About this object

This porcelain funnel, wooden mouth gag and rubber tube were used to force-feed suffragettes on hunger strike at Walton Gaol, Liverpool.

The women were forcibly held down, the rubber tube inserted through their mouth (or occasionally the nose) and pushed into the stomach, before liquid food was poured down the tube. This often caused long-term irreparable damage.

We don’t know exactly how many suffragettes were force-fed with this equipment in the Gaol, but a well-known case was that of Lady Constance Lytton, who, disguised as a working class woman, Jane Warton, was force-fed eight times in January 1910.

Suffragettes on hunger strike were force-fed in British prisons between 1909 up to the outbreak of the First World War.

Lent by National Justice Museum

The items will be on display until 28 January, 2019.

Object specifics

  • Title
    Force-feeding equipment
  • Accession no.
    MOL LI 3/2018
  • Type
    Force-feeding equipment
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Date made
    1910 about
  • Materials
    Rubber; wood; porcelain
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Measurements
    unrecorded
  • Collection
    From the Museum of Liverpool collections
Object view = Social History
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