A Blue Plaque for Bristol’s Pioneer Suffrage Campaigners

Saturday 15 December 2018

One hundred years after women voted in British Parliamentary elections for the first time, Bristol MP Thangam Debbonaire will be guest of honour at the installation of a Blue Plaque at 3 West Mall, Clifton to commemorate Bristol’s first women’s suffrage society.

The Bristol and West of England Society for Women’s Suffrage was set up when Florence Davenport Hill (1828/9–1919) invited a group of like-minded individuals to a meeting at her home at 3 West Mall (formerly 3 The Mall), Clifton, Bristol on 24 January 1868. Although Florence was in her thirties, she needed her father’s permission to hold the meeting!

The Bristol society joined the National Union of Women Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) in 1896, and continued campaigning until all women won the vote in 1928. Mrs Millicent Garrett Fawcett, the leader of the NUWSS, was honoured by a statue in Parliament Square earlier this year.

The NUWSS was non-militant and campaigned using peaceful methods. Many local Quaker women were active in the Bristol society, including the Priestman sisters, Anna Maria and Mary; Emily and Elizabeth Sturge; and Lilias Ashworth Hallett.

With the support of the Bristol Civic Society Blue Plaques Panel and the generous permission of the building’s owner, the Bristol Society for Women’s Suffrage will be commemorated by the installation of a Blue Plaque at 3 West Mall (formerly 3 The Mall), Clifton as a permanent memorial to Bristol’s pioneering suffrage women. The Blue Plaque has been organised by Lucienne Boyce of Redland meeting.

The installation ceremony will take place at 11.30 on Saturday 15 December 2018 at 3 West Mall, Clifton, Bristol BS8 4BH. All are welcome to attend. There is no charge for this event.

Lucienne BoyceNovember 2018

PS  Lucienne has set up a crowd-funding page at Just Giving in order to help with the costs of manufacturing and installing the Blue Plaque. If you’d like to make a donation visit