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Marie Brackenbury

Tree planted by Marie Brackenbury

Early Life

Marie Venetia Caroline Brackenbury was born in 1866, one of a large family born to a senior army officer and his wife Hilda who had an interest in suffrage. Following her father’s death, the 24 year old Marie moved to Kensington with her mother and a number of siblings, including Georgina with whom she studied at the Slade art school. The family also spent sometime at a country house in Peaslake, Surrey.


Along with her sister and mother, she joined the WSPU in 1907. The younger women transformed their art studio into a place to train other women in public speaking as well as producing suffragette art and costumes for demonstrations. They could hold up to 200 women at meetings in their studio. Marie was known for her suffragette pavement art as well as taking a leadership role, chairing a platform at the Hyde Park demonstration.

Marie’s first arrest, along with her sister, was in 1908  following the pantechnicon raid in the Houses of Commons. In April 1911, the Brackenburys hosted 25 women and one man evading the census. In 1912, her eighty year old mother was sentenced to eight days for breaking windows. Marie, who had taken part in the same demonstration, was sentenced to 14 days.

Marie also put her artist talent to use in creating a cartoon which was produced in postcards by the WSPU.

In 1913, following the Cat and Mouse Act, suffragettes routinely hid at the Brackenbury family home in Campden Square earning it the name Mouse Castle.

On 22nd July 1910, she planted a Cupressus Lawsonia Filifera. 

Later Life

Marie died in 1950.


‘Miss Marie Brackenbury in charge takes this opportunity of registering her protest against the votelessness of the women of Great Britain by refusing to fill in this form’. 1911 census form.