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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

 

 

Manchester: census city?

The mass evasions in London were naturally the largest. But second was Manchester. Manchester had always been 'suffrage city'. And now, in early 1911, a new WSPU organizer Jessie Stephenson was parachuted in. One of her first jobs was to organise Manchester's census evasion. This she did very effectively.

The census schedule of Jessie Stephenson, near Victoria Park, south Manchester. The National Archives.

The census schedule of Jessie Stephenson, near Victoria Park, south Manchester. The National Archives. Click image to enlarge.

Among the evaders in Jessie's 'Census Lodge' was Mabel Capper, a suffragette who had already experienced the horror of being forcibly fed in prison. Certainly, Mabel was not at home on census night - nor were her mother and brother, both active supporters of Votes for Women.

The census schedule of the Capper family, near Manchester city centre. The National Archives.

The census schedule of the Capper family, near Manchester
city centre. The National Archives. Click image to enlarge.

Also well-supported across the Manchester region was the Women's Freedom League (WFL). Its strength lay in the outlying suburbs - like Sale, Eccles and Urmston. Here the WFL organized imaginative evasions.

Janet Heyes, branch secretary of Eccles WFL, was probably a teacher. On census night, she left at home her domestic servant, Martha Walsh. Where was Janet? She possibly joined other WFL cyclists, speeding at midnight round the Eccles area putting up 'No census' posters.

The census schedule of Janet Heyes, Worsley near Eccles. The National Archives.

The census schedule of Janet Heyes, Worsley near Eccles.
The National Archives. Click image to enlarge.

But not all suffragettes across the Manchester area boycotted on census night. Jennie Baines, a highly experienced WSPU organizer living with her family out in Stockport, apparently complied with the census.

The census schedule of Jennie Baines, Stockport, Cheshire. The National Archives.

The census schedule of Jennie Baines, Stockport, Cheshire.
The National Archives. Click image to enlarge.