Plaque to Emily Wilding Davison

Plaque to Emily Wilding Davison
  • Title: Plaque to Emily Wilding Davison
  • Date: c1991
  • Description:

    This plaque to Emily Wilding Davison was put up in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft by Tony Benn MP.

    Tony Benn said in the House of Commons in 2001: 'I have put up several plaques—quite illegally, without permission; I screwed them up myself. One was in the broom cupboard to commemorate Emily Wilding Davison, and another celebrated the people who fought for democracy and those who run the House. If one walks around this place, one sees statues of people, not one of whom believed in democracy, votes for women or anything else. We have to be sure that we are a workshop and not a museum.'

  • Transcript:

    In loving memory of Emily Wilding Davison
    In this broom cupboard Emily Wilding Davison hid herself, illegally, during the night of the 1911 census.
    She was a brave suffragette campaigning for votes for women at a time when Parliament denied them that right.
    In this way she was able to record her address on the night of the census as being 'The House of Commons' thus making her claim to the same political rights as men.
    Emily Wilding Davison died in June 1913 from injuries sustained when she threw herself under the King's horse at the Derby to draw attention to the public injustice suffered by women.
    By such means was democracy won for the people of Britain.
    Notice placed here by Tony Benn MP
    'I must tell you, Mr. Speaker,  that I am going to put a plaque in the House, I shall have it made myself and screwed on the door of the brown cupboard in the Crypt.'

Also within Living Heritage

Explore more items about women and the vote from the Parliamentary collections, and find out how a group of schoolchildren  investigated women's right to vote in Birmingham.