Showing 2462 results

Archival description
Image
Print preview View:

2462 results with digital objects Show results with digital objects

Letter from Sylvia Pankhurst to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

P.O. Box 1896, Addis Ababa.—Thanks him for a copy of his speech at the memorial service (for Dame Christabel Pankhurst). Reflects on the suffrage movement and the the Pethick-Lawrences’ contributions to it.

(Letter-head of the Ethiopia Observer. Sylvia Pankhurst is named as Editor.)

Letter from Sylvia Pankhurst to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

P.O. Box 1896, Addis Ababa.—Sends good wishes on his marriage, and criticises various aspects of British foreign policy.

—————

Transcript

Post Box 1896 | Addis Ababa
13 February 1957

Dear Fred,

Your news had reached me by a press cutting forwarded by Mrs Tims from England. But I did not recognise Helen Craggs under her married name until I received your letter. I knew her and she will remember me.

I feel sure you will both be very happy though I have not seen her since about 1910. I hope you will keep well for a long time and be able to enjoy life.

In your previous letter you mentioned the international situation. It is a cause of great anxiety and difficulty here. The Suez situation will reduce Ethiopia’s export of coffee to New York—a very important market for her[—]and also doubtless to England and other parts of Europe, giving an advantage to Brazil. That coffee is not so good as Ethiopian, but price counts and the journey round the Cape will increase transport costs. I think the general feeling here is that though Israel was in danger from Egypt the United Nations ought to have been appealed to for action to preserve the peace and that unilateral action by Britain and France was totally out of order.

At the same time Egypt is feared here. The Egyptians have for a long time been broadcasting against Ethiopia in the Ethiopian languages. Her existence as a Christian state in the Islamic Middle East is resented. You know that in the nineteenth century Egypt repeatedly invaded Ethiopia—and though defeated in two great battles, she occupied Ethiopian territory for some time. The history of Ethiopia, since the sixteenth century, has been one of difficulty owing to the seizure of her Red Sea Coast by Turkey and its subsequent occupation by Egypt as Turkey’s vassal.

Trade with Israel particularly in meat is now hopeful and recalls the ancient trade between the two countries before the Islamic seizure of the Red Sea Coast. Therefore it is natural on all these accounts that there is a certain amount of sympathy for Israel, coupled with anxiety concerning the future actions of Nasser.

The British Foreign Office are playing an unfortunate game in attempting to rouse Somali unrest against the Ethiopian Government but actually they only influence the British Somaliland Protectorate to any degree.
Furlonge, the new British Ambassador here, has been to the Protectorate to address the so-called “Somali United Front”. British policy toward the Ogaden, the Reserved Area and Somaliland generally since 1941 has been a bad mistake.

I sometimes see the Greek Archbishop of Aksum. He is always very friendly, for I expressed to him, as soon as I saw him, that I am grieved about the policy of the present British Government in Cyprus. He is a stately and majestic old man. He told me our Government is “mad” to act so in Cyprus, and expressed sorrow that the traditional Anglo-Greek friendship is destroyed. He said the worst thing our Government has done is to revive the ancient Turko-Greek enmity. Eden is much blamed for this.

I met the other day an American representative of the World Council of Churches, who said he was in Constantinople at the time of the Turkish anti-Greek riots. He said the Turks behaved with great brutality pulling out the beards of the Greek priests and destroying the works of art in their churches. He said it was believed in Constantinople that the British Foreign Office had encouraged the attack. He evidently thought so.

Britain has greatly lost caste with the Americans here, because of Suez and Cyprus, particularly the former. One very temperate steady type of American said the Suez business had cut the umbilical cord between Britain and U.S.A. Previously he said the best type of American considered Britain wiser and more experienced in foreign affairs than U.S.A., but now they regard her as a mere delinquent. That opinion may pass in the next political phase, but is seems fairly strong today among the Americans here.

British trade with this country is greatly handicapped by the poor representation of British firms by The Sabean Company, the Arabian Trading Company, Mitchell Cotts, Gellatly Hankey.

Boots, for example, is represented by the Sabean Company but when you go to the shop where the name Boots is displayed, you can get barely 3 or 4 Boot’s preparations. The shop is mainly stocked with German goods.

