Mr Hugh Arthur Franklin

Gender: Male

Marital Status: Single

Born: 1889

Died: 1962

Place of birth: Kensington, Middlesex, England

Education: Clifton College, Bristol; Caius College, Cambridge (sociology, economics)

Occupation: Private secretary

Main Suffrage Society: MPU

Other Societies: MLWS

Arrest Record: Yes

Recorded Entries: 5


Other sources:
Elizabeth Crawford, The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866?1928 (1999); Angela John and Clare Eustance (eds), The Men's Share? (1997)

Database linked sources:

Further Information:

Family information: Father was a banker and owner of Routledge book publishers. His mother was a suffragist. Married suffragette Elsie Duval in 1915.

Additional Information: In 1909, Hugh attended a militant suffrage meeting and was inspired to get involved. That year, he joined the Cambridge branch of the Men's League for Women's Suffrage (MLWS) and, in 1910, joined the newly formed Men's Political Union for Women's Enfranchisement (MPU), sitting on the committee and becoming an assistant organiser. He missed many of his exams at Cambridge by doing this work. In 1910, Hugh was arrested during the 'Black Friday' demonstration in Parliament Square but was not charged. The demonstration became known as 'Black Friday' because of the brutality and physical assaults perpetrated on women demonstrators by the police. Hugh was so incensed by what he saw that day that a week or so afterwards he took a whip to Winston Churchill, then the government's Home Secretary, who was widely held responsible by suffragettes for the aggressive policing that day. Hugh was sentenced to six weeks in prison in Pentonville and went on hunger strike. He was subsequently sacked from his job. In 1911, he resigned from the MLWS and was arrested again for trying to smash Churchill's windows in Eccleston Square. He was sentenced to one month in prison, went on hunger strike and was forcibly fed. Upon his release, he became a speaker for the WSPU, travelling around the country. In 1913, Hugh was arrested for setting fire to an empty train in Harrow, having spent two months in hiding in a bookshop known as the 'Bombshop' in Charing Cross Road, London. He was sentenced to nine months in prison and went on hunger strike. He was forcibly fed over 100 times before his release under the 'Cat and Mouse Act'. He escaped rearrest by fleeing the country under the alias 'Henry Forster'.

Other Suffrage Activities: By 1909, Hugh was a member of the Independent Labour Party (ILP) and the Fabian Society (a sort of left-wing intellectual think tank). During the First World War, he worked as a clerical officer in the Ordnance Factories. He rejoined the Labour Party in 1931 and ran for election but was unsuccessful. He did win a seat on Middlesex County Council in 1946 and continued his association with the Fabian Society. He held a position on the New Fabian Research Bureau, The National Executive of the Labour Party and, between 1934 and 1939, was honorary treasurer of the National Council for Civil Liberties.

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