Suffragettes march on Buckingham Palace

On 21st May 1914, Emmeline Pankhurst was arrested at the gates of Buckingham Palace by Superintendent Rolfe, pictured above. She was trying to lead a delegation to see King George V.

But there was a huge police presence at the Palace with more than 2,000 officers sent to stop her.

In my historical crime novel, Death at Crookham Hall, I tell the tale of a fictitious group of suffragettes who take advantage of the fact that most of the police are at Buckingham Palace to break into the House of Commons. But their daring protest ends in tragedy.

In reality, Emmeline Pankhurst and nearly 200 suffragettes marched with a petition they intended to present to the King. They were protesting against the treatment of suffragette prisoners and demanding the vote for women. They were stopped by police with batons, and the demonstration turned violent. Over 60 suffragettes were arrested that day, and many women were injured and taken away by ambulance.

Mrs Pankhurst made it to the gates of Buckingham Palace, where she was arrested by Superintendent Rolfe. As she was forcibly carried away, she called out, "Arrested at the gates of the palace. Tell the king!"

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Emmeline Pankhurst being carried away by Superintendent Rolfe. It was the eighth time she had been arrested.

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Suffragettes try to chain themselves to the gates of Buckingham Palace on 21st May 1914. A huge crowd gathered to watch, many of them jeering at the women.

A suffragette is arrested by police at Buckingham Palace on 21st May 1914.

The Iris Woodmore Mysteries are available in hardback, paperback, ebook and audiobook from Amazon and bookstores.