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Charlotte Despard (née French)

(1844-1939), Suffragette and social worker

Sitter in 9 portraits
Charlotte Despard was a suffragette and social worker who was drawn to the women’s movement through her philanthropic work with vulnerable women and children. Working in the slums of Battersea, London, she founded clinics, social clubs and a soup kitchen. Despard was originally allied to the Pankhursts' Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), but soon became the leader of a breakaway organisation, the Women’s Freedom League. Their tactics were non-violent but spectacular, including the incident in the Ladies’ Gallery of the House of Commons, where several women chained themselves to the viewing grille. Despard was imprisoned twice for protesting and tax resistance.

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Charlotte Despard (née French), attributed to Charles Mendelssohn Horsfall - NPG 4345

Charlotte Despard (née French)

attributed to Charles Mendelssohn Horsfall
oil on canvas
NPG 4345

Charlotte Despard (née French), by Mary Edis, Lady Bennett - NPG 5007

Charlotte Despard (née French)

by Mary Edis, Lady Bennett
oil on canvas, exhibited 1916
NPG 5007

Suffragette committee meeting, for Daily Mirror - NPG x139878

Suffragette committee meeting

for Daily Mirror
bromide press print, 1906
NPG x139878

Charlotte Despard (née French), by Mrs Albert Broom (Christina Livingston) - NPG x13391

Charlotte Despard (née French)

by Mrs Albert Broom (Christina Livingston)
cream-toned velox print, 1908-1910
NPG x13391

Charlotte Despard (née French); Anne Cobden-Sanderson with three unknown men, by Unknown photographer - NPG x45197

Charlotte Despard (née French); Anne Cobden-Sanderson with three unknown men

by Unknown photographer
halftone postcard print, 19 August 1909
NPG x45197

Charlotte Despard (née French), by Lena Connell (later Beatrice Cundy) - NPG x196984

Charlotte Despard (née French)

by Lena Connell (later Beatrice Cundy)
postcard print, 1910s
NPG x196984

Charlotte Despard (née French), by Lena Connell (later Beatrice Cundy) - NPG x45190

Charlotte Despard (née French)

by Lena Connell (later Beatrice Cundy)
sepia postcard print, 1910s
NPG x45190

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