Jill Liddington
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Plotting across central London
Census and tax resistance
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In October 1909, the first Census Committee meeting was held, to lay careful plans over the coming 18 months. It was attended by the four professional civil servants, answerable to John Burns, President of the Local Government Board (LGB). Just two days later, the Women's Tax Resistance League held its inaugural meeting. It drew together pioneer women doctors, Margaret Nevinson, writer Cicely Hamilton, and Clemence Housman of the Suffrage Atelier. But how could quiet Clemence resist paying tax? She took a daring step, renting a modest house of her own in Swanage on the Dorset coast, so making her liable for Inhabited House Duty. The Tax Resistance League staged resisters’ ‘spectacles’ around the London area, turning local auction rooms into political theatre. Meanwhile, the Census Committee continued its discreet planning, and Lloyd George's budget triggered a General Election, set for January 1910.

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Vanishing for the vote

Suffrage, citizenship and the battle for the census


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