Group urges all women to use their vote today

The Friends of Sophia Goulden, the mother of women's rights campaigner Emmeline Pankhurst, place a memorial on the site of her grave in Braddan Cemetary. Left to right: Christine Cowley, Lynn Owens, Pam Radcliffe and Pam Crowe

The Friends of Sophia Goulden, the mother of women's rights campaigner Emmeline Pankhurst, place a memorial on the site of her grave in Braddan Cemetary. Left to right: Christine Cowley, Lynn Owens, Pam Radcliffe and Pam Crowe

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A wreath has been laid at the grave of the mother of women’s rights campaigner Emmeline Pankhurst in memory of her part in securing women the vote in the UK.

Sophia Jane Goulden was a women’s rights campaigner in her own right who died in April 1910 aged 76 and was buried in Braddan cemetery.

With island-wide elections taking place today (Thursday), local group ‘The Friends of Sophia Goulden’, decided to pay tribute to Mrs Goulden.

The group decided to make the tribute after hearing a talk on Mrs Goulden by Pam Crowe who suggested that a tribute should be made each election year at the grave in Braddan.

Ms Crowe said: ‘Sophia Goulding encouraged her daughter from the age of eight to take an interest in women’s rights. I suggested that she should be commemorated before each election and we should urge women to use their vote.’

Mrs Goulden was born in the area of Laxey in 1834, as Sophia Jane Craine, although her precise birthplace is not known.

She later moved to Douglas where her family ran a boarding house.

She married Robert Goulden, from Manchester, at Braddan Church in 1853 and the couple moved to Manchester.

Mrs Goulden was an early supporter of the fight for women’s suffrage, sometimes taking eldest daughter Emmeline with her to meetings.

Emmeline Pankhurst grew up to become a famous political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement who helped women win the right to vote.

She died in 1928, aged 69, and was interred in Brompton cemetary in London.

Women who were householders, over the age of 30, were given the right to vote in the UK in 1918 but women over the age of 21 did not get the right until 1928.

In 1881, the Isle of Man enacted the Manx Election Act, which gave women who owned property the right to vote.

The island was the first nation to grant women the right to vote in a national election.

The Friends of Sophia Goulden are also hoping to form a charity to raise funds to look after Mrs Goulden’s grave and for a statue to be erected in Laxey in her honour.

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