Suffragette Newspapers | The British Newspaper Archive Blog


Suffragette Newspapers

This year, 2018, is the 100 year anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918.  The Act which gave propertied women over the age of thirty, and all men over the age of twenty-one, the right to vote.  Over the course of 2018 we aim to digitise several suffragette and women’s newspapers.  These papers will allow us to explore the suffrage movement, and the social sphere of the women who campaigned for the right to vote.

We are delighted to be able to bring you the following Suffrage titles.  Learn more about these exciting additions to The Archive on their title pages by clicking the name of the paper in the table below.

Title Years
Church League for Women’s Suffrage 1912-1928
Common Cause 1909-1933
Conservative and Unionist Women’s Franchise Review 1910-1916
Free Church Suffrage Times 1913-1920
The International Woman Suffrage News 1913-1945
The Irish Citizen 1912-1919
The Suffragette/Britannia 1912-1918
The Suffragist 1909
The Vote 1910-1911, 1913-1933
Votes for Women 1912, 1914, 1917, 1918
Woman’s Dreadnought 1914-1924
Women’s Gazette & Weekly News 1888-1889
Woman’s Signal 1894-1899
Women’s Franchise 1907-1911
Women’s Suffrage 1907
Women’s Suffrage Record 1903-1904, 1906

To give broader context to the social sphere of women in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries we have also published two papers aimed at young women and mothers.  These titles, the Mother’s Companion and the Young Woman used a mix of fiction and articles to instruct women in correct behaviour and morals. And we also have another title aimed at women – The Queen – which was established as a society magazine, and gives insight into Victorian femininity, from fashions of the day, to the changes in the role of women, and their advancements in education and employment.

Mothers’ Companion 1887-1896
The Queen 1887, 1889-1891, 1893-1896
Young Woman 1892-1903
 The Suffragette - Friday 18 October 1912
The Suffragette – Friday 18 October 1912

One of the most iconic titles in the collection is The Suffragette.  This title, which was renamed Britannia in October 1915, was edited by Christabel Pankhurst and began publication on Friday, 18 October 1912.  The first issue boldly declared its reclamation of the pejorative term suffragette.

The Suffragette of which this is the first issue, is the Official Organ of the Women’s Social and Political Union, the militant organisation for obtaining Votes for Women. The name Suffragette, first applied to members of the W.S.P.U. by the Newspapers, has, by use and association, been purified of any opprobrium or distasteful significance it may have borne in the past. It is now a name of highest honour, and women in ever-increasing thousands bear it with pride; and until a better is invented it stands as no other word does for the independence, courage, public spirit, and, we may add, humour, which are the attributes of the really womanly. The Suffragettes are women who have profited by the freedom won for them by the pioneers of the movement. They are the advance-guard of the new womanhood. The Suffragette has come to stay! That is why we have called this paper by her name.


Throughout 2018 we will use newspapers to tell the story of suffrage, we will post biographies of famed and forgotten suffragettes, tell the story of the men who supported the cause, and document the response of the movement to issues of warfare, labour and welfare.  We will also examine the full spectrum of responses to the movement, from vilification to championing, as reported in the mainstream press.

Register now and explore the Archive

As always we welcome your contributions.  Use the comment section to let us know your suffrage story, tweet us your discoveries using the hashtag #BNASuffrage, or submit a blog post by contacting us.



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3 comments On Suffragette Newspapers

  • Ironically, your web interface offers no way of searching all the Suffragette Newspapers you list as a “set”, since your newwspaper filtering only allows a single newspaper to be selected, not 1 or more as is the case on FindMyPast

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  • Hi, will you also be including the anti-suffrage. I was surprised to find that there where women against the moment which in the divided households, such as at the at Kilteron house, Exeter. I feel that this a good opportunity to give a fuller picture, to a wider audience.

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