Wigan man stands for women!

UK Vote 100: Celebrating 100 years of the Vote in 2018 in the UK Parliament

We are very pleased to be able to publish this piece of ‘lost’ history which brings to light the Wigan man, Thorley Smith (1873-1940), who was the first Parliamentary candidate to stand on a women’s suffrage ticket.  Supported by the working women of Wigan as well as Emmeline Pankhurst and other big names of the suffrage movement he ran an impressive campaign, as author Tom Walshe, also a Wigan man, notes ‘He Served his Generation Faithfully’.

In the early 1900s Wigan to many, particularly in the Metropolis, would be seen as a political backwater. How very wrong the ‘chattering classes’ were to make that assumption. The north of England was a hotbed of discontent, in the forefront of the struggle for women’s suffrage. After all it was in Emmeline Pankhurst’s Manchester home in 1903 that the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) was formed. To the astonishment of the establishment…

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