Suffragetts Take Inspiration from Earlier Tax Resisters

The Vote

In the issue of The Vote, Helena Normanton continued her series of articles investigating aspects of the history of suffrage in England. In this episode, she looks at the Reform Bill agitation of the 1830s, including a brief mention of the tax resistance of the Political Unions:

But what possibly terrified the Government most was the formation of huge “Political Unions,” whose motto was, “To protect the King and his Ministers against the Boroughmongers.” At Birmingham the Union included 150,000 persons, who resolved that should the Bill fail to pass again, they would all refuse to pay any more taxes.

Also from the same issue:

Women’s Tax Resistance League.

Sec.: Mrs. [Margaret] Kineton Parkes…

[Mary Russell] The Duchess of Bedford has consented to become a member of our Society, and requested us to conduct her protest when distraint has been levied for the amount of her unpaid taxes.

The following Sales took place last week:— On , Miss Baker, of Torquay, who had refused to pay inhabited house duty, had goods sold by public auction. At the subsequent meeting Mrs. Kineton Parkes spoke on the reasons for sale to a large crowd. On , Mrs. [Mary] Sargent Florence and Miss Hayes, of Marlow, Bucks., had their goods sold by public auction. The sale aroused great interest, and a successful meeting was afterwards held, the speakers being Miss Nina Boyle, Miss [Agnes Edith] Metcalfe, and Miss Amy Hicks. On , Miss Ina Moncrieff, of Tregunter-road, South Kensington, had her goods sold at Harding’s Auction Rooms. The speakers at the subsequent meeting were Miss Watson and Mrs. Kineton Parkes.…