Helen Crawfurd ~ Political Activist, Suffragette and Red Cydesider

Helen Crawfurd (1877-1954) was born Helen Jack on 9 September 1877. Her family moved to Ipswich when she was quite young and it was in England that she was educated. At the age of 17 Helen Crawfurd returned to Glasgow with her family.

Coming from an intensely religious family (her mother Presbyterian and father Baptist) meant that at home Helen Crawfurd experienced and took part in discussions about justice and equality. Her early development as a feminist was partially influenced by her choice of reading material, especially the writings of Josephine Butler.

At a young age she married (1898) the Reverend Alexander Montgomerie Crawfurd of the Brownfield Church. He held very strong beliefs on temperance and against militarism and so despite their age difference and the Reverend having a daughter of similar age to Helen, the marriage functioned. Reverend Crawfurd died in May of 1914. Helen Crawfurd soon threw herself into church life, running the choir. The couple lived at 17 Sutherland Street in Hillhead. (Check this address).

Soon she became a very prominent member of the Suffragette Movement in Scotland which she joined in 1900.

Helen Crawfurd’s own words detail why alongside the motivation initiated by her feminism and inspiration from Keir Hardie, she became increasingly involved in the fight for social and economic improvement for the working class:

“Skilled creators of the city’s wealth were living in squalor, in hovels unfit for human beings. I began to think that there must be something wrong with a system that could allow this.”

This view would lead her to become an internationalist and socialist and a founder of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

The year 1910 saw her join the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) at Rutherglen. When the suffragettes organised the large scale window-breaking campaign in London (1912) Helen Crawfurd was apart of the Scottish contingent and was responsible for smashing the windows of the Liberal Government’s Minister of Education. She received a one month prison sentence for this act of civil disobedience.

“Participation in the raid was right. If Christ could be a Militant so could I.”

When in March 1914 Emily Pankhurst was smuggled into a hall in Glasgow to address a meeting Helen Crawfurd formed part of the bodyguard. Under the terms of the Suffragette leaders’ release from prison under the Cat and Mouse Act she should not have been at the meeting. The following day a protest outside an Army recruiting Centre in Glasgow ended with Helen Crawfurd arrested for smashing two windows. The sentence for this political act was a month’s imprisonment in Duke Street Prison. During this sentence the WSPU organised a picket outside the prison and Helen Crawfurd in common with the newly developed suffragette strategy went on hunger strike. After only 8 days she was released under licence.

Not put off by her experience of prison and hunger strike, Helen Crawfurd continued to operate with the WSPU. She was in Perth in 1914 when the Royal family visited the fair city. In what was described as a pre-emptive strike, the police arrested Helen Crawfurd as she approached the Royal Procession and placed her in Perth Prison. After five days on hungers strike (Helen Crawfurd was not forcibly fed) she was release once more under the Cat and Mouse Act. This was not Helen Crawfurd’s only visit to Perth; in the summer of 1914 she spoke at an open air rally protesting at the imprisonment of two suffragettes in the city’s prison. Her remarks were deemed inflammatory by the police and she was arrested once more and again went on hunger strike before release after 3 days.

After an explosion at the Botanic Gardens in the West End of Glasgow Helen Crawfurd was arrested and found guilty of involvement in the bombing. This was her fourth prison sentence in three years. Immediately she began her third hunger strike.

At the onset of world war in 1914 Emily Pankhurst took the WSPU into a pro-war militarist position. Consequently Helen Crawfurd broke with this section of the suffragette movement. Many of the women that were involved in the suffragette movement widened their political activity at the onset of the First World War in 1914. Helen Crawfurd was no exception. She joined the Independent Labour Party (ILP) in 1914 campaigning against the war. With Agnes Dollen, Helen Crawfurd assisted in setting up a branch of the Women’s International League in Glasgow in 1915. This was followed the next year by a Women’s Peace Conference in the city. Out of this conference the Women’s Peace Crusade (WPC) was formed (1917) with Helen Crawfurd as its Honorary Secretary. The WPC operated across Scotland organising pickets, demonstrations and other actions against the war in Europe and against conscription.

Political influence for Helen Crawfurd came not just from experience but equally important was her involvement in the Glasgow Repertory Theatre. Plays by Ibsen, Shaw, Galsworthy and Gorky left their impression as Helen moved increasingly to the left of the political spectrum. Personal tragedy may have further galvanised her resolve; both her mother and husband died in 1914.

Glasgow was a large centre for munitions factories and many of the city’s working class were involved in the war production. Landlords in Glasgow seeing their opportunity began raising the rents of munitions workers. This flagrant profiteering was set against a general hike in the cost of living. As secretary of the Glasgow Women’s Housing Association, Helen Crawfurd was heavily involved in the rent strike that began in 1915. As well as non-payment of rent local people organised themselves in rapid response groups that hindered the work of landlords and their bailiffs. The unity of the Glasgow workers was assisted by the efforts of the ILP, the Glasgow Women’s Housing Association and the Clyde Workers’ Committee. Once the main Glasgow unions came out in support of the rent strike victory was assured. The Government passed the Rent Restrictions Act of 1915, which froze the rents not only in Glasgow but throughout Britain.

Glasgow in this period was a location of intense political action and development. Helen Crawfurd was one of a several prominent political activists. Others were Agnes Dollan, Mary Barbour and Mary Laud. A major figure in Glasgow at that time was John MacLean who Helen Crawfurd got to know. She was invited to lecture at John Maclean’s Scottish Labour College and spoke with him on several platforms. Significantly, Helen Crawfurd was amongst the very first woman political figures to campaign on women’s political and economic position in British society.

For her efforts against the war Helen Crawfurd was prosecuted by the state. She was arrested and tried in Glasgow for organising in a munitions factory. However, the ILP recognised her contribution to the labour movement and elected her Vice-Chair of the Divisional Council in 1918.

Helen Crawfurd remained a member of the Independent Labour Party until 1920, by which time she was no longer happy with their reformist policies. Helen Crawfurd’s move to the Left had begun some time ago but was accelerated by a visit to Moscow. In 1920 she attended the 2nd Congress of the Third International as a member of the Independent Labour Party. Upon her return to Britain a failed attempt at getting the ILP to affiliate to the Communist (Third) International made up her mind to leave and join the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB). This she did in the following year and she was very soon editing the woman’s page (Page for Women) of the CPGB newspaper, The Communist. By 1921 she had been elected onto the Executive Committee of the CPGB.

The journey to the Soviet Union was a difficult one. The Norwegian authorities confiscated her passport, but undaunted Helen Crawfurd hitched a lift on a fishing boat out of Norwegian waters and onto a cargo boat bound for the Soviet Union. From the port of Alexandrovic she made her way to Moscow and the Third International congress.

Helen Crawfurd stood as the Communist Party candidate for Govan during the Municipal Elections of November 1921. Her committee rooms were based at 35 Queen Street, Govan.

The Workers’ International Relief Organisation (WIR) was another organisation in which Helen Crawfurd played an important role. Set up to provide aid to those areas of the Soviet Union ravaged by famine (Volga region) and during the Depression, Germany, the Scottish Highlands and the west coast of Ireland, the WIR became in synonymous with the name of Helen Crawfurd. With the WIR and as part of the labour and trade union movement, Helen Crawfurd worked to provide assistance to the mining communities that continued the struggle with the Conservative British Government long after the end of the 1926 General Strike.

Another overseas trip followed in 1924, when Helen Crawfurd addressed a crowd of over ten thousand in Berlin for the German Communist Party (KPD).

In 1929 and 1931 Helen Crawfurd stood as the CPGB candidate in the general elections of those years, firstly in Bothwell (Lanarkshire) and latterly in North Aberdeen. Like the majority of the Left of her generation the 1930s was a time of opposition to the growth of fascism across Europe against a backdrop of bourgeois intransigence. She soon became secretary of two anti-fascist organisations. Despite her opposition to the First World War, Helen Crawfurd’s anti-fascism required her to support the British Government’s declaration of war in September of 1939.

During the Second World War (1944) Helen Crawfurd moved out of Glasgow and relocated to her sister’s house in Dunoon. Although she was now quite advanced in years, Helen Crawfurd’s political zeal had not dimmed. In 1946 she was elected onto the council at Dunoon as the first ever woman councillor. Unfortunately two years later ill health forced her retirement from this post. Nevertheless, she remarried in 1947 to a fellow communist George Anderson. Even at the age of 75 Helen Crawfurd played a significant role within the Communist Party, chairing the Scottish Congress of the CPGB.

There are a set of memoirs in draft (unpublished) form at the Gallagher Memorial Library of the Caledonian University in Glasgow.

After a short illness, Helen Crawfurd died at home in Dunoon at the age of 77 – 18 April 1954.

“Human misery, indescribable … appalling misery and poverty of the workers in Glasgow, physically broken down bodies … this appalled me and the drunkenness at that time to me was a horror.”

Helen Crawfurd

Additional Notes:

Helen Crawfurd – A Fight for Progress or A Revolutionary Woman

“I have wandered in ‘No Man’s Land’ attacking wrongs and injustices, before I became aware of the idea of social ownership of the means of production.”

“Dealing with the real problems of the people struggling either for National Independence or against sex inequality and the subordinate position of women.”

“HC had a striking and formidable appearance. She was tall and robust and renowned for wearing stark black dresses at public meetings.”

“A fluent speaker and sympathetic personality … she is just at home addressing a meeting of thousands as she is in conversation with the working class housewife … Had she been self seeking and opportunist I feel certain she could have been amongst the first women members of Parliament.” – Tom Bell.

“With the death of Helen Crawfurd Anderson on April 18th, in her 77th year, Scotland has lost one of her noblest daughters, and the International Socialist Movement one of its finest representatives.” – Margaret Hunter Funeral Oration for Helen Crawfurd.

“For Helen, to live was to struggle for the advancement of the workers movement to the ultimate victory.” – Margaret Hunter.

“She had that beauty which is of something more than physical attributes … that beauty which belongs to all those who are inspired by the highest of ideals, the liberation of mankind from oppression, and who dedicate their lives to this liberation.” – Margaret Hunter.

“A love of her own country, she was at the same time, a true internationalist, hating oppression both at home and abroad.” – Margaret Hunter.

Memoirs (Unpublished typescript [194?], Willie Gallacher Collection, Glasgow Caledonian Library).

A great orator the following expressions have been used to describe Helen Crawfurd: distinguished appearance; warm; personal; lively wit; single-minded devotion; clarity of expression; courage; admiration; respect; love.

“As well as being the foremost woman in the ILP HC went to jail as a suffragette and did a spell in Duke Street Prison. She had been married to a minister and was already a widow when she became active. She was a very courageous, honest woman, and although she was more of a pacifist than a revolutionary she was one of the founder members of the CP on the Executive of the CP and actually met Lenin. Her memoirs have never been published because the CP had doubts about what she was writing.”

HC – “A fiery character, she had a passionate hatred of injustice and became a socialist when she saw the filthy conditions in which the shipbuilders in Glasgow lived. She was 37 at the outbreak of the war.”

Controversy Surrounding Non-Publication and Difficulty of Access:

Begin with the Molly Maguires in Pennsylvania – “in all these struggles my father and mother were greatly interested” – and end with an event that happens in 1954 when HC dies to illustrate the life and terrain of struggle over which her life was lived.

1974 – Professor John Saville, Department of Economic and Social History, University of Hull. Ray Challinor, Department of Humanities, Newcastle upon Tyne Polytechnic. Also Nan Milton, Henry McShane, George Patterson of Durham University. Letter from Ray Challinor to Professor John Saville – “First it would clearly appear to have been Helen Crawfurd intention to have made its content public. Otherwise she would not have submitted it to a publisher.” “Henry McShane has looked through the MS. He would tell you that he thinks that a deliberate policy of suppression is being followed because it contains information which the Communist Party would rather not become known.”

John Mclennan, 104 Mill Street, Glasgow, G3 at one time MS was with publisher. Ray and others attempts to get copy of memoirs and then get access.

Letter to Ray Challinor from Henry McShane – “Agnes Pollock of Springburn district of Glasgow did some typing for Helen.” Tracked down eventually to MML – letter from them [Phyllis Bell] to Dr. Ray Challinor. “I am sorry that the answer to your requests to read the MSS of Helen Crawfurd’s autobiography must be negative, as to the requests of others. Nor is it suitable for publication … Helen herself recognised this, after showing it to persons competent to judge and put it away; and it was simply a keepsake to a personal friend that her surviving sister gave me the script after Helen’s death.”

Harry McShane letter to Ray Challinor – information about Helen Crawfurd – around WWI – “she lived with her sister in the Partick district of Glasgow” and “Later in her life she got married to Hugh Anderson who ran an engineering works in Coatbridge, His son who is still a CP member now runs the business.”

Also adds “I know that she was disillusioned with the CP and she evidently knew something of my attitude. We did not see each other often but she made it clear to me that she was tired of them.”


Below are the opening paragraphs of the unpublished autobiography:

“Often friends have urged me to write my autobiography, and finally I promised one of them I would, not because I personally was of much importance, but because I had lived through a time of intense interest in which women had for a change, played a colourful part.
I can truly say of my life that it has been most interesting and rewarding. I am glad and proud to have participated not only in the fight for the emancipation of women, but also in the political battles of those stormy years just before and after the first world war.
If this book encourages young people in the fight for human progress, and helps them to avoid the mistakes and pitfalls that we, their elders, have made, then it will have accomplished its objective.”

Family Background

At Eaglesham a small village a few miles from Glasgow is small village whose graveyard contains a tombstone (back of which is an anvil, a horseshoe and other blacksmith tools – there is a photograph of this gravestone in the William Gallacher Library) – John Jack d. 1822 – tombstone erected in 1822 – the son died that same year – he is the son of William Jack who erected the tombstone (HCs great grandfather) – this William Jack owned the smiddy in Eaglesham – the smiddy was the centre of political discourse in the village and William Jack would read newspapers to the villagers. Visit Eaglesham to see graveyard and smiddy.

HC’s grandfather also a blacksmith who died at age 36 leaving Helen’s father (the eldest), James (his brother) and sister Elizabeth orphans. So HC’s father was brought up by his grandparents. He was apprenticed to his uncle William Jack, a baker in Cranstonhill, Glasgow – he employed 8 men in a large business and HC’s father worked here until he married. Get map of Glasgow to show all different places referred to.

HC’s father’s grandfather’s mother’s name was Snow and her father had a school in Lanark.

HC’s mother HELEN JACK (née KYLE) (had a sister) was the daughter of a schoolmaster in Barrhead (John Kyle – HC never met him) and his wife Elizabeth Thompson – both were of Irish extraction. She (Elizabeth Thompson) was Northern Ireland Protestant. The father (John Kyle) was brought up a Catholic but converted to Protestantism – he suffered abuse for having done so; even being attacked in the street. HC never met this grandfather.

Parents married 12 July 1872 in Calton District of Glasgow.

HC’s mother was quite religious (more so than her father) – she ran a Bible class for young women in a Glasgow Church – before her marriage. HC describes her mother as dignified, integrity, just and fair play but also respect and fear and sympathetic. “Mother was the disciplinarian, but she was far from being a hard task master.” “She had a native dignity which would not tolerate patronage or insult, and while she would encourage the modest, she could rebuke the proud.”

HC family tree required – Audrey Canning has done some work on it.

Early Life

Born Helen Jack in the Gorbals parish of Glasgow (a Jewish working-class district) in 1877 – a dull November Saturday evening (about tea-time) – 9th of the month – 175 Cumberland Street, Glasgow. “Father had asked if he could bring someone for tea, only to be told that the nurse and doctor had been sent for, and that visitors would hardly be welcome.” Fourth of a family of seven children [4d and 3s] – an intensely and devoutly religious family. She talks of them being “devoutly religious people” and believing that Jews were God’s chosen but had rejected the Messiah. Jewish women on occasions used the bakehouse and HC’s father even went to Jewish services. “About the time of my birth a wave of evangelical religion swept through Glasgow, Moody and Sankey, and other Evangelists having come from America. My father and mother were caught up in this wave of religious revival.”

Moody and Sankey:

Gorbals: “In 1846 … Glasgow’s municipal and parliamentary boundaries coincided and suburban communities like … Gorbals [the Barony of Gorbals – to the south of the river] … were absorbed.” “Main street Gorbals – most of the buildings were demolished in the 1870s by the City Improvement Trust.” “The arrival of Jewish entrepreneurs in the 1880s and 1890s often led to a subcontracting system based on Glasgow’s wholesale warehouses. These subcontractors generally employed male machinists of their own faith … Sweated labour was part of the economics of about 600 small garment workshops in Glasgow in 1900, mostly located in courts and wynds of the city centre, Calton and Gorbals, and providing very poor accommodation, usually badly lit and poorly ventilated.”

Family: Elizabeth – died infancy (all the others lived to adulthood); William – oldest brother (first born child) and described as inheritor of his father’s wit; James – the second brother and said to be the child most like the mother, he was very family orientated; John – born 2 years after HC (after this birth “she developed rheumatism, and never was able to walk like other people. I remember her first limping with a stick, then with crutches, and towards the end of her life in a wheel chair. This meant she was tied to the house”; Jean and Agnes. The latter two followed HC’s lead in most things, so as HC took on a fad so did they.

Birth Certificate: Helen Jack – Glasgow City/Lanark 644/12 1466.

Her father WILLIAM JACK was a prosperous master baker. He initially trained as a baker with his uncle in the Anderston district of Glasgow. By the time of HC’s birth he had gone into business himself – motivation for doing so was enhanced by seeing the business success of family members – although he never had their absolute pursuit of business success being involved with his religious duties. Just after HC’s birth father bought another business but was defrauded and had to sue – he won the case but money was lost – she says that his humanitarian outlook made him susceptible to the unscrupulous. Running a small business in Glasgow at that time HC considers very difficult – especially factors such as City of Glasgow Bank Failure of 1878.

Anderston District: “In 1846 … Glasgow’s municipal and parliamentary boundaries coincided and suburban communities like … Anderston … were absorbed.” “To the extreme west of the city was the burgh of Anderston, an industrial suburb with cotton mills and print works standing side by side with eighteenth-century mansion houses – 18th Century.” “Developing working-class streets of Anderston.”

Parents religious work prevented them from wholeheartedly throwing their time into the business – so it did not prosper as it might have done otherwise. Father was also trade unionist – became at one point President of the Operative Bakers’ Association – during an operative bakers strike in Glasgow father started a soup kitchen staffed by mother and grand mother. HC discovered post death of father advertising for a meeting in which he spoke against night work and Sunday labour – meeting at Moulders Hall, Nelson Street, Glasgow – much of his position motivated by religious ideas e.g. Sunday church attendance. Wrote letters to “trade papers”. Father was basically a Tory trade unionist and a supporter of Tariffs – an article in the Glasgow Herald (post-Boer War) quotes from a speech he made at the TUC. He was a Conservative Party trade unionist and would have represented his party’s interests within that union. He later found difficulties with his own party over its conduct of the Boer War.

Toryism: “Disraeli’s belief in working-class Toryism was amply confirmed in industrial Lancashire … there two Tories, Sam Nicholson and William Wood organised the conference now taken to have founded the TUC in 1868. There, the Tory Ajmes Mawdsley became the cotton spinners’ union leader and joint candidate at Oldham in 1899.”

