This beautiful Illuminated scroll was specially commissioned by members of the Liverpool Society for Women's Suffrage, National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) to express their deep gratitude to Eleanor Rathbone for her work in achieving the first victory for Women’s Rights after a 20 year fight – the passing of the Representation of the People Act in 1918.
The Bill gave the vote to women over the age of 30 who met minimum property qualifications, for the first time.
Eleanor, born in 1872, had headed the group as Secretary of its Executive Committee since 1897. She was Liverpool’s best known women’s rights campaigners and her involvement with the women’s suffrage campaign was considerable.
She became Liverpool’s first woman councillor in 1909 and first woman M.P. in 1929.
The scroll reads -
'Presented together with cheque and silver box to Eleanor F. Rathbone M.A, C.C. Pioneer in Women's Work, by the Members of the Liverpool Society for Women's Suffrage, National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies and other friends, on the occasion of the passing of the Representation of the People Bill in 1918.
They desire to place on record their enduring gratitude for her inspiring leadership and their profound admiration of the wisdom with which during 20 years of unexampled effort she has guided the Women's Movement in Liverpool: of the unconquerable spirit which has surmounted all difficulties: of the faith which no discouragement could dim. They offer to her their affectionate congratulations on the success which has crowned her efforts: and now that the first great victory for the franchise has been won they look with confidence to her for guidance in the wider work which lies before them'.