Sylvia Pankhurst – Famous Faces on Cheyne Walk, Chelsea
One of the many blue plaques situated along London’s most famous street was erected in 1985 on the outside of 120 Cheyne Walk to commemorate the life of Slyvia Pankhurst
Sylvia Pankhurst was a political activist and campaigner for women’s rights, who is remembered chiefly for her use of militant tactics in the fight for women’s right to vote. She lived at 120 Cheyne Walk in Chelsea from 1906 to 1909.
This was her home after quitting university and was a pit stop between her numerous countrywide tours for the Women’s Social and Political Union.
Sylvia was the second daughter of Richard Pankhurst, a Manchester lawyer and social reformer, and his wife, Emmeline, who was – with her eldest daughter, Christabel, and Sylvia – to become a major figure in the women’s suffrage movement.
In the early 1900s, Sylvia combined work for the Women’s Social and Political Union, founded in 1903 by Emmeline and Christabel, with training as an artist at the Royal College of Art in Kensington.
Sylvia Pankhurst was known for her suffrage militancy and in 1906, the year she moved to 120 Cheyne Walk, she was imprisoned for the first of many times. In 1913, she founded the East London Federation of Suffragettes and launched a newspaper, the Dreadnought.
She later wrote The Suffragette Movement (1931), one of the first and most lucid accounts of the struggle for the vote.