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The Suffragette Prisoner Rachel Peace; 1913

Scotland Yard

The Suffragette Prisoner Rachel Peace; 1913
4 0 c m
actual image size: 21cm x 32cm

Full image caption

Surveillance photograph of the Suffragette prisoner Rachel Peace exercising in the yard at Holloway prison. In red is handwritten 'Rachel Peace @ Jane Short' referring to the alias Rachel used whilst undertaking militant acts. This was one in a series of covert images of 'dangerous Suffragettes' taken by an undercover photographer commissioned by the Home Office. It is likely this image was taken when Rachel was on remand in Holloway awaiting trial for arson in 1913, during which time she undertook hunger-strike and was brutally force-fed. In October 1913 Peace was arrested, along with Mary Richardson, for setting fire to an unoccupied home in Hampton, Surrey. At her trial at the Old Bailey in November, Peace referred to her ordeal of the hunger-strike and force feeding she was currently experiencing whilst on remand. On hearing her emotional speech that revealed her fragile mental condition four Suffragettes in the public gallery threw tomatoes and smashed glass in the Court resulting in their own arrest and subsequent imprisonment. Rachel and Mary, who was absent from the Court trial due to ill health, were both sentenced to 18 months hard labour for the arson. One month later Suffragettes concerned about the mental state of Rachel attempted to set off a bomb at Holloway prison in protest against her imprisonment.

Image Details

1913 AD - 1913 AD
Image Number

© Museum of London

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