Tariff Reform: Joseph Chamberlain leader of Tariff Reform – end of Boer War. “This question gave the Tory workmen the idea that Tariffs, by keeping out foreign goods, would mean a measure of security for them.”

Moulders Hall, Nelson Street, Glasgow:

Boer War and Tory Position: ”The South African War made a profound impression on father. His faith in the Tory Party was seriously undermined by this war … The conditions in the concentration camps in natal where 60,000 Dutch women and children had died of disease were kept in the background and only brought out when the war ended … The manifestation of active imperialism, led to a great strengthening of the Liberal Party, and a lowering of Tory prestige.”

Operative Bakers’ Association:

“Mother was the more practical of my parents, and must have been sorely tried by our impractical but very loveable father.” She describes him with words romantic, temperamental, sympathetic and with pity – also practical and warm-hearted. “To the end of his life he laboured, sometimes as a master, sometimes as manager, or charge-hand in large factories. I can truly say, like the Prodigal Son, that ‘In my Father’s house was bread enough and to spare.’ We never were rich, but we never lacked, and my father was the provider. One could always bring a friend to our house, and be certain that they would get a welcome and a meal.”

Both parents aware of and engaged with key political issues of their day – Irish Home Rule Bills, labour struggles in the USA, the Irish Church Disestablishment Bill, Jesuit rights, Irish landlord absenteeism, Irish emigration and immigration.

“Mother was reared to look upon the Catholic Church as a bulwark of reaction and repression.” “An Irish accent would terrify me. I looked upon the Fienian and Catholic Irish as sub-human.” Talks of how her parents were deceived in these matters- “Their Glasgow upbringing encouraged a strong antipathy towards Irish Catholics.”. Make point of how she ends up siding with Irish Home rulers and James Connolly etc.

When Helen was young her father bought a bakery in Ipswich and the family moved to Suffolk and it is in Ipswich that Helen received her schooling and spent much of her early life. Ipswich: A friend of father’s (a successful businessman) son-in-law opened a bakery in Ipswich where he wished his 2 brothers to train in the bakery business. Father was to be the manger and train the two brothers, but they were not interested in the task especially its physical reality of work. Father forced to buy the business for himself to prevent its failure – the venture itself although appealing because of location was risky from the outset. Although the business worked it always lacked capital to expand and advertise – specialist Scottish produce and cakes. There were also issues involved with the running of a business like this in a place like Ipswich. HC spent a short time at a Dame School in London (her brother John as well) – her parents valued education – but her main education – until the age of 17 – was in a Girl’s School in Ipswich – she did not return to Glasgow until her schooling was complete – “the daughters of small tradesmen and business people in Ipswich.”.

Father encourage the boys to join a profession even getting a young Church of England clergymen to tutor them but more often than not the boys were off on some adventure when he arrived. William was sent back to Glasgow before the rest of the family “and found employment with a cousin of my father’s, a successful merchant in Glasgow.”

Dame School and Schooling in that period: In 1818 there were 3000 Dame Schools in Britain. “Private schools appeared to offer what the working-class children needed. These schools were usually locally established. They had flexible schedules as well as attendance policies. Children came and went, as they needed to. The curriculum included basic reading and writing. Each school varied depending on its locale, its proprietor, and the class of children it served. Dame schools and Academies were two of the most prevalent.“ By 1870 education became free and compulsory for all children. “Dame schools were the common man’s private school. Many critics considered them to be nothing more than moneymaking babysitting schemes for community opportunity seekers. Students ages ranged from 2 to 15. This created a chaotic atmosphere for teaching. Classroom conditions varied from school to school. Most classroom conditions were acceptable. But too many classrooms were unsanitary and unsafe … most Dame schools were unclean and unhealthy. The educational quality also varied a great deal.” “In Victorian England, the quality of a child’s education was in direct correlation to the cost of it. A good education cost as much as two to three shillings a week, a sum very seldom affordable for the working class. Dame schools charged as little as nine pence a week, which was more affordable for the working class. ” To be fair these criticisms relate to Dame schools in the earlier part of the century, so it is not clear what affect the 1870 legislation had on the school and its teaching. Worth dwelling on why HC spent only a short time at the school.

“From 1870 to 1903, school attendance [England] was made compulsory, and elected school boards had the power to levy rates for the support of schools, while both board and voluntary schools continued to be subsidised from government sources.” “Dame Schools – Small schools for young children run by women in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, often as a supplement to other activities. Slightly more pretentious schools were called common day schools.”

“Typically a child would spend, say, one year in a Dame School and four in a common school. It would therefore be not unusual for over 50 percent of the pupils in a Dame School to consist of those who attended for less than a year.” “many Dame schools were found in dirty and unwholesome rooms.” “Forty -four percent of the Birmingham Dame Schools scholars were under five years old.”

“Dame Schools, often run by women for infants, might teach no more than reading and perhaps a little writing.”

HC on education: “I always found that when I was interested I could learn. I could not become enthusiastic over things which held no interest for me.” HC regards the practical education within life as superior – e.g. travel over maps. And considered the school experience somewhat confining and stultifying. In addition she is critical of the inferior education of girls as compared to boys. Nevertheless, “I passed through my examinations, my weakest subject being arithmetic. In history and geography I was not bad.” After the family left Ipswich HC left school. Fellow school chums were the daughters of “small tradesmen and business people.”

Ipswich: Bakery opposite the High Court (so can find it) – HC talks of seeing the judge arriving in carriage with trumpets etc. “Ipswich is the county town of Suffolk and lies sixty-eight miles north-east of London. The whole county is agricultural, with a sparse and scattered population … The town is built upon the River Orwell which in my young days was very shallow. If you set out in a rowing boat you might get stranded, and have to wait on the sand till the water rose again. On its banks were a few warehouses and mills … Ipswich and the surrounding country has many historic remains of the days of the Roman occupation – Colchester nearby being an important military centre. It was also the headquarters of various religious orders. Cardinal Wolsey‘s gate still stands although most of the old college has gone. This college was built on the site of St. Peter‘s Church and Christchurch park, also the beautiful Arboretum, in which I often played … What a contrast it was to the great pulsating smoky city of Glasgow.”

In Ipswich family attended local Methodist church in Rope Walk – mother could not travel far. Democratic structure with many members of the congregation preaching from Brother Smith who emptied the ash bins to the local fishmonger. “We would have treats and go to the meadows, and get tea and milk.” Brothers attended very egalitarian Sunday School run by a Mr. Prentice.

In 1894 family moved back to Glasgow – just not the opportunities in Ipswich for the family – into the middle class west end – Hyndland. James also got a job and others schooling continued.

Hyndland: “Rose red sandstone ones [tenements] of Hyndland … middle-class tenements of elegance comparable to those parts of Paris or Vienna were built in the fine terraces of Hyndland ..genteel apartments of Hyndland.”

Glasgow Middle-Class: The 19th century British middle-class were mainly business owners. “Second half of the 19th century, 75% of middle-class families [in Glasgow] were headed by business owners, of whom about two-thirds could be classed as petty entrepreneurs, either shopkeepers or tradesmen. For both the individual and the family business capital represents the principal area of wealth and business profit’s the principal source of income.” But, small business was volatile – “ In the second half of the 19th century in the region of 50% to 60% of firms had a life span of three years or less. Over a lifetime an individual might own several firms, possibly in different cities and combine small firm entrepreneurship with periods of paid employment.” “Most middle0class families in Glasgow derived their incomes from direct participation in business and the family and firm were immediately connected.” “Only the wealthiest fifth of the middle class could afford to live in whole houses.” “The social life of middle-class women was often built around the church and a wide array of church-related charitable organisations … Religious life amongst the middle class of Glasgow was dominated in the second half of the century by the United Presbyterian Churches.”

Helen politicised by what see sees of people’s lives in Glasgow – “the contrast in the condition of the people made a tremendous impression on my adolescent mind. Glasgow in 1894 was a horror to a young person coming from a clean country town like Ipswich – the smoke and then fog, the tall tenements, the health of the people; bad teeth, rickety children; the drunkenness; the men with the black sateen glazed peaked caps and bell-bottomed trousers who worked in yards; the Cluthas on the river; the traffic; no gardens and crowded streets.” Glasgow is booming because of ship-building, yet workers and their families reside in squalor. The contrast with her experience of Ipswich is sizeable. HC talks of “I had a supreme pity for the oppressed and the ugly, and had always an intense love of the beautiful.” in short her upbringing created feelings towards the working class and poor that unfolded under the virtue of pity. “The changing economic conditions in Glasgow, when we returned to it, were reflected in the black-faced workers of the shipbuilding industry of the city. I did not understand at the time that these black-faced men were the producers of the wealth of this great industrial city. These despised riveters, boiler-makers, moulders, returning from their work, had been building ships which were a challenge to the whole world; ships that sailed the seas with strength, dignity and grace. Yet these skilled creators of the city’s wealth were living in squalor, in hovels unfit for human beings. I began to think that there must be something wrong with a system that could allow this.”

Her parents both heavily involved in politics – both Conservative Party activists and occupied platform seats at large meetings in Ipswich – this brought HC into formal political life – mother was a member of the Primrose League. “Father was a staunch Conservative, and took an active part in the political work of the town, speaking at meetings. Mother became a member of the Primrose League, and both occupied platform seats at all large Conservative political meetings“ Also, meant political and religious discussions at home in which HC learnt to speak and articulate arguments around the dinner table. “The family’s political discussions were combined with religious fervour.”

Family always been religious – and this affected HC‘s religious thinking. Father was a strict Church of Scotland Presbyterian (Calvinist) and mother was a Methodist – many points of disagreement between the two (“My father used to make fun of mother‘s type of religion, calling it ‘The Hobbyhorse religion‘ because it consisted of keeping people excited and dizzy. Its emotional appeal he thought bad. Methodism and the Salvation Army with its tambourines, drums and emotional excitement he despised. His was the old, orthodox faith of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland.”) – “though both supported the Crown.” On all special occasions, our house would be decorated with bunting and Union Jacks.” HC religious in early life and avid reader of Bible. ”In our teens, we all became religious except William; he never professed conversion, but the rest of us went through the emotional processes common to youth, and were converted, and took our conversion very seriously, and were baptised as adults and attended missions … the child brought up with the idea that all worldly amusements were sinful, had no other outlet than the church, Sunday school or religious meeting, magic lantern or panorama of travel.” William however, in later life became a church Elder.

Evangelism in Glasgow at this Time: Spate of evangelical religion – HC loved the singing – “The awakening of the emotional life of the youth of the great city found an outlet in the evangelistic meetings. At the same time the temperance movement was also active. It catered for the youth by giving concerts and soirees, but these mother thought dangerous. There was dancing at these temperance functions, and this was something that might lead to worldly associations. How I wished to learn dancing Once I had the courage to go the door of a dancing academy for a prospectus, but came away again. The dance halls and cards, were of the Devil. I was afraid that I was taking a step that might lead to perdition. So our outlet was the evangelical mission and church.”

On returning to Glasgow the father discovers the badly attended and poor Brownfield Church (near St. George’s Church in Buchanan Street) with a faithful preacher. Reverend Alexander Montgomerie Crawfurd – Minister of the Established Church of Scotland – “had a fine voice, and a dramatic delivery” (he died in May 1914) – preached temperance and anti-militarism (he once refused for the Boy’s Brigade to come into his church) so much so that he loss several worshippers who could not except his views – “preached the real Gospel of Christ … from the pulpit he thundered forth denunciations against wickedness and worldliness … he spoke of the second advent of Christ, and of how he (Christ) would descend from Heaven … He could portray the part of the Prophet and could make a word picture of a biblical scene, that even to this day remains in my memory. He truly believed in the literal interpretation of the Scriptures, and looked upon the higher critics and any one who dared question the truth and inspiration of the Bible, as being blasphemous. He was a good-looking, sensitive man, whose ministerial vestments added to the dignity of his appearance.”

Established Church of Scotland:

Brownfield Church: No longer exists – was down Buchanan Street somewhere near the Clyde. Part of the Parish of Anderston – this includes sections of Glasgow’s Dockland.

Anderston: Houses unfit for habitation.

Helen became involved in the life of the Church – she started attending at age 18 or 19 – prayer meetings (Tuesday); Sunday School; Choir and Evangelical Saturday Night meetings. From HC’s point of view the proposal of marriage from Rev. Montgomerie came out of the blue – they had not known each other very long and the age difference was extreme even by the standards of the time – “I had one or two admirers in the church, and one of them went to the Minister with his trouble. Whether this awakened my husband‘s interest in me, or whether it was because I had been active in the Church‘s work, I don‘t know.” He was much older and in fact had a grown up daughter (Annie Crawfurd) from his first marriage – HC befriended his two grand-daughters (Maud and Eileen). “He told me what a fine person I was, and what an admiration he had for me, and of his love. I thought he had gone suddenly mad for he was also much older than I was, and what admiration he had for me, and of his love. I thought he had gone suddenly mad for he was so much older than I was, that this idea had never entered my head. I refused by letter, but time and time again he returned to plead his cause. I think what eventually persuaded me to give the proposal serious consideration, was the suggestion that this might be God’s plan for me, and that I would be trained as a missionary. Some members of my family were definitely opposed; others had a great admiration for my husband a s a preacher, and felt that he was a good man, and because of this, they were afraid to interfere.”

Marriage certificate – 19 September 1898 – Crawford [mis-spelling], Alexander M. & Jack Helen, Stirling/ Stirling 490/00 0075 – married at 3 Park Avenue Stirling “according to the Forms of the Free Church of Scotland.” They lived at 17 Sutherland Street, Hillhead or Patrick – death certificate says the latter? At the time of the wedding Helen Crawfurd is resident at 414 Argyle Street, Glasgow and he gives his address as 276 Renfrew Street, Glasgow.

3 Park Avenue Stirling : Free Church of Scotland?

Hillhead: Merged into Glasgow in 1891. Hillhead in the west. Suburban parish. Middle-class district.

Alexander M. Crawfurd: Born 1829/30. He died 31 May 1914 at 17 Sutherland Street, Partick, Glasgow aged 85 – “Enlarged prostrate & cystitis. Senile heart Syncope“. His grandfather was a John Crawfurd born at Kirkliston who with his wife Mary had 4 sons – John, James, Thomas and Alexander. James was Alexander M. Crawfurd’s father – James – he was sent off to London to a dye firm to be trained and then returned to set up a Dye House in Ayr where his father and mother had moved the entire family many years ago. James Crawfurd became a master dyer and was married to Mary Dickson Crawfurd (nee Dick).

Alexander M. Crawfurd appears in the 1891 census (Kelvin District Glasgow City/ Lanark 644/09 002/09 006 GROS Data) as aged 62 so the age of 68 at marriage – thus at marriage she is about 47 years younger than him. “My husband’s goodness and sincerity I never questioned, but for neither of us was the position easy … The routine of the day started with family worship. Through and through the Bible we went. I was engaged all the time thinking of preparation for meeting God and Death, instead of Life; and I was so much surrounded with church services, marriages, funerals and baptisms, that I could myself have performed any of these functions. Then there were Mothers‘ Meetings, Prayer Meetings and Evangelistic Services besides … Life I have said was not easy for either of us; but there were compensations, and my sense of duty and reverence for the man of God, together with my own strong religious belief that this was the path ordained by Him that made life possible. In the winter evenings, on which we did not need to go out, we would sit by the fireside, and he would tell me tales of the past, particularly of his won family.” Post marriage HC begin missionary training and continues to work at Brownfield Church.

The Revered did not approve of HC reading novels but she did so in full sight of him, whilst he sneaked some reading of her books.

Issue of being married to a much older man and the space or freedom that gave her.

Glasgow: “The economic growth of Glasgow was made possible by the relatively low wages paid to its workers before the last decade of the century … Between 1830 and 1912 this tightly focused, almost pre-industrial, city was transformed beyond recognition. It broadened its boundaries on eleven occasions, growing tenfold from the 1864 acres of 1830 to 19183 acres in 1912 … In 1831 the density stood at 38 persons to the acre, by 1861 it was 78 and by 1891 93, falling to 60 in 1911 … Between 1861 and 1911 the number of properties increased by nearly 75 percent, but the number of houses increased by 120 percent … The mean rental of properties between 1861 and 1911 increased by over 80 percent. House rents had risen during the same period by 47 percent.” “Few ports were so deeply concerned with the trade side of imperialism.” “Glasgow was a low-wage city for most of the nineteenth century. The labour supply was constantly augmented by immigration from the highlands and islands and, most frequently from the intermediate surrounding areas of lowland Scotland.” “Most Glaswegians were poorly accommodated in small houses … there was a perpetual excess in the number of families over the number of houses available for occupation; 5.46 per cent of the total families in 1841, 7.24 per cent in 1891 and 4.9 percent in 1901.” Glasgow population: 1831 202,426 to 784,496 in 1911.” Some notes on the labour force: 1. Volatility within the Glasgow economy – especially marine and building industry. 2. Seasonal variations and the existence of short-time and casual working affected the workforce. 3. Some contraction in industrial demand in second half of 19th century in areas like textiles and clothing already poorly paid (three-quarters that of England). 4. Low proportion of steady middle-class incomes thus reducing demand for domestic service. 5. Cost of living higher than in many equivalent English cities. 6. No Poor Law relief available. 7. Drink problems and domestic violence rife. “The uncertainty of work and the prevalence of low pay undoubtedly affected family strategies …Interrupted wages meant letting a tenement flat at a rental sufficiently low to be affordable over the course of the yearly term.” “The litany of health-related problems and deformities were ample testimony to the failure of many to counteract the environmental damage to personal health caused by deficiency accommodation and poor diets.”

Glasgow Social and Housing Problems: “The people of Glasgow paid a heavy price for industrial success during the course of the 19th century. By the 1830s the once elegant city had acquired the unenviable reputation for being the filthiest and least healthy in Britain, and conditions continued to deteriorate.” “Gross overcrowding … cited as … factor in the spread of disease.” Too high house density and too many people per house. Housing problem was fourfold: 1, Problem with supply either in number or location; 2. Type – high rise multi-occupancy – “in Scottish terms, the tenement was a block of flats, usually three or four storeys high with twenty houses in a block – though in extreme cases this could extend to sixty or seventy. These houses could be a mixture of sizes from one to five apartments, though Glasgow came to be notorious for the single-end, where one room prevailed.” ; 3. Cost and lack of good, 4. but cheap accommodation; state of housing – increasingly terrible. “There can be no doubting that the scale of Glasgow’s social problems were seemingly insurmountable to contemporaries, and it is testimony to the persistence of reformers that they continued to probe and analyse the likely causes.” But Glasgow was no worse than many English cities nor some small Scottish towns.

