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Lawrence, Emmeline Pethick- (1867-1954), suffragette, wife of the 1st Baron Pethick-Lawrence
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Letters by Lady Pethick-Lawrence, and papers relating to her

The contents of this class fall into the following main groups:

A memorial pamphlet to Francis Noel Pethick, 1904 (1).

Biographical notices of Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, 1912–35 (2–15).
Articles, notes for speeches, and other writings by (Lady) Emmeline Pethick-(Lawrence), 1901–47 (16-41).

Letters from Emmeline Pethick to F. W. Lawrence, 1900–1 (41a–146).

Circular letters by Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, written during a visit to Egypt, 1904–5 (147–56).

Letters by Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence to F. W. Pethick-Lawrence, written during a visit to Egypt, 1904 (157–64).

Letters from Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence to F. W. Pethick-Lawrence, and other papers, 1909–13 (165–71).

The letters in the fifth and sixth groups (147–64) were written by Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence during a visit to Egypt in the winter of 1904–5 in the company of her sister Marie and her cousin Hetty Lawes, who had worked with Flinders and Hilda Petrie in 1896 during their excavations near Cairo. The letters form a connected account of the party’s travels in Egypt and of their journeys there and back. A brief description of the journey will also be found in the ninth chapter of My Part in a Changing World.—The following is a brief itinerary of the journey: The three women set off from London on Thursday, 4 November, crossed the Channel, and arrived at Marseilles by seven o’clock the following morning. There they boarded the P. & O. ship Victoria, which arrived at Port Said at 2 p.m. on Tuesday the 8th. They made a brief tour of the town, and then took at train to Cairo, where they spent the night at Shepheard’s Hotel. The following morning they visited the bazaars of Cairo and removed to the Mena House Hotel, in the shadow of the pyramids of Giza. There they met with some of Hetty’s Arab friends, including a bedouin named Abdul Enani Khattab, who accompanied them for the rest of their time in Egypt. They also met Hetty’s sister Josephine Plunkett and her family. After visits to the pyramids and the Sphinx, the women became enchanted with the country, and they devised a plan to travel down the Nile in a dahabeeyah, or houseboat, and return in a caravan. After a few days making preparations, they left the Mena House Hotel on Thursday the 17th, and boarded the dahabeeyah Bolbol; but they were prevented by a lack of wind from leaving Cairo till the 22nd. Thence they progressed down the Nile as far as Luxor, Fred Pethick-Lawrence joining the party at Sohag on the 15th. At Luxor on the 23rd they left the boat and pitched camp by the Temple of Karnak; and on Christmas Day they went by train to Aswan, where they stayed at the Cataract Hotel. They visited the Temple at Philae and the Barrage, then returned to Luxor on the 28th, where they met Fred’s sister Carrie and her friend. The party travelled from Luxor to Ouasta overnight on 30–31 December, and then began their journey across the desert by caravan. This journey took them by way of the Medum Pyramid and the Fayoum, back to Giza, where they arrived about 20 January. The dates of the events in this latter part of the journey are unclear.

The last group (165–71) comprises two letters written by Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence while imprisoned at Holloway in 1909; a letter from the same place in 1912, and another written shortly after her release, while her husband was still in prison; and two documents relating to the civil action brought against them in 1913 by firms whose windows had been damaged by suffragettes.

Letters by Lady Pethick-Lawrence, correspondence of Lord and Lady Pethick-Lawrence, and poems

The contents of this class fall into the following main groups:

Letters by Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence to F. W. Pethick-Lawrence, written during a visit to the United States, 1914 (1a, 2–24).

Letters by Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence to F. W. Pethick-Lawrence, and other papers, 1915–21 (25–9).

Letters by Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence to F. W. Pethick-Lawrence, written during a visit to South Africa, 1930 (30–58).

Letters by Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence to F. W. Pethick-Lawrence, 1930–44 (59a–67).

Letters by Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence to F. W. Pethick-Lawrence, written at the time of the Cabinet Mission to India, 1946 (68–88).

