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So what was special about the 1911 census?

Caravanning for the Vote

Laurence and Clemence Housman

Census resisters - right across England

Mass evasions

Manchester: census city?

Census surprises

Census homes

Book events

Census resisters - right across England

It was easier to evade (by hiding away in a darkened building) than to resist the census. Often a resister embellished her census schedule with a defiant statement. Mary Howey, 'Artist and Suffragette', combined bold calligraphy with subtle political wit, as a glance at her 'Infirmity' column shows.

The census schedule of Mary Howey, Cradley, near Malvern, Herefordshire. The National Archives.

The census schedule of Mary Howey, Cradley, near Malvern, Herefordshire.
The National Archives. Click image to enlarge.

Other resisters wrote their political statements across their census schedules at a decidedly defiant angle.

The institutional census schedule of Mary Hare and her school, Hove, Sussex. The National Archives.

The institutional census schedule of Mary Hare and her school, Hove,
Sussex. The National Archives. Click image to enlarge.

Mary was head-teacher of an 'oral system deaf and dumb' school. She was also co-secretary of the Brighton and Hove branch of the Women's Freedom League (WFL). This schedule shows how the local census enumerator added his own official comment.

Finally, threaded through Vanishing for the Vote is the story of Muriel Matters from Australia, the pioneer WFL vanner and distinctive balloonist. In spring 1911 she was living in lodgings in Lambeth, south London - and had no hesitation is writing her resistance onto her schedule.

The census schedule of Muriel Matters, Lambeth, London. The National Archives

The census schedule of Muriel Matters, Lambeth, London.
The National Archives. Click image to enlarge.

At the end of Vanishing for the Vote, the Gazetteer compiled jointly by Elizabeth Crawford and myself includes many of the resisters' 'NO VOTE NO CENSUS' statements. They make riveting reading.