Glasgow Shipbuilding Industry:

Suffragette and Development of Feminism and Turning Away from Religion

Suffragette Movement: “In terms of its stated objective, the women’s suffrage campaign was a success story: the principle of women’s suffrage was conceded in 1918 and equal franchise rights followed in 1928. The campaigns brought into being Britain’s largest mass movement and heightened expectations of gender reform.” “The campaign is now viewed as part of a specifically women’s protest against female oppression. Women did not seek the vote solely to gain equal citizenship rights, but as a means to the political power to transform gender structures … the suffrage campaign is now regarded as part of a broader reform impulse seeking to eliminate restrictions in women’s educational and employment opportunities, gendered pay scales, the sexual double standard and the legal authority husbands held over their wives.“ Victorian Campaign: 1832 reform Bill – “In the debate of the 1832 Reform Bill, Henry Hunt, introduced a petition to grant the vote to unmarried women who met the Bill’s property requirements. Parliament responded by passing legislation which for the first time explicitly restricted the suffrage to men; the Reform Act specified that it enfranchised male persons.” The Chartist People’s Charter of 1838 included women. “An organised women’s suffrage movement emerged when a new reform bill became a possibility in the mid-1860s. John Stuart Mill included women’s suffrage in his election programme when he was elected to Parliament in 1865.” And this was supported by women’s groups and a petition but the amendment was rejected by 194 to 73 The 1860s saw a legal approach through the interpretation of the term man – but this was rejected by the courts. “The women who initiated the women’s suffrage movement tended to be religious dissenters, often Unitarian or Quaker, to have been active in radical political groups such as Manchester-based Anti-Corn Law League or the anti-slavery movement, and to have connections with male radicals seeking a more democratic franchise.” The suffrage movement is not confined to London – Manchester key place – and it is here that “local suffragette groups … national Society for Women’s Suffrage, a loose federation intended to facilitate joint action for reform.” This movement is non-party and relied on Private Member Bills – a major reason for its failure. 1869 – Municipal Corporations (Franchise) Act – women can now vote in local elections on same basis as men. 1871 – irst of 3 major splits in the movement (1871, 1888, 1915) – “relations between the suffrage organisation and the campaign to repeal the Contagious Diseases Acts. Many shared Millicent Fawcett’s fear that public support for repealing the acts would discredit the suffrage movement and therefore refused to be associated with the repeal campaign.”
“Jacob Bright became the movement’s parliamentary leader after Mill was defeated in the 1868 election and introduced the first women’s suffrage bill in 1870.” Again this is for the vote on the same terms as men. 1884 – Liberal Reform Bill – Women’s Amendment – failed due to Gladstone’s opposition. “The fate of the 1884 suffrage amendment suggests why the Victorian reform movement was unsuccessful. The majority of the MPs supporting women’s suffrage were Liberals but their party loyalty was greater than their commitment to women’s suffrage. Liberal party leaders opposed reform, in part because they believed the majority of women enfranchised would vote Conservative … Vast majority of Conservative Mps opposed it.” “By the 1880s Radical suffragists in the north of England … urged that mass suffrage demonstrations be organised to demonstrate public support for reform.”
1883 – Corrupt Practices Act saw thousands of women becoming political activists in the Liberal and Conservative Party – this also created divisions over party loyalty. 1890s – working-class women become increasingly involved in the suffrage issue. 1894 – Local Government Act – Turning point in suffrage campaign – “Married women eligible to vote in all the local elections in which single women and widows could.”
1900 – 13.7% local govt. electorate female. Historians are divided over state of suffrage movement by 1900 – moribund to having the roots of militancy and democratic suffragism in place. 1900-1910 NUWSS becomes increasingly stronger and more aggressive and more in control of its member societies.
1906 – optimism with Liberal government with many pro-suffrage MP – NUWSS assumes franchise will follow but party politics prevails. Henry Campbell-Bannerman the PM meets with the NUWSS and after refusing suffrage many women Liberals break with the party. Now NUWSS and WSPU militancy increases. NUWSS organise Mud March – the largest to date open-air demo ever held – February 1907. In the NUWSS there is a split between northern societies which are democratic and more conservative forces. 1910 decentralisation is forced. At this stage both the WSPU and NUWSS leadership oppose adult suffrage.

WSPU – began in the north of England October 1903. Emmeline Pankhurst is ILP activist elected to the National Administrative Council in 1904. 1905 – at a Liberal political rally in Manchester Christabel Pankhurst technically assaults a policeman and is arrested; “Christabel deliberately sought to undermine gender boundaries. This was one reason many young women preferred the WSPU to the NUWSS.” Helen Crawfurd may be one of these. “Part of the WSPU appeal stemmed from the perception that it was fighting for independence for women, not just for the vote. Militancy gave women the opportunity to repudiate what Christabel called the slave spirit.” “This is why Christabel insisted she didn’t want the vote to be give to women; they would be empowered only if they forced the government to concede it.”
WSPU Militancy stages: 1. Interrupting Liberal speakers. 2. 1908 – destruction property and occasional violence against members of government. 3. 1913 – arson without being arrested.
WSPU splits from the ILP: “Although the WSPU had emerged from the ILP by 1906 Christabel was determined to sever its links with the Labour movement. This enabled the WSPU to present itself as a women’s movement independent of men’s organisations. It also enhanced the WSPU’s ability to recruit women from the social elite.” So not supporting Labour candidates. This forced women to choose between the ILP and the WSPU and caused the split of 1903. Not only WSPU move away from the Left (towards the Conservative Party) and working-class it physically moved from the north of England to London. WSPU members in the Labour Party and ILP resisted and split over internal democracy forming the WFL with 20% of the WSPU membership. Charlotte Despard is WFL President. WSPU became more authoritarian.
June 1908 – two suffragettes throw rocks at Downing Street windows.
July 1909 – Marion Wallace-Dunlop begins first Suffragette hunger strike.
“Despite the Pankhursts’ desire to have a tightly disciplined army, in practice they struggled to retain control over the more free spirited WSPU activists.” June 1910 – 250K mass meeting in Hyde Park. 1910 – WSPU suspend militancy whilst Conciliation Bill – but this flounders after 2nd reading. Black Friday follows when WSPU clash with police and are assaulted.
After 1912 new forms of militancy begin – “the WSPU attempted to force the nation to accept that ordinary life could not continue until suffrage had been granted.”
1909-12 – attacks on public property.
1912+ – attacks on private property.
“1909 in order to defeat hunger-striking the government ordered women to be forcibly fed.” “Concerned at the public outcry against forced feeding but fearful that a suffragette might die while on hunger strike and thus become a martyr, the government responded with the 1913 Temporary Discharge for Ill-Health Act.” – Cat and Mouse Act.
WSPU pursue ant-male policies. Christabel preaches sex-war within WSPU. The Men’s Political Union is dissolved.
“Sylvia developed the WSPU’s East London Branches into a semi-autonomous organisation, the East London federation of the WSPU (ELF). Although ostensibly part of the WSPU it rejected WSPU policy in several areas: it urged universal adult suffrage rather than equal suffrage for women, it did not support the WSPU’s arson campaign, and it was not anti-male.” Soon Sylvia was expelled from the WSPU – January 1914.
WSPU gave priority to the maintenance of militancy over suffrage and this affected its standing. “By mid-1914 the WSPU’s ability to continue functioning as an effective organisation was questionable.”
“Between 1910 and 1914 the NUWSS and the WSPU moved in opposite directions. While the WSPU’s social base was narrowing and its politics became increasingly Conservative, the NUWSS became a mass movement with formal ties to the Labour Party.”
“By 1910 a majority of the House of Commons supported women’s suffrage, but party differences as to what form it should take blocked legislation.”
“Prior to 1912 the majority of NUWSS members were Liberals, it had always been assumed that women’s suffrage would be established by the Liberal Party. But the Liberal Government’s handling of the issue discredited this assumption and led to the NUWSS to change its strategy.” NUWSS explores possibility of a labour Party alliance – creates class tensions within the organisation – nevertheless the new (compromise) policy came into being and an Election Fighting Fund (EFF) committee established. NUWS moves towards an anti-Liberal position.
“The relation between the NUWSS and the Labour movement may have begun as a shirt-term electoral policy based on expediency but by 1914 it was growing beyond this … Divisions continued within the NUWSS over EFF policy and with the approach of the general election the danger of a split increased.” Just before WWI Asquith and Lloyd George meet with Sylvia Pankhurst and George Lansbury. Some academics feel that the Liberal party may have given the vote before WWI if the revival of the WSPU militancy had not taken place.
“What the war did do was to remove the main obstacles to reform. Prior to 1914 women’s suffrage was blocked by Asquith’s opposition, WSPU militancy, and party conflict over what form legislation should take. During the war all three were removed: the WSPU abandoned militancy; Asquith resigned as PM in 1916; and the formation of a coalition government removed the issue from overt party politics.”
Edinburgh Pageant: The procession/demonstration took 3 months of planning and involved 70 banners. March from Bruntsfield Links down Princes Street to rally/meeting at Waverley Market. From a report in the Edinburgh Evening News of 9 October 1909 the following order of procession is detailed:

Colour Banner
Purple, White and Green Women
Leith Celtic pipe Band
Kirkcaldy Trades Board
Scottish National Banner
Leaders (“Trample on the Thistle Banner”)
Edinburgh Banner and People
Broxburn Public Band
5 Pageant Characters
Glasgow Banner and People
Edinburgh City Pipe Band
University Women and Banner
Medical Women and Banner
5 Pageant Characters
Musicians and Artists
Stirling Banner and People
5 Pageant Characters
Dundee Banner and People
Hunger Strikers’ Banner
Annan Banner and People
Berwick Banner and People
Dunfries Banner and People
Hawich Banner and People
4 Pageant Characters
General Public
General Mottoes
WSPU Motor
War and Suffrage Reform: “When they realised that Britain might be drawn into the war, most suffragists including the NUWSS considered it a disaster and sought to restore the peace. The NUWSS participated in the women’s peace rally of 4 August organised by the Women’s Labour League and the Women’s Co-operative Guild intended to support British neutrality but by the time it was held, Germany had invaded Belgium and a British declaration of war on Germany was expected within hours.”
At this meeting Fawcett took a patriotic line and bowed to political pressure to be seen as fit to deal with great Imperial questions. “Confronted with a choice between a peace policy based upon sexual difference ideology or a policy which would increase the chances of gaining women’s suffrage, Fawcett chose the latter.” NUWSS divided some worked for peace forming the Union of Democratic Control for “if women did not work for peace the moral basis of their movement would be evaded.” An acrimonious struggle – Fawcett was defeated and a compromise measure made but Fawcett and her supporters refused to accept the decision. Conflict came to a head in February 1915 annual conference – issue of convening International Women’s Suffrage Alliance in a neutral country – Fawcett was the vice-president and against this move saying it as a step toward organising a women’s peace movement. The progressive position saw suffrage movement as “based on the principle that social relations should be governed not by physical force but by recognition of mutual rights.” Fawcett went public and attacked the peace supporters as traitors – mass resignations took place – 12 out of 24 executive members resigned and the NUWSS did not go to the congress. Fawcett’s group victorious – “the internationalist and pro-Labour majority was replaced by a pro-war and anti-Labour majority.”
“In contrast to the two larger organisations the WFL continued to campaign for the suffrage after the war began.” “The WFL viewed the war as the unnecessary but logical outcome of a man-made world based on physical force; the conflict thus demonstrated the supreme importance of women having a voice in political affairs.” “Although Charlotte Despard the WFL President was a prominent pacifist the WFL didi not endorse her position in 1917 – it issued a public warning that Despard’s anti-war activities reflected her individual beliefs rather than WFL policy.”

The war put the WSPU to an end – “When the war began Christabel Pankhurst denounced it as man-made conflict which was God’s vengeance upon those who held women in subjection. But when the government released the suffragette prisoners a few days later Mrs Pankhurst ordered suffrage activity suspended. She and Christabel developed a gendered rationale for an increasingly chauvinistic view of the conflict … Although the other suffrage societies joined together in 1916 to resume working for women’s suffrage the WSPU continued to focus on the war and did not participate in the revived suffragette campaign.”
HC – “I felt that this was not an anti-man movement.“

Sylvia declared this line a betrayal. Two breakaway anti-war organisations formed from the WSPU – Suffragettes of the WSPU and the Independent WSPU. Also the East London Federation did anti-war work – it also became more class based and changed its name to the Workers’ Suffrage Federation. Suffrage groups also began to debate women vs. adult suffrage. 1916Government Election required legislation to allow soldiers to vote so suffrage societies energised by the possibility of electoral legislation. NUWSS accept the Liberal governments watered down suffrage. Labour party supported it too – dissent thus curtailed. Conservative opposition to reform was still very strong and this kept deadlock going until 1917. “On 19 June 1917 the House of Commons voted 385 to 55 to accept the Representation of the Peoples Bills women’s suffrage clause.” Many opponents of the Bill supported it eventually out of expediency. In 1918 the Representation of the People Act gave 8.4 Million women the vote (39.6% of the electorate) and an additional 5 Million men.

“The Relative importance of the NUWSS and the WSPU in gaining the vote continues to be a matter of debate. There is general agreement that the WSPU’s militant tactics revitalised the suffrage movement between 1905 and 1908. But the new forms of violence used by the WSPU after 1910 impeded further progress towards franchise reform … Studies … have suggested that the NUWSS’s electoral alliance with the Labour Party was the key development in bringing about women’s suffrage.”

A growing feminism and growing respect for Keir Hardie. In 1910 HC joined the WSPU at a meeting in Rutherglen, soon becoming a speaker (which required the study of economic conditions). HC joined the WSPU in 1910 after attending their meetings in Rothesay and Rutherglen [neighbouring burgh to Glasgow]. Becoming a supporter of the militant tactics employed by that organisation.

“In the course of her married life Helen gradually rebelled against the church and the theological teachings of the Bible which she held to be discriminatory against women.” Religious Failures: “To me, it seemed all wrong that the religious people should be so much concerned about heaven and a future life, and so little concerned with the present, where God’s creatures were living in slums, many of them owned by Churches, amidst poverty and disease.”

Feminism: “I had always resented any suggestions of the inferiority of women. I can remember once as a girl I was given a six-pence while my brothers got a shilling to spend at a fair in Ipswich. I somewhat shocked my parents by throwing it down and saying ‘Damn!’ The status of women implied in the Old Testament by the words: ‘Let your women keep silent in the Churches,’ made me rebel, but I think it was my respect for women more than this that made me a feminist’ … ‘I thought that if other women felt as I did about the horrors of existing conditions, then they would, if organised, and given the right to participate in politics, raise their voices against this state of affairs.’ ” Mentions in memoirs examples of poor treatment of women and slaves in the Bible.

Other Feminist Influences: HC describes influential parts of the Bible, e.g. Queen Vashti in the Book of Esther. “She was my first suffragette or feminist, and a rebel.” “My favourite text in the whole Bible was in the Book of St. John. ‘The man that says he loves God, whom he hath not seen, and loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, the same is a liar and the truth is not known to him.’

Also, Josephine Butler’s work (pamphlets and books – Women‘s Work and Women‘s Culture. London: Macmillan, 1869) on the Contagious Disease Act of 1867. Josephine Butler also wrote – The Queen’s Daughter in India.

To me this suggests that HC believes that women are different from men and that if women have power the world will become a different place. Later she clearly breaks from this and as she becomes more left wing and as her Marxism develops she looks instead to the working class to be the agents of progressive change. In her early life the agency is with God.

“Unlike those who came to the women’s movement via socialism, it was Helen Crawfurd’s involvement in the women’s movement that led her to socialism and later to active participation in the Communist Party.”

HC is influenced by surroundings; inner thoughts; reading; family; religion; and, experiences.

Josephine Butler: From book by Nancy Boyd.
JB a great 19th Century social reformer; “against all political odds raised opposition to the state regulation of prostitution and defeated the Contagious Diseases Acts; she drew attention to the poverty that gave rise to prostitution and became the leader of an international alliance that fought for the civil rights of women.” “Even JB who did much for the advancement of women, was in some ways conservative. She, too placed a high value on women’s traditional role as home-maker, wife and mother. While she believed in votes for women, she was distressed by the suffragists methods.” JB’s views found their origin in Christianity. Contagious Disease Acts – 1864 – originally applied to 11 garrison towns but extended in 1864 and 1868. JB head of Ladies’ National Association for the Repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts. (1869-1906). The Act “made prostitutes liable to state inspection. On any pretext a policeman could detain a woman and require that she present herself before the Justice of the Peace. If the Justice decided that she was a prostitute, he would order the woman to submit to examination – a procedure which the Abolitionists referred to as ‘instrumental rape’ … If the examination proved her to be diseased, she was detained in a special hospital until she was cured, though for not more than three months. If she refused the examination or ran away from hospital, she was liable to imprisonment.” JB travelled the breadth of the country (and overseas) speaking against the Act – 2700 miles in one year doing 99 meetings and 4 conferences exposing the Act by arguing that prostitution was in fact, “the exploitation of the poor by the rich.” Brief History: 1870 – Abolitionists win by-election in Colchester – support grows amongst churches – JB testifies to the Royal Commission on Contagious Diseases – Bruce Bill of 1872 (a compromise bill) rejected by JB and withdrawn – James B. Stansfield (previously a cabinet member and President of the Poor Law Board) joins the association and “it is he who led the Crusade to its final victory and repeal of the Second Contagious Diseases Act in 1883.” With Stansfield in post JB can extend her work to the trafficking of prostitutes and so she travels around Europe – In Liverpool 1875 the inaugural meeting of the British and Continental Federation for the Abolition of the Governmental Regulation of Prostitution. JB goes to US and links up with slave abolitionist movement – seeing the “extension of the old, as both derived from the need to fight any system that denied full humanity to a special group.” 1885 – Criminal Law Amendment Bill; creating severe penalties for participants and raising the age of consent from 12 to 16. Later in life JB involved in other political issues – Dreyfuss Case; Russian Jews; and the Boer War. She died 29 December 1906. JB’s motivation one of religious fervour (with a spiritual dimension) – “faith in a loving and active God, belief in man and woman as made in the image of God … and the conviction that Society was the stage on which the drama of salvation would be enacted.” For JB the Gospels were enough – for HC they were not. Here they diverged – HC increasingly saw the solution in materialism whereas JB saw materialism as the problem – “it is no proclamation of peace, then that heralds the dawning of the new day, but rather a proclamation of a consecrated rebellion against the rule of materialism and sensuality.”

Rothesay Meeting: First woman suffrage speaker she ever heard – Miss Helen Fraser.

But she admired Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst, Charlotte Despard and Clara Zetkin.

Helen Fraser: On HC and HF from Elizabeth Crawford – “Helen Fraser left the WSPU and joined the NUWSS in mid-1908 so HC presumably either waited some time after this first exposure to the suffrage message, or, having both the case for the NUWSS and for the WSPU, decided to join the latter.” Helen Fraser – Born in Yorkshire to Scottish parents – educated in Glasgow. Joined WSPU in 1906; became Glasgow WSPU treasurer and WSPU organiser in Scotland. Spoke at WSPU Hyde Park demo in June 1906 but soon left over arguments about violence and tactics. Joined NUWSS. “HF had in the early months of 1908 extended and consolidated the WSPU operation in Scotland, setting up, as the Scottish Women’s Social and Political Union, a HQ in Glasgow.”

Rutherglen Meeting: Joined WSPU. HC attended the meeting with her sisters Jean and Agnes during the holiday season [1910]. “In the course of the meeting students entered the hall and began burning pepper, making everyone sneeze. There was some funny incidents but the main emotion aroused in me at the meeting was one of indignation, and a feeling that I could not allow these women to fight alone. My sisters urged me to wait and give the matter longer consideration. Both became ardent supporters later. However, I was not to be dissuaded. From this time on, I entered fully into the work of the Militant Movement, and became one of their speakers”

“It was necessary in the agitational work to deal with the disabilities endured by women in marriage laws, inheritance and, as parents, but particularly with the question of sex crimes, and the punishment meted out to the guilty! The heavy sentences passed for crimes against property, as compared with those for violation of children, or attempts to restore the criminal law amendment acts, were cited in our speeches. The main advantage which I gained, as a result of my entrance into the Woman Suffrage Movement, was that it compelled me to study economic conditions in order to speak effectively.”

