In loving memory of Emily Wilding Davison. In this broom cupboard Emily Wilding Davison hid herself illegally, during the night of the 1911 census. She was a brave suffragette campaigning for votes for women at a time when Parliament denied them that right. In this way she was able to record her address, on the night of that census, as being "The House of Commons", thus making her claim to the same political rights as men. Emily Wilding Davison died in June 1913 from injuries sustained when she threw herself under the King's horse at The Derby to draw public attention to the injustice suffered by women. By such means was democracy won for the people of Britain. Notice placed here by Tony Benn MP "I must tell you, Mr Speaker, that I am going to put a plaque in the House. I shall have it made myself and screwed on the door of the broom cupboard in the Crypt."

In Tony Benn's final speech in Parliament he said, "I have put up several plaques--quite illegally, without permission; I screwed them up myself. One was in the broom cupboard to commemorate Emily Wilding Davison, and another celebrated the people who fought for democracy and those who run the House. If one walks around this place, one sees statues of people, not one of whom believed in democracy, votes for women or anything else. We have to be sure that we are a workshop and not a museum."- http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200001/cmhansrd/vo010322/debtext/10322-13.htm

Photo of Emily Wilding Davison brass plaque
terenceeden on Flickr

House of Parliament, London

by Tony Benn MP

Colour: brass

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