Historic Suffragette collection to be sold in Stroud07 January 2022 A small but fascinating group of items once belonging to a Suffragette is being offered at auction this month.
Among the items at Stroud Auction Rooms (soon to be Harper Field) is a hunger strike medal and a tea tray.
A Suffragette was a member of an activist women's organisation in the early 20th century who, under the banner 'Votes for Women', fought for the right to vote in public elections. A number of activists were imprisoned at various points during their struggle and went on hunger strike.
The term refers in particular to members of the British Women’s Social & Political Union (WSPU) founded in 1903 by Emmeline Pankhurst.
Among the protestors was Frances Outerbridge, a nurse born in Cardiff in 1847. Although she does not appear in any Suffragette records it seems she used her mother’s maiden name Williams when arrested.
A Frances Williams is mentioned in press cuttings following a window smashing on March 1, 1912, and in subsequent court records at the London Bow St Sessions. ‘Williams’ was believed to have been imprisoned and went on hunger strike.
Outerbridge lived in Bow with fellow hunger striker Caroline Lowder Downing who was arrested on numerous occasions including on March 1, 1912.
This information has been put together by Stroud Auction Rooms which is offering some of her items.
A 1912 hunger strike medal (pictured top) engraved with the name Frances Outerbridge and the date March 1, 1912 is offered with an estimate of £2000-5000 with a case, hair lock and lorgnettes.
The accompanying case has a typical gilt inscription Presented to Frances Outerbridge by the Women’s Social & Political Union in recognition of a gallant action, whereby through endurance to the last extremity of hunger and hardship, a great principle of political justice was vindicated.
Also offered in the auction is a late Victorian silver plated tea tray which includes the inscription Presented to Miss Downing and Miss Outerbridge by the Congregation and Parishioners of St Mark’s, Victoria Park as a token of affection and in appreciation of their self-sacrificing labours among the sick and poor of the parish for ten years, March 1898.
The tray, consigned by a direct descendant, is guided at £100-200.
The items will be offered at Stroud's auction of Toys, vinyl records, musical instruments, Asian & tribal art, pictures, books, ephemera and stamps on January 12-13.