A Woman’s Place: Jennifer Godfrey

A celebration of women workers for International Women’s Day

8 – 9 March 2021

Violet and Irene Tillard (front), Charlotte Despard and Alison Neilans (back)
©LSE Women’s Library

Ethel and Vera: Two Kent women’s suffrage campaigners

Jennifer Godfrey, author

Jennifer Godfrey is the author of ’Suffragettes of Kent’ published by Pen & Sword. ‘Suffragettes of Kent’ delivers a thought provoking insight into the many stories and journeys of hope, determination, courage and sacrifice of those involved in the women’s suffrage movement in Kent. Included is the previously untold story of a Kent working class maid, Ethel Violet Baldock, arrested for her part in a suffragette protest.

Previously a Solicitor, Jennifer trained to accurately convey accounts of an event or situation and as a first time author, she enjoys listening to and learning from other people’s stories. She has also worked for a mental health charity, using these skills to create resources for young people.

Jennifer is currently working for a district council in Kent supporting residents and communities and is also an advocate for historic Kent voices. 

Jennifer’s book is published by Pen & Sword, and is available from them directly https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Suffragettes-of-Kent-Paperback/p/16513 . Signed copies are also available directly from Jennifer: anyone who would like a signed copy can contact the author for more information, details below.   

‘Suffragettes of Kent’ delivers a thought provoking insight into the many stories of hope, determination, courage and sacrifice of those involved in the women’s suffrage movement in Kent. Discover an untold story of a young working class Kent maid involved in the suffrage movement. See photographs of Ethel and learn of her arrest and imprisonment for her part in the 1912 window-smashing militant action. The tours of Kent by the Women’s Freedom League in 1908 and 1913 and the Women’s Social Political Union in 1913 are retraced.  Their messages and the reaction of the Kent inhabitants are explained.  A detailed account is given of the significant part Kent played in the 1913 mass pilgrimage to London by the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies. Revealing the part Maidstone Prison played in forcible feeding of suffragette prisoners, the book includes accounts by those who experienced such treatment and a medical report by Maidstone Prison’s leading medical officer, Dr Charles Edward Hoar.  Discover who was imprisoned in Kent’s Maidstone and Canterbury prisons, including a leading women’s suffrage pioneer.  Detailing connections between national women’s suffrage pioneers and the county of Kent, this book includes accounts from 1866 through to 1928 of significant meetings, visits, speeches, tours, demonstrations and militant action.  Discover who challenged their Kent audience to do more for ’the Cause’ and which pioneer was injured by an audience in Maidstone.  Find out who hid overnight and became the first to disturb a political meeting in the county and read details of how Prime Minister, Mr Asquith, and Home Secretary, Mr Gladstone, were targeted in Kent by suffragettes.  Learn how some Kent residents boycotted the 1911 census and of the Kent manor house subjected to a militant arson attack whilst servants slept inside.    

There are two films about Jennifer’s research and writing that will be of interest:  

  1. https://jennifergodfrey.co.uk/kent-archives-film Jennifer created this with Kent Archives during Lockdown 1
  2. https://www.mappingwomenssuffrage.org.uk/videos There are many great films here.  Jennifer’s is called ‘Sharing Suffrage Stories….’ This was created by the national Mapping Women’s Suffrage project as part of a Social Science Festive

  There are also two blogs that will be of interest and may be viewed at:

  1. https://www.mappingwomenssuffrage.org.uk/post/first-time-author   Whilst looking at this blog, please do take a look at the fantastic national map of suffrage campaigners.  You can click on a place to find out who campaigned there.
  2. https://womenshistorynetwork.org/suffragettes-of-kent-by-jennifer-godfrey/ This is the Women’s History Network – they have lots of varied, interesting articles that you might enjoy reading.

Website: https://jennifergodfrey.co.uk 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jenny.godfrey1426 

Twitter: @JennyGodfrey19

Instagram: jenny.godfrey.1426

Email: hello@jennifergodfrey.co.uk