Ten things to learn about Morpeth Suffragette Emily Davison

Emily Wilding Davison
Emily Wilding Davison

The release of a new film telling the story of the women’s suffrage movement has put the spotlight back on Morpeth’s most famous daughter.

Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison, who lived in Longhorsley, died in 1913 after falling under the King’s horse at the Epsom Derby. She is featured in the critically-acclaimed film Suffragette.

Emily Davison died after falling under the King' s horse at the Derby.

Emily Davison died after falling under the King' s horse at the Derby.

Here are 10 facts about the women’s rights campaigner.

1 Emily was born on October 11, 1872, in Blackheath, Kent, the daughter of Charles and Margaret Davison. After her father’s death in 1893, Emily and her mother returned to Northumberland and lived in Longhorsley.

2 She achieved First Class Honours in English Language and Literature from St Hugh’s College, Oxford, but was not given a degree because she was a woman

3 In 1906, she joined the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), founded by Emmeline Pankhurst to press for women’s rights.

Thousands lined the streets as Emily's coffin was taken through Morpeth.

Thousands lined the streets as Emily's coffin was taken through Morpeth.

4 She gained a reputation as a militant and was jailed on nine occasions and force-fed 49 times.

5 On the night of the 1911 census, she hid in a cupboard overnight in the chapel of the Palace of Westminster so that on the census form she could give her place of residence as the House of Commons. In 1999, a plaque to commemorate the event was set in place by Tony Benn MP.

6 On Derby day in 1913, she stepped in front of the King’s horse Anmer, suffering fatal injuries. She died four days later. In 1928, at the funeral of Emmeline Pankhurst, Anmer’s jockey Herbert Jones laid a wreath ‘to do honour to the memory of Mrs Pankhurst and Miss Emily Davison’.

7 Emily was buried in the churchyard of St Mary’s in Morpeth, on June 15, 1913. Her coffin was brought by train to Morpeth, where thousands of people lined the streets.

Emily's grave at St Mary's Church, Morpeth.

Emily's grave at St Mary's Church, Morpeth.

8 She is remembered every year in the International Women’s Day celebration held at St Mary’s and at her graveside.

9 One of the buildings at Sanderson Arcade in Morpeth has been named Davison House and painted in Suffragette purple in her honour.

10 She is the subject of an opera Emily (2013) by British composer Tim Benjamin and the subject of a song - Emily Davison - by American singer Greg Kihn.

Philpa Bilton , Lauren Caisley, Deborah Holmes and Medi Perry cut the ribbon to open Davison House

Philpa Bilton , Lauren Caisley, Deborah Holmes and Medi Perry cut the ribbon to open Davison House