Scope and Content

The bundle consists of

  • - a handbill published by the Women's Franchise League which gives an extract from a speech on the 'Parliamentary Franchise for Women' made in the House of Commons by Gladstone on May 3 1871.
  • - a pamphlet, Female Suffrage: A Letter from the Right Hon. W.E. Gladstone, M.P. to Samuel Smith, M.P. The letter expresses his hope that "the House of Commons will not consent to the second reading of the Bill for Extending the Parliamentary Franchise to Women" on the grounds that it was a "narrow Bill" excluding married women [a point disputed by suffragists who claimed married women were included, no distinction being made between married and unmarried women]. There are manuscript annotations, indicating the reader's contempt for the arguments used.
  • - Leaflet, The Enfranchisement of Women by Elizabeth C. Wolstenholme Elmy, Honorary Secretary of the Women's Emancipation Union, dated 4 May 1892 (PCWS/6/6 is another copy of the same leaflet), which relates to the Parliamentary Franchise (Extension to Women) Bill and its provisions with regard to married women. Manuscript annotations.
  • - Pamphlet, Women's Suffrage: A Letter from James Stuart to the Right Hon. W.E. Gladstone, M.P., Suggested on Reading Mr Gladstone's Letter on Female Suffrage to Samuel Smith, M.P. The letter is dated 12 May 1892 and urges Gladstone "to consider whether the Women's Suffrage is not a subject deserving your entire and unreserved approval and warmest support". Manuscript annotations. Endorsed, 11 June 1892, with the results of a poll in the Gentlewoman on the question "Do women desire to vote for members of Parliament?".

The handbill has been glued to Female Suffrage and the 2 pamphlets and the leaflet are sewn together.