‘Militant methods’ rejected

Letter from B. J. Richardson to Mrs Pankhurst explaining she disagrees with militant methods. (Catalogue ref: DPP 1/23)


Ex. 145.

Ladies College,

Dear Mrs Pankhurst,

No doubt that in the hundreds of letters you receive mine will be swamped but all the same as I have ignored so many from you and your party I thought I might as well answer fully.

I am sorry that I cannot promise to join you in your protest of March 4th.

I am in every sympathy with your determination to obtain Votes for Women, and did I possess a vote I should certainly use it, but I do not approve of your militant methods. I know that you argue that peaceful methods fail, but two blacks won’t make a white and I do not believe in fighting by brute force to obtain our desires. It seems to me that militant methods tend to alienate your friends rather than procure you more. Besides this with so much unrest already in the Country and so many strikes it seems to me wicked to make more disturbances and harass a Government which has passed and is still passing such excellent laws.

All the same I admire you all intensely for your splendid pluck and courage, and only wish that I was half so brave.

Yours sincerely,


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