December 10, 1912, to the Editor of The Aberdeen Daily Journal, “Released Suffragist’s Explanation”
During the course of her public exchange with Mr. Knox, Davison travelled to Aberdeen where she was arrested for mistakenly horse-whipping a Baptist minister whom she mistook for Lloyd George, who was in the city at the same time. Employing a suffragette custom, she provided a false name to the authorities, saying she was Mary Brown, a pseudonym which was actually her close friend Mary Leigh’s married name. Her true identity is recorded on the arrest record, and she was apparently freed by a friend or family member’s paying her fine. The Davisons had close ties with the Aberdeen area, and Emily had close friends in the area with whom she must have been staying, as she gives their address as her current address in her signature. Her liberty was not exactly her choice and she wrote to several news papers protesting what she seems to have felt was a kind of “letting down the side” in being released from prison. The letter below, sent to The Aberdeen Daily Journal was also sent to The Scotsman on December 10, printed on December 12, and to The Aberdeen Free Press on December 9, printed on December 10.
Sir, — A report is being spread as to my release that my fine was paid ‘anonymously, probably by a ‘suffragist sympathizer.’ I entirely deny this! No suffragist would have done such a thing, as my feelings in the matter would have been known and respected! Moreover, when I was told of my release at 6.30 this morning, I was solemnly assured that an order for my release had come, otherwise I should have refused to leave the prison. This is a trumped-up excuse to cover a fine reality! The truth is that bonnie Scotland will not adopt the barbarity of forcible feeding!! All honour to her! Yours, etc.,
EMILY WILDING DAVISON
(B.A., Lon. And Oxford Final Honour School)
Ryedale, Rubislaw Don South,
Aberdeen, December 9, 1912