On this day in history : 13th July 1911 – Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison hides in a broom cupboard in the House of Commons so she can record it as her address on the night of the 1911 Census….

Emily Wilding Davison – Public domain

Emily had hidden herself in a cupboard in St. Mary Undercroft, the chapel of the Palace of Westminster…. She remained there throughout the night to avoid being registered in the Census at any other address…. She was discovered by a cleaner the following morning, who reported her – she was arrested but not charged…. Ironically she ended up being recorded on the 1911 Census twice! Once by the Clerk of Works at the House of Commons and again by her landlady at her lodgings….

Having given up her teaching job to work for the cause Emily was an extremely active suffragette…. She was arrested many times, for acts ranging from causing a public disturbance to setting light to post boxes…. She spent several short terms in prison – and was one of the many suffragettes who went on hunger strike…. She even once barricaded herself in her cell – and the guards flooded it with water, nearly filling the room…. Eventually the door had to be broken down…. In 1912, whilst serving a sentence in Holloway, she jumped from a prison balcony in protest of the abuse and force feeding of suffragettes….

Emily Wilding Davison circa 1912/13 – Public domain

Finally on the 4th of June 1913, Emily committed her final act of suffrage at the Epsom Derby…. She ran out onto the racecourse in an attempt to pin a suffrage flag onto the racehorse belonging to King George V – who was watching the race with Queen Mary…. Emily fell beneath the hooves of the horse….she died in hospital on the 8th of June….

Emily Wilding Davison towards the end of her life – Public domain

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