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Jane Brailsford

Early Life

Jane (née Malloch) Brailsford was born on 3 April 1874 in Renfrewshire. Her father was a cotton manufacturer and Jane studied Greek at Glasgow University. Bertrand Russell described her as a ‘brilliant student’. A reputed beauty, she  was courted by Henry Nevinson and Wilfred Scawen Blunt but married Henry Brailsford, who had founded the Independent Labour Party branch at Glasgow University. Jane was a member. She married Brailsford in 1898 when he had become a foreign correspondent. She refused to wear a wedding ring.


Jane and Henry moved to London where Jane joined the NUWSS and then, in 1906, the WSPU. Despite reservations about militancy, her husband was a founder of the Men’s League for Women’s Suffrage. Jane was arrested on 9 November 1909 in Newcastle for attacking a barricade with an axe. She was sentenced to thirty days and was subsequently imprisoned again in 1911.

Later Life

Jane separated from Henry Brailsford in 1913 which lead to permanent estrangement in the 1920s. Jane moved to Kew and died on 9 April 1937 in Chiswick.


"I have not before been in touch with a body of people so entirely selfless as the members of the Women's Social and Political Union. This absolute devotion to their cause, a devotion that stops at nothing and fears nothing - is acting like a magnet, drawing supporters slowly and steadily from all over the country. Nothing can stop this movement." Jane Brailsford