In 1907 suffragette Annie Kenney brought the militants’ fight for women’s right to vote to Bristol. For the next few years the city rang with the cry “Votes for Women!”. From colourful demonstrations on the Downs and stone-throwing in the Centre, to riot on Queen’s Road and arson in the suburbs, the book tells the fascinating story of Bristol’s suffragette years. Also includes a map and short walk in the Bristol of the suffragettes.

The Bristol Suffragettes picked was a “fabulous feminist read” by the Bristol Magazine in February 2018. Find out about the books selected by Bristol Magazine here – opens as PDF document.

A South Gloucestershire Libraries Recommended Read.

The Road to Representation: Essays on the Women’s Suffrage Campaign

A companion to The Bristol Suffragettes, these short essays span the early days of the women’s suffrage campaign up to the First World War. Suffragettes and suffragists collide with students, vivisectionists, politicians, under-graduates, medical experts, magistrates, soldiers returning home from the war, and other supporters and opponents of the cause. This collection brings together many articles written since the publication of The Bristol Suffragettes in 2013. The essays have all been revised and updated, and the collection includes previously unpublished material. Available on Amazon UK in Kindle or paperback. Also available at


Articles on Women’s Suffrage

A long and loving association and friendship: Esther Knowles and Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

In December 2019 Esther Knowles’s great niece in New Zealand sent me a copy of a letter from Esther to her employer, Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, written in 1950. Esther Knowles worked at WSPU head office and subsequently for WSPU leaders Emmeline and Frederick Pethick-Lawrence, and was for many years Frederick’s private political secretary. In this article I look at the contents of the letter and explore its context. The article is available on this website as a free download, and has also been published on my blog.

The letter is dated 25 February 1950, two days after the British General Election. In it, Esther wrote about her response to the election results, her wish to know what Emmeline thought about it, and her longing that the two should meet to talk it over. Relying on their “long and loving association and friendship”, she was confident that “you and I…understand each other wholly. You will know therefore that I feel this impulse to commune with you, in a sense of deep humility in the confident knowledge that you will not construe it into presumption”.

Download A long and loving association and friendship: Esther Knowles and Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

Spotlight on…George Abraham Gibbs of Tyntesfield (1873–1931)

The aim of Spotlight On is to remember some of the people and places associated with the suffrage campaign, particularly in Bristol and the South West. These occasional articles are now published on Lucienne Boyce’s Blog.

The Spotlight On archive is available for download here on the website (see below).

In the latest Spotlight On I look at George Abraham Gibbs of Tyntesfield, the university vote and votes for businessmen. Read Spotlight On George Abraham Gibbs (1873-1931). 

Download the Spotlight On Archive (PDF document)

Suffrage Research

Find out more about researching the suffragettes in Research.

Suffrage Stories

If you have a suffrage story you’d like to tell, please get in touch and if it’s suitable I will feature it on this website. This could include information about militants or non-militants, and even antis! See some other Suffrage Stories here. If you’d like to share your suffrage story, you can email me here.