Kate Lilley

Female 1873 - 1962  (88 years)


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  • Name Kate Lilley 
    Nickname Miss Kate 
    Born 4 Dec 1873  Paddington, London Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    . Mar 1912  London Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Kate Lilley & (Edith) Louise Lilley were members of the Women's Social & Political Union (WSPU) in Clacton-on-Sea, and were both sentenced to two months hard labour in Hollway Prison.

    Roll of Honour, Suffragette Prisoners
    1905 - 1914. Edith Louise Lilley and her sister Kate Lilley were imprisoned for their part in the suffragette movement (list compiled by the Suffragette Fellowship, c. 1950).

    THE PRIEST HOUSE, WEST HOATHLY. SUFFRAGETTE HANDKERCHIEF. HOLLOWAY PRISON, MARCH 1912.
    March 1912 saw the second wave of window-smashing demonstrations organised in London by the Women's Social & Political Union (WSPU), when the militant campaign for women's suffrage was at its peak. After the earlier demonstrations of November 1911, 223 women had been arrested for breaking the windows of shops in The Strand & of Government buildings in Whitehall.

    The March demonstrations were larger & better organised & timed to coincide with the discussion in Parliament of the Conciliation Bill that would have given the vote to about one million, mainly single, women. Militant feeling had been growing in the country & it became apparent that peaceful protests could never be successful.

    On the evening of Friday March 1st, & again on the following Monday, WSPU supporters gathered in the shopping streets of the West End, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea. They were armed with hammers or stones & at a pre-arranged time they began smashing the windows of shops & offices. Once again over 200 women were arrested.

    Following the demonstrations the leaders of the WSPU, Emmeline Pankhurst & Mr. & Mrs. Pethick-Lawrence were arrested & sentenced to nine months in prison, although Christabel Pankhurst escaped to Paris where she remained in exile until the First World War. The Government granted them special privileges, which they refused to accept but for the majority of prisoners there were no such concessions. Demonstrators were, on average, sentenced to two months imprisonment for refusing to be fined or bound over to keep the peace, or were sentenced directly to two to six months in prison. Holloway was soon full & women were sent to Aylesbury or Winsom Green, Birmingham. Nevertheless the prisons were badly over-crowded & the women were denied the status of political prisoners, which they sought. Hunger strikes were started to reinforce the women's demands & many were brutally forcibly fed. By the end of June most of the hunger strikers were released on medical grounds. They claimed a victory but in 1913 the Home Secretary, McKenna, introduced the 'Cat & Mouse' Act, which allowed the police to re-arrest convicted hunger strikers once they had recovered. The handkerchief, which was probably embroidered in one of the women's limited exercise periods, bears sixty-six signatures & two sets of initials.

    [From http://sussexpast.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Priest-House-suffragette-handkerchief.pdf ]  
    Died 20 Apr 1962  Abberton Manor, Essex Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Probate 3 Jul 1962  London Find all individuals with events at this location 
    LILLEY Kate of Abberton Manor Abberton Colchester spinster died 20 April 1962 Probate London 3 July to John Wilfred Thomas Lilley solicitor and Ada Elizabeth Page and Helen Doris Marjorie Savery married women. Effects £54877 56.6d. 
    Person ID I12368  Simpson & Elder
    Last Modified 30 Mar 2014 

    Father Thomas Lilley, JP,   b. 18 Oct 1845, 2 Buckingham Place, St Georges, Southwark Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Apr 1916, Clacton, Essex Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years) 
    Mother Mary Ann Denton,   b. 1847 or 1848, Paddington, London Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Mar 1919, Holland House, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years) 
    Married 1870  Rushden, Northamptonshire Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F372  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Abberton Manor, Essex
    Abberton Manor, Essex
    Teresa and David Lilley were adopted by the Lilley family (of Lilley & Skinner shoes) and grew up here in the 1930/40s.

    Teresa and her husband Alan Simpson inherited the property in the 1970s and lived in it for a few years before selling it for use as a nursing home.
    The Suffragette Handkerchief, 1912
    The Suffragette Handkerchief, 1912
    This handkerchief was probably embroidered in one of the women’s limited exercise periods and bears sixty-six signatures & two sets of initials. Most of the women who signed were participants in the March 1912 demonstrations. A few were well known as militant members of the WSPU & had been imprisoned many times but the majority were rank & file members of the organisation. They came from all parts of the country & from a variety of class backgrounds & age groups simply to support the 'Cause'.
    Silver Holloway medal presented to the militant suffragette Kate Lilley.
    Silver Holloway medal presented to the militant suffragette Kate Lilley.
    Silver Holloway medal presented to the militant suffragette Kate Lilley bearing, in black paint, her Holloway wing number 'Dx3' and cell number '5'. On the reverse is engraved 'K Lilley March 9th to April 29th 1912 HL'. The medal was presented to Kate on her release from Holloway following a two month sentence of hard labour for breaking a window in the War Office. This was one of three medals presented to her on release. See also 2005.145/1 & 2005.145/3. This, and a similar medal presented to Kate's sister Louise, reveal that the sisters were imprisoned in next door cells.

    Both medals were passed down via Theresa Lilley to Clare Simpson, who donated them to the Museum of London.
    Holloway brooch presented to Kate Lilley.
    Holloway brooch presented to Kate Lilley.
    Silver and enamel Holloway brooch designed by Sylvia Pankhurst. The design of the brooch is of the portcullis symbol of the House of Commons. The gate and hanging chains are in silver and the superimposed broad Prison arrow is in purple, white and green enamel. The brooch was presented to Kate Lilley on her release from Holloway Prison, 1912.

    The brooch is currently in the Museum of London.


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