous author of The Rights of Women, 1875, and, as “A Looker On”, of a very interesting pamphlet, Women’s Rights as Preached by Women, in which, acknowledging that her position is rather apart from the main suffrage society, she criticizes the suffrage campaign in the light of the ideals set for it by eighteenth-century radical women such as Mary Wollstonecraft and “Sophia” (see under PUBLISHERS AND PRINTERS). In 1890 she became a member of the committee of the WOMEN’S FRANCHISE LEAGUE. However, Emilie Venturi’s main efforts for the woman’s movement were directed not towards suffrage but as a member of the executive committee of the Married Women’s Property Committee, 1876-82, of the Personal Rights Association and of the Ladies National Association for the repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts. She was the editor of that campaign’s journal, The Shield, from 1871 to 1886. Among her other activities Emilie Venturi was a painter, indeed on the 1871 census she gives her occupation as “artist painter”, perhaps taught by Frank Stone, the father of Bertha STERLING, who had certainly taught her elder sister Eliza. Among the known subjects of her portraits were Mazzini (now in the Casa Mazzini in Genoa), George Holyoake and Clementia TAYLOR.

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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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