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Emmeline Pankhurst – woman registrar

60 second histories

This video covers:  The death of Emmeline's husband and becoming a Registrar of Births and Deaths.

In eighteen ninety-eight I suffered a terrible loss with the sudden death of my husband. I had to resign my place on the Board of Guardians but was almost immediately appointed to the paid position of Registrar of Births and Deaths. I found it touching to observe how glad women were to have a woman registrar to visit. They would tell me their dreadful stories of poverty which truly shocked me, even after my experiences on the Board of Guardians and I was reminded of just how little respect there was in this world for women and children. I have had girls as young as thirteen come into my office to register their babies, illegitimate of course and in many cases I discovered it was their own fathers, or some close male relative, who was the father of their child. During my term of office I met a very young mother who’s illegitimate child had died from exposure. The girl was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death but her sentence was later commuted although the man who had abused the poor girl received no punishment.
20th Century
Suffragette Movement
Key people
Suffragette Movement
Emmeline Pankhurst
Key words: 
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