An ex­plo­sive dis­cov­ery

Manch­ester Courier and Lan­cashire Gen­eral Ad­ver­tiser 10 July 1913

BBC History Magazine - - History Now / Backgrounder -

Eng­land, 1913. A coun­try in the grip of a so­cial rev­o­lu­tion and civil war. For the past 18 months, the suffragettes of the Women’s So­cial and Po­lit­i­cal Union have been wag­ing a vi­o­lent and ter­ri­fy­ing cam­paign on the gov­ern­ment of the United King­dom, leav­ing bombs on trains, in post of­fices, blow­ing up rail­way sta­tions and churches, cut­ting tele­gram and tele­phone wires, and burn­ing down MPs’ houses.

By the sum­mer, New­ton Heath had suf­fered a se­ri­ous at­tack on the Lan­cashire and York­shire Rail­way and the po­lice were on the hunt for its per­pe­tra­tors. They fi­nally ar­rested Jen­nie Baines, a well-known and prom­i­nent suf­fragette, and her hus­band Ge­orge as well as their son, Ge­orge Wil­frid, for “wil­fully and ma­li­ciously” com­mit­ting the at­tack. At their home, 762 Old­ham Road, New­ton Heath, the po­lice found yet an­other bomb, “a quan­tity of gun­pow­der, a re­volver loaded in three chambers, a pis­tol un­loaded, wire cut­ting im­ple­ments, a ham­mer, five black masks for the face, and a quan­tity of suf­frag­ist em­blems, lit­er­a­ture and letters”. It was clear they had been plan­ning an­other at­tack. They were not alone in their ac­tions, as hun­dreds of women were ar­rested for car­ry­ing out dan­ger­ous at­tacks in the fight for the vote.

News story sourced from british­news­pa­per­ar­chive. co.uk and re­dis­cov­ered by Fern Rid­dell. Fern reg­u­larly ap­pears on BBC Ra­dio 3’s Free Think­ing

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