Women’s votes: 100 years for Millicent Fawcett’s fabled brooch to emerge
PUBLISHED: 15:00 11 March 2020
Fawcett Society/Museum of London
A brooch that belonged to women’s suffrage champion Millicent Fawcett is going on permanent display for the first time after more than 100 years.
She led a non-violent movement as a 'suffragist' for women's votes, rather than back the more militant suffragette campaign started in the East End by Sylvia Pankhurst's 'war HQ' in Bow that took the fight onto the streets.
Millicent's campaign, instead, went by the book using constitutional means to win the day in 1919.
Her symbolic gold enamel brooch, a gift from members of her National Union of Women Suffragette Societies, goes public on March 13 at the Museum of London on loan by the Fawcett Society.
'It represents the peaceful protests that many women advocated at the time,' the museum's 'working history' curator Beverley Cook explained. 'The brooch symbolises the role played by those who fought through constitutional means without militant action.'
The piece includes gems in the white, red and green colour scheme of the women's union that she ran from 1907 to 1919 that helped get the first voting rights in 1918. The reverse has the message 'steadfastness and courage' from to a speech she made in 1913.
Millicent organised the first 'votes for women' petition at the age of 19 — but was too young legally to sign it herself!