The Times/1912/News/Suffrage Conspiracy Charges

Mr. FREDERICK PETHICK LAWRENCE, 40, barrister-at-law, Mrs. EMMELINE PETHICK LAWRENCE, Mrs. EMMELINE PANKHURST, and Mrs. MABEL TUKE were charged on remand before Mr. Curtis Bennett at Bow-street Police Court yesterday with having between November, 1911, and March 5 unlawfully conspired and agreed together to commit damage and injury to property to an amount exceeding £5 and with having aided and abetted, counselled and procured the commission of offences against the provisions, of Section 5 of the Malicious Injuries to Property Act, 1861.

The Times (1912) Suffrage Conspiracy Charges.jpg



Mr. Bodkin and Mr. W. H. Leycester conducted the case on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions; Mr. R. D. Muir appeared for Mrs. Tuke. The other defendants were not legally represented.

A police-constable said that on March 1 he was in Downing-street and saw a private motor-car drive up to No. 10. Mrs. Pankhurst, Mrs. Tuke, and a Mrs. Marshall alighted and each of them threw stones at the house. Four panes of glass were broken, and the witness then arrested Mrs. Pankhurst, the other two women being taken into custody by other police officers. At Cannon-row Police Station Mrs. Pankhurst handed the witness three large flint stones.

Evidence was given of the arrest at the same time of Mrs. Tuke. A number of police officers then repeated the evidence which they had already given as to following women from a restaurant in Covent Garden and seeing them break windows at Government buildings and other places.

Alfred Henry Coles, assistant to Messrs. Littlewood Brothers, York-street, Covent Garden, said that on March 4 he sold three hammers to three women.

Mr. Richard Melhuish, a tool merchant, of Fetterlane, said that on February 22 or 23 a well-dressed " lady of great dignity " called at his shop and bought 24 hammers, for which she paid 20s. or 22s. From her appearance he judged that she was a lady of means, and he thought that she was interested in a boys' school.

Mr. Godfrey Hastings, manager of the Gardenia Restaurant, Covent Garden, gave evidence of the letting of a room at that restaurant on February 29 and March 1 and 4 to the Women's Social and Political Union. After the women who assembled there on March 4 had left he received from the stillroom maid two stones which had been found in the grate. One of them bore the words " Votes for Women " written in pencil.

Inspector Crocker said that he took charges against 180 Suifragists in November last and the present month. Of that number 50 gave as their address the offices of the Women's Social and Political Union, Clement's-inn. M1r. Pethick La;wrence gave bail for 175 of the women and made a promise that they would be of. good behaviour pending their trial. When M1r. Pethick Ifawrence attended at the station to bail out the women he bad with him a list of names which looked like a printer's proof. - He did not becomae bail for anyone arrested on March 1.

Shortly before 2 o'clock Mrs. Pankhurst asked the magistratd if he would adjourn for luncheon.. She said that they had their breakfast at 6.30 a.m., and there was not much bf it. She knew that Mrs. Tuke was very ill, and it was physical torture for them to have to sit on the hard seat all day. They.were also in want of food.

The magistrate said that he had arranged for the luncheon adjournment to be a little later than usual because he would not be able to sit again until 3 o'clock owing to the Children's Court that day, but in view of Mrs. Panklhurst's application he would adjourn at once for luncheon.


After the adjournment M1r. Muir applied for-bail on behalf of 3Mrs. Tuke. He said that the sentene6 of 21 days' imprisonment which sho was now under- going would expire to-day.. Her health was such that she had been in the infirmary nearly aU the time and she had attended the CouTt in the eompany of a nurse.

The magistrate offered to accept bail for Mrs. Tuke in her own recognizauces in ?1,000 and two sureties in ?500 each. Dr. Gowan B. Olarke, of Caterham, and 3Mrs. Thomas, wife of Mr. O). A. Thonias, at once offered themselves as sureties and wereiaeoepted.

Mr. Pethick Ijawrence. again applied for bail for hinself and his wife, but the application was refused. The 1V&GISrATE said that he hadalleoned hIrs. 'ake bail because she was' in ill-health. His refusal to allow bail in the other cases had been upheld by a Judge in tho High Court.


Mr. George Eaton Bart, manager of the St. Clemeuats Press, Portugal-street; said that his- irm ,bad printed-.Votea.-for- Wo-nen The eontruef-tfor printing was entered into by .Mmr. Pethiec Lkwrence on Ily 11, 1908, ,and the accounts Were paid montbly by his cheque. The last numb,er of thc paper printed by hus 3rm wae the issue for the week ended Maricb 9. A few- days before then they had ieceihed the MS. or a leaflet, but aftr -readinx it witncss refused to allow it to be printed, and he wrote,to Mr. Pethick Lawrence, the joint editor,, as follovs :-" I have just seen a proof of the hand-bill which has been set up for the W.S.P.T1. It seems to me that this is an incitement to- extreme measures: whlich we cannot agree to either print or publish." The letter further stated that the St. Clements Press. could not print any matter which mught be considered of a seditious or libe]lous character in Vaote for Woren .

