Marion Maud Adelaide Ward
Marion Maud Adelaide Ward

Overview for Marion Maud Adelaide Ward

As well as those who were campaigning specifically for votes for women, there were others who supported universal suffrage which would give the vote to men and women on equal terms and without a property qualification. Marion Maud Adelaide Ward was one of these. They were not Census objectors, rather they argued against the boycott.

Marion Ward lectured for the People’s Suffrage Federation (PSF), which had been founded in 1908, specifically to campaign for universal suffrage. Created by a merger of the Women’s Labour League and the Women’s Coop Guild, it believed that women’s suffrage was being damaged by class divisions like that which had caused the split between the WSPU and the WFL. They also believed that universal suffrage would be more appealing to the Liberal party since giving votes to women based on a property qualification (i.e. wealth) would be likely to increase the Conservative vote.

Marion Ward spoke at Hampstead Town Hall at a meeting (on 27 March 1911) of the People’s Suffrage Federation (for the Women’s Labour League) in favour of the Census stressing the need for the accuracy of the census as a basis for future welfare reform.

The 1911 Census was the first Census to collect information which would inform social reforms: for example, the number of rooms gave indications of crowding, the information about numbers of children, both living and dead gave insights into child and infant mortality. Those with progressive politics regarded this information which could be looked at geographically as very important for carrying forward welfare improvements which had initiated in previous years by the Liberal government. They argued that the accuracy of this data was more important for women and children than the publicity offered by the Census boycott.

Return to Suffragists and Suffragettes here


Document, SUFL35