Miss Ethel Agnes Mary Moorhead

Gender: Female

Marital Status: Single

Born: 1869

Place of birth: Maidstone, Kent, England

Education: Arts Schools in Paris, France

Occupation: Artist

Main Suffrage Society: WSPU

Arrest Record: Yes

Recorded Entries: 1


Other sources: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4769024

Further Information:

Family information: Father was an army surgeon.

Additional Information: Ethel became notorious in the Scottish press for her suffragette 'deeds' and, perhaps as a reflection of her commitment to the cause, called her cats 'the Panks' after the Pankhursts. In 1910, when Winston Churchill came to speak in Dundee, she threw an egg at him. She was later arrested but released after taking part in the 1912 WSPU window-smashing campaign. She was arrested under the alias 'Edith Johnston' for breaking a glass case containing William Wallace's sword in Stirling, and went to prison for a week. Ethel was arrested and imprisoned numerous times, often using aliases, so the number of times she was entered into the Home Office suffragette arrest record does not match her deeds. Some of her 'deeds' included taking a dog whip to a man who had thrown her out of a meeting and throwing pepper in a policeman's eyes, and she was suspected of burning down several buildings. During this time, she was imprisoned, went on hunger strike, was released, committed more militant acts and was then recaptured under the 'Cat and Mouse Act'. This time, and determined not to release her when she went on hunger strike, prison warders forcibly fed her. She was the first suffragette in Scotland to undergo this practice. Ethel became very ill with pneumonia (a serious lung infection), which doctors believed was caused by food being wrongly forced into her lungs and not her stomach. She was let out to recover and, once she had, went on the run. She was not recaptured. During the First World War, Ethel worked as an organiser for the Women's Freedom League's National Service Organisation in London.

Other Suffrage Activities: Ethel is renowned as one of the best Scottish artists of her generation and was a 'modernist' pioneer.

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