Miss Janie Allan

Gender: Female

Marital Status: Single

Born: 1868

Died: 1968

Place of birth: Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Main Suffrage Society: WSPU

Other Societies: GWSAWS; NUWSS; WTRL;

Society Role: Committee member (NUWSS)

Arrest Record: Yes

Recorded Entries: 2


Other sources: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4769024
Elizabeth Crawford, The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866?1928 (1999)

Further Information:

Family information: Daughter of a shipping magnate.

Additional Information: Janie was one of the founder members of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Association for Women's Suffrage (GWSAWS) when it formed in 1902. She was one of its vice presidents and committee members and a generous financial supporter. In 1903, she represented the Association on the committee of the NUWSS but withdrew from the role shortly afterwards, though she did not resign from the NUWSS until 1907. She became interested in the WSPU and militant tactics in 1906 and encouraged the GWSAWS to co-operate with them. She gave generously to the WSPU and in 1912 to the Women's Freedom League (WFL). In March 1912 she was imprisoned in Holloway for smashing windows in London as part of a larger WSPU window-smashing campaign. She used her appearence in court to draw attention to issues she cared about, including the 'sweating' (poor conditions and pay) of women workers and the shamefully short punishments given to those who assaulted children. She pursued these avenues of the women's movement through other organisations (see Other Activities). During her imprisonment she went on hunger strike and was force-fed for a week. A petition against her imprisonment was signed by 10,500 Glaswegians. Force-feeding took a significant toll on her health and she took nearly six months to recover. In 1914, she fired a blank from a pistol at a policeman who attempted to arrest Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst at a meeting at St Andrews Hall, Glasgow. Janie was especially concerned with force-feeding in Scottish prisons, which began in 1914 with Ethel Moorhead. She helped Ethel escape by swapping clothes with her at visiting time. After the 1914 amnesty for suffragettes, she pursued the Scottish office about suffragette prisoners still on temporary release. In 1918, she was a member of the Suffragettes of the WSPU (SWSPU), a group formed to continue to fight for votes for women, after the WSPU abandoned suffrage campaigning at the outbreak of war.

Other Suffrage Activities: Janie donated funds to Louisa Garrett Anderson and Flora Murray to help run the Women's Hospital Corps during the First World War. In 1923, she chaired the Glasgow Women's Watch Committee, which kept an eye on women's interests on public bodies, and in 1939, was involved in the Scottish Council for Women's Trades. When she died, she left money to the National Vigilance Society, which challenged sex trafficking, child prostitution and abuse.

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