Elsie Roe Brown

In 1909 Elsie Roe Brown, a nurse and member of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) from Leicester, England, was arrested alongside suffragette Edith Hudson for breaching the peace during a meeting in Leith, addressed by the Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey. Newspapers reported that Elsie was also responsible for throwing a brick through the local Post Office window with a message tied around it reading 'no taxation without representation'.

The women appeared at the police court on Monday, 6 December 1909. Edith was sentenced to 30 days' imprisonment or a £5 fine, and Elsie to 15 days or a £3 fine. Both women elected to go to prison. It was reported that the court was filled with men from Leith who 'showed their sympathy with the women very emphatically.'

A Mr J Haldane Smith from Midlothian complained to 'Votes for Women' magazine that the magistrate had heard no evidence at all. Mr Haldane Smith had been within a few yards of the police and said their attack on a 'defenceless and perfectly good-natured crowd [was] unjustifiable.'

Elsie's case can be examined in a file held by National Records of Scotland.