Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Montreals Condemn Force-feeding of British Suffragettes


St. Lambert 1910 McCord: Anglo enclave with a lot of suffragists and militant suffragette sympathizers.


Waiting for Spring to arrive, I went over my notes of the Montreal Suffrage Association (1913-1919) and discovered that I was wrong: in late 1913 and early 1914 the MSA voted to join both national suffrage associations, the old one led by Flora Macdonald Denison and the new one led by Constance Hamilton.

They also passed a resolution condemning the force-feeding of British Suffragettes and sent it off to Prime Minister Asquith.

"A revival of medieval torture."

They also DENIED the possibility of hearing Mr. Pethwick Lawrence  speak. He was a conscientious objector during the war, I read, but I wonder what this speech was about, suffrage or pacifism.

 The first time he was in Montreal in 1913, he was too weak to speak. He was heading out West to recuperate with a relation.

"many motions made and withdrawn"

Apparently, many motions were made, but denied.

I also double-checked something else. A Mrs. Goodchild of St. Lambert was on the executive by 1914 - a literature director.

This is no doubt the same Mrs. Goodchild who was a good friend of the Kenneys in St Lambert, so Caroline Kenney, sister of British militant Annie Kenney, who had started the Equal Suffrage League of Montreal in December 1913 had a mole on the conservative MSA.

(I know this because the Frank Randall Clarke fonds (he was a photographer married to Sarah (Nell) Kenney) are in the McCord Museum and there is a picture of a Mrs. Goodchild 'family friend' in the collection. The Clarke's lived in St. Lambert, too.

St. Lambert, at the time, was a Protestant Anglo enclave of sorts.

When war started the MSA jumped on board with this rationale from October, 1914.

So it goes.
"This deplorable  war is all about might-right, something suffragists everywhere are combatting"