Greater Mancunians

This is the first of an occasional series of postings about Great Mancunians, people born in or adopted by Manchester, people who have contributed to the greater good.

Harumph! So here goes. One hundred years ago. Dateline 10 October 1903. The place: 62 Nelson Street, Chorlton-on Medlock, Manchester. The event: The founding of the Women’s Socialist and Political Party by Emmeline Pankhurst. Motto: “Deeds, not words.”

This was a significant step in the fight for women’s suffrage, signalling more direct and sometimes violent action to gain women the right to vote that began as long ago as 1792 when Mary Wollstonecraft published “A Vindication of the Rights of Women.”

Emmeline was born in Manchester in 1858, the daughter of Richard Goulden and Sophia Crane. Her dad was a successful businessman, and a radical, as were many in the north of England were, rich or poor.

Both her parents campaigned for women’s suffrage and Emmeline was taken to meetings from the age of four and she became a confirmed suffragist all her life. married Richard Marsden Pankhurst, though he was much older than her. Another radical, in the great tradition of northern radicals.

Richard died early and Emmeline devoted the rest of her life to the cause, dying in 1930 just a few weeks after women first exercised the right to vote. A formidable woman.

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