Henria Helen Leech Williams

Henria Helen Leech Williams (6 January 1867 to 2 January 1911) was involved with the suffragette movement. 

 

Williams was born in Shropshire in 1867 and grew up in Cheshire, where she was a governess and a school mistress. She later moved to Upminster, Essex, where she was heavily involved in the suffragette movement, hosting many meetings from her cottage there.

 

Williams took part in several major protests.  Her final protest was outside the UK Houses of Parliament in London on 18 November 1910 alongside hundreds of other women to secure voting rights for women. This day is commonly known as “Black Friday”, so-called due to the amount of violence towards the protesters by the police and male bystanders. She was injured as a result of the violence but has been said to have returned to the protest after receiving treatment.

 

Henria died on 2 January 1911. Her coffin was draped in the suffragette colours with a wreath saying “She hath done what she could.” The coffin was transported from St Pancras on the midnight train to Glasgow for her funeral on 6 January 1911 at St Ninian's Church, which many suffragettes attended. Afterwards, she was buried in Cathcart Cemetery alongside her parents and other family members.

 

Her death notice was published in the Glasgow Herald on the 3, 5 and 6 January 1911. The last one reads “WILLIAMS - Suddenly, at Corbets Tey, Essex, on the 2nd inst., Henria Helen Leech Williams, eldest daughter of the late Henry Williams, of Cathcart - Funeral to-day (Friday), 1.30, at St. Ninian’s Church.”

 

Grave details: F-1987-8-9

Sources: Glasgow HeraldWikipediaUpminster’s Tragic Link to Black FridaySuffragette Stories

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