Emmeline Pankhurst's Arrest at Buckingham Palace

Image credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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On 21 May, Emmeline Pankhurst, out of prison on licence, led a deputation of 200 women to Buckingham Palace. Watched by large crowds, they were met by 2,000 police officers, some of whom were mounted. Amid violent scenes, over sixty people were arrested. A version of this photograph, which shows a frail Emmeline Pankhurst struggling in the arms of a police officer named Inspector Rolfe (1863–1914), was widely reproduced. Pankhurst was immediately returned to Holloway Prison. Outraged at their brutal treatment that day, suffragettes enacted reprisal attacks which included the smashing of a glass case in the British Museum.

National Portrait Gallery, London



Emmeline Pankhurst's Arrest at Buckingham Palace




vintage print


H 15.3 x W 20.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased, 2013

Work type



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