Suffragette Postcards



Mrs Lilian M. Hicks

The postcard of Lilian Martha Hicks (1853-1924) was printed by the Women’s Freedom League (WFL), a group which broke away from the WSPU. This group supported direct action and militancy but were against the use of injury or attack on people or property. The founders of the WFL also wished to have a democratically run organisation, something the Pankhursts and the Pethick-Lawrences at the WSPU felt did not fit well with a militant organisation.

Crawford (1999) mentions that Hicks was active in East Anglia and a member of the Women’s Social and Political Union although she and her daughter (Amy) moved to the WFL as soon as it was formed. Along with her husband, Lilian Hicks had been involved in an earlier movement for the vote for agricultural labourers (1884). Lilian and Amy Hicks were arrested on a number of occasions, including on the infamous ‘Black Friday’ (November 1910).

Crawford also cites the involvement of Hicks in ‘caravanning’ on behalf of the WFL. Hicks toured for three months with Muriel Matters making speeches.

Hicks was an early member of the Women’s Tax Resistance League (1909–1918) and had possessions seized twice for refusing to pay her taxes.


About the card

Lilian Hicks and Muriel Matters caravanned on behalf of the Women’s Freedom League. Photo from:

The New York Times website has a letter to the editor, written by Hicks in her position as Treasurer of Women’s Tax Resistance League, on April 28th 1913. In the letter, entitled ‘No vote, no tax’, Hicks highlights the case of Miss Beatrice Harraden.