Random Partridge

September 18 2013

On Bernard Partridge, see last post, including comment.

Punch, April 4 1917, via Project Gutenberg.

Bernard Partridge 2

Somehow he makes Asquith very recognisable. He brings out his exhaustion. The caption reads:



Essence of Parliament column:

“Wednesday, March 28th – Rumours that Mr. ASQUITH was about to make a public recantation of his hostility to Women’s Suffrage caused a large attendance of Members, Peers and the general public. The interval of waiting was beguiled by, among others, Mr. PEMBERTON BILLING [a link worth following], who, having been told by Mr. MACPHERSON that the number of accidents during the training of pilots during the last half-year of 1916 was 1.53 per cent., proceeded to inquire, ‘What is the percentage based on? Is it percentage per hundred?’ Mr. BILLING may be comforted by the recollection that a greater than he, Lord RANDOLPH CHURCHILL, confessed that he ‘never could understand what those d—d dots meant.’”


“After Mr. ASQUITH’S handsome admission that, by their splendid services in the War, women had worked out their own electoral salvation, even that topic seemed to have lost most of its provocative quality; and there is a general desire to forget what the late PRIME MINISTER described as a detestable campaign and bury the hatchet and all the other weapons employed in it.”

The prime ministers from December 1905 to October 1922 were Liberals: successively, Campbell-Bannerman, Asquith and Lloyd George. From 1915 onwards, they were in coalitions with Conservatives. There were elections in 1906, 1910 (two, both leading to hung Parliaments) and 1918.

Lloyd George had taken over at the end of 1916, but Asquith remained leader of the party until 1926 and had his own following. He had been an opponent of women’s suffrage since the ’80s and remained one after most Liberal MPs had come to support it. Suffragettes smashed the windows of 10 Downing Street in 1908. An attack on his carriage by Mary Leigh in Dublin in 1912 injured the Irish nationalist leader John Redmond.

In 1915 he was forced to shore up his government with a number of pro-suffrage Conservatives. When Lloyd George took over in 1916 the path for reform was clear. In 1917 Asquith, encouraged by the abandonment of violence by the Women’s Social and Political Union, belatedly came round to supporting the cause.

His own reforms of the House of Lords eased the way for the passage of the Representation of the People Act in 1918. This enfranchised 8.4 million women over the age of thirty who were either on or married to a man on the Local Government Register. In the same year a Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918 (twenty-seven words long, modern legislators please note) allowed women to be elected to Parliament. Both acts were passed before the Khaki election, but the first female MP was not elected until a by-election in November 1919.

In 1928 another Representation of the People Act, passed by the Conservatives in the second Baldwin administration, gave women the right to vote on the same terms as men (over the age of twenty-one).

Emily Davison at the Derby (old post).

2 Responses to “Random Partridge”

  1. davidderrick Says:

    The curved rear of Boris Johnson’s New Bus for London, introduced 2012, alludes to the design of the bus or tram type in this picture: the external staircase is now shielded by glass.

    Except for the rear, Boris’s bus is, in my opinion, a design mess.

  2. davidderrick Says:

    The Representation of the People Act 1969 lowered the voting age to eighteen.

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