Women's Tax Resistance League

The Women's Tax Resistance League was established in 22nd October 1909, with the express purpose of resisting paying taxes to protest inequality towards women; the express form of protest was in not paying unfair and unnecessary taxes to not give to a government that discriminated against women.

Louisa Garrett Anderson held the first meeting at her flat in Harley Street and members of the Women's Freedom League attended as well. The WTRL used to be part of the WFL but split off from the other organization due to differences in how to protest and not wanting to be militant at all. The objectives of the league were to assist women with taxes, protesting via not paying taxes (such as income taxes and license taxes put upon women, for their dogs, use of vehicles, use of guns), holding public meetings and distributing propaganda. They were mostly professional women such as teachers, etc, who joined. John Hampden was the man who inspired them to protest because he used his ship and resisted paying taxes, so that is why they used a ship to represent themselves. 

Some members were Ethel Ayres Purdie, a committee member and tax adviser who advised the women on their taxes and designed ads which attracted attention to the group and their purposes. The other one was Margaret Kineton-Parkes, who went to conferences and petitioned for the group to be more widely known. Other members were 

The women protesting used the government seizing their goods as public displays for their cause. Members of the league often gave back the possessions they'd lost to the women who lost their homes protesting unfair taxes. 

When women protested, their properties were taken from them or else they were placed in prison. The group also had a resistance against the census of 1911 and took part in other activities as well. The WTRL suspended meetings when World War I broke out-and subsequently resumed them in 1916 when they attended the Consultative Committee of Constitutional Women's Suffrage. After this, one more meeting was held in 1918 after women got the right to vote-this meeting was held to officially end the organization. 

Some of the links I used were  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=17nHZu2ZbU0 which explores how they were formed, for what purpose and when they broke up. The Youtube video does a good job in illuminating their history and their story, with good images and history. The second link I used is here:  British Periodical that held an article mentioning WTRL and the website lists different sections of newspaper articles and periodicals from Britain that is easy and navigate and easy to use. 

Images: This one came from Wikipedia and is the official badge of the WTRL. Inspired by John Hampden, who was a man who rebelled over being forced to pay his ship taxes and thus opposed the king and faced criminal charges over it, and thus they were inspired by seeing a man like that influence their group and were honored to have a ship serve as a reminder of what they were fighting for. 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=17nHZu2ZbU0 accessed 11/7/18, 

https://www.kent.ac.uk/sspssr/womenshistorykent/themes/suffrage/wtrl.html, Women of Tunbridge Hills History Project


Louisa Garrett Anderson Info, Simkin, John, accessed 11/25/18

IBadge of the WTRL

Associated Place(s)

Event date:

circa. The end of the month Autumn 1909 to circa. 1 Dec 1918

Parent Chronology: