LGBT Suffragettes

Charis Gambon

Lettice Annie Floyd was a British suffragette who was known for her openly queer relationship

Lettice Annie Floyd was a British suffragette who was known for her openly queer relationship with fellow suffragette Annie Williams. Annie Williams was the organiser for the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), she was also imprisoned twice and awarded a Hunger Strike Medal. The two met in August 1908 when Lettice Annie Floyd was in Bristol, working alongside suffragettes Mary Blathwayt and Annie Kenney. Annie Williams had travelled from Cornwall to help the WSPU campaign. After meeting the two became lifelong campaigners. In November 1908, Williams wrote from Cranlock, Newquay to Lettice Floyd, who was then serving a sentence in Holloway Prison, London, but the letter was returned as the prison governor said she was 'not entitled' to receive it. At the time lesbian relationships were not seen as real relationships and being gay was illegal in Britain. From 1910–1911, Williams lived in Newcastle organising for the by-election campaign for the WSPU , Lettice Floyd moved up from the Midlands to be with her. At the start of World War One, when all suffrage activism campaigns were called off, in order to help with the war effort, Williams and Lettice Floyd moved from Cardiff to Berkswell, where their relationship continued. Their relationship lasted from 1908 to Floyd’s death in 1934. Williams was at her side when Lettice Floyd died in hospital in Birmingham after surgery in 1934. She inherited £3000 and annual income of £300 from Floyds will. The second set of lesbian suffragettes I will look at in this article are Evelina Haverfield and Vera ‘Jack’ Holme. They were a fairly open couple and actually had each other’s initials carved into their bed. Vera Holme gained the name ‘Jack’ from her work as an actor where she took on a male impersonator and adopted a masculine style of dress and short hair. She also held the role of chauffeur for the Pankhurst family.
LGBT Suffragettes
Evelina Haverfield

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LGBT Suffragettes
Vera ‘Jack’ Holme

During the suffrage Era, Vera ‘Jack’ Holme began an important love relationship with Lady Evelina Haverfield

During the suffrage Era, Vera ‘Jack’ Holme began an important love relationship with Lady Evelina Haverfield that lasted until Eve’s death in 1920. Unfortunately, no letters have survived, and their relationship must be reflected through the little evidence that survived, with one important piece being a love poem from Holme to Haverfield. During 1918, Holme’s relationship with Haverfield had cooled and an affair began between Scottish artist Dorothy Johnstone and Vera ‘Jack’ Holme. Haverfield had a ‘friendship’ with Vera ‘Jack’ Holme who lived with her in Devon from 1911. This relationship was quite possibly more like a marriage, as a year after moving in, Holme made Haverfield her sole heir in her will. In 1921, Haverfield's will was refuted by her husband. In the will Holme was left £50 a year for life by Haverfield. The role of LGBT women within the suffrage movement is a story that until more recently has been left out of the history books. Recently, there has been more attention paid to the relationships the women mentioned in this article, and many more had. These examples of lesbian relationships are a fundamental part of who the women were and played a role in their fight for women’s suffrage.
LGBT Suffragettes

Charis Gambon

Charis wrote for Edition 6: LGBTQ+ History month.
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