Houses of Commons (Parliament)

A peaceful protest by the Women's Freedom League.  Two members of WFL, Helen Fox and Muriel Matters, chained themselves to the metal screen in the Ladies' Gallery above the House of Commons; both shouting "Votes for women!"


Latitude: 51.499479400000
Longitude: -0.124809200000

Timeline of Events Associated with Houses of Commons (Parliament)

Date Event Manage
12 Oct 1908 to 28 Oct 1908

The Grille Protest

Beginning on the 12th of October in 1908, the Women's Freedom League prepared for a Special Effort Week.  They began by posting on public buildings in England, calling out the goverment to remove the sex disability in the existing parliamentary franchise and demanding liberation for women.  They were successful in posting their proclamations in Westminster on houses of cabinet ministers, public buildings, and letter boxes; but had not been successful at the House of Commons (Parliament).  Reports were said that this was because of it being too well guarded to be reached by any woman.  This of course didn't stop the WFL, it caused them to take more drastic actions.  On October 28th two ladies, Helen Fox and Muriel Matters, chained themselves onto the metal screen in the Ladies' Gallery, in view of the House of Commons (Parliament).  While other members spread out and littered the floor of the House of Commons with papers advocating women's suffrage.  

The article that I used for the Grille Protest was by Laura Mayhall.  She goes into depth about the events prior to the Grille Protest and the effect that happened afterwards. This article also goes on to explain other events inspired by this successful protest.  

Laura E. Nym Mayhall. “Defining Militancy: Radical Protest, the Constitutional Idiom, and Women's Suffrage in Britain, 1908-1909.” Journal of British Studies, vol. 39, no. 3, 2000, pp. 340–371. JSTOR

Muriel Matters

Muriel Matters Society. Don Dunstan Foundation,

Illustration of The Grille Protest from the Parliament database.