Spring 2020: a course on the history of radical women; from Women Levellers to the Suffragettes










I  am delighted to be teaching a course again on Radical  women : from women Levellers  to the suffragettes

This will begin on Tuesday 3rd March 2020 and last 10 weeks. It will run 11am to 1pm except on 10th March and 24th March when it will run 12.30pm to 2.30pm .

The course fee will be £60. To book a place please email me ; redflagwalks@gmail.com

The venue will be the Working Class Movement Library, 51 Crescent Salford M5 4WX

The course will include the following:

Women in the English Revolution in the  1640s and 1650s

Women  were active members of the radical group, the   Levellers, marching and taking petitions to Parliament.

Mary Wollstonecraft and the radical movement  of the 1790s

Mary Wollstonecraft was one of the few  women who came to prominence   in the English radical movement of the1 790s. Her treatise, Vindication of the Right of Woman, a follow up to her lesser known work, Vindication   of the Rights of Man, made her a well-known figure in English society, though it did not lead to the creation of a feminist movement.

Women rioters in 1812

Luddism was an organised  workers movement which attacked the machinery taking away their jobs in Nottingham, Yorkshire and Lancashire between 1811 and 1813. Whilst women did not generally play a role in the attacks on mills, they did play a prominent role in the food rioting in Manchester in the spring of 1812.


As the radical  movement  grew into a mass movement in the course of 1819, women stepped onto the political stage organising Female Reform Societies which issued addresses to the public. Women were present at Peterloo,  and were among the dead and injured.

Women abolitionists

Women were active in the camaogn against the slave trade in the Britsih Empire and the United States

Manchester Female Republicans

In the 1820s women were active in the Republican societies  inspired by the ideas and  writing of Richard Carlile.

Owenite Socialism

Organised groups of workers set up co-operative societies from the late 1820s onwards, inspired by the ideas of Robert Owen. Owen also attacked religion and traditional marriage, leading to a number of women, inspired by his ideas,  such as Emma Martin preaching around Britain in public lectures.


Chartism was mass worker’s movement at its height between 1839 and 1848 which called for wholesale political reform. Women were not among the leaders, but were active at grassroots level.

Trade unions

Lancashire had the highest number of women workers in England, mostly working in the textile industry as weavers. The Manchester and Salford Women’s Trades  Council was set up in 1895 to organise women in lowest paid industries into unions.

Women and Socialism

Women played an active role in the various socialist organisations which came into being in the 1880s and 1890s.

Votes for Women!

The struggle for Votes for Women  lasted from 1866 to 1928. Manchester played an important role in all phases of the movement, both militant and non-militant. This session will include the role of working class women in the suffrage campaign.

a bit about me

I have been researching and writing abour women’s  history for many years.  My published work includes “Up Now Brave Women; Manchester’s Radical women 1819-1918 and “for the sake of the women who to come after” : Manchester’s Radical Women 1914-1945. I have an MA in the history of  the Manchester Region.



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