Alice Maud Mary Arncliffe-Sennett was an energetic militant suffragette, determined to fight for women’s suffrage even if that meant getting arrested and going against prominent leaders such as Emmeline Pankhurst and Milicent Fawcett. Through the newspapers, we can find details about Arncliffe-Sennett’s life, career, and activism.
Alice, or Maud as she was often called, lived in London and worked as an actress. Her stage name was Mary Kingsley. Here is a review by The Era of her performance as Lady MacBeth in ‘that Scottish play’.
Arncliffe-Sennet began her work with women’s suffrage societies when she first joined the London Society for Women’s Suffrage in 1906. Her sister, Florence Gertrude de Fonblanque, was also prominent in the suffrage movement and in 1912 had organised a walk from Edinburgh to London. After working for a time with the London Society for Women’s Suffrage she joined the executive committee of the Actresses’ Franchise League.
Through the newspapers, we can follow the work of Arncliffe-Sennett with the Actresses’ Franchise League.
Maud Arncliffe-Sennett’s obituary provides further insight into her career as an actress and her work with the women’s suffrage movement. The Mid Sussex Times tells us in 1919 she led ‘a deputation into Downing Street’ and addressed Mr Asquith and Mr Lloyd George. In 1918, after women over the age of 30 won the right to vote, Arncliffe-Sennett was offered a Parliamentary seat in Edinburgh but reluctantly declined.