Created by suffrage campaigner Maud Arncliffe Sennett, this scrapbook is part of a wider series that provides a unique and personal record of the suffragette movement. Containing press-cuttings, letters, pamphlets, leaflets and other ephemera, interspersed with Arncliffe Sennett’s handwritten notes and comments, the scrapbooks span a period of 30 years between 1906 and 1936. This excerpt is from Volume 13 of the series of 37 scrapbooks.
Who was Maud Arncliffe Sennett?
Maud Arncliffe Sennett (1862–1936) was the daughter of an Italian confectioner who, together with her husband Henry, ran her family’s ornamental confectionary and cracker manufacturing business. She became interested in women’s suffrage in 1906 when she read a letter by Millicent Fawcett in The Times.
Votes for Women
Established in 1907, Votes for Women was the official newspaper of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), which campaigned for women’s suffrage in Britain. The issue for 27 January 1911 depicted the barons presenting Magna Carta to King John, with an accompanying essay outlining ‘How Militant Methods Won the Great Charter’. By claiming Magna Carta to be the product of aggression, both the artist Alfred Pearse (1855-1933; under the pseudonym ‘A Patriot’) and essayist Joseph Clayton legitimised the suffragettes’ increasing use of direct action. The front page image of King John was pasted into this scrapbook owned by the suffragette, Maud Arncliffe Sennett (1862-1936). 11 months later, Sennett herself was prosecuted for breaking the windows of the offices of the Daily Mail, because the newspaper had failed to report the holding of a WSPU rally.