Our history – Suffragette brooch

  • 26
  • Sep

Delve deeper into the history of our borough with our series of posts in collaboration with Islington Museum and the Local History Centre. All objects mentioned are on display or held at these venues. Read the full series here.

Suffragette ‘Holloway’ brooch, c1909

These brooches were awarded by the Suffragettes to women who had been jailed for campaigning for women to have the vote. Many of these women ended up in Holloway Prison.

The brooch was designed by Sylvia Pankhurst, an artist and leading Suffragette. She was imprisoned many times and endured hunger, thirst and sleep strikes.

Her brooch design combined symbols representing the Suffragettes’ demands to be recognised as political prisoners – the portcullis and chains of the House of Commons in silver and a convict’s arrow in the Suffragette colours of purple, white and green.

The badges were first presented to former Suffragette prisoners at a mass protest meeting on 29 April 1909.

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