The witness went'on To s6ay that;on iarob 6 his firm received an order to reprint in reaflet form an article by- iss Christabel Pankhurst.entitled " Brok!en NVindows," which had appeared in Votes for Woomen, but he refused tho order. Be also refused to print certain parts of articles intended for publication in Votes for Womnen of March 8, and that number conmseuently appeared with several blank spaces in it. The St. Clements Press printed 59,000 1caflets, signed " E. Pankhurst," inviting the pubhe to go to Parliament-square on March 4 and take part in " a great protest meeting against the Government's refusal to include women in the Reform Bill." Cross- examined, the witness said that there was nothing to showtbat the articles to- which the printers toot exception had been passed by 31rw Pethick Lawrence.

Mr. Bodkin then put in copies of Vles jor WTomen containing reports of speeches made at W.S.P.U. meetiniys held at the Albert Ball on November i6, the Stemnway-Bal on November 9. the -Savoy Theatre on November 23, the London Pavilion on Novem- ber 27, and at a meeting of the Actresses' Franchise League at tho Criterion Restaurant on December 1.

The MAGLSThATE then granted a remand until this afternoon, and said that ha proposed to sit again on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday next

In reply to Mr. Pethick 1awrence, Mr. Bodkin said that he had a large number of -witnesses to can as to acts of damageo ,an.dtherewould also be a long list of papers to go through:which. were seized at tho offices of tho W.S.R.U., but -be hoped to be able- to complete the case next week.

Mrs.- Pakikurst asked to be allowed the facilities extended to prisoners under remand foir preparing her defence.

The 3LkGIS'STRAE said that Mrs. Panl-hurst wwas not only a prisoner on remand, but she was undergoin a sentence of imprisonment. Se understood that her solicitor bad-permission to see her at ahy time' MIrs. Panklhurst said that she was willing to serve that sentence later.

The M,AGISThAT.-I am afraid there is no Act of Parliament by which that can ,be aUowed.

Mrs. Panlkhurst (oxcitedl).-Then I am not having a fair trial. el)-hnI a nt

Several women at the back of the Court shouted "B ear, hear," and the MAGI5TRATFE ordered the offlcials not to ad,mit to the Court again ono of tho initehrrupters, haiom he referred to as " a woman rHE:


Votes for Wornen~ to-day announaces that the " contributions to the ?250,000 Fund-" amzount, with Buorn &lready- aeknowledge4^ to .117,O19 5s. Und,er the? head,i,ng ,"The Vote of upply " t,he journal says, in ref,erence to the raising of funds by t,ho WoInen's -Social and Political IJnon:-

Wec have received some inquiries as; to' whether the Government is going to attach these funds.' In reply, we should like to quotJe Shelley's wiords, " I always go on untUl I am~ stopped-and I never am stopped." The WV.S.P.UJ. alwavys goes on until it is stopped...a,d it never IS stiopped.- Aware of the Governuseut's atbility and readiness to rush any- Bill thbrough Par]ia- ment, except t?he ono Bill which wfill abop the present unrest amiong women, weo are not sutprised- at this exscesa of caution in ^ fewv of onr readers.: But it is. difficult to belie,ve that even a, Liberal Governmient can so far depart fro. -its principles as to allow the condiscation of a fund built up. of the sielf-sacrifice. o2 women, of the pennies of thc poor and the gold of the wvealthy-a free gift in a commercial age to the cause .ef freedom. Further, we- con assure our would-bo' subseribera- that shodld the ,impossible be attempted by the Governmnent, theyt will have the Womnen's Social and Political UJnion bo reck;on vwithl-,a body of nlcrt businessw omen, armed with the experience the wit, and the resource aeqnJied' by flve yer of 'sucei; .ul conf.lct'and eentunmies of represdion. We ask for tirust and confidence. ass well as generosiy,froiithe w-omen who sub,scribe-tothe?fundst,o-day.

I;d I'tyicigh, spea;fing yetra at a " non-. militant " suffrage Chelinsford, aid that :hey hwad heard of agood deal of terrible miscondulct. lately and of saiffrag,iats' breiaking the law and behaving extremely foolishly but she could not think of a wich :ha. not bad. its rIidcuAons enthusists, its fools, and even -its crimndnls. -They m-ust look to thie miUe of the cause and pm by the Cools and ev~en the wicked.