In the Centenerary year of Women over 30 getting the Vote in Britain, Catherine Southon Auctioneer & Valuer
s sale will be offering a wonderful archive of one ladys fight to support the cause. On Wednesday, July 25, 2018 at Farleigh Court Golf Club, Selsdon in Surrey, the archive of Kate Evans, who was born in Wales, will be offered for sale and is expected to fetch £8,000 - £10,000.
Kate Williams Evans was born in 1866 in Llansantffraid, Mongomeryshire. Growing up, she was interested in Politics and spent a considerable time in Paris. While there she met with people interested in the Womens Social and Political Union and in her early thirties she joined the Union and was an active member. She became a suffragette to the dismay of her parents who thought the behaviour of these women was quite shocking. On 4th March 1912 she was arrested and imprisoned for 54 days in Holloway prison. This collection is to be offered for auction by the family.
Auctioneer Catherine Southon commented: We are honoured to be offering such an important private and comprehensive collection once belonging to Womens Rights activist Kate Williams Evans at such a poignant time. The collection has been kept within the family and has been treasured which would account for the condition of the hunger strike medal which is exceptional.
Included is a rare silver suffragette Hunger Strike medal and a fascinating archive of letters, books and ephemera relating to Kate Williams Evans. The medal engraved Hunger Strike to the obverse and Kate Evans to the reverse, complete with the distinctive three coloured ribbon representing purple (dignity), green (hope) and white (purity) and two silver bars one engraved March 4th 1912. Only 100 of these medals are known to exist and this one is contained within original velvet lined presentation box with printed inscription to the silk lined lid, sold together with an accompanying letter from The Women's Social and Political Union stating that Miss Evans has been presented with a prison brooch.
Also included is a Metropolitan Police arrest warrant issued to Kate on 4th March 1912 for 'Malicious damage'; 'The Pocket R. L. S. from the works of Stevenson'; a pocket book given to Kate by Meg - her sister, with hand-written pencil autographs from a number of suffragettes including Emily Wilding Davison, E. Pankhurst and Sarah Benett as well as a copy of John, Nancy. A. 'Holloway Jingles' a collection of poems written by the Suffragettes contained within a pictorial printed outer green covers with, images of the inside of the cells. This is possibly a first edition and includes with two poems by Kate entitled 'Who?' and 'The cleaners of Holloway'.
Another item signed by E. Pankurst is a framed and signed letter of Commendation to Kate Evans on behalf of the Women's Social Political Union.
Also of interest is a hand written letter from fellow inmate and suffragette Sarah Benett to her maid Jane regarding the health of Kate Evans as the hunger strike began (Kate explained that she had this letter stitched to the hem of her skirt). The letter reads' Miss Evans will be my guest till she is a little stronger. She has been starving so treat her as an invalid...'
A further interesting letter is from Dorothy (Evans) fellow inmate in prison to Kate after she has left prison it reads 'Your flowers have been such a joy to me through a very strenuous time. Now I am getting some mental and spiritual peace, though my body is suffering - I find I am getting ill much sooner now I am not taking water either...The cells here are darker than any I have seen...We come up for trial on Tuesday if still alive and in captivity...'.
A letter from Mary Griffiths to Kate's grate aunt regarding Kate's courage it reads 'We can hardly realise at present what a debt of gratitude we owe the militant section of the suffragists, but I am quite sure that later on their heroism and devotion will be appreciated'.