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Letter from Evelyn Sharp to F. W. Pethick-Lawrence

The Cottage, Cold Ash, Berks.—Suggests she should only be paid for only half her holiday, as she will not be returning as assistant-editor (of Votes for Women). Is sorry to end her connection with the paper, and is grateful for what she has learnt.

Biographical note on Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

(Typed, with handwritten corrections.)



Biography of Mrs. Pethick Lawrence.

Mrs. Pethick-Lawrence is well known all over the world as a feminist who played a leading part in the world wide Woman Suffrage Campaign before the war She is also known as an internationalist who during the four years of the great war brought all the influence she possesses as a public speaker upon the people of her own country and upon the people in America to work for a Peace by negotiation and reconciliation, rather than a Peace dictated by the victorious armies.

In the Autumn of 1914, a cable summoned her to New York to address a vast suffrage meeting at the Carnegie Hall. On that occasion she helped to inaugurate the campaign which two years later led to the political enfranchisement of the women of that State. As a result of her campaign the American section of the Women’s International League was formed at Washington in January 1915, with Jane Addams as its President, and the two women sailed with fifty American women delegates to take part in an International Conference of Women held at the Hague in April 1915.

At the Conference of the Women’s International League in Zurich in May 1919, she registered her vigorous protest against the terms of the Versailles Treaty which had been published a few hours before the meeting was held.

In June 1920, Mrs. Pethick-Lawrence represented her country in an International Peace meeting in the German Reichstag in Berlin. She also spoke in the Mozarteum Great Hall in Salzburg, in the Town Hall, Vienna and in other towns on the “Women’s International League and Constructive Peace”.

She has since visited America twice and has been once to South Africa where she took part in the celebrations that welcomed the granting of woman suffrage in South Africa, the last dominion in the British Commonwealth to enfranchise its women. Mrs. Pethick-Lawrence is President of the Women’s Freedom League and vice-President of the Women’s International League, British Section,


‘Revised March 1933’ has been written at the top of the first sheet, together with the file number ‘2069’.

Letter from Emmeline Pethick to F. W. Lawrence

Trafalgar House, Littlehampton.—Invites him to supper.



Trafalgar House | Littlehampton. {1}
3. 7. 00.

Dear Mr Laurence.

Will you come and see me on Sunday evening {2} about 7 o’clock (if you can) and have supper with me in my kitchen! Do not be surprised if you find me an old woman by that time! I am obliged to return home on Friday.

Yours sincerely
Emmeline Pethick


{1} The address embossed on the paper—20 Endsleigh Terrace, Duke’s Road, W.C. (the home of George Cope Cope and John Herbert Greenhalgh)—has been struck through.

{2} 8th.

Letter from Emmeline Pethick to F. W. Lawrence

20 Somerset Terrace, Duke’s Road, W.C.—Discusses his forthcoming meeting with men from South Africa, and dismisses the suggestion that his career is ruined.



20 Somerset Terrace | Dukes Rd W.C.
11. 7. 00

Dear Mr Lawrence,

I will think of you on Saturday {1} & before Saturday with the one wish that you have expressed.

I fully realize the nature of the ordeal that is before you. I only want to say one thing. Remember that these men from S. Africa will be special pleaders of their own cause. To be in a judicial position you ought to hear the other side—not from Mr Cope who is himself in a correct judicial position but the special pleaders on the other side. If you have read Fitzpatrick’s book {2} which is the apologia for himself and his confederates—you ought to read Reitz’s “A Century of Wrong” {3}. You get thus the two extreme points of view & a fair representation of the two colliding interests.

So in hearing these men you have to remember that to a man trained to weigh evidence {4}— no statement of theirs would be accepted as it stands—you understand what I mean[.] I will not say any more. I hope that I have not said too much.

Another point. As to the “ruin of your career” {5}. Excuse me, but this is nonsense! You will have to stand in St Pancras, which is a Liberal constituency crying out for a Liberal candidate {6}! And we will draw the many various threads together that 8 years living in one district have put into our hands, and we will work for you—to the bone!! I say “we” confidently. There is not one of us who would not stand by you after this. If I did not most confidently believe that this decision will clear your way of endless obstructions & confusions, and take your feet out of a net—I should feel an anxiety which I do not now feel. No: let the present only be right—the future—God’s future— you then make way for. I have proved it. I’ll tell you some day.

Yours sincerely
Emmeline Pethick


The punctuation has been revised slightly.

{1} 14th. The reference is to Lawrence’s forthcoming interview with Lionel Phillips and another supporter of the war in South Africa. See PETH 7/56–7.

{2} J. P. Fitzpatrick, The Transvaal from Within: A Private Record of Public Affairs (1899).

{3} F. W. Reitz, A Century of Wrong (1900), originally published in Dutch as Een Eeuw van Onrecht. The book was a collaboration between several writers, including J. C. Smuts, but the English edition bore only the name of Reitz, State Secretary of the South African Republic, by whose order the second Dutch edition had appeared. The English edition included a preface by W. T. Stead.

{4} Probably a pointed allusion to Lawrence himself, who had been called to the Bar the previous year.

{5} The suggestion was probably made by Lawrence’s uncle, Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence, who visited him about this date, Lawrence having decided that it was impossible for him ‘to remain a candidate supporting the Government’. See PETH 7/56 and Fate Has Been Kind, p. 52.

{6} The reference appears to be to the parliamentary constituency of St Pancras (South). See PETH 7/64. St Pancras was divided into four parliamentary constituencies, North, East, South, and West, which also served as a divisions for County Council elections. Each constituency was represented by a single MP, each division by two councillors.

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