Thursday 15th July 1909

I heard a bell this morning so I dressed.  Wardresses came. “Any applications?”  I asked for the Governor and the Doctor. They brought in a little pan of water, towel and a bit of soap. I went to the lavatory and came back to find that an india-rubber pint jar of water and a comb had also been left in my cell. How long, oh Lord! How long?

I lie on the bed, I feel so weak. Breakfast  has just been put in. They have changed my diet to the vegetarian and so have brought a lump of butter beside the usual. I said I did not want any, God help me. I wonder if those outside are thinking of us. I am a coward. A day of reckoning will come for the Governor. Oh, Nell, I am glad you are not here. It is hard to bear. Perhaps if your turn comes we shall have won the battle.

No sunshine can get into this cell. At night there is a gas jet burning over the door. Always a dull light. However my room at Stamford and Metcalf’s where I sat for 4 years was not much lighter than this.

(Here our Suffragette has sketched two small drawings of her cell)

Suffragette's cell

Suffragette's cell 2

I have seen the Doctor. He argued with me about the unreasonableness of our conduct. He says he will try and let me have my ointment.  After the Doctor left they changed the india-rubber jar for an earthenware one. The Chaplain came. He was rather nice. A  wardress who came with him tried to argue that our conduct was retarding the Cause etc etc.

The Chaplain asked if there was anything I wanted. I said I wanted a good many things and supposed we should not be allowed a library book. He said he thought we should have one but he was going to see the Governor about us being down here. We are practically underground  for the window just seems to come to the ground level. He said he was very sorry to see us here.

I could not keep back a few tears when he had gone. I feel so weak. I forgot to say that a wardress brought in a Bible, Prayer Book and Hymn Book this morning. i have  spent the time reading them. “Fight the good fight of faith”  I like the hymn. “The Son of God goes forth to war “and 14th John. I read the marriage service over. I thought it would get my blood up so I read Paul’s opinions on the duties of a wife. They have not removed my mattress. I have spent all day lying on it.

I suppose Mother and Father are enjoying the sea air at Bridlington. Thank God they don’t know where I am. The bang of the double doors is terrible. It seems strange to think of all who we love going about their business in the usual way while we ………

Oh! I do feel blubbery. I expect it is because I am losing my strength. I am not usually given to weeping but I feel I should like to have a jolly good cry.

I wonder what was in the papers about us, whether there were any questions in the House. I heard a wardress say something about Kier Hardy. I applied to see the Governor but he has not been yet.  I hear knocking on the walls and all the prisoners are shouting that they have not eaten their food. Neither have I. Dinner consisted of an egg and potatoes and a pint of milk and (Oh! awful temptation) a boiled onion.

I am getting disinclined to write even.

The Governor’s been.  I asked if yesterday’s proceedings were to be considered as Herbert Gladstone’s reply. He said that the visiting Magistrates were a separate body and acted on their own initiative. Herbert  Gladstone had not replied. I expect the visiting magistrates get the orders from Gladstone as I saw my sentence was written down before I was tried and the others who came after me.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: