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Agnes Lake papers, 1908 - 2012

Reference Code: GBR/0271/GCRF 8/1/6

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the material charts nine months in the life of Agnes Lake from her arrest in April 1913 to her release from prison in December 1913, including an account of her imprisonment and correspondence with Christabel Pankhurst. The collection also includes three suffrage sashes and miscellaneous pamphlets and cuttings relating generally to the campaign for women's suffrage.


  • Creation: 1908 - 2012


Biographical / Historical

Agnes Lake was born in Harlow, Essex on November 2nd 1885 to Samuel Thomas Lake and Eliza, nee Webb. She married William Henry Whatmough in 1910. A militant suffragette, Agnes Lake managed the office of 'The Suffragette' and 'Votes for Women'. Arrested on the last day of April 1913 at the headquarters of the Women's Social and Political Union [WSPU] at Lincoln's Inn, she and six others were tried at the Old Bailey for conspiracy to cause malicious damage. She was sentenced to six months in prison, which she served in Holloway and Warwick. As a result of hunger strikes, she was repeatedly released and re-arrested under the Cat and Mouse Act [officially the Prisoners (Temporary Discharge for Ill Health) Act 1913] and inevitably her health declined. However, she received support and encouragement from Christabel and Emmeline Pankhurst (with whom she corresponded on WSPU journal business) and from her husband. Little detail of the remainder of Agnes Lake's life is known. She is, however, known to have spent time in the United States and one of her daughters was born in 1921 in New York. She died in June 1972 in Wandsworth, London.


1 archive box(es) (1 box) : paper

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were given to Girton by Agnes Lake's daughter Shirley Freeman (Whatmough, G 1940), in 1972.

Related Materials

Copies of The Suffragette (1913-14) and Votes for Women (misc. issues 1912-13), which were originally part of this collection have been catalogued at GCRF 8/1/3/2 and GCRF 8/1/3/1/5 respectively.

Date information

DateText: Circa 1908 to 1913; circa 1965; and 2012.


Lake, Agnes Caroline, 1885-1972, suffragist

Finding aid date

1998-09-03 10:23:19+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Girton College Archive Repository

The Archivist
Girton College Archive
Huntingdon Road
Cambridge CB3 0JG United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 338897