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67 suffragettes arrested trying to raid Buckingham Palace
Several hundred suffragettes marched towards Buckingham Palace but were stopped by the police. Photo: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

67 suffragettes arrested trying to raid Buckingham Palace

London, 21 May 1914 - Violent scenes took place today outside the gates of Buckingham Palace as a group of several hundred suffragettes became involved in an altercation with the police.

The incident took place when a march by the Women's Social and Political Union led by Mrs Pankhurst was stopped by police at the main gates at Constitution Hill. Mrs Pankhurst had led the march with the intention of sending a delegation to interview the king.

Upon being denied entry through the gates, the march turned violent.  Armed with batons, several of the women hit out at the police and there were many injuries. In return, the police drew their own batons and made a charge. Several women were injured and had to be taken away in ambulances. Many arrests were made and the police were aided by several citizens.

Mrs Pankhurst was arrested and brought to Cannon Row police station. Other women were taken to the small police station at Wellington Arch. It was here that a crowd descended and broke every window in the building. Armed with eggs filled with red and yellow paint, the suffragettes pelted the police leaving them with the appearance of being of being covered in blood.

Although members of the Royal Household had gathered to watch the scenes in the palace grounds, it is believed that the King and Queen took no notice of the protests.

[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]

RTÉ

Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.