Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Emmeline Pankhurst's mother Sophia Goulden honoured with blue plaque

Sophia Goulden blue plaque Image copyright Friends of Sophia Goulden
Image caption Sophia Goulden took her daughter Emmeline to a suffrage meeting

A blue plaque has been unveiled in Douglas to honour Manx women's suffrage figure Sophia Goulden.

Sophia Goulden, née Craine, was the mother of Emmeline Pankhurst, who led the suffragette movement in Britain.

Mrs Goulden was born on the Isle of Man in 1833, and married there before moving to Manchester, where her 11 children were born.

Christine Cowley, of the Friends of Sophia Goulden, said she was delighted by the recognition.

The plaque was unveiled at Mrs Goulden's former home on Strathallan Crescent where she lived before her death in 1910.

Mrs Pankhurst was inspired by her mother and she led a campaign which led to some women securing the right to vote in 1918.

It was not until 1928 that women given the same voting rights as men.

Image copyright International Institute of Social History, Amsterd
Image caption Sophia Goulden forged a path for many other inspirational women

The Lonan-born activist is only the fourth Isle of Man recipient of the honour following the late race walker Murray Lambden, art nouveau designer Archibald Knox and the Bee Gees.

Ms Cowley said: "It was lovely to see so many people at the event, including her descendent Robert Goulden who is one of our patrons.

"We are also very grateful to the property owners allowing this to be installed.

"We look forward to further honouring Sophia with a statue and continuing our fundraising for this."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Emmeline Pankhurst led the movement to win the right for women to vote in Britain

Emmeline Pankhurst's great-granddaughter, Helen Pankhurst, herself a women's rights campaigner and author, said: "Sophia's interest in women's political rights was the spark that ignited an even greater passion in Emmeline.

"Sophia's role as a campaigner in the movement, and as mother guiding the interest of her more famous daughter, have so far received insufficient recognition. The plaque can start to change this".

"Moreover, it's fitting that this plaque will be put up on the Isle of Man, where Sophia came from and returned to, but also the nation that led the way in giving women the right to vote."

In 1881 Tynwald became the first national parliament to give some women the right to vote in a general election - 37 years before Westminster passed a similar act in 1918.

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