HC studies to this end: Gilman, Perkins, Woman and Economics. Schriner, Olive, Women and Labour and Bebel, Socialism and Women.

HC goes to suffragette meetings with Maud and Eileen Crawfurd.

“Some Scottish suffragettes who we reluctant to practise militancy at home but ready to venture to London to make the experiment. HC also a Scots activist recorded that while determined to break the windows of a government minister she also wanted to return home as quickly as possible afterwards.” “When the Scottish suffragette, HC, campaigned in the mining villages of Lanarkshire she found the miners willing to take collections and offer her free use of their halls. They admired the women’s fight but also responded to the nature of her appeal – a mixture of Socialism and Christianity which was familiar to them but far removed from the ideology of the Pankhursts.”

HC under her maiden name took part in the contingent of Scottish Women as part of the WSPU window-smashing actions in London – women came from all over Britain – March? 1912 – 3 days – HC with 8 other women from Glasgow including Mrs Swann and Margaret and France McPhun, Mrs Wilson, Mrs John, Janet Barrowman and another Scots woman from Dumbarton Kirsty something – “Those of us who volunteered to participate in the 1912 raid, left Glasgow, not knowing what we would be asked to, but prepared to play our part whatever it was.” “She fully endorsed the militant tactics adopted by the Pankhursts toward the securing of the vote for women.” “I had really entered into this job most seriously. I was still rather religious and looked upon this work as a holy crusade for the liberation of women.“ While she was away Annie Crawfurd supported her father at his home. “One working-class woman whom she remembered as Kirsty from Dumbarton and who was in prison at the same time as herself was probably the woman prosecuted under the anme of Mary McAlpine. Mary was totally overawed in court. The magistrate could not understand her accent and the prosecutor and court officials acted as temporary interpreters. ‘I jist broke ane … I’m sayin’ an kind o’vexed noo that I did it, but Ill pay for the damage if ye like’.” – See Report in Glasgow Herald 11 March 1912. “Her demeanour was in sharp contrast to that of sisters Frances and Margaret McPhun, daughters of Bailie John McPhun JP, timber merchant. They were jailed at the same time as HC and Kirsty. Frances was furious at her sentence. In a letter to Miss Underwood, the Organising Secretary in Glasgow she declared that HC ‘had the satisfaction of doing 10/ worth of damage while I only did ¼ of 9/! I wish I had smashed the whole place and Mrs Curtis Bennet’s head into the bargain!’. “ – Letter in Private Collection People’s Palace.

She broke the windows (threw two stones with suffrage messages attached – her aim was good and both windows broke) of the Liberal Minister of Education’s windows – Mr. Pease – at his residence in Harvard Street off Piccadilly – 6.30am – she got a taxi to the place. Arrested immediately. “On the Sunday before making up her mind to undertake this she went to church and prayed that she would get a message during the sermon. Little did her husband realise that this sermon on Christ making a whip of cords and chasing the money-changers out of the temple would confirm to Helen that her ‘participation in the raid was right. If Christ could be a Militant so could I.”

No-one in the room targeted but noise alerted a policeman (a Scot from Banff who expressed his surprise that a Scotswoman would do such a thing) and manservant who came to the scene. Whilst being escorted by the policeman to Vine Street Police Station she attempted to convert the policeman. HC placed in a waiting room – “I was a well-dressed person, and when the time came to go to Bow Street Police Office, about 9am they asked me as a concession if I would like them to take me in a taxi, or would I go in the Black Maria? I said I would prefer to do it in the normal way and so I went in the Black Maria along with a number of young women who had been taken from the streets during the night.”

HC’s action took place on the first day of the raid – sentences given out were light on this day compared to subsequent days as judges began to crank up their application of sentencing “in an effort to intimidate the women” – HC at Bow Street got 1 month at Holloway Prison – “bundled off along with others to Holloway Prison.” FIRST PRISON SENTENCE. “Years later she gleefully remembered that when the judge passed sentence, a row of middle-aged women sitting in the front row of the court opened up their handbags and took out crab apples to throw at him!”

Mrs Swann: A socialist that ran the Reformers Bookstall in Bothwell Street. “Brave little socialist friend.”

As each new load of prisoners turned up at Holloway in Black Marias HC using her hands as a megaphone shouted “Are there any from Scotland?” Nothing until the 3rd day when Kirsty from Dumbarton called back “Scotland for Ever.” “A few days later, in the exercise yard I met the eight who came down with me, and we exchanged experiences.” Talks of the wardresses being frightened by the imposing and well-educated lady prisoners – for example they found it difficult to impose the silence rule of the exercise yard. Janet Barrowman lost her job as a consequence of her involvement in the militant action. “Mrs John, one of our best speakers bewailed the fact she hadn’t even hit the window, and yet she got two months. All of our group came through the experience well.”

Prison was very cold – National Coal Strike of the time did not help – food awful and HC ended up in hospital. Other prisoners removed to different section so as not to mix with Suffragettes – those Suffragettes on remand were allowed to get their own food sent in and this they initially shared with the common prisoners.

Margaret Pollock McPhun: Sister of Frances McPhun. MA Psychology Glasgow University. Worked at Queen Margaret College Settlement and with an East End medical mission. Convenor of the Scottish University Women’s Suffrage Union before joining the WSPU in 1909. Holloway – “During her incarceration she wrote a poem, dedicated to Janie Allan, that was included in Holloway Jingles published by the Glasgow Branch of the WSPU in 1913.”

Frances McPhun: MA in Politics and Economics from Glasgow University. “She worked in the Queen Margaret College Settlement in Glasgow before joining the WSPU in 1909. She helped organise the Pageant of Famous Scottish Women for the Edinburgh Procession held in 1909. She was joint organiser of the WSPU exhibition held in Glasgow in 1910 and was honorary secretary of the Glasgow WSPU 1911-12. She was imprisoned in Holloway from 5 March to 29 April 1912, and was forcibly fed, after taking part in the WSPU window-smashing campaign in London.” “Helen Crawfurd with whom she [France Mary McPhun] and her sister undertook a WSPU speaking tour of Lanarkshire, described Frances Mary as a beautiful woman and one who had a real sense of humour.”

National Coal Strike: “During the first month in Holloway prison I was more concerned about the coal Strike and how it was progressing, than the Suffrage Movement. It was over before I was released.”

Holloway Prison: “Holloway is an old castle, with two wings facing each other. Some of the prisoners at the other side, who watched the antics of some younger women as by strings and other methods they swung books and food along their windows and kept up conversations, got great amusement out of it. Others could not smile and the look of fear and horror on some of those faces one could not forget. One day the terrible crying and shrieks that came from a cell occupied by a girl who was in for child murder cast a gloom over us all, and we too felt subdued! Some of the suffrage prisoners were able to establish contact with the prisoners, and helped them when they came out.”

HC popular speaker 1912-14. “Her own particular brand of rhetoric was punctuated with quotations from the Bible and illustrations of the wrongs meted out to the poor. The women of Scotland, she felt, were still bound hand and foot to the Church but because she had been extremely religious herself she was able to understand and communicate with them.“ Never adopted anti-male attitude or non-feminine looks/dress. Political education continued throughout this time. As a developing socialist but Suffragette found herself at odds with Labour Party’s attitude to adult suffrage. “From 1912 onwards, Crawfurd’s speeches always contained a socialist content [far from clear} but they were imbued with Christian overtones.” “Would deal with the injustices and wrongs meted out to the working class, and would be punctuated with Biblical quotations, with which I was quite familiar.” Prison did not affect her determination to the suffragette cause. Between 1912 and 1914 HC is a WSPU speaker and politically maturing. She described he political position at the time as a form of Christian Socialism. “One of the most outstanding and popular speakers in the Scottish Suffragette Movement.”

Meetings: The meeting at Rutherglen was most likely to have been in the Town Hall other WSPU meetings certainly took place there. WSPU meeting Morris Hall, Govan 18 March 1913 Speakers include Mrs. John and Mrs. Crawfurd. Report from The Suffragette of July 10 1914: “Perth. Protest meetings against forcible feeding of three prisoners in Perth Prison held during last fortnight. Most enthusiastic, and The Suffragette sold very well. Many thanks to Mrs. Penny, Mrs Crawfurd, Mrs Nixon, Miss grant, Miss M. Scott and Miss Clunas for speaking, and to Perth members for selling Suffragettes and other help.” Organiser – Miss Olive Walton; Honorary Secretary – Miss Norwell of 4 Brompton Terrace.

Mrs Billington-Greig: “fierce, clever and forceful” from Diary of Eunice Murray.

Mrs Despard: “like a warrior giving forth commands” from Diary of Eunice Murray.

Anna Munro: “so gentle looking so inflexible” from Diary of Eunice Murray.

Christabel Pankhurst: “redoubtable” “to my mind aggressive and disagreeable” from Diary of Eunice Murray.

WSPU Membership Card: “To secure for women the Parliamentary Vote as it is or may be granted to Men; to use the power thus obtained to establish equality of rights and opportunities between the sexes, and to provide the social and industrial well-being of the community.”

Adult Suffrage vs. Women’s Suffrage vs. Socialism vs. Feminism: The pre-1917 struggle for the franchise was one based on the extension of the property based franchise extension to women – votes for women was really only votes for some women – 1 in 13. Need to clarify HC’s position in all this – look at Forward. And as such there was a tension between the feminist struggle and the class struggle. “For women … the vote was an acid test though it was not the end of feminist ambitions but an expression of them.” “The Scottish socialists accepted that there was a ‘woman question’ and like their English comrades also accepted that it could only be resolved by the achievement of socialism.” “The adult suffrage position was expressed by Agnes Pettigrew, secretary of the Shop Assistants Union in Glasgow, who argued that votes for women was essentially a middle-class measure which would work to the electoral advantage of the Conservative Party and so weaken the Labour Party.“ This position was attacked by Janie Allen (Suffragette) who said that if women accepted last place then that is where they will always be. The franchise was the first step in the struggle for equality – a weapon not a magic key. For HC the “symbolic value attached to the vote was perhaps the single most telling factor behind a woman’s decision to join the ranks of the suffragettes.“ Jessie Stephens – “Some of the women who were really active in the WSPU had deep convictions about the economic structure of society, and there was the question of making life easier for women in the home, and maternity benefits. The vote was only a means to an end, to a new state of society where women could be treated as human beings, not as second-class citizens.“ Need to look again at the memoirs here. Keir Hardie took a different position – he saw women as a distinct political constituency and as a potential electoral asset. “Social divisions were never far from the surface. Labour women complained of sterile sex war politics while middle-class women felt uncomfortable with the class-war attitudes of their working-class sisters.” There was no real campaign for adult suffrage. People like Alice Pettigrew saw women’s suffrage as essentially a middle-class campaign that could only benefit the Conservative Party. HC at this time found it difficult opposing socialists because of their adult suffrage only position. But at the same time could not see what was unreasonable about the notion of women gaining the vote on equal terms with men. “At the 1914 conference, the WIL attacked the militant tactics of the WSPU as divisive and the result of a sex war attitude.” “The predominant view among such labour women like Agnes Pettigrew and Agnes Dollan was that the struggle for women’s emancipation was part and parcel of the wider struggle for socialism and for the emancipation of the working class which was to be offered by Labour Party and trade unions. Thus, their political strategy was for women to work from within the labour movement to fight for improvements in the wages and living conditions of the working class.” In short to join the Women’s Labour League. HC too much of a feminist to allow women’s issues to be subsumed within the WLL because the WLL failed to counter anti-feminism within working-class organisations and seen as a betrayal of women’s interests. HC was not willing to relegate women’s interests.

“In the following year she was arrested twice for trying to protect Mrs Pankhurst from the brutality of the police when she was speaking at a meeting in St. Andrew’s Hall, Glasgow.” March 1914 Emmeline Pankhurst is out under the Cat and Mouse Act – she came to Glasgow to speak at a meeting – risking arrest if caught. Emmeline Pankhurst is smuggled into the hall and HC formed part of the bodyguard occupying the platform. [“Mrs Pankhurst had been released from a three-month sentence after suffering exhaustion from hunger striking but had then absconded to Canada for three months, and on her return in December 1913 was under threat of re-arrest.“] The hall was full and could hold 3000. {other sources say 4000]Platform decorated with flowers and plants within which was disguised barbwire. A group of police had come up from London and were hidden under the platform. The organ played as Mrs. Pankhurst was sneaked into the hall. HC professed not knowing how Mrs Pankhurst got in. Cheers from everywhere. “Mrs Burnet, a Parish Councillor and one of our oldest members stepped forward and presented a bouquet, and Mrs. Pankhurst started to speak. Suddenly from their hiding place out came the police, and mounted the platform. We, the bodyguard, surrounded her. The police used their batons indiscriminately and women were laid out bleeding on the platform.”

The police intervened and marched up to arrest Emmeline P – several women were injured. Plants thrown by women – one women fired a blank shot – complete mayhem.

HC was arrested – “I found myself in Kent Road in the hands of two policemen, minus my hat, my hair streaming down my back, and every button off my costume jacket. I was small fry and they let me go.“ that night. Mrs Pankhurst taken to Central Police Station, St. Andrew’s Square – picket outside all night. “Before that meeting I was inclined to be sceptical about the brutality of the police, as reported in our paper the Suffragette, but on this occasion it was a revelation to many who were present.”

Sylvia Pankhurst description: “On March 9th she was billed to speak in the St. Andrew’s Hall Glasgow. She succeeded in reaching the platform in the midst of the body guard. The platform was draped with barbed wire ingeniously hidden by ivy on which the police tore their hands in attempting to storm the platform. Buckets of water were emptied upon them and flower-pots thrown. A woman kept some of them at bay for a while by firing blank shots from a revolver. Under cover of the struggle an attempt was made to hurry Mrs. Pankhurst away at the side, but detectives seized her to the police station they forced her on to the floor of the cab amongst their feet refusing her a seat with the excitement. Crowds assembled outside the police station. Next day she was taken by motor to a small Lanarkshire station where the London express was stopped to take her in. Some of the faithful bodyguard watching the trains at Carlisle discovered the carriage in which she was travelling. They greeted her at every halt and finally one of them was permitted to sit with her for a few moments. So loudly had her little body-guard been advertised that the police again took extraordinary precautions against it and a posse of police was stationed at Holloway to repel any possible attack as she was taken in … The manner of her arrest and the violence done to her aroused protests in Glasgow which reverberated for many weeks. There were deputations to the Magistrates and City Council.” Emmeline and Sylvia released 14 March.

“In 1914, Janie Allan was one of the main Scottish organisers involved in the St. Andrew’s Hall meeting in the March of that year and its aftermath gathering evidence to bring legal action against the Glasgow police for brutality.”

A protest the following day saw HC breaking 2 windows at the Army Recruiting Offices in Gallowgate, Glasgow. Arrested and taken with a crowd following to Central Station – she was given 1 month imprisonment. SECOND PRISON SENTENCE. A picket was organised by Janie Allen the WSPU organiser for Glasgow outside Duke Street Prison where she was held pickets changed every few hours – flag and Suffrage colours waved – HC not aware of the demo outside – crowds from the East-end came from all over to see the picket. HC went on hunger-strike as per WSPU policy and so was released after 8 days under licence – Cat and Mouse Act. FIRST HUNGER STRIKE. Soon re-arrested when deemed well enough for prison, HC resumed her hunger strike and was released under licence. SECOND HUNGER STRIKE.

“Shortly after she returned to Glasgow, a bomb exploded in the city’s Botanic Gardens and she was blamed. It resulted in her fourth prison and third hunger strike in the course of two years.” HC says not involved in this bombing. THIRD HUNGER STRIKE. FOURTH PRISON SENTENCE.

E. G.Murray (1877-1960): Daughter of a Glasgow lawyer – educated at St. Leonard’s School in St. Andrews – active in community and temperance movement with mother Frances Stoddard Murray and sister Sylvia Murray. She joined the WFL. By 1913 President of the league in Scotland. First woman (1918) to stand in a parliamentary election in Scotland (as an Independent). Wrote novel about the suffrage movement The Hidden Tragedy (1917) and 2 volumes on historical women figures in Scotland. Awarded MBE 1945.

Janie Allen Papers: Lots of information related to St Andrews Hall meeting and attempts by Janie Allen for judicial action and public inquiry. Memorial for Counsel – “Submitted by Miss Janie Allen of Greystone, Prestwick, on behalf of women injured by Police on the occasion of Mrs. Pankhursts’ arrest on the platform of St. Andrew’s Hall, Glasgow, on 9th March, 1914.” Magistrates in Glasgow found no case for complaint against the police but referred the issue of blame to the Secretary of State for Scotland McKinnon-Wood of Glasgow St. Rollox. Janie Allen then submits a memorial to him for a public inquiry. Alos to initiate action against Superintendent Douglas for failing to control his men who attacked both those involved in the fray and those bystanders. Douglas was in operational charge of the police that day. Said that “Mrs. Pankhurst was batoned on the head as a preliminary to her arrest.” At the meeting Lady Isabel Hampden Margesson was in the chair. The hall capacity was 3455 and it was filled with many standing. Two officers of the Metropolitan Police were sent up from London to Glasgow to assist with the identification of Mrs. Pankhurst. The Chief Constable of Glasgow was requested to arrest the latter by the Assistant Commissioner of Police at New Scotland Yard. A force was assembled – 159 men, 109 uniformed constables, 52 plain clothes and 2 London chaps – 3 Inspectors and 7 sergeants. Police placed on the entrance doors although Mrs P passed by them. “She was introduced by Lady Margesson presented with a bouquet and thereafter proceeded to address the meeting. As soon as he stood up to speak the audience rose and sang ‘For she’s a jolly good fellow’.” The platform was “occupied by about 150 women, five or six rows of seats at the back being draped with flags. The platform proper is only about 10 feet wide behind which there are terrace steps three feet wide rising to the organ.” At 8.10 pm Superintendent Douglas with some plain clothes officers enters hall – initially refused entrance he pushes the women aside. Seeing Mrs. Pankhurst he gives orders to cut off the platform and “sent men up the stairs on either side of the platform.” In order to cut off the platform from the front area his men rush among the audience in the area. The police rush up the platform with batons drawn. Chief Constable had actually given orders for Mrs. Pankhurst not to be arrested on platform. Some of the women on the platform have Indian Clubs to defend themselves (although police reports say only 4 constables struck with the like). Women used chairs to protect themselves and several police batons broken hitting them. Police actually battered some of the plain clothes detectives who they mistook for male stewards although there were no men on the platform. And tried to say that the suffragettes did it. Despite police claims there is no previously organised resistance just response. After the Glasgow Magistrates referred the matter to the Secretary of State – Suffragettes send deputation to him. He does not agree to order an Inquiry but gave the decision back to the Magistrates – suggestion of his awareness of his small majority. Janie Allan certainly took the issue as far as it could run.

“While at home under the Cat and Mouse Act in Glasgow, she was arrested after the suffrage bombing of the Botanic Gardens, although she had nothing to do with it. Confined in Duke Street prison, she had a painful session fighting wardens who tried to hold her down for finger printing.”

WSPU vs. Non-Militants: “The respectable non-militant constitutional Societies had neither the dramatic nor spectacular appeal of the WSPU.”

