Louisa Burnham's Census

Helper notes and answers

Louisa’s writing says: No Vote No Census. If I am intelligent enough to fill in this census form I can surely make an X on a Ballot paper. Louisa Burnham

Louisa Burnham as a supporter of the Suffragette Movement who believed in votes for women. At this time, women did not have the right to vote to have a say in who ran the country. As part of this movement, hundreds of suffragettes refused to complete the 1911 census return – some of them left their homes for the night of the census and others spoiled their census return paper (like Louisa).

Why do you think that a census is an important piece of information for a historian?

« Return to Census Detectives
  • What do you notice about this census?
  • Why do you think the information is missing?
  • Can you read the handwriting scribbled across the page – what do you think it says?
  • Why hasn’t Louisa provided the information on the census?
  • How is she feeling?
  • Why do you think she is feeling this way?