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Church League for Women's Suffrage

John Simkin

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The Church League for Women's Suffrage (CLWS) was founded by the Reverend Claude Hinscliffe in 1909. His intention was to: "band together, on a non-party basis, Suffragists of every shade of opinion who are Church people in order to secure for women the vote in Church and State, as it is or may be granted to men." Later he stated that: "The methods of the League are Devotional and Educational." The following year Maude Royden became secretary of the CLWS. Other members included Margaret Nevinson, Edith Mansell Moullin, Minnie Baldock, Clare Mordan, Olive Wharry and Katherine Harley.

By 1913 the CLWS had 103 branches and 5,080 members. The CLWS never spoke out against the tactics of the Women Social & Political Union. In February 1914 the CLWS lost a lot of members when it rejected a motion, proposed by its Worcester branch, that it should declare itself opposed to militancy.

After the First World War the Church League for Women's Suffrage changed its name to the League of the Church Militant and campaigned for the ordination of women.


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