Dramatic arrest of a ‘mouse’

Article from The Evening News, 5 May 1914 (HO 144/1255/234788)



“Good Afternoon, Miss Lenton!”


Lilian Lenton, authoress of the best-laid plans of the Suffragette “mice” for baffling the police, has been caught once more.

She was spending this afternoon speeding towards London from Liverpool, in a fast train in the company of two detective officers. This will enable her to renew her acquaintance with the Richmond magistrates tomorrow.

It will be necessary to go into the charge against her of setting fire to the tea pavilion in Kew gardens again owing to circumstances over which the Bench [the judge or magistrate] has had no control.

Miss Lenton was released in March last year while on remand [the period of time that someone accused of a crime waits for their trial] on the order of the Home Secretary, without any reference to the Bench.

She soon afterwards decided to leave, and rode away one Sunday evening in a motor-car.


Sometime later her mother received at Bristol gratifying tidings that she had improved in health.

In June Miss Lenton (as described by the police in spite of denials by the accused) was committed to the Leeds Assizes (law court sessions) for arson (starting fires) at Doncaster, but while in Armley Gaol hunger-struck and was released. Once again the house to which she was removed was watched, but again the elusive [crafty] Miss Lenton did the vanishing trick with complete success-dressed as a young man.

She went on another motor tour and led the police a merry dance up and down the country for several weeks while she changed her disguises. Harrogate, Scarborough, and Dundee were a few of the towns she visited.

She also stayed at Cardiff. There she was nearly caught, but by disguising herself as an infirm old lady, with a black shawl over her head, she hobbled into the station and travelled to London.

Only yesterday was her freedom cut short. She was out for a walk in Birkenhead- when she was recognised by a detective named Gordon Hughes, who went up to her said “Good afternoon, Miss Lenton”.

“I am not Miss Lenton.” was the reply. “Oh yes you are.” the officer rejoined. Miss Lenton then confessed to her identity.

She was dressed in a yellow jersey, a blue dress, and brown stockings, and had a large broad-brimmed hat and a veil.

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