The Campaign Escalates
It was not until 1905, however, that the WSPU began to create ripples on the surface of polite society. Emmeline’s daughter Christabel Pankhurst and a second activist, Yorkshire millworker Annie Kenny, interrupted a political meeting in Manchester to ask Winston Churchill and Edward Grey their position on votes for women. Receiving no reply, they unfurled a banner reading “Votes for Women” and shouted at the politicians until they were arrested and removed by the police, later being jailed when they refused to pay a fine.
As the years passed with still no sign of change, the suffragettes escalated their tactics. They set fire to post boxes, smashed windows, chained themselves to the railings of Buckingham Palace and even fire bombed the home of the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George.
The Church of England paid the price for its opposition to giving women the vote – in 1914, seven churches across the country were set fire to, and a bomb was detonated in Westminster Abbey. “Militancy is right,” argued Emmeline Pankhurst, “No measure worth having has been won in any other way.”