Source 2B is from the minutes of Kirkwall
Town Council in 1886. It shows discussion of a letter asking the Town Council
at Kirkwall to show its support for a franchise bill in 1886.
1. What did the writers of the letter want Kirkwall Town Council to do?
2. How did Kirkwall Town Council respond to the letter?
How useful is source B2 as evidence of the methods used by suffragists to get
the vote in the late 19th century?
Archives, Kirkwall Town Council Minutes, p276
At a monthly meeting of the Town Council of the Burgh
of Kirkwall held in the Town Hall there on Wednesday the seventeenth day of March
Eighteen hundred and eighty six years.
Present Provost Reid, Bailies Peace
and Williamson, Dean of Guild White, Treasurer Spence, Messrs J. Smith Peace,
R.G.W. Irvine, D. MacPherson. Mr Heddle and W. Work. Provost Reid in the chair.
The minute of last monthly meeting was read and approved. The meeting again took
into consideration the representation of the Convention of Royal Burghs referred
to in minute of last monthly meeting when the clerk read another letter which
he had received from the Town Clerk of Elgin as well as a circular from the Town
Clerk of Arbroath on the same subject, and it was unanimously agreed to take no
action in the matter.
Bailie Peace moved that the Council resolve to proceed
with the appointment of a representative elder to the ensuing General Assembly
of the Church of Scotland but said motion not being seconded it fell to the ground.
The Clerk read the following letter from the Secretary of the Edinburgh National
Society for Women's Suffrage:- "Edinburgh National Society for Women's Suffrage,
13 Raeburn Place. March 6th 1886. To the Town Clerk of Kirkwall, Sir, I have the
honour to forward to you a Copy of a Bill for extending the Parliamentary Franchise
to Women, which was read a second time in the House of Commons on Friday the 19th
February ultimo, and which it is hoped may pass the remaining stages during the
present Session of Parliament.
I beg that you will be good enough to communicate
the same to the Council of Kirkwall at their next meeting, and ask them to consider
the propriety of Petitioning Parliament in favour of a measure which affects the
interests of so considerable a portion of their constituents. I am, Sir, your
obedient Servant (Signed) Eliza Kirkland, Secretary. I beg to call your attention
to the fact that the Edinburgh Town Council has already petitioned in favour of
When it was moved by Bailie Peace, seconded by Bailie Williamson
and unanimously agreed to that the Bill therein referred to be allowed to lie
on the table for further consideration.