“I remember a tour of Lanarkshire where I was the speaker, along with Margaret and Frances McPhun. Margaret took the Chair and Frances would map out our campaign, book halls and arrange connections for trains … Frances was a beautiful woman, and had a real sense of humour, as had Margaret.”

The WSPU described their acts of militancy in their publication as Revolutionary Acts.

Glasgow WSPU Branch: “A London Suffragette whom I had met in Holloway came to Glasgow. She came into our WSPU shop in Sauchiehall Street and seemed very lonely. As I knew her, I thought it my duty to be friendly, and took her out to tea and then accompanied her to the station carrying some parcels for her. I heard later that the parcels contained bombs, which were afterwards used in some town outside Glasgow.” “Though loyal to the Pankhursts, the WSPU in Glasgow did not cut itself off from the local socialist and labour movement.”

Prisoners and Force-Feeding :In a letter in the Herald 20 June by Flora Drummond and elsewhere that prisoners were being given bromide by the prison authorities – “bromide lessons muscular resistance and the sensitiveness of the pharynx, therefore preventing vomiting.” The Suffragette of 12 June 1914 describes extensive drugging.

In the summer of 1914 HC spoke at an open air rally in Perth protesting at the imprisonment of two suffragettes in the city’s prison – HC at this point was exhausted by hunger-striking and loss of husband but nevertheless was asked to go and so went. “When I arrived, I found that the women had a very violent reception, and their meetings were being broken up. One day when one of the women speakers was having a noisy reception I felt that the audience might listen to me … I mounted the lorry, and tried to use my persuasive powers upon the audience which was very turbulent … I was pelted like the rest with rotten oranges and other missiles. I wiped the rotten pulp from my face and went on speaking. Some decent members of the audience tried to ensure a hearing for us, but we eventually were followed to our hotel by a hostile crown and mobbed … We went back again the next night to the same place. Our sheer audacity compelled some of them to thaw … Before the end of the week we had the crowd with us, or partly on our side. They marched with us to the prison gates, where our women were picketing outside.” Need to check the timing etc. with Leneman and newspaper reports.

Her remarks were deemed inflammatory by the police and she was arrested once more and again went on hunger strike before release after 3 days? From Leah Leneman Check this!

Perth Prison housing suffragettes by 1914 with pickets held outside and much activity in the town. King George and Queen Mary were on a tour of Scotland at the time and were coming to Perth – large police presence. HC was on picket duty outside the prison when royal family arrive – but managed to get Margaret Skinnader (an Irish woman with a dislike of Royalty) else to sub for her and so went into the town with two other women – they went to the shopping centre. The police had left HC alone (presumably still out under licence) but when she came into town and attended a meeting of suffragettes the decision was made to arrest her and place her in Perth Prison. After five days on hunger strike she was released. At this stage in their struggle, WSPU militants went on both hunger and thirst strike – but HC did not – she drank water and was not forcibly fed. PRISON SENTENCE. HUNGER STRIKE.

Despite the bouts of prison and hungers strike, HC’s health was not damaged. “Fortunately because of her strong constitution and character, Helen was relatively unscathed by the harsh daily routine of prison life and she drew on the strength of other female prisoners such as Sylvia Pankhurst.”

When the attempt to destroy Burn’s Cottage mad HC was appalled. She did however attempt to speak that night – she spoke elegantly on how the women involved could not have known about Burn’s significance, her love of his poetry and how Scots wa Hae spurred her on and felt if women’s freedom could be achieved by burning the cottage then Rabbie would have gladly seen it done.

August 1914 WWI breaks out and Emmeline Pankhurst pulls the plug on WSPU militancy. HC leaves the WSPU over its pro-war position. “It was largely through her work in the Women’s Movement that Helen made her debut into radical politics and gradually evolved a Socialist awareness.” “At one public meeting in the very same St. Andrew’s Hall, she confronted Christabel Pankhurst, who had come to urge Scottish women to enter munitions work. Members of the audience began singing revolutionary songs and the Lord Provost of Glasgow, who was chairing the meeting, sent white-overcalled munitions workers who had been sitting on the platform, down into the audience. They began hitting the singers with their hands and with sticks. Crawfurd was disgusted by this and marched down the central aisle, mounted the Reporters’ Table and shouted, ‘Shame on you, Christabel Pankhurst, to get these women to do your dirty work. It is an insult to womanhood!”

“Helen Crawfurd found herself no longer defending Mrs Pankhurst from physical assault but angrily denouncing her war-mongering.”

“From 1914 all the old alliances in the suffrage movement were overturned and the key issue became the response to the war. The leadership of the WSPU swung around to support the government putting the militant campaign for votes for women after the claims of the soldiers … the daughter Sylvia … took the … position … it was the capitalists’ war. She spent the war years in opposition, often facing violent patriotic crowds at anti-war meetings while still trying to improve the conditions of women in the East London Working-Class community. Other members of the WSPU such as HC an outstanding speaker in the Scottish Suffragette movement were also against the war.” “With Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst allied with Lloyd George, Sylvia, rather uneasily found herself working with NUWSS rebels … They, along with trade unionist Margaret Bondfield were part of the British delegation to the international women’s peace conference at the Hague in the spring of 1915. The conference which was presided over by Jane Addams hoped to mobilise women to put pressure on the politicians to end the war. But the British government refused them travel permits and only a few British women were to arrive at the founding meeting of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). The Glasgow Branch of the WILPF was formed by socialist feminists HC and Agnes Dollan who went on to hold a women’s peace conference in June 1916 … In the summer of 1917, the Women’s Peace Crusade was formed … Groups spread across the country, campaigning in working-class communities.”

In 1915 the WSPU changed the name of their newspaper from The Suffragette to Britannia.

WWI and post-war Activity in the ILP and other Groups

“HC really the only connection between pre-war militant suffrage activism and the wartime rent strikes.” “three times prosecuted for anti-militarist work during the war.”

HC says she was never a pacifist but was very much against the First World War – she was one of the founders of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She described herself as “an International socialist with a profound hatred of war with all its ghastly cruelty and waste.” She travelled around Scotland making speeches against the Armament Rings and the warmongers and profiteers and urged women to be active against he war that was slaughtering their sons – “Leading role in the anti-war movement and her activities to improve Glasgow’ housing for the working-class.”

HC’s work as a suffragette pushes her leftwards and exposes her to socialist ideas. Other influences Church Schools; Keir Hardie’s pamphlets: Glasgow Repertory Theatre (supported by the Suffrage societies) and Abbey Theatre Dublin – “exposing the sham and fraud of it all.” Glasgow Repertory Theatre showed (socialist) plays that influenced her – Henrik Ibsen – Ghosts and A Doll’s House, Maxim Gorky, George Bernard Shaw – Mrs. Warren Profession and Galsworthy.

“In the months immediately prior to the outbreak of war in August 1914, HC and the Glasgow WSPU had ben working increasingly with the socialist Daily Herald League. After the suspension of WSPU activity she began speaking for the ILP … She was on friendly terms with Charlotte Despard with whose socialist pacifist outlook she was firmly in agreement … She formed and was secretary of a branch of the WILPF. With Isabella Ford and Ethel Snowden and with Helena Swanwick as chairman, HC spoke at a meeting in Lonodn to 15 000 in London.

Socialism: “Helen was too warm and human, loved people too much, to remain unmoved by the plight of the workers.“ Experience of poverty in Glasgow – in fact she began asking questions about “how society was run” after returning to Glasgow from Ipswich t age 17and seeing the contrasts – she gradually became a feminist and socialist during her twenties – “masses of unskilled and unorganised workers from the country and from Ireland were working in the city for low wages. Strikes, unemployment and severe poverty brought to my notice daily cases of terrible hardship … I remember seeing black-legs running from strikers through Argyle Street. The haunted look on their faces made me sorry both for the blacklegs and the strikers. Sordid, ugly poverty, with an orgy of drunkenness and emotional religion, doping masses of the people – that was the Glasgow of my early years.“ Look at information on Glasgow in the last quarter of the 19th Century. Joined ILP in 1914. HC had taken up the issue of the pollution caused by a lead factory next to St. George’s Church in Glasgow and the ill effects it was having on the people living around it. The factory was leased and the building owned by the church – HC’s efforts fell on deaf ears for it became clear that “the rents from the lead factory were of more value to the Glasgow Presbytery than the health of the poor of the district.” Also, at a suffrage meeting that HC and Maud and Eileen Crawfurd attended some socialist material was given by a Mrs Swan (a socialist that ran the Reformers Bookstall in Bothwell Street) to the two girls – they were scared to take it home so HC took the stuff – Reverend Stitt Wilson, Kautsky and Daniel de Leon also other American pamphlets. “This dawning consciousness of the condition of the mass of Glasgow’s workers was to grow and develop into a passionate desire to change those conditions, a tireless struggle towards this end, and a clearheaded, unshakeable conviction that the changes would be accomplished.”

“The influence of the Churches upon women was testified by many as was religions’ general hostility to socialism.” “At a more general level Crawfurd could see that while working class men were organising and educating themselves, this was a very one-sided development … Critical of male socialists in the period for not doing enough to involve women she also felt that’s he was better able to appeal to women because she herself had been extremely religious.”

Danger that votes for women meant that women once given the vote the whole thing is over. “The Glasgow suffragettes were aware of the limitations of the vote per se, but demanded it as a requisite first step in the continuous struggle for equality.” In short the vote was symbolic and an issue of women’s self-respect.

ILP: Mrs. Pankhurst had been on the National Executive of the ILP. “The Pankhurst family had long been active in the Manchester ILP and Mrs Pankhurst formed the WSPU along with a number of other women members of the ILP strung into action by the inactivity of the ILP over women’s issues and countering anti-feminism in its rank.” “The trajectory of the WSPU eventually took it away from the WSPU.” Break from ILP – non-party – attracting any party in power – no political distinction – high society – dominance of Christabel Pankhurst – dictatorial – wealthy conservatives – Sylvia an exception – split over internal democracy – WFL. The ILP however, was the most helpful of all the political parties as far as the suffrage cause is concerned. The British Socialist Party supported adult suffrage. “The ILP stood for votes for women on the same terms as men. Its attempts to make this Labour Party policy also eventually succeeded in 1912 when the Labour Party agreed to oppose any extension of the franchise which did not include women.” In 1912 the Labour Party agreed to support female enfranchisement, they did not however “seek to build a movement to demand the vote for all.“ Though many women still complained that the ILP was male dominated and women’s issues were secondary. “Despite this the ILP does appear to have been the most accessible organisation for female activists.” The ILP Campaign – “Right to Live – included issues on the domestic economy, women and children.” “In the ILP local election campaigns the women’s vote was linked to the issue of housing, above all a women’s question, and the size of this vote was regarded as sufficient to give Labour a majority in Glasgow Town Council.” ILP also directly involved Glasgow Women’s Housing Association and the Rent Strike.

“Within the Scottish ILP Helen Crawfurd was second only to James Maxton in terms of popularity and when she transferred her allegiance to the Communist party she became one of its major assets.” “In the elections to the [ILP] Scottish Executive she polled more than anyone else apart from Maxton.”

The ILP position on women’s suffrage – “The ILP is in favour of adult suffrage with full political rights and privileges for women, and the immediate extensions of the franchise to women on the same terms as men.” The ILP attempted many times to get this accepted as Labour Party policy. HC seems in tune with is policy. “According to Annie Maxton, most ILP women were not active in the suffrage movement, preferring to work within the socialist movement on more definite unambiguous socialist issues.”

Glasgow was strong on socialist issues although still middle-class dominated in prominent positions. “Because of the economic disabilities which women suffered under WSPU members were forced into a deeper analysis of their oppression than their concentration upon the vote would suggest.” HC reconciled her feminism with socialism.

Jessie Stephens – “These were about jobs, about wages, about the present matrimonial laws. All that sort of thing used to be discussed by us … And those of us who were socialists were for more interested in economics that they gave us credit for. Some of these women who were really active in the WSPU had deep convictions about the economic structure of society, and there was the question of housing, and the question of making life easier for women in the home, and maternity benefits. The vote was only a means to an end, to a new state of society where women could be treated as human beings, not as second-class citizens.”

Glasgow Politics: “Glasgow’s politics … appeared to be based on cultural and ideological traditions which had little to do with class struggle before 1914.” “The introduction of new working methods as heavy industry became even larger and more dominant in the Glasgow economy, and the erosion of craft skills by new machinery which could be operated by the semi-skilled, also increased the general interest put forward by Labour activists in the early twentieth century.” Liberalism was still dominant but issues with Home Rule caused fluctuations. Also socialist leaders’ sectarianism kept them away from the Irish working-class. “The major drawback to the growth of Labour support stemmed primarily from the fact that the great bulk of Scottish workers would not support independent working men.” “Liberal strength at the parliamentary level was thus pretty assured in the years before 1914.” “There was a big jump in the number of trade-unionists in the years before the Great War and the ILP grew in both numbers and branches, although there were still larger numbers enrolled in the constituency organisations of both the Unionists and the Liberals in the city.” ”One issue which historically had great local relevance in Glasgow, and might at any moment become a unifying force to bind different interests, was housing. There had been a rising group consciousness on the issue at the time, manifested in both concerted demands for political action and local resistance at the street level. The almost instantaneous organisation of the 1915 Rent Strikes showed that initiatives like Wheatley’s in 1913 in proposing municipal cottages at £8 rental could bear strong local fruits for Labour.” “before 1914 therefore those who ran Glasgow’s industries also ran its politics as they had done in the 1830s. Glasgow’s voters still predominantly gave their allegiances to the Liberals or the Unionists, irrespective of class.”

HC very active during WWI (starts 4 August 1914). 1914 loss of husband (31 May 1914) and mother (4 September 1914). HC and brothers William & John and sister Jean rented flat in Hyndland and engaged a Housekeeper. Family supported her political work.

HC anti-war activist and with Agnes Dollan organised large public meetings on Glasgow Green. In November 1915 this pair set up a Glasgow Branch of the Women’s International League – solidarity organisation with anti-war women in other countries – with no party affiliation. The organisation was by and large middle class, moderate and non-socialist. HC and others attempted to increase its working class membership and move it leftwards – part of this process was the organisation of a women’s peace conference in June 1916. “Helen Crawfurd and Agnes Dollan worked together in the Glasgow WIL branch until the meeting on June 10th 1916 which launched the Women’s Peace Crusade. Two hundred delegates representing sixteen women’s organisations attended. There does not appear to have been any break in relations with WIL, since Helena Swanwick was one of the main speakers. Just six weeks later on July 23rd – a Sunday – the WPC held a 5000 strong demonstration on Glasgow Green. Despite an attempt at organised disruption, Patrick Dollan reported in the Women’s Dreadnought ‘Not one woman was subjected to interruption. At several points the audience cheered most heartily, and in many other ways indicated their approval of a settlement of the war by negotiation … The demonstration was arranged entirely by women, and carried through by women, who have been well led by the able and enthusiastic Mrs Helen Crawfurd, who has no leisure hours that are not devoted to furthering the cause of Peace.’ Besides Crawfurd and Dollan there were six other speakers on two platforms around which the crowd gathered. They included Margaret Ashton from Manchester and Muriel Matters the famous suffragette who chained herself top the grid of the Ladies’ gallery in the House of Commons before the war. A resolution urging the government to seek a negotiated peace at the earliest possible opportunity was enthusiastically passed. ’At the opposition meeting (about 200 people) a resolution urging the vigorous persecution of the war to a finish was not submitted to the vote, yet was declared, and reported in the Press to have been carried.” There was another WPC demonstration in Edinburgh shortly afterwards. Out of this the Women’s Peace Negotiation Crusade was set up in Glasgow; followed by a national Women’s Peace Crusade the following June – HC was its honorary secretary. WPC ran street level meetings (in working class areas) – “in order to forge a more working-class and militant opposition to militarism“ – and even disrupted a meeting of Glasgow Council by giving out anti-war propaganda whilst the council was in session. The WPC operated across Scotland organising pickets, demonstrations and other actions against the war in Europe and against conscription. Helen was “twice arrested by the police for her anti-war work, appearing in the Dock with William Gallacher and other Socialist leaders.”

“There is some other evidence of WIL’s style being perceived as over-cautious. HC, Secretary of the Glasgow branch and an ex-WSPU member, felt she couldn’t conform with WIL’s policy of always submitting literature to the censor before publication. She resigned from being Secretary but stayed on as an ordinary member. ‘The Executive excepted my resignation rather hurriedly, afterwards telling me that they did not want to be held responsible for what I might do,’ she remembered later.”

This leading anti-war work brought HC into contact with John Maclean and his Scottish Labour College. She was invited to lecture at the college and also spoke on several platforms with John Maclean. HC was amongst the very first political figures to campaign on women’s political and economic position within society.

WILPF: Info. From Mary Sheepshank files at Women’s Library – “Jane Addams became the first president of the league and a Congress was called to meet at the Hague in April 1915. Three British women who made an early start managed to cross the North Sea to attend the meeting. The others waited at a hotel facing the Thames at Tilbury, watching the steamer on which their passages were booked lying at anchor, They waited in vain; the British delegation was not allowed to sail. It included Maud Royston (? – possibly Royden), Mrs Helena Swanwick, Mrs Philip Snowden, Margaret Ashton, Margaret Bondfield, Crystal MacMillan, Catherine Marshall, Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence and myself. Fifteen hundred women attended the Hague Congress. There were delegates from Belgium, Canada, Denamrk, Germany, Sweden and the United States.” “The Hague meeting finally adopted a plan for continuous mediation. Mrs Addams, Dr. Aletta Jacobs, Crystal Macmillan, Catherine Marshall, R. Schwimmer, Anita Augspurg, Emily Balch, and Maud Royden were deputed to visit in pairs the Foreign ministers of both belligerent and neutral countries; and to invite the latter to propose and the former to accept mediation.” Post-War: “The WIL from a slightly difficult angle was picking up the broken thread of international friendship. The 2nd Congress of the League met at Zurich in 1919.” “The Zurich congress was a deeply moving experience. After four years of the suffering, losses and anxiety of the first world war in history women from the warring as well as the neutral nations joined hands in grief and horror at the misery and devastation, the loss of millions of lives, the mutilation and ruined health of millions more, and the wretched plight of the hundreds of thousands of refugees now scattered over the face of the earth, homeless and deprived of everything that makes life worth living.”

“She formed and was secretary of branch of the WILPF. With Isabella Ford and Ethel Snowden and with Helena Swanwick as chairman, Helen Crawfurd spoke at a meeting in London to 1500 to report on the success of the Peace Crusade. Selina Cooper had been invited but was unable to attend; Helen Crawfurd had spoken at a meeting of the Nelson Crusade.”

Emily Balch: USA – 1st WIL Secretary – Nobel prize after WWII.

