Photograph of the arrest of Dora Thewlis


This photograph of Dora Thewlis documents her arrest, when she and other members of the WSPU (Women's Social and Political Union) attempted to break into the Houses of Parliament, in March 1907. She was only 16 at the time.

Newspapers became fascinated by Dora's story and her arrest. She appeared on the front page of the Daily Mirror and her story was followed, from day-to-day, by many other newspapers and magazines. The mill worker from Huddersfield, as her parents stated, held a great understanding of the suffrage question and had been bought up with socialist and progressive beliefs.[1] Yet, in both court and the press, Dora was patronised – represented as an unknowing child ‘enticed’ from her home, and dubbed as the ‘baby suffragette’.[2]

[1] The Daily Chronicle, ‘Girl Suffragists’, (25th March 1907), as found in Maud Arncliffe Sennett's scrapbook, volume 1, p.50

[2] The Times, ‘Infant Agitators’, (March 22nd 1907), as found in Maud Arncliffe Sennett's scrapbook, volume 1, p.51

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1907 arrest of Dora Thewlis
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