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Home > About us home > Vote 100 at Royal Holloway > Our inspirational alumnae > Mary Reid Macarthur, 1881 to 1921
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Mary Reid Macarthur, 1881 to 1921

Mary Macarthur

Bedford College alumna, 1899

Mary Reid Macarthur was a Scottish suffragist and a trade unionist. She was the general secretary of the Women’s Trade Union League and formed the National Federation of Women Workers in 1906.

In 1909 Macarthur led the women chain makers of Cradley Heath to victory in their fight for a minimum wage and led a strike to force employers to implement the rise.

In 1913, Macarthur was involved in a small-scale protest at the House of Commons regarding the Cat and Mouse Act; a response to the Prisoners Act of 1913, whereby prisoners on hunger strike were released whilst at their weakest, and re-arrested as soon as they returned to health.


To mark the centenary of votes for women, Royal Holloway, University of London, and the UK Parliament have developed a range of resources and an online course exploring the history of women's rights and suffrage.


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