Emily Davison By ellie wolfe

Emily Davison

Born: October 11th, 1872 in South East London, UK

Died: June 8th, 1913 in Epsom, UK

Portrait of Emily Davidson


  • Kensington High School (now known as Kensington Preparatory School).
  • Won a Bursary to Royal Holloway College in 1891 to study literature, but was forced to drop out because her family could not afford the tuition.
  • St. Hugh's College, Oxford with First-Class Honors in her final exams, but women were not allowed to graduate Oxford at that time.
  • University of London examinations as an external candidate for a degree in Modern Foreign Languages in 1908.
"The idea in my mind was that one big tragedy may save many others." --Emily Davison, letter to a friend

The Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU)

  • In 1906, she joined the WSPU, started by fellow Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.
  • In 1908, she left her teaching position to dedicate herself completely to the movement.
  • Soon she gained a reputation as one of the most militant and violent Suffragettes.
  • Without the approval of the WSPU, she went from simple actions such as disrupting meetings, to extreme acts, such as throwing stones and arson.
  • She cared the most about letting all women vote, but was also dedicated to the cause of equal education and economical opportunities for women.
Print Materials from the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU)

Crime Record

  • March 30th, 1909: One month in prison for obstruction.
  • July 30th, 1909: Two months in prison for obstruction.
  • September 4th, 1909: Two months for stone throwing at White City, Manchester.
  • October 20th, 1909: One month for stone throwing at Radcliffe near Manchester.
  • November 19th, 1910: One month for breaking windows in the House of Commons.
  • January 10th, 1912: Six months for setting fire to postal boxes at Holloway, London.
  • November 30th, 1912: Ten days for assaulting a vicar who she mistook to be David Lloyd George.
"The torture was barbaric." --Emily Davison, letter to a friend on the force-feedings

Prison Life

  • Hunger Strikes: Hunger strikes were common among Suffragettes in prison, and Emily Davidson practiced them every time she was in prison. This led to her, and many others, being brutally force-fed through tubes.
  • Flooding: She barricaded herself in a prison cell to escape force-feeding. Her cell was then flooded with ice cold water by the guards which drenched her.
  • Purposeful Acts of Violence: Once, she threw herself off of a prison upper gallery floor. She was badly injured, but ultimately survived.
  • Purpose: All of these actions were strategies used by Suffragettes to attract attention to their cause.
Prison Guards and Doctors Force Feeding a Suffragette in 1914


  • On June 4th, 1913, she and other Suffragettes attended the Epsom Derby.
  • King George V was there, as he had a horse racing, and while the horse was going by, Emily Davison stepped onto the track and in front of it, in an attempt to tie a Suffragette scarf to it.
  • Four days later, she died at the Epsom Cottage Hospital, still in her coma, from internal injuries and a fractured skull.


  • She is buried at the churchyard of St. Mary the Virgin in Morepeth, Northumberland.
  • Her gravestone bears the WSPU slogan, "Deeds not words."
  • Thousands of Suffragettes attended her funeral, marching and creating a scene that received a lot of attention.
  • Emily Davison is considered the first "martyr" of the Suffragette movement.
Buried with the Rest of Her Family, Emily Davison's Grave is Often Visited

Lasting Impact

  • Although she died before the laws that she fought so hard for passed, her legacy lives on and she became a staple of the Suffragette movement.
  • She is still relevant and important today, as she paved the way for equal treatment for women.
  • Whether it's voting rights, property rights, education, or divorce, Emily Davison and other Suffragettes secured equal rights for women and men.
You Can Thank Emily Davidson for These Famous Feminists!


  • Aaron1912. "Suffragette Emily Davison Killed - 100th Anniversary." YouTube. YouTube, 30 May 2013. Web. 26 Jan. 2017.
  • "BBC - History - Emily Davison." BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2017.
  • "Emily Davison." Biography.com. A&E Networks Television, 02 Apr. 2014. Web. 26 Jan. 2017.
  • "Emily Wilding Davison: The Good Terrorist." Emily Wilding Davison: The Good Terrorist | History Today. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2017.
  • Thorpe, Vanessa. "Truth behind the Death of Suffragette Emily Davison Is Finally Revealed." The Observer. Guardian News and Media, 25 May 2013. Web. 26 Jan. 2017.


Created with images by juliejordanscott - "suffragettes carrying arrows to proudly display prison status" • juliejordanscott - "Suffragette Emily Davison Edited martyr for the cause" • BDIC-Nanterre - "The Suffragette n°111 - 23 juillet 1915" • johndal - "Emily Wilding Davison's family Grave" • Ms. Foundation for Women - "GloriaAwards_DN-106" • York College ISLGP - "Maya Angelou visits YCP! 2/4/13" • abbieabc - "beyonce" • Foreign and Commonwealth Office - "Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton" • MYSTERY PILL - "X" • Nick St. Charles - "CA Attorney General Kamala Harris signs paperwork in SF to run for reelection. She's currently running unopposed." • david_shankbone - "Taylor Swift by David Shankbone 2010 NYC" • Freedom To Marry - "Kirsten Gillibrand" • USDAgov - "20131120-DM-LSC-0287" • Diario Critico Venezuela - "meryl_streep"

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