Click here to skip to main content.
Discrete CollectionsThe Women's Library
TitleLawson, Miss Marie
Ref No8SUF/B/023
Box Fetch NoBox 1: Disc 6
Date14 Nov 1974
Extent75:29 mins
Admin Biographical HistorySee biography for Marie Lawson
DescriptionInterview took place at 44 Mount Street, London W1Y 5RD. Also see interview 8SUF/B/024 and related interview [8SUF/B/44].

Interview summary:

The first time she met Teresa Billington-Greig. The meeting of the Women's Social & Political Union (WSPU) at Old Essex Hall on the Strand where Emmeline Pankhurst abandoned the democratic WSPU constitution. Billington-Greig's role in establishing the Women's Freedom League. Democratic atmosphere within the early Women's Freedom League. The Pankhursts' opinion of Billington-Greig. Billington-Greig's capabilities as a speaker, her personality, her involvement in suffrage after her marriage. Reactions to the meeting. Significance of the Old Essex Hall meeting in the history of the movement. The expulsion of the Pethick-Lawrences. Her background and early life. Father's profession. Her interest in pursuing a career in law, the impossibility of this. Her career as managing director of a machinery manufacturing firm. Restrictions on the type of work women could do. Time spent in the United States of America (USA) with company.

Her Mother, the household. Her Mother's political interests. Liberal family. Religious background. How her upbringing gave her an adult outlook from a young age. Her own inadequate education. Moved to London aged 16 with family. Furthered education with various courses. HG Wells one of her mathematics tutors. Got a job with Sheridan Manufacturing Company. Her 50 year career with them. Earned enough to pay income tax and become a tax resistor. The Women's Freedom League grille protest at the House of Commons. Muriel Matters, her charm and role in the movement.

How she got her first job. Why she went into office work. Successful career progression within her company. Difference between her education and her brother's education. Realisation that she would have to earn her own living. Unusual independence in London as a young woman. Positive relationship with her family, especially her mother. Her mother's fear of militancy. Conflict between her principles and loyalty to family. Women doctors in the suffrage movement. Where she lived in London. Arthur Waley.

Her first connection with the suffrage movement. With the WSPU until it was dissolved, then joined the Freedom League. Elected to their executive committee. Ran The Vote, and set up the Minerva Publishing Company Ltd. With the Women's Freedom League until 1961. Whether Pankhurst autocratic methods were good for the cause. Used the skills from her business work to run the Minerva Publishing Company. Relations between the League and the WSPU. Mary Kennedy and their working relationship. Brief reference to Marion Holmes. Contributors to The Vote: Israel Zangwill, Beatrice Harraden. Eccentrics in the suffrage movement. The location and nature of The Vote offices. Her working relationship with editors of The Vote and following the wishes of the executive committee.

Moved to America for work, lived there off and on for 40 years. Her role in getting The Vote started. Edith How-Martyn and Teresa Billington-Greig. Trips out of London to visit Charlotte Despard. Admiration for Cicely Hamilton. Her work as a playwright. Lena Ashwell. Her role in WSPU, their activities. Reluctance of police to arrest. Reasons for joining the Women's Freedom League. How the League was run. Opinion on expulsion of the Pethick-Lawrences. Working relationship with Teresa Billington-Greig and opinion of her.
Related Record8SUF/B/024
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsInterview recordings are available online and can be accessed at the link provided in this record.
Former Reference NumberTape 07
    Powered by CalmView© 2008-2024