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1911 census centenary: spring 2011 events

The centenary of the 1911 census fell on Saturday 2nd April 2011.
The 2011 census was held on Sunday 27th March. Will it be the last?

'“Women do not count, neither shall they be counted': Suffrage, Citizenship and the Battle for the 1911 Census’ by  Jill Liddington & Elizabeth Crawford – see History Workshop journal spring 2011 issue - www.hwj.oxfordjournals.org

See also: Guardian, April 2011 - When the suffragettes were out for the count

March 2011

  1. Friday 11: Sheffield 1pm - 4.30 pm

Title: Votes for Women: suffragettes in Sheffield and the battle for the 1911 census.
Venue: Wortley Hall, Wortley, Sheffield, S Yorkshire S35 7DB.
Organization: Linda McAvan MEP, International Women’s Day Fundraiser.
Admission: £10 (includes afternoon tea).
Booking:  phone Nicola or Maggi Clark on 01709 875665 or email

Fundraising: this year, Linda McAvan’s charity is the Tasibeh Girls’ School in Pindi, Pakistan; it offers basic education to girls who otherwise could not go to school.

  1. Monday 14: Richmond, Surrey – 8pm.

Title: 'Women don't count, don't count women': suffragettes & the 1911 census in Richmond.
Venue: Baptist Church, Duke Street, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1HP.
Organization: Richmond Local History Society at rich.hist@yahoo.co.uk
Admission: £1 for non-members. Coffee available from 7.30 pm.

Details: The 1911 census schedules, released  in 2009, reveal the patterns of suffragette resistance to the enumerator on census night April 1911. Richmond & Kew were strong centres of Votes for Women campaigning.  This talk examines the schedules of local suffragettes in 'the battle for the census'.

  1. Tuesday 15: Westminster – 6pm

Title: Votes for Women and the battle for the 1911 census.
Venue: The Palace of Westminster.
Organization: House of Commons Library.
Admission: Private event - Parliamentary pass-holders only. 

Details: On census night 1911, suffragette Emily Wilding Davison was recorded hiding in a cupboard of the House of Commons’ crypt. But how did other women across the country respond to the suffragette invitation to boycott the 1911 census?

This is part of a series of regular Westminster Library talks designed for Members and staff to brief them on topical issues. 

  1. Monday 21st March

BBC R4 Woman's Hour: interviews with Elizabeth Crawford and Jill Liddington, recorded in the Palace of Westminster - featuring Emily Wilding Davison's cupboard down in the crypt, where she hid on census night 1911. Listen again on iPlayer - approx. 31 minutes into the programme

  1. Thursday 31st: Manchester – 6pm.

Title: 'Women don't count, don't count women': suffragette evaders and the battle for the 1911 census.
Venue: Becker Room, City Library, Elliot Hse, 151 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3WD
Admission: free.
Booking: 0161 832 5284 or Email
Organizer: Sarah Hobbs, Manchester Library and Information Service.

Details: On census night 2nd April 1911 suffragettes urged women, all disenfranchised, to rebel. This census asked of married women, how many of their children still lived and how many had died. Suffragettes saw this as government impertinence. But their critics argued that to boycott the census, upon which future welfare reforms depended, was a 'crime against science'. The census battle was fought out fiercely in Manchester. So what did women do on the night?

April 2011

  1. Saturday 2: Kensington walk – 11 am.

Title: Artists and Evaders: Walking with Women’s Suffrage.
Walk guides: Jill Liddington & Tara Morton.
Organization:  The Women’s Library, London.
Tickets: £10. (Pub lunch at end of  2-hour walk is an optional extra).
Booking essential: phone 020 7320 2222 or contact moreinfo@thewomenslibrary.ac.uk
In collaboration with Herstoria  magazine - www.herstoria.com

Details: Kensington had been a seedbed of the women’s movement since the 1860s. By the 1900s, many of the most creative campaigners lived nearby, setting up studios where they designed suffrage banners, cards and posters.  This walk centres on the years between the great suffrage processions (1908) and the suffragette census boycott (1911), visiting the homes and studios of key campaigners.

  1. Sunday 10: Ipswich 6.30pm.

Title:  Votes for Women 1911.
Venue: Arlington's Brasserie, Museum St, Ipswich.
Programme:  food, exhibition, talks and singing.
Organization: further details from joy@bounds9307.fsworld.co.uk
Booking: Tickets: £12.50 from Arlingtons Brasserie 01473 230293

BBC website: Suffragettes' 1911 census boycott celebrated in Ipswich

Details: 100 years ago Ipswich suffragettes spent the night on this very site to avoid completing their census forms. Come and celebrate with food, exhibitions, talks and singing. Suffrage historian Jill Liddington will talk about the census action, who supported it and who didn't; and Joy Bounds about who the women were and what they did.