British motorcars are liked but the agents have no spare parts, so people buy German or Italian cars—the latter very unsatisfactory in wear.

Goods shipped from England are mainly consigned to Jibuti. Gellatly Hankey used to undertake to arrange transport by the railway to Addis Ababa and intermediate stations. They have now ceased to undertake this service.

Consequently this expanding market is largely closed to British goods by the inefficiency of the agents who have undertaken to deal with them. The manager of the main Ethiopian chemist’s told me when I enquired for one of Boot’s preparations that he has tried to stock them but Boots is “very badly represented by the Sabean Utility Corporation” and consequently he is able to obtain very few Boots preparations. Sabean was started in 1940 and has British[,] Egyptian and Ethiopian capital. It is under British management. Its office is incredibly neglected.

Well this is all a very dull letter, but in case the subject of trade with Ethiopia is raised you will have some light on certain aspects of it. One person connected with it calls himself Colonel Jay Pasha. He has just arrived from Egypt whence he had to flee[.] When I saw him I thought Pasha a bit out of date.

Best wishes and love from both of us. Will you ever come this way? We have a feast of glorious sunshine just now!

Sylvia

I have grateful memories of Helen from long ago.

——————

{1} The announcement of his forthcoming marriage to Helen McCombie.

Letter from Charlotte Despard to Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

29 Glenburn Park, Belfast.—Refers to her current circumstances and the arrangements for her birthday celebrations. The world needs true feminism more than ever.

—————

Transcript

29 Glenburn Park | Belfast
12 June 1935

Mrs Pethick Lawrence

My very dear friend.

On Saturday 15th instant I am having my own little birthday party {1}. You were with us last year and did much to make us all happy and joyful.

I hear that you are deeply engaged in Edinburgh now, so I do not even venture to ask if you can come. All I want you to understand that in the midst of our festivals, as in the more serious moments in our life as a league we could not forget you. Therefore I let you know.

I heard the other day that you have not been very well. I do hope and trust that you are not overtasking yourself. You should take rest when you feel it is to be necessary.

I cannot expect to be so strong as I once was, but I man[a]ge still to do some work, and to encourage and cheer those who are young.

I am glad [I] came to the North. This is the industrial part of Ireland, and there are many fine industrials here.

Some of these days if we meet I must tell you about them.

In the meantime I send you my love, complet[e] with an earnest desire that you may suc[c]eed in your present venture. Your husband too!

I don’t know what you think about the present situation in Europe and indeed throughout the world. I feel that there was never a time when feminism of the true sort was more needed than it is now.

I am so glad to hear that you are taking the chair on the day of the official birthday party.

We always miss our dear Dr Knight. The other officers, Miss Underwood in particular, are very good.

Women have not yet still {2} wanted. Women† has not reached her true position as she has in Russia—therefore our League has still its uses.

Earnestly wishing that all may go well with you

Yours in true affection
C. Despard

——————

Full stops have been supplied at the end of a few sentences.

{1} Charlotte Despard’s birthday, 15 June, was celebrated each year by the members of the Women’s Freedom League. But the distinction between the party mentioned here, which Pethick-Lawrence was not expected to attend, and the official party mentioned later, which she was to chair, is unclear.

{2} This word is indistinct.

† Sic.

Letter from Sylvia Pankhurst to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

P.O. Box 1896, Addis Ababa.—Describes her new house and the local soil and flora. Richard is teaching history at the University College of Addis Ababa. Discusses plans for the Ethiopia Observer, and the effects of the stopping of the Suez Canal on Ethiopian trade.

—————

Transcript

P. O. Box 1896, Addis Ababa
19 November 1956

Dear Fred,

After the weariness of an hotel, we at last have a charming house surrounded by eucalyptus trees. We reach it up an avenue of eucalyptus and there is a row of them bordering our land all round and quite a wood behind the house. We have some geraniums some of which grow 8 feet high and mean to have more. They bloom all the year round here. We have a few roses and hope to have any more as well as other flowers. There is a room in front, as you will see from the photograph {1}, which has windows the entire length. This is where I work. There is a little veranda where we have lunch and a round summerhouse with a thatched roof with a window on two sides. I believe that will be a good place for writing on chilly days of which there are many. At present it is used by a man who does odd jobs and gardening. Later there will be a house for him built in Ethiopian style. They make a rather elaborate framework of thin would {2} and new plaster the walls outside and in until they are quite thick. Such houses are warm and durable. The plaster they use is very elaborate; they make a sort of pudding on the ground of the earth mixed with water; after stirring and waiting several days they sprinkle into† it with chopped grass, and finally it becomes a durable plaster which will last it is said for twenty years or more without repair when applied to the walls.

