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TAYLOR, Mary Ellen

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 106 7MET
Held at: Women's Library
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Full title: TAYLOR, Mary Ellen
Date(s): 1912-1971
Level of description: fonds
Extent: 0.5 A box (equivalent: 4 objects)
Name of creator(s): Taylor | Mary Ellen | fl 1910-1914 | suffragette
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Mrs Mary Ellen Taylor (fl 1910-1914) and her husband Captain Thomas Smithies Taylor were friends of the Pethick Lawrence family, Dr Elizabeth Wilkes (her sister) and her brother-in-law Mark Wilkes. By early 1912 Mrs Taylor was an active member of the Women's Social and Political Union which was then engaged in a campaign of militant action against government and private property. On 4 Mar 1912 she took part in a window smashing party with a Miss Roberts and a Miss Nellie Crocker, attacking a post office in Sloane Square. They were arrested and brought before a magistrate at Westminster Police Court, who referred their case to the Sessions. From the 5-22 Mar 1912 they were placed on remand at Holloway Prison until Taylor went before Newington Session and was given a three months sentence. While in prison, she went on hunger strike, though she was not forcibly fed, and was subsequently discharged and taken to her sister's house on the 27 Apr 1912. She was imprisoned a second time in Jul 1913 under the alias of Mary Wyan of Reading. Mrs Ellen Mary Taylor refused release under the Cat and Mouse [Temporary Discharge for Ill-health] Act of 1913. She claimed complete discharge and declined to give the prison governor any address. When she was conveyed to a nursing home she refused to enter until her full release was granted and continued her strike on a chair in the road outside. The police then removed her to the Kensington Infirmary where she eventually gave up her protest. Around this time, the Woodford assault case took place, touching the Taylor's immediate circle of friends.


Scope and content/abstract:

The archive originally consisted of correspondence and objects. At some date the correspondence between Mrs Taylor and her daughter Dr Dorothea Taylor c.1912, was moved to Autograph Letter Collection Volume 9/26. In 2000 the objects were catalogued as part of the artefacts cataloguing project by Catherine Marshall.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

This collection is available for research. Readers are advised to contact The Women's Library in advance of their first visit. Readers must wear gloves to handle textiles.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Finding aids:

The Women's Library Catalogue

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in the Fawcett Library by Dr Dorothea Taylor c.1970. [A note in the accessions file c.1990 states 'Photographs mentioned in letter of Jan 1968 are stored in the photographs collection.' A later note indicate 'Absent at 9 Aug 2000.' it is not clear where the letter or the photographs are].

Allied Materials

Related material:

The Women's Library also holds 9/26 Autograph Letter Collection: Taylor Collection and 10/03 Scrapbook [on women's suffrage and the Contagious Diseases Acts]. The Women's Library also holds the records of a number of militant, Women's Social and Political Union members, including Emily Wilding Davison (7EWD) and Louisa Garrett Anderson (7LGA). The records of the Women's Social and Political Union are held at The Museum of London. The Women's Library Printed Collections also holds a number of publications by the Women's Social and Political Union.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Finding aid created by export from CALM v7.2.14 Archives Hub EAD2002. Edited for AIM25 by Sarah Drewery.

Rules or conventions:
In compliance with ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description - 2nd Edition (1999); UNESCO Thesaurus, December 2001; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:

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