John Maclean, Scottish Labour College and British Socialist Party: John Maclean spoke on women’s suffrage platforms but no writings on women’s issues. “Towards the end of 1914, the BSP decided to concentrate all its forces on one central Sunday-night meeting in Bath Street. MacDougall described it to me: ‘From the very first meeting attracted large numbers of socialists. Sunday by Sunday it grew, as the seriousness of the war situation became plain even to the meanest intelligence, and after a number of weeks it had grown so large that the casual passers-by on Renfield Street were attracted … It is a broad street. It was packed from side to side so that a child could have walked on the heads of the people and that condition extended a long distance down the street. Week after week there was to be seen a vast body of men and women, standing in the tense silence, their attention riveted on the speakers for two or three hours on end, while a succession of speakers kept the meeting going … MacLean’s principal assistants were [James D.] MacDougall, George Pettigrew, Mrs Helen Crawfurd of the ILP and a famous suffragette, and William Gallacher …”
“After a valuable and interesting discussion, according to the foreword of the pamphlet the following resolution was moved by Thomas Scott, Kinning Park Co-operative Education Committee, and seconded by William McGrath, District Committee of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, and was unanimously accepted: ‘That this conference of delegates from Labour Organisations in Scotland approves of the establishment of a Scottish Labour College and agreed to the appointment of a provisional Committee with full powers to act until the First Annual Conference of the Scottish Labour College.’ Thirty two members were elected including the original class committee. The most notable were Bob Smillie (Scottish Mine Workers), James Maxton (Scottish Divisional Council ILP, of which he was Chairman), HC (WIL) and John McClure (Plebs League).”

1919 Scottish Labour College – “The conference on 24 May was again a big success, being attended by 571 delegates. A lucid and brilliant paper was read by the secretary William Leonard, giving the subjects to be studied and the field which it was hoped the college would cover. It was hoped to form classes all over the country under the guidance of district committees working together with the College Committee and the Plebs League. After some discussion, appeals were made by HC who had just returned from a Women’s International Conference in Switzerland by James Maxton and by Maclean himself.”

Glasgow was a large centre for munitions and many of the city’s working class were involved in the war production. Landlords in Glasgow seeing their opportunities began raising the rents of munitions workers. The flagrant profiteering was set against a general hike in the cost of living.

HC important figure in the Glasgow Rent Strikes of 1915 – she became secretary of the Glasgow Women’s Housing Association (GWHA) “She became a major propaganda figure in rallying housewives behind the campaign to fight the rent increases and she told a mass rally of rent strikers that the ‘fight was essentially a women’s fight’.” See JD Young, The Rousing of the Scottish Working Class, 1979. Key areas of struggle in Govan and Patrick – meetings and mass demonstrations – HC and Agnes Dollan [“She was to play a leading role in the Scottish Women‘s Peace Crusade. Ten years younger than Crawfurd … she had a fine speaking voice, with a love of literature and political philosophy. In later years she was to go on to be a member of Glasgow Council and to sit on the National Executive of the Labour Party. By 1914 she had been married to Patrick Dollan. An ILP city councillor, tall and curly-haired, he was a journalist and contributed to the ELP‘s Women‘s Dreadnought amongst other newspapers, and was eventually to become Lord Provost of Glasgow from 1938 to 1941], Mary Barbour and Jessie Stephens. Agnes Dollan was the first woman to stand as a Labour Municipal Councillor.

Shop Steward’s movement supported the rent strikers and after six month battle the Government gave in and the Rent Restrictions Act came into being in December 1915. “Crawfurd became a high-profile figure in urging housewives at mass rallies in Govan and Partick to resist rent increases.”

The rent strike brought HC into contact with the Shop Stewards’ Movement. “Along with Willie Gallacher, Eleanor Stewart and Emmanuel Shinwell, she appeared before the magistrate for taking part in a protest demonstration against the deportation of shop stewards, David Kirkwood and Arthur MacManus.”

As well as non-payment of rent local people organised themselves in rapid response groups that hindered the work of landlords and bailiffs. The unity of the Glasgow workers was assisted by the efforts of the ILP, the Glasgow Women’s Housing Association and the Clyde Workers’ Committee. Once the main Glasgow unions came out in support of the rent strike victory was assured.

“Mrs Helen Crawfurd and Mrs Agnes Dollan were among the two of the best-known speakers, both attractive orators and ready at all times to take the platform for women’s rights for peace and socialism … with all this talent and many more … it can be understood that we were developing a movement that was going to count in the critical days [1914+] that lay ahead.” – Willie Gallacher in The Last Memo irs.

Rent Strike: “However the most important aspect of this mass strike against rent increases involving 15000 women rent striker – and a portent of things to come – was the independent activity of working-class women. For Helen Crawfurd told a mass rally of rent strikers that their fight was essentially a women’s fight.”

[Strike for 2d increase. The Clyde Workers’ Committee. Formation of Shop Stewards’ Movement] “The Strike Committee held together and decided to organise the shop stewards into a shop-stewards’ movement. The first test of its development came when the women led by Mrs Barbour, Helen Crawfurd and Agnes Dollan were conducting their magnificent campaign against the rent increases. A stage was reached when only industrial action could carry the women’s fight to victory.” “Helen Crawfurd and the Women’s Peace Crusade, made a march on the City Chambers, distributing an illegal leaflet in front of police and even to some of the police as well. The women forced their way into the building and the police had a really tough time trying to get them out. Word spread around that several of them had been arrested and this brought out new and very threatening demonstrations.” – Willie Gallacher in The Last Memoirs.

With the armistice of 1918, HC is now a national political figure in Scotland. 1918 she became vice-chairman of the Scottish Divisional Council of the ILP – subsequently vice-president – “one of its principle propagandists, travelling throughout Scotland and in many other parts of Britain to address meetings.” She began to see the failings in the ILP (non-radical and reformist) and looked again for her path and space. Tom Bell and Arthur MacManus were undertaking the formation of a British Communist Party. HC attempted to organise a communist platform within the ILP – on the eve of the Easter Conference of the ILP HC presided over a meeting to form a Left Wing of the ILP.

Glasgow in this period was a location of intense political action and development. HC was one of a several prominent political activists. Others were Agnes Dollan, Mary Barbour and Mary Laud. “She was a member of the British delegation to the Conference of the Women’s International League at Zurich in 1919. This delegation included all the foremost women representatives of the British working-class movement of the time – Mrs Snowden, Madame Despard, Ellen Wilkinson, Mrs Petwick-Lawrence and others. This delegation chose Helen Crawfurd Anderson to make the report to the Conference on their behalf. Their choosing her was a tribute to her valiant anti-war work during 1914/18. And it was something more – it was a recognition of the fact that she stood head and shoulders above the rest of the women in the movement.” ICWPP Women’s International Congress Switzerland at Zurich 12- 17 May 1919. 147 women from 15 of 21 national sections including 26 Britain. “This time the British delegation were not prevented from attending, and amongst the twenty-six women were Margaret Ashton, Kathleen Courtney, HC, Charlotte Despard, Isabella Ford, Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, Emily Leaf, Chrystal Macmillan, Ctaherine Marshall, Mary Sheepshanks, Ethel Snowden, Helena Swanwick and Ellen Wilkinson – plus Louise Bennett from the Irish WIL.” HC travelled to Zurich with Ellen Wilkinson – shared accommodation in nearby hotel in Zurich: “Crawfurd recalled that her friend’s speeches were full of revolutionary zeal and received so much publicity in the Swiss press that Ethel Snowden asked her to tone them down. Crawfurd was delighted when Chairwoman Chrystal Macmillan – another Scot – upheld Wilkinson’s right to talk as much as she liked about workers control in Russia.”

American delegation at the Zurich conference -27 including Emily Greene Balch, Madeleine Doty, Lilian Wald and Alice Hamilton and Crystal Eastman: “This disapproval of Eastman’s sex life, which was considered rather too casual for the time, was common amongst the leaders of the American group, and she had not been chosen as an official delegate. Interestingly she seems to have struck up a friendship with HC who took her back to Glasgow to report on the socialist movement there for the Liberator, the successor to The Masses.”

“Smyth’s work on women and the Clydeside rent strikers of 1915 demonstrates the vibrancy of women’s organising and also the strong lines of continuity over time and across different issues. Key players in the rent strikes also played active roles in socialist and labour movement groupings, peace activism and suffrage campaigns, and the co-operative movement. A leading Clydeside rent striker, Crawfurd was an activist in the ILP, the GWHA and the Scottish Co-Operative Women’s Guild.”

Russian Revolution: “Right from the beginning, even when the majority of socialists in Britain regarded the new revolution with suspicion and misgiving, the Red Clyde new better. News had scarcely come through before a great meeting was held to demand the release of the Petroffs and of Chicherin (all of whom were now interned without trial in Brixton jail). The meeting had been organised by the Russian political refugees Defence Committee which had grown out of Maclean’s campaign for the release of political prisoners and of which MacLean himself was chairman. Louis Shammes a Russian refugee was the secretary. All the most important representatives of the left wing were speakers – Maclean, McManus, Maxton, HC and Davy Kirkwood.”

“All the leading lights in WIL and the Women’s Peace Crusade greeted the March revolution with joy. It was the ‘first real gleam of hope that we received’ remembered HC.”

[Russian Revolution February 1917 … McShane at Parkhead Forge (made munitions and guns) … attempt to sack McShane … reinstated]: “Shortly before I left Parkhead Forge the shop-stewards were invited to attend a meeting at which Flora Drummond the militant suffragette was to speak. When we got there we found that it was organised by the British Workers; league and they had packed the hall with their supporters. Like many of the middle-class suffragettes Flora Drummond was now a pro-war speaker and she and the other speakers attacked the shop-stewards who were hindering the war effort. But at the meeting there were two courageous women socialists, HC and Agnes Dollan and they made a great fight of it.” “It was HC who had herself been a suffragette as well as a socialist who replied. She was a very dignified widow always dressed in black and she walked right up the hall to the reporters’ table and gave Flora Drummond a real dressing down. I thought the crowd would murder her and we had a difficult job to get clear of them. They threw us out one by one and some of us were hurt. Eventually we managed to get together and start fighting in a bunch; that quietened them and we were able to get away. We were led into a trap that night but I’m sure that it actually stiffened our anti-war work.”

Still in the ILP (in fact vice-President), HC attended the Second Congress of the 3rd International in Moscow July 1920. She attended as a visitor. The journey to Moscow was very difficult – the Norwegians confiscated her passport. Nevertheless, she dodged the Norwegian police and continued her journey on a cargo boat bound for Alexandrovic. From there she got to Moscow by train where she met up with Willie Gallacher and Syvia Pankhurst. In Moscow she interviewed Lenin who discussed with her “the importance of recruiting women into the Communist Party, and the need for party organisation.”

[2nd Congress of the 3rd International]: “There was moreover a strong British contingent in Moscow. They included John S. Clarke, HC, William Gallacher, W. MacLaine, J. T. Murphy, Marjory Newbold, Sylvia Pankhurst, Tom Quelch, Dave Ramsay and Jack Tanner.” This group were at the 3rd International whilst the London Convention of Communist Unity was forming the CPGB. “The British delegates comprised McLaine and Quelch from the British Socialist Party, Gallacher and John S. Clarke from the Clyde Shop Stewards and The Worker; Pankhurst from the CP (BSTI), Ramsay Tanner and Murphy from the shop stewards, HC and Margery Newbold from the ILP Left Wing.”

ILP Left Wing and CPGB: “Following their failure in April 1920 the Committee began to organise support throughout the country for the battle at the 1921 conference. It issued a fortnightly paper called The International and sent policy statements to branches.” “The party did in fact lose a number of extremely active members when the Left-Wing Committee disgusted with the NAC’s fait accompli took its adherents into the CP. From the formation of the 3rd International of the CP a significant section of the ILP led by C. H. Norman, Emile Burns, S. Saklatvala, Walton new bold and Mrs HC agitated for the ILP to unconditional affiliation to the Third.” “Another circular of the Left Wing Committee was entitled The 2nd International versus the Third International; it put the case for affiliation to the Third.” “At the 1921 Annual Conference … defeat on the question of joining the 3rd International – the vote was 521 – 97 against. C. H. Norman, J. T. W. Newbold, J. R. Wilson and HC were defeated in their quest for elected office.” “On 3 January 1920 the Scottish Division of the ILP at its annual delegate meeting voted by one hundred and fifty one to twenty eight that the ILP sever its connection with the 2nd and affiliate to the 3rd International … Disillusionment with the 2nd International was driving the ILP towards the 3rd. The formation of a Communist faction had begun at the Party’s Easter Conference in 1920. A pre-conference meeting with Walton Newbold, C. H. Norman and HC as speakers decided by a narrow 32 to 25 majority to set up an unofficial organisation with its own paper. This became the official party faction, titled the ILP Left Wing.” “In Glasgow, HC was active.”

“Two ILP members, HC and Margery Newbold attended the 2nd World Congress in July-August 1920. Following their return the Left Wing began to work as a Communist faction in the ILP.”

“The Declaration of the Left Wing of the ILP published in The Communist International of 1919, pp2462-5, mustered 159 signatures … 21 from Scotland.”

In 27-29 March 1921 ILP Conference at Southport – defeat on 3rd International issue. “In the NAC elections in which the final qualifying figure was 328, only one Left Wing candidate, HC, who obtained 144 votes, succeeded in reaching the second run off, then coming bottom of the poll 187.” Other Votes: Wilson 67; Newbold 81; Norman 100.

“The 16 April issue of the Communist printed an advertisement calling ‘all genuine left wingers’ to a conference of the ILP Left Wing in Glasgow on Monday 18 April. At this conference, apparently confined to the Scots membership, HC presided. On a vote for secession 109 voted in favour and 7 against, with 23 abstentions. A later resolution to join the CPGB was carried by 109 votes to 3 with 7 abstentions. Mmebers from 19 Glasgow branches were reported as present.”

Clyde Activity: Beginning of March … Parkhead Forge … Kirkwood refused permission to carry out duties as Convenor of Shop Stewards … he resigned in protest … the engineers went on strike … workers at Dalmuir struck in sympathy … the media began red baiting … state acted and seized the principal leaders of the Clyde Workers Committee. “In the course of a few days Kirkwood, McManus, Shields, Merser, Clark, Wainwright, Bridges and Glass, were seized and deported to Edinburgh and ordered to report to the police thrice a day. The Clyde was ferment. Next day a huge demonstration took place in Glasgow Green. Among the speakers were Emmanuel Shinwell, Pat Dollen, HC, Maxton and MacDougall.

John Maclean Trial: “Twenty-eight witnesses, some socialists and some not, testified for Maclean. They included James Maxton, Emmanuel Shinwell and HC.”


CPGB Set-Up: “The Communist sympathisers in the ILP were not officially represented at the August Unity Convention.”

This visit to the Soviet Union made a great impression on HC who on return was determined to see the ILP affiliate to the Communist International. The vote for affiliation was rejected by the ILP at its 1920 National Conference – HC then left the ILP and joined the newly formed CPGB.

1920s HC active with the Workers International Relief organisation (WIR) (set up in 1921) – “to aid economically distressed areas such as the Volga Province in Russia.” In 1922 she became secretary of WIR – travels abroad – gains international reputation – was in Berlin in 1922 and again for the 1924 General Elections – “where she addressed an audience of over 10,000 on behalf of the German Communist Party (KPD).”

WIR: “Carried out relief in Germany and in the mining districts of Britain during the lock-out which followed the general Strike of 1926. She succeeded in extending the relief work to the famine-stricken West of Ireland and to the Scottish Highlands during periods of depression.” Lent a car by Jim Larkin – it was used by Helen Crawfurd to travel to Ireland and take food to famine-stricken Donegal.

Ireland: HC “was able to express her longstanding sympathy with Irish Home Rule when she came into personal contact with prominent nationalists.” – James Connolly and Countess Markowicz. “A son of General Sir George White, Jack White joined forces with Connolly’s Citizen Army to help drill them. I can remember him well as a tall spare man. He visited Glasgow and came to our flat in Hyndland, meeting there many of the active militants in Glasgow. He was somewhat romantic politically, but being Irish he resented the treatment being meted out to his country and joined forces with the rebel Irish fighting for her liberation.”

Jack White:

She was quickly promoted within the organisation and in 1921 became a member of the executive committee – she remained an EC member for many years – question this statement. HC member CPGB Executive between 1923-5.

Caerphilly bye-election of August 1921. Right wing Labour MP (and South Wales Miners‘ Federation official) Alfred Onions died. CPGB (Bob Stewart – he had been imprisoned for his part in a miners‘ demonstration and was only released part way through the campaign) stood in the bye-election gaining 2592 votes to Labours’ 13699 and the Coalition’s 8598. Nasty election with Local Town Clerk denying the CPGB agent electoral documents and the electoral register. Nevertheless this Red Raid on Caerphilly was seen as a success for the party and the opening of the CPGB’s electoral efforts. Most of the CPGB work was done on the street at meetings and oratory was excellent. Helen Crawfurd is described as having excelled at Caerphilly. “We went into an area in which the reaction and despair following upon the failure of the miner’s struggle had left the workers hopeless and broken. We found the best men in the district loaded with debts, their jobs refused them, their homes threatened by the landlord gentry for arrears of rent.”

A key task for her was the recruitment of women into the party. In January 1922 the Party set up a Women’s Department under Helen Crawfurd, who was also the women’s representative on the Party’s political bureau. The first CPGB women’s conference was held in May 1924.

In 1922 she began to edit a separate page (Page for Women) for women in the CPGB newspaper, the Communist. “She justified the need for a separate women’s page on the grounds of the specific nature of women’s oppression.” “HC who edited what by July had become ‘A Page for Women (which Men can read with advantage)’ certainly justified the existence of a separate page for women on the grounds of women’s specific oppression: ‘Some of us believe that the Communist message applies to women in a very particular way. Did the average woman realise the real meaning of Communism and the liberation from capitalist and sex domination for which it stands, she would be its most ardent advocate …’ ‘While it is true that material conditions determine development it is perfectly evident to anyone who thinks that in performing the function of the reproduction of the human species, woman is placed at certain periods in a position of utter dependence, very often in humiliation unspeakable. Have we not, time and time again, heard women say when asked why they continued to live with a tyrant: “It was very difficult to leave. I was either going to hgave a child or was nursing one.” Communism stands for the economic independence of women and the right of motherhood to care during pregnancy.’ “ – From A Page for Women, The Communist 15 July 1922.

“To reach a wider audience Crawfurd formed a committee with James Maxton and Willie Paul in 1925 to publish the Sunday Worker – a paper which represented left-wing views in the labour movement.”

General Strike: “She travelled throughout Britain distributing food and making speeches of encouragement to miners and their families.”

1929 General Election – HC CPGB candidate in Bothwell (Lanarkshire) – 1677 votes and in the 1931 General Election she stood in North Aberdeen achieving 3980 votes. In the 1930s became Honorary Secretary of an Anti-Fascist Committee in Renfrew.

“Because of her close connection with the WIR Crawfurd was involved in setting up many international trade union and socialist conferences.” 1927 she attended the Brussels Conference where the League Against Imperialism was set up – she was an opponent of British Colonialism in India and Ireland.

In 1927 and in 1930 HC visited the Soviet Union, the former trip being for the 10th anniversary celebration of the revolution. “Crawfurd on the whole, tended to be an uncritical admirer of Stalin’s Russia, arguing that the forced industrialisation of the country was made worse by ‘disgruntled elements’ encouraged by Trotsky and those who supported his party.”

1930s – HC still heavily involved with CPGB but also with Friends of the Soviet Union.