The earth is very light here; much of it is red. It is volcanic. It is very deep; one can see where the streams have worn it away 10, 20 or even more feet of earth often without a stone, which looks as though it had been cut artificially it is so sheer and straight. Where they are cutting new walls one can see high banks on one or both sides, all fine earth with hardly a stone. This is like the earth the Blue Nile carries to the Sudan and Egypt from the Ethiopian highlands.

Towards the end of September one suddenly sees all the fields, all the grass by the roadside, golden yellow with the so-called Maskal flowers. They come out at this season, the anniversary of the bringing to Ethiopia of a piece of the “true cross” found by the Empress Helena in Jerusalem. These flowers last only a couple of months or so at that season and then disappear. That is whey they are called Maskal flowers. Maskal means the Cross. It is curious that though the plants bearing these flowers grow from one foot to ten foot high according to whether they are in a field or just by the roadside without much soil or moisture one does not notice them till suddenly the hills and valleys are all golden yellow. The green buds do not show among the green and the flowers all seem to burst out together. They are born† on branches sticking out from the main stems which are frail and slender. They make an amazingly beautiful show. About the same season yellow acacia and the little golden balls of the mimosa come into bloom and Addis Ababa which was all blue-grey-green becomes glorified with gold.

Richard is teaching at the University College of Addis Ababa Economic History, African History and Ethiopian History. He is studying hard as well as teaching.

I suppose by this time you will have had a copy of our new monthly “The Ethiopian Observer”. We have devoted the first issue to the Emperor’s visit to the Ogaden and to Somali problems. The second issue will be Addis Ababa: Sir Patrick Abercrombie’s plan for it, a survey of population, History of the town and descriptons as it is, poem inspired by its history. The third issue will be devoted to the Ethiopian woman: history, education, prospects. The fourth will be Public Health in Ethiopia. The most difficult thing here is to find efficient secretarial assistance.

We often think of you and all friends at home. What an awful mess about Suez! {1}

With love from us both
Affectionately Sylvia P.

The stopping of Suez Canal is ruinous to this country. Coffee is their greatest export—after that hides, skins, oilseeds, honey, beeswax and various agricultural products. Coffee is far and away the greatest source of revenue. It goes in largest quantity to U.S.A., after that Britain and Europe. The East does not take it. The Emperor’s visit to India, Japan, etc., is opportune and some trade will result, but not to compare I fear with coffee. Transport problems in this mountainous land make cereals a costly export and cereals can be obtained much more cheaply from the great farms, highly mechanised elsewhere on the great plains.

—————

Letter-head of the Ethiopia Observer. Sylvia Pankhurst is named as the Editor. A few changes have been made to the punctuation.

{1} PETH 9/68.

{2} This is the apparent reading. Presumably the intended word is ‘wood’.

† Sic.

Letter from Sylvia Pankhurst to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

West Dene, 3 Charteris Road, Woodford Green, Essex.—She and Richard are moving to Ethiopia. Explains the reasons for the decision.

—————

Transcript

‘West Dene’, 3 Charteris Road, Woodford Green, Essex, England
May 1st.

Dear Fred,

I am going away to Ethiopia for a long time and shall have to say goodbye to you and everyone. Probably I shall never return.

Richard was asked to take a post at the University College of Addis Ababa. I thanked the Emperor but wrote that I could not spare Richard. That is a couple of years ago. Then I began to think it would be best for us both to go. I could be of more use to them there than here I think. This has been agreed. The Emperor is making all arrangements for us.

It means ending “New Times and Ethiopia News” which has completed twenty years, but I hope to run a monthly there and to write some books.

In many ways I am sad to go—to part with dear friends—and packing and disposing of house and goods is a terrible toil. But it seems best.

Perhaps I shall have an opportunity to see you to say goodbye before I go.

