Edith Hudson

Image of Edith Hudson
Edith Hudson - an Edinburgh nurse and active member of the WSPU (Women’s Social and Political Union)
© The Edith Hudson Collection / Mary Evans Picture Library

Born in Ceylon 1873, Edith Hudson was an Edinburgh nurse and active member of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). Also known as Mary Brown, she was arrested alongside Elsie Roe-Brown for breaching the peace during a meeting held in Leith by Sir Edward Grey, the Foreign Secretary. She was sentenced to 30 days in prison but was released on payment of a fine by her family.

On 19th May 1913, Edith was tried, alongside Suffragettes Arabella Scott, Agnes Colquhoun Thomson, Elizabeth Thomson and Mr Donald McEwan, at Jedburgh Sheriff Court before Sheriff Chisholm KC and a jury. On 5th April they had been caught attempting to set fire to the new stand at Kelso race course with firelighters and oil. At the front of the race stand they had left small flag and copy of The Suffragette magazine. The group were taken to the local police office; on the way, the Suffragettes sang 'March On' - a song adopted by the WSPU in 1910.

Edith was sentenced to 9 months imprisonment alongside Arabella Scott and Donald McEwan. Elizabeth Thomson was given 3 months, and Agnes Thomson was found to be not proven and discharged. There were cries of 'shame' and 'never surrender' from the gallery of other women supporters and Arabella Scott said 'we shall not serve these sentences'. Edith served 7 days' imprisonment before the Secretary of State remitted her sentence.

Edith's case can be examined in file 1 and file 2 held by National Records of Scotland.