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This oil portrait depicts Henry David Erskine who was the Serjeant at Arms from 1885 to 1915. During his time as Serjeant, Erskine was involved in a number of high profile arrests, including that of the atheist MP Charles Bradlaugh. On 28 October 1908, Erskine co-ordinated the removal of a number of members of the Women’s Freedom League from the Ladies Gallery in the House of Commons. This was one of a number of protests related to women’s suffrage that took place in the Palace of Westminster during Erskine’s time as Serjeant, and involved the removal of both the protesters and the grilles they had chained themselves to, which were later removed with a smith’s file in a committee room.
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