Friends of Soviet Russia: Took part in a trip in 1930 organised by the Friends of Soviet Russia – went to Moscow and Leningrad. Detailed in the diary of that trip kept by Charlotte Despard: Set off 7 August on a “Russian ship most beautifully equipped.” On the boat were delegates principally English and Irish from the RISW/RILU and the FOSR? (hard to make out in diary); also the Minority Movement. On board resolutions and discussions with all involved – lots of self-criticism – a discussion on Ireland past and present had Helen Crawfurd as chair. Sheila Downing made an opening statement and then Charlotte Despard followed with a talk about the Women’s Prisoner’s Defence League. Questions – English and Scot struck with sympathy for the Irish “generally felt that the Republican and Revolutionary must come together.” A subsequent discussion was on strike tactics. 11 August arrive – accommodation arranged at a great Imperial building 20 miles from Leningrad – part of a palace complex and gardens built by Catherine the Great. Here the delegates made speeches which were cheered by their Soviet hosts; music and singing was arranged and many acquaintances made. A visit to a children’s village set up – previously a mansion of the rich and now a children’s home for 2-18 year olds and a sanatorium and school. In the evening the delegates walked in the park by their accommodation. Another visit was to a CP school – Helen Crawfurd and Charlotte Despard spoke to the students. 17 August – Visit to the crèche of a textile factory – 165 children of all ages. A trip to an open-air cinema in the grounds of the palace of Labour where Battleship Potemkin played. In fact there were many excursions. 18 August – Open-air school (there were 1000 of these across Russia) in a park planted by Peter the Great with 250 children. In the evening a drive through the city and a visit to the congress of the RISU and again meetings with …. 19 August – Shopping in the morning to a crowded market then the congress in the evening. 20 August – Park of Culture and then a Congress meeting with Tom Mann and other officials. 21 August – Woman’s Prison. 23 August – A great meeting in the park and a visit to the Law Courts. In the evening a fine cinema. 24 August – St. Saviours Church for a service and then a drive out of Moscow to look at surrounding villages. The diary contains lots of discussion about administration, bureaucracy, democracy, education and childcare etc. 26 August – Men’s Prison – On this and other access Charlotte Despard says “I have not once been denied access to anything I wished to see.” A visit to a sanatorium. 29 August – Met Irish comrade Dowling who had finally got to Russia. 30 August – Visit to countryside during an off task day. 31 August – with the Irish comrade attended a service in a Catholic Cathedral. “During the rest of the day we rested and read. Mrs Crawfurd read aloud to me from two very fine numbers of An Phoblacht. A better and truer perception of things then found generally in the Daily Worker.” – Charlotte Despard. 1 September – Invited to and attended the 1st Congress of the Woman’s Red labour Union held in a large hall of the Lenin School “where some of the English communists are staying for the next 4 months.” Charlotte Despard spoke as well as two Yorkshire textile workers – mention of Kitty Morris and Ella Hargreaves. There was a meeting on the Irish situation in the evening. 6 September – “In the afternoon Mrs Crawfurd read from some typed papers … “ – Charlotte Despard. 9 September – The delegates inspect a great bakery. 17 September – Left Moscow after 2 days in Leningrad with visit to monuments. Use Helen Crawfurd diary to run alongside this account.

Rising fascism in Europe – “She switched the bulk of her attention to fighting fascism in Europe.” occupied her time – “Shortly after her return to Glasgow in 1933 she became honorary secretary of two retrospective committees to fight fascism and anti-Semitism in Scotland.” She was Honorary Secretary of an anti-fascist organisation in Renfrew. Helen Crawfurd was Secretary of the Anti-Fascist organisation in Glasgow when Mosely and his Blackshirts were hounded out of Glasgow. At this point HC moves in with her sister Jean in Renfrewshire “and from her home she dealt with her committee correspondence.” Work levels were too high and HC moved back to Glasgow in 1938 “to organise the Peace and Empire Congress [just before the onset of WWII] which aimed to launch a co-ordinated Peace Movement throughout the British Commonwealth. In keeping with her belief in peace she became a local member of the Scottish Peace Council.” HC is adamant though that she was never a pacifist although she hated war. HC did however support the Second World War. “To the end of her life she was filled with unbound admiration for the Bolsheviks. ‘What a job the Bolshevik leaders undertook; what a magnificent job they have done! Anyone who refuses to see the significance of what the Russians have done can only be either dishonest or dead mentally!’ she wrote to a friend only a few weeks before her death.” – Margaret Hunter.

[Anti-Labour swing in 1931]; “Several minor parties had at least some influence on the bad result for Labour in Scotland … The SNP … On the left, the CP did better with 35000 votes or over 1.6% of the poll. Eight candidates took the field including HC in Aberdeen North; in Gorbals the ubiquitous Harry McShane; in Greenock, Aitken Ferguson; in West Fife where Willie Gallacher’s 6829 votes helped to defeat Adamson and return a Unionist advocate; McCourt in the staunch miners’ district of Bothwell; and Stewart in Dundee where the party got 10262 in the tow seat contest.”

Scottish Nationalism: “The CP attitude to Scottish Nationalism had remained unchanged since they derided John Maclean for socialism in kilts. However, in 1937 and 1938 this was completely reversed. MacDiarmid had continuously raised the question of Scottish self-government inside the party, though he wasn’t on the Scottish Committee. HC wrote an article in Labour Monthly and repeated Engels’s argument that Britain should be a federation of the four states of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It was a common idea among Liberals in the 19th century that Britain should adopt the American model with a centralise government as well.”
Scottish Nationalism: During 1935-39 “the international communist movement urged communist parties to strike a more nationalistic note in their propaganda.” “In Scotland this was met by what may seem as a surprising resistance to move away from strict communist adherence to internationalism, and towards a more nationalistic approach to Scottish politics.” It was the interplay between the international and national political context that resulted in the reluctance. “It was international communism that eventually turned communists into nationalists.” 1932 – “Scottish communist Robert McLennan, who wrote in 1932 that any attempt at harnessing Scottish national sentiment was fascist and reactionary, bound to reduce British working-class solidarity and the development of the revolution.” May Day Parade 1938 – Kilts and Banners – Bruce, Wallace, Burns, Robert Owen, Keir Hardie, Lenin, Stalin, Marx, RL Stevenson, Walter Scott, and Adam Smith.
“The emphasis on internationalism and rejection of Scottish nationalism was more typical of Scottish communism between the wars and it appears that it was with considerable reluctance that they opened up their movement to nationalist ideas and tactics.” Need to consider communist party history in the context of the national balance of forces. “Marxist theory opposes nationalism as a political force on these grounds, claiming that it constructs barriers that obstruct the development of a universal class-consciousness.” “In practice, however, Marxism did from the outset take account of the revolutionary potential of nationalist struggles.” Lenin drafted and presented the Comintern thesis on the national and colonial question adopted at the second congress of the Comintern. “Communists were to inform the proletariat of this bourgeois deception and at the same time to stress that imperialist competition ruled out the possibility of national freedom under capitalism. A genuine equality of nations was only possible under the Soviet System as was evident from the living example. The Comintern encouraged communists, however, to make exceptions to this general rule of opposing nationalism, given the right conditions.” The latter point meant that they could progressively support anti-colonial struggles. “The Third Communist Review article on Scottish nationalism was, however, more in tune with Scottish circumstances, and presented an inclination towards accepting nationalistic arguments. It was written by Helen Crawfurd, apparently in response to the previously mentioned article by McLennan.” Mclennan’s positaion: Against fascist methods of Scots nationalists; Scotland not a separate economy hampered by Britain; non-language; but accepted separate and valuable national culture, Helen Crawfurd’s position: From Communist Review 5 – “It questioned the claim, central to Mclennan’s argument that Scotland was not an oppressed nation and contended that Scotland’s economic problems could be blamed on disadvantage resulting from the union with England. “ “Crawfurd explained that English industries enjoyed far more government subsidies than the industries north of the border. At the same time, Scotland did not receive its fair share of revenue for social services. The rate of unemployment was higher in Scotland than in England yet the proportion of the amount allocated fro relief of unemployment did not take account of that fact.” Also grants to libraries, universities, hospitals proportionally lower. “Thus even though some elements within the nationalist movement could be viewed as having fascist tendencies it would be wrong to dismiss it as being altogether reactionary. It was important for communists to analyse carefully its economic content and cause. She hope that the discussion on the nationalist movement would be extended and that as soon as possible the position of the party would be made clear.” Helen Crawfurd points out that Lenin in State and Revolution mentions that Engels “had recognised that the national question had not been fully overcome in England and therefore that the establishment of a Federal Republic of the four nations of the Kingdom would be a progressive step.” Helen Crawfurd basically advocating support for Home Rule and using Lenin to justify this position. Party not accept Crawfurd’s arguments. “The editor’s notr at the head of her article is revealing. It stated that it had been printed espite its inadequacy in analysing the class forces in Scotland.” Issue of publication of autobiography here worth considering. “No attempt was made at responding to Crawfurd’s arguments. The party’s stance remained unaltered; in Scotland there were no grounds for making an exception to the general rule of opposing nationalist movements.”
At the end of the day on the issue of nationalism – pragmatism is decisive. “Immediately following events in Germany in 1933, communist parties were urged to abandon their sectarianism and to support social democratic parties with proposals for anti-fascist coalitions. The Popular Front strategy had been fully developed two years later, when Dimitrov introduced it at the last Comintern Congress in 1935. Included in this new strategy for a common democratic front against fascism, communists were told, should be an effort to strike a more nationalistic not ei communist propaganda. In order to counteract the fascist appeal to the masses by nationalistic demagogy Dimitrov urged communists to instruct the working-classes of their part and to link up with the present struggle with post revolutionary traditions.” And hence the 1938 May Day Parade in Edinburgh. The CPGB attempted to do this – but more difficult in Scotland “as it called for a reconsideration of the party’s attitude towards the Scottish national movement.” The Scottish District Party disagreed with London – “on whether or not the Popular Front should be implemented by lending support to the nationalist cause in Scotland.” The Left Review carried the debate and economic considerations dominated – “the party centre in London, however, wanted a more conciliatory approach towards the national movement in Scotland.” “In January 1938 the Political Bureau in London received a document on the Scottish national Question in which it was accepted that the party would adopt elements of the nationalist agenda. Following this it was decided that Scottish communist would adopt the main elements of the Liberal-Labour line on Home Rule for Scotland. And furthermore that they should ally themselves with the SNP to prepare an all-party campaign for Home Rule.” This was not easy to accomplish given that in 1937 of 2315 Scottish CPGB members 1200 were in the Clydeside industrial belt and membership persisted with “unsympathetic approach to nationalistic aspirations of the Scottish people.” Pragmatism helps us to understand this – “despite a strong sense of national identity the Scots were at least until the late twentieth century – disinterested in political nationalism” and so nationalism not really a feasible option at that time.

Twilight Years

Just after WWII HC married a widower George Anderson of Coatbridge; he was a steel master (Engineering Director in his death certificate but blacksmith in hers) and CPGB member. He died in 1951. Like HC he held views on the prohibition of alcohol. HC went to Dunoon (Argyllshire) to live (in a cottage) in 1938 retirement – not after or during WWII as suggested in many sources – although she had been going there for years and thought of retiring out there in the 30s. Letter to Audrey Canning from Murdo MacDonald, Archivist at Argyll and Bute Council 9 May 1990 – “She appears to have moved to Dunoon in 1934 (see Voters Roll) and to have bought a house there in 1935 (Register of Sasines) the name of which she changed to ‘Mah-Son’ (why this choice of name?). She served on Dunoon Town Council from 1945, but resigned in 1948 ‘for family reasons’ – I assume that her husband, George Anderson, was seriously ill, as he died soon after.” Together they set up a Marxist Discussion Group in Dunoon. There she became Dunoon’s first woman councillor – this she kept up for two years until her husband’s ill health prevented her from continuing in post. Dunoon Address from Death certificate of George Anderson is Mahson, Kilbride Avenue, Dunoon.

“She was beautiful, as a woman, even in her latest years, with her beautifully dressed, gleaming silver white hair, her fine complexion and clear eyes, she bought grace and dignity to every occasion on which she was present.” – Margaret Hunter.

Dunoon: Lower reaches of the Clyde.

Even up until she died she kept up press correspondence – final letter appeared in the Daily Worker: “criticising the quality of certain goods on sale at the shops of the Co-Operative Movement and demanding that the Co-Operative Movement should produce high quality goods for its consumers.”

George Anderson : First marriage Janet Morton Hyslop. He died 2 February 1952 at Finnartmore Hospital, Kilmun aged 80. His father was John Anderson (blacksmith) and mother Elizabeth Anderson (nee Meitch). “Cerebal Thrombosis 1 years. Hypostatic Pneumonia 4 days.“ His son was George Anderson Junior, of 11 Armour Avenue, Airdrie.

Even at age 75 she maintained a role within the CPGB – she chaired the Scottish Congress of the CPGB. “Her presence belied her years, as, in a clear ringing voice she made an inspiring call to the women delegates to the Conference.”

Final years spent writing her memoirs. Controversy surrounding the failure to publish them. “She apparently remained a committed Marxist until her death in 1954.”

“She died at her home in Dunoon eight hours after the death of her unmarried sister, Jean, on 18 April 1954. She had no children. No will has been found.” This last statement is in fact untrue – there is a will the details of which are at the Glasgow Caledonian Library – come back to at a later date. HC died at 5.30am 18 April 1954 aged 76 years. “Cause of Death – Coronary Thrombosis. Myocardial Degeneration.” The death certificate is witnessed by Agnes Donohoe her sister residing at 16 Hyndland Road, Glasgow W2. Short illness. She was very attached to her sister.

Letter in newspaper 19/11/51 – what paper?: Talks about Soviet Union: “My knowledge of the great Russian Republic has not been gained from books … Since 1917, the year of the establishment of the First Workers’ Republic, I have visited Russia five times, in 1920 spending some months there, meeting the great leader Lenin … The economic development of the Workers’ Republic goes steadily on.” In this letter she goes on to praise the Soviet war effort and great production targets. Certainly no anti-Soviet rhetoric or anti-communist.

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Pankhurst, C., Unshackled: The Story of How we Won the Vote. Hutchinson, 1959.

Pankhurst, Estelle Sylvia, The Suffragette Movement: An Intimate Account of Persons and Ideals. London: Virago, 1977.

Pankhurst, Estelle Sylvia, The Home Front. London: Hutchinson, 1932.

Pankhurst, Richard Keir Pethick, Sylvia Pankhurst; Artist and Crusader. An Intimate Portrait. New York: Paddington Press, c1979.

Park, S., The British Suffragette Activists of 1913: An Analysis. Past and Present, 120, August 1988.

Parker, Fanny, Nurse Rhodda’s Missionary Work in Africa. Ilfracombe: Arthur H Shackwell, 1951.

Pelling, H., The British Communist Party: A Historical Profile. London: 1958.

Petwick-Lawrence, Emmeline, My Part in a Changing World. [S.I.] Gollancz, 1938.

Petrie, Glen, A Singular Life. Viking Press, 1971.

Phillips, Marion (editor) Women and the Labour Party. London: 1918.

Phillips, Mary, The Militant Suffrage Campaign in Perspective.

Pugh, Martin, The March of Women: A Revisionist Analysis of the Campaign for Women’s Suffrage 1868-1914. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Come back to.

Pugh, Martin, The Pankhursts. London: Penguin, 2001.

Pugh, Martin, Votes for Women in Britain 1867-1928. London: Historical Association, c1994.

Pugh, Martin, Women and the Women’s Movement in Britain 1914-1959. London: 1992.

Purcell, Hugh, Tom Wintringham. 2004.

Purvis, S., ‘The Prison Experience of the Suffragettes in Edwardian Britain’. Women’s History Review, 4, 1995.

Purvis, S., ‘Deeds Not Words: The Daily Lives of Militant Suffragettes in Edwardian Britain’. Women’s Studies International Forum 18, Number 2, 1995.

Raeburn, Antonia, The Militant Suffragettes. London: Michael Joseph, 1973.

Rathbone, E., Milestones: Presidential Addresses. NUSEC, 1929.

Redmon, J., (pamphlet) Communist Party and the Labour Left 1925-1929. Hull: 1958.

Reid, A., ‘Glasgow Socialism;. Social History, xi, 1986.

Rhondda, Viscountess, Notes on the Way. Macmillan, 1932.

Richardson, Mary, Laugh a Defiance. 1953.

Roberts, E., A Woman’s Place: An Oral History of Working Class Women 1890-1914. Oxford: Blackwell, 1984.

Romer, P., Sylvia Pankhurst: Portrait of a Radical. Yale University Press, 1987.

Rosen, Andrew, Rise Up Women! The Militant Campaign of the Women’s Social and Political Union 1903-1914. London: 1914.

Rover, Constance, Women’s Suffrage and Party Politics in Britain 1866-1914. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1967.

Rowbotham, Sheila, Hidden from History. London: Pluto Press, 1973.

Rowbotham, Sheila, A Century of Women: The History of Women in Britain and the United States. London: Viking, 1997.

Rowbotham, Sheila, Women in Movement: Feminism and Social Action. London: Routledge, 1992.

Rowbotham, Sheila, Women’s Liberation and Revolution: A Bibliography Compiled by Sheila R. Falling. Wall Press, 1972.

Samuel, R., ‘The Lost World of British Communism’. New Left Review, 154, 1985.

Sheepshank, Mary, Papers at Women’s Library. London.

Sherry, Dave, John Maclean. London: Socialist Workers Party, 1998.

Shinwell, Emanuel, The Labour Story. London: MacDonald, 1963.

Shinwell, Emanuel, Conflict Without Malice. London: Odhams Press, 1958.

Shinwell, Emanuel, I’ve Lived Through it All. London: Gollancz, 1973.

Simonton, Deborah (editor), The Routledge History of Women in Europe Since 1700. London: Routledge, 2000.

Smiley, Megan K., Woman’s Mission: The Temperance and Women’s Suffrage Movements in Scotland, c. 1870-1914. PhD. Thesis, University of Glasgow, 2002.

Robert Smillie, My Life for Labour. 1924.

Smith, H. L., (editor) British Feminism in the 20th Century. London: 1990.

Smith, H. L., The British Women’s Suffrage Campaign 1866-1928.

Smith, H., ‘Sex and Class: British Feminists and the Labour Movement, 1919-29’. The Historian [US] 47 November 1984.

Smith, H., ‘British Women’s History: The Fawcett Library Archival Collections’. Twentieth Century British History, Number 2, 199?

Smyth, James J., Labour in Glasgow 1896-1936. Comed back to for ILP and Rent Strike.

Smyth, James J., ‘Women Socialism and the Suffrage’. Radical Scotland, June/July 1984.

Smyth, J.J., Women in Struggle: A Study of the Political Activity of Working Class Women in Glasgow During the First World War. MA Dissertation, Glasgow, 1980.

Stephens, W. B., Education in Britain 1750-1918. London: MacMillan, 1998.

Strachey, Ray, Chronological List of Leading Events in the Women’s Movement in Graet Britain. London: I.A.V. 1938 (pamphlet).

Swanwick, Helena, The Future of the Women’s Movement. London: G. Bell and Sons, 1913.

Swanwick, Helena, Women and War. London: 1915.

Swanwick, Helena, I Have Been Young. Gollancz, 1935.

Swanwick, Helena, Builders of Peace: Being Ten Years’ History of the Union of Democratic Control. London: Swarthmore Press, 1924.

Sykes, Christopher, Hugh, Nancy: The Life of Astor. London: Collins, 1977.

Tanner, Jack, The Social General Strike. London: Workers’ Socialist Federation, 1919.

Thompson, W., The Old Cause: British Communism, 1919-91. London: 1992.