We expect to leave about June.

With love from Richard and from
Sylvia.

—————

Letter-head of the New Times and Ethiopia News. Sylvia Pankhurst is named as Editor. At the head Gladys Groom has written, ‘P-L. replied personally 5/5/56’.

Letter from Sylvia Pankhurst to Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

(3 Charteris Road, Woodford Green, Essex?)—Sends news of Richard’s health and development.

—————

Transcript

Boxing Day

Dearest Emmeline,

The spirit moves me to write to you to say that in spite of plenty of anxieties I feel a flood of happiness today. Raddie {1} and Richard are in the garden. It is warm and spring-like.

Richard has not had so much as a cold this winter! He is bright and well. Instead of having the doctor like last year he was able to make Christmas presents for his friends and dress the tree Mrs Brimley {1} brought him. He stitched over a pencil drawing on paper tacked to the ribbon to make me little calendar banners. Then we tore the paper away, and the red ribbon was left. He was greatly pleased.

He looks straight and tall. His brows are straight, and his thoughts are kind. He puts bread and cheese by the mousehold†, crumbs for the birds, milk for the cat. He brought his money box to me to buy a present for Daddy. He has his own ways and his own character. He does things one would never think of and says: “I have a good idea.” I gaze at him, amazed, and say to myself: where have you come from, little man? He is physically joyous as I never was—plunging into nearly cold water with a zest—not every day—but when he feels like it (other days prefers warm) {2}. He loves to “dance” and jump and climb.

It is a daily marvel this new person—like noone else—himself. One realises the miracle more when one knows one bore him. I look at his father—the boy is not him—not me—new entirely. How have you—so entirely—individual—sprung from us? I ask it to myself so often. This year when I heard the carol singers I thought so often of waiting for him at Hampstead. How wonderful it all was. How you came to make his happy arrival safe and all that one could desire. So I feel a great flood of gratitude and joy.

With love
Sylvia P.

What I feel so vividly of his being a new person is true of all the children I know, but it comes home so forcibly when every day one sees it in a close intimate way one felt generally before—not with this piercing astonishme[nt] {3}.

—————

{1} Reading uncertain.

{2} ‘other … warm’ interlined. Brackets supplied.

{3} A small piece of the paper has been torn away.

† Sic.

Letter from Sylvia Pankhurst to Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

(Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead.)—Thanks her for helping to arrange for the safe birth of her son.

—————

Transcript

Dearest Emmeline,

I am only allowed to write to Silvio so slip in a note for you to sign.

Yes dear friend he is a fine healthy beautiful Child perfect in every way. Yet I am told if I had not come here {1} when I did I should not have brought him out alive. And that I could not have done so without Lady Barretts help in the nick of time as it was.

So dear it seems I owe him to you and Silvio {1}–You first and through all.

Thanks thanks and love.

Till Friday

Sylvia.

—————

This letter was evidently written shortly after the birth of Sylvia Pankhurst’s son Richard on 3 December 1927. A few of the words are indistinct.

{1} The reference is to the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, where Lady Barrett was a consultant surgeon. See PETH 9/61.

Letter from Charlotte Despard to Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

29 Glenburn Park (Belfast).—Reciprocates her New Year’s greeting, and reflects on the situation in Northern Ireland.

—————

Transcript

29 Glenburn Park

My very dear Mrs Pethick Law[ren]ce

I have been intending for many days to write to you, to thank you for your beautiful New Year’s greeting and to send you and your husband my best wishes for the New Year and the years that are to follow; but, though I am wonderfully well for my age, I very seldom write in my own hand. My delightful young Secretary types for me. Strange how the years run on!

We are full of work and life interests of all kinds here under perhaps the worst government in Europe—a great industrial population—some of them of a better and mentally stronger type than any I have ever [met]—much distress[,] keen dissatisfaction and the spirit of revolt. The women are rather behindhand. We have not been able to do much with them yet.

I will tell you more about all this when we meet, as I hope we shall do in the Summer.

And now I must write no more except to say that I hope and trust that you are well and not suffering too much (if you are in England[)] from the bad weather

With much love and many kindly memories
Yours affec {2}
C. Despard

—————

{1} This word was not completed distinctly.

Results 31 to 60 of 2462