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Cecilia Haig

Early Life

Cecilia Wolseley Haig was born in Marylebone in 1856, the daughter of a Berwickshire barrister. She had two sisters who were suffragettes. Their great uncle was apparently a supporter of women's suffrage and imprisoned for this in 1819.

Cecilia worked on social rights and was a member of the Edinburgh Ladies Debating Society.


Cecilia joined the Central National Society for Women’s Suffrage in 1892. She was a member of the Tax Resistance League and Church League for Women’s Sister and joined her sister Florence as a member of the WSPU. Florence and Evelyn Haig founded the Edinburgh branch of the WSPU.

Cecilia took part in the ‘Black Friday’ protests in November 1910. She was assaulted and died a year later, having been nursed by her sister Florence. Sylvia Pankhurst claimed that Cecilia died as a result of the injuries she suffered during 'Black Friday'.

Cecelia was a cousin Margaret Haig Thomas, later Viscountess Rhondda. Margaret, a peeress in her own right, later campaigned to take her seat in the Lord's. She also raised funds for a public memorial to Emmeline Pankhurst. Another cousin later became Field Marshal Haig.

On 14 January 1912, Annie Kenney planted a Cypress in memory of Cecilia Haig. The inscription read ‘In memory of Cecilia Wolseley Haig. Died 31 November 1911 as a result of injuries received while on a deputation to the Prime Minister on 18 November 1910’.

Read Sarah Hopkinson's short story, dedicated to Cecilia Haig.