Celebrating International Women’s Day: Suffragette, Emily Wilding Davidson

To mark International Women’s Day on the 8 March, Trustee, Jeanette House visited St Mary’s Church in Morpeth to learn about suffragette, Emily Wilding Davidson.


It is 102 years since the militant suffragette, Emily Wilding Davidson, was tragically struck down by the King’s horse during an equality protest at the 1913 Epsom Derby. She never recovered from her injuries and died four days later. She is buried in a family plot at St Mary’s. 

Emily achieved a 1st class Honours at Oxford at a time when women were not allowed a degree. She later went into teaching, but abandoned this when she became increasingly passionate and militant about women’s suffrage. She was imprisoned on nine occasions and force fed a total of 49 times – a horrendous and extremely painful experience. Emily later successfully sued the prison authorities because of her ill-treatment. 

Recent research has shown that Emily had a return train ticket secure in her purse and had never intended to end her life so tragically. Clearly she underestimated the speed and ferocity of the horse, with fatal consequences. 

Did you celebrate International Women’s Day? Leave a comment and tell us about it!