The Death of Emily Davison

Topics: Women's suffrage, Suffragette, Emmeline Pankhurst Pages: 4 (1386 words) Published: April 12, 2012
History Assessment – The Death of Emily Davison

The Epsom Derby was not only a very important race but also the setting at which several high calibre people met. It was an imperative social event on everyone’s calendar. However the Derby in the year 1913 was to be one of the most remembered Derby’s in its history. At Tattenham Corner on 4th June 1913 spectators witnessed the death of Emily Davison a 41 year old woman. She was hit by the king’s horse, Anmer, and died 4 days later in hospital. It is not ultimately known why she died though there have been 2 interpretations behind the reasoning of her death.

Emily Davison may be considered a peaceful protester. Evidence to support this is that found on her person was a return ticket from which we can infer that Ms Davison didn’t want to kill herself and instead she expected to return home. What’s more is that she had a ticket for a suffragette festival the day after the Derby which tells us a similar story. Emily was also allegedly found in a ventilation shaft in The House of Commons and when asked what she was doing there she had replied, “I want to ask a question in the House of Commons”. This suggests that Emily was quite civilised and had the nerve to talk about matters rather than resort to violence. Though it can be interpreted differently, she was hiding which communicates a possibly craziness therefore she would kill herself. We can largely trust this information as it was found in an official police report though we must acknowledge that some evidence may be tampered or altered with, as it doesn’t follow current government views. For example the ticket may have been implanted so news readers would believe she was a peaceful protester and didn’t kill herself because her views conflicted with those of the government; not allowing women to vote. We cannot though trust fully the story about the ventilation shaft as it recorded only in one account and is similar to a rumour.

Others may believe that Emily...
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