Posts Tagged ‘mutiny’

Wednesday 14th July continued

July 14, 2009

The Governor has just been with the old matron. He has not yet heard from Gladstone. I saw Christabel at first but she went to a window higher up and I could not see her but I could hear. We’ve just been talking to Jessie Kenny and Mrs May and Mrs Tuke at the window opposite. I ate 4 potatoes for dinner but the suet pudding ………….

I’ve been to sleep for a short time after dinner. Then Mrs Leigh came and we spent the afternoon talking to her. A Magistrate has been to see Miss Spring, one of those who were about to try us for mutiny. He told her he knew we were right but that he would have to punish us.

We were all taken down separately. My bag and hat were taken from me by six wardresses. I told the Magistrates I was not sorry for breaking the windows and would do the same again if I got the chance and that I did not intend to comply with any 2nd division rules and so was sentenced to 7 days close confinement and brought down here to this  cell with nothing in it except a block of wood fixed to the wall for a chair and a plank bed and pillows, unbreakable opaque windows and double iron doors.

God help me to stick it.

I can hear the others singing, thank goodness. They brought in a pint of cocoa and a pint of the usual bread. Hunger strike commences.

The drum and fife band is coming at 8 o’clock. I wonder if we shall hear it. We seem to be buried alive. They brought me a mattress and bedding. I asked for water but they said all the water was off and we could not have any. However, a little later they brought me a pint. No water to wash with. I’m in bed. Miss Spring is on the left side of me and Miss Carwin on the right.

I could hear the band very faintly in the distance. It cheered us up a bit. I got in my combis stockings and underbodice and all my other belongings under the pillows.

What joy to feel sleep coming over me.


July 12-1909

July 12, 2009

“We arrived at Bow Street at 10 o’clock this morning and were tried and sentenced. I got one month second division as did all the others except Miss C****. C*****, B**** and Mrs H********* S****** who had six weeks as the windows they broke were plate glass and more valuable. We left Bow Street at about 4.30 Miss M** and Mrs L**** stayed to the last teaching us songs. There were 18 of us in Black Maria, the atmosphere and jolting indescribable. A regalia floating from the end of an umbrella was held through a hole in the roof all the way.

On arriving at Holloway we were all taken into the corridor outside the reception cells. Our names were called and we answered. Miss W***** then asked to see the Governor. The wardress who had tow coloured hair and was very disagreeable, fetched the matron who wanted us to answer to our names again. We refused and asked again to see the Governor. At last he was sent for. “What’s this,” he said, “a mutiny?” He refused to see us all together. He wasn’t in the habit of addressing public meetings, he said. He went into his room and we decided that Miss W***** should go in and see him alone.

After hearing from Miss W***** that we intended to rebel against all second division rules, the Governor said he would let us keep our own clothing and bags until he communicated with the Home Secretary if we went quietly to our cells and on the understanding that we were not allowed to go to Chapel or Exercise. He refused to see us collectively in the morning but would see us separately. We agreed to go to the cells.

I was taken over with K******* B**** and was put in a cell next to her. I discovered that Miss S***** was on the other side.

A little brown loaf, absolutely uneatable and a pint of cocoa were brought. I ate an apple and some sandwiches I had left from lunch, made up my bed and  read Votes. The bed consists of a wooden platform raised about 4 inches from the ground and which can be placed on end when not in use, a mattress, a pillow stuffed with horse hair, two sheets, a blanket which appeared to be made of woven string and a rug. It began to get dusk so I prepared for sleep.

When sitting on my bed in my nightgown combing my hair the door was flung open and the wardress announced the doctor. He says, “I understand you do not wish to be medically examined.”

I say “No.”

He departs. I am in bed, which is not so bad, and it’s about 8.30. Delighted to be able to rest at last.

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