Letters by Lady Pethick-Lawrence to Lord Pethick-Lawrence, 1947–53 (89–100).

Letters by Lady Pethick-Lawrence to Esther E. Knowles, 1922–48 (101–16).

Correspondence of Lord and Lady Pethick-Lawrence, 1916–38 (117–25).

Poems, etc., early 20th c. (125a, 126–36)

The papers in the eighth group (117–25), which derive from the Pethick-Lawrences’ numbered correspondence files, relate to the following people: Edward Carpenter (117), Miles Malleson (118–19), John Galsworthy (120–1), ‘A.E.’ (G. W. Russell) (122), Lady Lutyens (123), Virginia Woolf (124), and Gladys Cooper (125).

Letter from Mark Guy Pearse to F. W. Lawrence

28 Gordon Mansions (W.C.).—Is delighted by the news of his engagement to Vechan (Emmeline Pethick), and looks forward to meeting him.

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Transcript

28 Gordon Mansions.
June 13: 1901

Dear Mr. Lawrence

Vechan has asked me to meet you at 20 Somerset Terrace on Tuesday {1} at four o’clock. I want just to say how great a pleasure it will be to me.

You know something of our relationship—how all her life she has shared with me her thoughts, and her heart. I am glad that this has come to her & to you. I know that she has but one thought, one purpose, one prayer—it is that she may help you live to the highest and largest fulfilment of your best purposes. She accepts her position with almost an awe, seeing the greatness of your life’s possibility. Vechan can never be to me other than she has ever been,—a kind of holy trust. And to me it will be more than a joy, my blessedness if I can serve her still & serve you for her sake.

I am glad you are going to see her amongst the children. You wont know her until you have seen [her] there & amongst the old people of the workhouse. These children, brought up amidst all that tends to hardness & suspicion, find in her such a boundless trust, the atmosphere of such a gladness & sunshine that they are transformed as by a miracle of love.

God bless you. Take care of her whom I call still my Vechan. There is not in the round world another so strong yet so sensitive, so utterly independent yet so glad to be dependent where love is,—holding so much that is counted everything as so little, but all that makes the true life unutterably dear. God made you the happiest of men that she may be the happiest of women.

Yours heartily
M. Guy Pearse

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{1} 18th.

Letter from F. W. Pethick-Lawrence to Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

87 Clement’s Inn, W.C.—At today’s meeting they discussed the coercive measures introduced in the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, and it was agreed to form an unofficial committee to receive information from South Africa and act in concert with the Dutch.

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Transcript

87 Clement’s Inn, W.C.

Beloved

Just going to bed, I see the stars are out & I think that will mean my Mumsey will sleep well. I kiss this at the foot {1}.

Courtney, Lehman†, Gooch & F Harrison and others were at the Mackarnesses this afternoon. One of the things Fischer talked about was the Peace Reservation Act which is a kind of stringent coercion Act enforced by Milner in the Transvaal & O R C {2} and prevents a man from saying or writing anything of which the Govt does not approve. It appears there is not much to be done but to protest.

The principal thing we discussed was the possibility of forming some sort of unofficial Committee which might receive information from S. Africa with a view to using it. How far could it act in concert with the Dutch in the T & O R C & with the Dutch Party in Cape C. We formed ourselves into a kind of unofficial body, which I regard more as as† bureau of information than anything else.

Mrs Mackarness was interested in J R M {4}, & I suggested they shd come to dine here with them some day, which she thought very pleasant. So I suggest Tuesday fortnight. Mumsey will be fit as anything by then; & I don’t think we have engagement. I have fixed up provisionally with the Ms {3} and unless there is anything to the contrary, will you send off enclosed.

Some time later I should like to ask the Bunces {5}.

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{1} There is a cross at the foot of the page.

{2} Orange River Colony.

{3} Mackarnesses.

{4} James Ramsay MacDonald.

{5} Reading uncertain.

† Sic.

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