Sunday 23 June 2024

Emma Miles: the life of a female Chartist activist

Born in 1819, Emma Miles was one of a number of female activists in their early twenties who made the City of London Female Chartist Association something of a media sensation with their unashamed views on political reform and the place of women in public life.

The daughter of a well known London clockmaker (whose work today sells for thousands of pounds and can be found in museums), Emma dismissed the very idea that women should be content to be ‘an ornament to the domestic hearth’ and declared that she would remain a Chartist to the end of her life.

Emma would later marry a fellow Chartist activist and emigrate to Ohio.

I’ve been digging into Emma’s story a little after identifying her with some certainty in the baptism and marriage records to be found on Ancestry (others sharing her name being too young or too old, too far from London, or too married). 

Frustratingly, however, I have not yet managed to identify the right Mary Ann Walker in the records. 

Emma’s life story can be found here.

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