Togher, Caroline, Helen Crawfurd’s Life – not exact title. Glasgow University MA Thesis.

Trevelyan, C. P., From Liberalism to Labour. 1921.

Turner, J., British Politics and the Great War: Coalition and Conflict 1915-1918. London: 1992.

Ugolini, Laura, ILP Men and Women’s Suffrage in Britain, 1893-1914. PhD. Thesis, University of Greenwich, 1995.

Vellacott, J., ‘Feminist Consciousness and the First World War’. History Workshop Journal, 23, Spring 1987.

Ward, Helen, A Venture into Goodwill, Being the Story of the Women’s International League 1915-1929. London: WIL, 1929. Pamphlet.

Ward, J. T., The First Century: A History of Scottish Tory Organisation 1882-1992. Edinburgh: Scottish Conservative and Unionist Association, 1982.

Wardle, David, English Popular Education 1780-1975. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976.

Wardle, David, Education and Society in Nineteenth-Century London. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971.

Wedgwood, J. C., Memoirs of a Fighting Life. 1940.

West, E.G., Education and the Industrial Revolution. New York: Harper, 1975.

Wilkinson, Lily Gair, Women’s Freedom. London: Freedom Press, 1914.

Wiltsher, Anne, Most Dangerous Women – Feminist Peace Campaigners of the Great War. London: Pandora, 1985.

Worly, Matthew, The CPGB and its Politics, 1927-33. PhD. Thesis, Nottingham, 1998.

Young, James D., The Rousing of the Scottish Working Class. 1979.

Young, James D., Women and Popular Struggles. 1985.

Young, James, D., Socialism Since 1889. A Biographical Dictionary. London: 1981.

Zetkin, Clara, Reminiscences of Lenin.. Modern Books, 1929.

James Maxton … An Appreciation with a Number of Tributes. London: ILP, 1947.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Penguin History of Scotland

Dictionary of Labour Biography

Labour’s Who’s Who

Norman Watson – Dundee’s Suffragettes

The ILP in Scotland, Rise and Progress. Glasgow, 1918. – Mitchell Library

Roll of Honour: Suffragette Prisoners 1905-14. (Pamphlet).

Report of the ILP Left Wing to the Communist International – Le Mouvement Communiste. Moscow: Communist International, 1920.

Holloway Jingles published by the Glasgow Branch of the WSPU in 1913

Mother’s illness and inability to leave the house meant that she read a great deal and passed on her readings to the children – so HC recalls books and stories “especially stories that told of the struggles of the poor.”

E.G. Uncle Tom’s Cabin “this tragic story of Negro suffering, which made a deep impression on our youthful minds.”

But, also at liberty to pursue her own reading – London Story Paper and R.L. Stevenson – Kidnapped, and Treasure Island.

Israel Zangwell
H. G. Wells
Arnold Bennett
Upton Sinclair
Charles Dickens
Lord Beaconsfield – Sibbald
Mary Beaton
Thomas Hardy – Jude, Tess, and Under
Walt Whitman
Robert Burns
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Elizabeth B. Browning

Sir Walter Scott – historical novels
Victor Hugo – Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Also, Carlyle influence on political development (Carlyle’s own books: Srator Resarhis, Heroes and Hero Worship, Past and Present and the French Revolution) – Froude’s Life of Carlyle and Jane Welsh’s Carlyle’s Life and Letters. “Carlyle … and the Christian Socialists agreed that the greatest evil of capitalism, however, was not he economic hardship it had inflicted upon the worker, but its destructive effect on the family, his life, and his sense of worth.” – Nancy Boyd.
And her first socialist readings by Reverend Stitt Wilson, Kautsky and Daniel de Leon.

Other Sources

Newspapers and Circulars – Colindale Newspaper Library one possible source

Aberdeen Daily Journal
Aberdeen Free Press
Bulletin of International Working Union of Socialist Parties – ILP
Communist review – especially 4 (1932) and 5 (1933).
Daily Worker
Dundee Advertiser
Dundee Courier
Edinburgh Evening Dispatch
Edinburgh Evening News – eg 9 October 1909.
Forward 1906-14 – Socialist Weekly newspaper published in Glasgow – Glasgow Caledonian – Library – E.g. 30 October 1915 – Our Suffrage Column for an insight into HC thinking.
Glasgow Commonweal
Glasgow Evening Times – E.g. 15 November 1915
Glasgow Evening Standard – Good for ILP Life
Glasgow Herald – E.g. 11 March 1912
Glasgow Observer
Labour Leader – ILP weekly Newspaper – British Library of Political & Economic Science
Scottish C-operator
Scottish Leader
Scottish Worker
Socialist Review – ILP – British Library of Political & Economic Science
The Common Cause (NUWSS)
The Communist
The International – Left Wing ILP and 2nd International vs. 3rd International – TUC Library “During the period 1920-22 when the Left-Wing Committee was active and published a fortnightly paper called The International in Glasgow, which cost ½ d.”
The Scotsman
The Strike Bulletin
The Standard
The Suffragette 1912-14
The Vote 1909-15 (WFL)
The Worker
Votes for Women 1907-14
Woman’s Dreadnought – Amongst other references – 29 July 1916
Worker’s Dreadnought

Libraries etc.

National Register of Archives
Ballie Library – Glasgow
National Library of Scotland – Suffrage Material – Maclean Papers- April 1916 trial – Maclean Papers File 2 MS ACC. 4251 – Janie Allen Papers ACC. 4498
Gallagher Memorial Library – Glasgow Caledonian Special Collections
Co-Op College – Co-operative Women’s Guild
Public Records Office – PRO Source Sheet 16 – HO 45 and HO 144 – Metropolitan Police Records in MEPO2 and MEP 03 – Index to women suffrage arrested between 1906-14 HO 45/24665. 1914-94 Revolutionary Activity – CAB24; HO 45; HO 144; MEP 03. Communist Party – PREM 3 and PREM 4.
Warwick University Archive Centre and Library
TUC Library Collections – London Metropolitan Universities
Labour History Archive & Study Centre: Women’s Labour League; Women’s Dreadnought; Archive of the CPGB – CP/IND/DUTT/05/08 (letter R.P. Dutt) – CP/IND/GALL/03/07.WSPU; Ellen Wilkinson; CPGB; Helen Crawfurd; CPGB Women’s Department; CPGB Woman Today 1950-59 and Home Front 1942-44.
Warwick University Archive
London Museum – Suffragette Fellowship Collection
Dundee Archive and Record Centre
Rent Strike – Newspaper – The Clydebank Press – Clydebank District Library
Scottish Records Office – huge collection of suffragette material – Metcalfe, Women’s Effort – Scottish Office Prison Commission Files – Wills.
Women’s Library (Millicent Fawcett Library) – Largest collection of Suffragette records – Reading List Number 2 Women’s Suffrage in Britain – 9/20 Autograph Letter Collection – Militant Suffragettes (1890-1956) – Scrapbook given by Miss Frances Cobbe to Annie Leigh Browne with later additions from the collection of Eunice Murray – Diary of Eunice G. Murray, Volume II (1908-1914) and Volume III (1915 – 1918) transcribed by Frances Sylvia Martin.
National Archives for Scotland – General Register House and West Register House in Edinburgh – open Monday to Friday 9-4.45 email: enquiries@nas.gov.uk
Strathclyde Regional Archive – Glasgow Town Council Minutes etc.
MML – search for other Helen Crawfurd holdings.
House of Lords Record Office
League Against Imperialism, Hull University, Brynmor Jones Library, DBN/25. “Helen Crawfurd becomes 4th member of executive committee.”
Socialist History Journal
Communist History Network Newsletter
20th Century British History Volume 11, Number 4, Matthew Worley “Left Turn”
Signs – Journal of Women in Culture and Society
Women’s History Review e.g. “Fragmented Feminists? The Influence of Class …” Ann-Marie Hughes Volume 14 Number 1 March 2005
Scottish Left Review
Scottish Marxist Voice “In their own words, lives and letters of Scottish Comrades” September 1994, 11-13.
Journal of Scottish Studies.
Bulletin for the Society for the Study of Labour History.
Josephine Butler pamphlets at the Fawcett Library and elsewhere
OBIT. Word, 8 May 1954.
Labour Monthly 36 1954.
Brian Harrison Tape Collection – Fawcett Library.
Glasgow and West of Scotland Association for Women’s Suffrage Minute Books 1902-18, Letter Books 1913-18. Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts, Mitchell Library, Glasgow.
Peoples’ Palace – Letters of Helen Crawfurd – and other letters of Suffragettes plus other Suffragette material that was placed in 1949.
Women, Suffrage and Politics: The papers of Sylvia Pankhurst, 1882-1960. Adam Matthew, Microform.
Women’s Social and Political Emancipation: The Suffragette Fellowship Collection in the Museum of London, Harvester Microform.
ILP records and Minutes – Glasgow ILP Federation Collection at the Mitchell Library. See also Archives of the ILP, including the Francis Johnston Correspondence, LSE, published in Microform edition by Harvester Press. ILP stuff is at the British Library of Political and Economic Science. Other ILP stuff – NLS, British Library, MML and Hull University Library.
STUC Collection – including Annual Reports – National Library for Scotland
Scottish Co-Operative Women’s Guild
Co-Operative Movement in Scotland – Strathclyde Regional Archives. Also NLS.
Glasgow Women’s’ Housing Association
TUC History site
TUC Library – for example, Press Clippings on the CP and Labour Party.
Labour History Net
Virtual Library Labour History
Women’s Studies International Forum
Street Names Glasgow
Helen Crawfurd Obituaries
Scotlandspeople.gov.uk 9ukm65fd paulphilippou
Parish Map of Glasgow
Parish Records and Statistical Account
Trace family tree – certificate sent off for; once parents details known do search on them
Censuses in Glasgow
Brownfield Church – map; visit; picture; church records etc.
Anti-Fenianism 19th Century.
William Gallacher Funeral Oration.
Burgh of Glasgow Electoral Registers
National Museum of Labour History – CP Minutes
Spare Rib – Number 32.
Frances and Margaret McPhun – letters from them to their parents written whilst in Holloway prison in 1912.
Peace and ________ Office, 79 West Regent Street – 1938.

Name Search

Scottish Suffragettes

Janie Allan -wspu – Glasgow organiser HC knew her well
Mary S. Allen – wspu
Lilias Anderson (Scott)
Helen Archdale (Russell) – wspu
Jane Arthur (Glen)
Margaret Simpson Barnett (Maiden) – Parish Councillor HC says wspu Glasgow and she knew her
Janet Barrowman – wspu Glasgow – HC knew her
Lady Betty Balfour – wspu
Catherine Baxendine – wspu
Teresa Billington-Greig – wspu
Catherine Blair (Shields) – wspu
Nannie Brown
Janet Bunten
Lucy Brown – wspu
Grace Cadell – wspu
Isabella Carrie – wspu
Lila Clunes
G. M. Conolen – wspu
Anna Rhoda Craig (Greig or Walker) – wspu
Alice Crompton
Flora Drummond – wspu
Margaret Milne Farquharson
Annie Fraser
Helen Fraser – wspu
Emily Fussell – wspu
Elizabeth Finlayson Gauld (or Gould) – wspu
Ellison Gibb -wspu – was in Holloway during HC’s first prison experience
Dr. Marion Gilchrist – wspu
Bess Gladstone
Frances Gordon
Lisa Gordon
May Pollock Grant (Marion Pollock) – wspu
Emily Green (Hickson) -wspu
Mrs Greig
Miss Grieve – wspu
Mary Halley
Mary J. H. Henderson – ILP
J. C. Howden – wspu
Edith Hudson (Mary Brown)
Nellie Hunter (Galbraith)
Agnes Husband
Dr. Elsie Inglis
Margaret Irwin
Alexia B. Jack
Christina Jamieson
N. A. John – wspu – HC knew a Mrs John from Glasgow
Mabel Jones – wspu
Jean Lambie – wspu
Katherine May Loudon
Alice Mary Low
Louisa Innes Lumsden
Jane Lynas – HC talks of a Miss Lyness
Florence E. M. McCauley – wspu
Jenny McCallum
Agnes MacDonald – wspu
Florence McFarland – wspu
A. J. Macgregor
Dr. Agnes Maclaren
Jessie Chrystal Macmillan
Katherine Macpherson
Frances Mary McPhun – wspu Glasgow – HC knew her
Margaret Pollack McPhun – wspu Glasgow – HC knew her
Sarah Elizabeth Siddons Mair
J. C. Methven – wspu
Lilias Mitchell – wspu – Unpublished Memoirs – in possession of family.
Ethel Moorhead – wspu
Anna Munro – wspu
Eunice G. Murray – Diary – in possession of her nephew.
Helen Ogston
Fanny Parker – wspu
Grace Paterson – wspu
Alice Paul – wspu
Mary C. Phillips
W. Renny – wspu
Annot E. Robinson or Wilkie – wspu
Amy Sanderson or Reid – wspu
Arabella Charlotte Scott – wspu
Bessie Stewart Semple – wspu
Maud Arncliffe-Sennett – Collection (26 volumes) in British Library
Marguerite Anne Sidley – wspu
Dr. (Elizabeth) Dorothea Chalmers Smith or Lynas – HC knew her
M. A. Fraser Smith – wspu
Agnes Colquhoun Thomson – wspu
Olive Walton – wspu
S. C. Wilson – wspu- HC knew a Mrs Wilson from Glasgow
Barabara Wylie – wspu
Emma Wylie – wspu

Other Suffragettes and Left-Wing

Jane Addams
Margaret Ashton
Nancy Astor
Emily Balch
Tom Bell
Aneurin Bevan
Margaret Bondfield
John S. Clarke
A E Cook
Kathleen Courtney
Charlotte Despard
Agnes Dollan
Patrick Dollan
R. P. Dutt
Crystal Eastman
Aitken Ferguson
Mrs Ferguson
Isabella Ford
William Gallacher
Ella Hargreaves
Jimmy Houston
Dr. Aletta Jacobs
Tom Johnston
Bert Joy
David Kirkwood
Mary Laird
George Lansbury
Jennie Lee
Hugh MacDiarmid
John Maclean
Arthur MacManus
Harry MacShane
Lady Isabel Hampden Margesson
Catherine Marshall
Muriel Matters
James Maxton
W. McLaine
Robert McLennan
John McClure – Plebs League
Naomi Mitchison
Kitty Morris
J. T. Murphy
Walter Newbold
Margery Newbold
Adela Pankhurst
Christabel Pankhurst
Emmeline Pankhurst
Sylvia Pankhurst
William Paul
Emmeline Petwick-Lawrence
Tom Quelch
Emily Leaf
Chrystal Macmillan
Tom Mann
Catherine Marshall
Agnes Pettigrew – Shop Assistants Union (Glasgow)
Pollard-Johnson – Papers held by the Bodleian Library, Oxford. 12 boxes. Department of Western Manuscripts. “The Monthly Records of the London and Home Counties District Council of the CPGB, Number 10, March 1922 (Box 6); ‘The Women’s Movement by Minnie Birch’. “Letter from Ernie Cant as district organiser to party locals.” 21 August 1923.
Workers’ International Pictorial Official Organ of the WIR – Originally published: London: HC on behalf of the British Joint Labour Aid Committee of the Workers’ International Relief – Brighton: Harvester Press – Warwick University Central Campus Floor 1 Microfilm 2071 1(9), January – May 1925.
Dave Ramsay
Eleanor Rathbone
Viscountess Rhondda
Esther Roper
Maud Royston or Royden
Mary Sheepshanks
Ethel Snowden
Bob Smillie – Scottish Mine Workers
Jessie Stephens – Glasgow Trade Unionist and Socialist Feminist
D. M. Steventon
Bob Stewart
Emanuel Shinwell
Helena Swanwick
Jack Tanner
Joe Vaughan
Harry Webb
John Wheatley
Ellen Wilkinson
Lily Gair Wilkinson – socialist feminist
Tom Wintringham
Rose Yates
Clara Zetkin

Resources at Glasgow Caledonian – Special Collections:

1. Letter to Audrey Canning from Murdo MacDonald, Archivist at Argyll and Bute Council 9 May 1990.
2. Funeral Tribute by Margaret Hunter.

Need description of Glasgow in 1877 and 1894
Background information on WW1 and death tolls etc.
Home Office – Defence of the Realm Act – in records of that period – surveillance etc. “I write these few lines to warn you of a woman called Mrs Crawford … this woman is causing a terrible discontentment among the munition workers and I am just suspicious of her Being a British subject. Shall I keep in touch with this Woman for the sake of our empire. Write and let me know what to do in this case.” – William Kelly – HO 45/10743 263275/293. Article in Newspaper October 2006 – “What’s the Story with … the Suffragette Assassins? Did a Group of Radical Women Activists Conspire to Murder the Prime Minister?” Home Office Files from 1909 – article filed.

abc-clio history online – serials.abc-clio.com
Academic Info. History Gateway – www.academicinfo.net/hist.html
American Historical Association – www.theaha.org and www.historians.org
Archives Hub – www.archiveshub.ac.uk
Archives in London and M25 area – www.aim25.ac.uk
Archon – www.archon.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archon
Arts & Humanities Data Service (AHDS) – www.ahds.ac.uk/history
BBC History www.bbc.co.uk/history
Bodleian Library – www.bodley.ox.ac.uk and www.library.ox.ac.uk
BOPCRIS – www.bopcris.ac.uk
British Library – www.blpc.bl.uk
British Library Online Newspaper Archive – www.uk.olivesoftware.com
British Official Publications Collaborative Reader Information – www.bopcris.ac.uk
British Library – www.bl.uk
Cambridge Journals On-line – journals.cambridge.org
Centre for Contemporary British History – www.histroy.ac.uk/icbh
Centre for History and New Media – www.chnm.gmu.edu
CSA illumina – uk1.csa.com
Genesis – Women’s History Sources – www.genesis.ac.uk
Glasgow Caledonian University – www.gcal.ac.uk
Glasgow Libraries – www.glasgow.gov.uk/en/residents/libraries
Historical Association – www.history.org.uk
History Guide – www.historyguide.de
History in Focus – www.history.ac.uk/ihr/focus
Humbul Humanities Hub – www.humbul.ac.uk
Imperial War Museum – www.iwm.org.uk
International Association of Labour History Institutions – www.ialhi.org
International Institute of Social History – www.iisg.nl
Intite – www.intute.ac.uk
IPSA – arc.uk.ovid.com
ISI Web of Knowledge – portal.isiknowledge.com/portal.cgi
Labour History & Archive Study Centre
Metapress – www.metapress.com
Modern Records Office – ww2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc
NARA Educators and Students – www.archives.gov/education
National Archives of Scotland – www.nas.gov.uk
National Library of Scotland – www.
National Library of Scotland – www.nls.uk
NDAD – www.ndad.nationalarchives.gov.uk
Oaister – www.oaister.org
People’s History Museum – www.
Periodicals Archive On-line pas.chadwyck.co.uk
Project Muse – muse,jhu.edu
Reviews in History – www.history.ac.uk/reviews
Royal Historical Society Bibliography – www.rhs.ac.uk/bibwel.asp
Scottish Archive Network – www.scan.org.uk
Suncat – www.suncat.ac.uk
Synergy – www.blackwell-synergy.com
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Women’s History Network – www.womenshistorynetwork.org
Working Class Museum Library – www.wcml.org.uk