Monday, 29 April 2013

Women on banknotes

I am all in favour of depicting women on our banknotes so long as they are Britannia, Boadicca, Queen Victoria or Florence Nightingale. I would add Mrs Thatcher, but the previous convention seemed to be that they were 'historical' figures, from the 19th century or earlier. As Winston will now adorn the fiver perhaps these things are flexible. The problem is, there are few truly famous women from past ages, and it will only be in the 2200s that we'll start to feature the rich seam of more contemporary achievers. If we have to do it now, let's at least make-up some historic figures rather than keep re-using the two worn-out obscurities we have:-

Ethabell Scrathwick - Leader of the Luton Spoon-planishers strike of 1873, demanding equal wages with knife-grinders and price-controls on Bengal grit, the essential material for her trade, then a monopoly commodity in the hands of the Marquis of Slough. Transported to Australia for 7 years. 

Meena Jones - Daughter of Lascar parents who both worked as stokers for the Red Star Line (and therefore black) she married Hywel Jones of Swansea. She never forgot her maritime ancestry and spent her life providing comfort to wounded sailors. She also cooked them favourite Goan dishes. 

Lily Priestley -  Scientist. She noticed that larks boiled in saline and Orpiment produced a gas she called 'demelancholised air' which she recorded in her journal for 1758 'produced amongst those servants I tested it on great gusts of laughter and joy'. She is credited with discovering Nitrous Oxide but passing the facts to her son, Joseph, as women were not then permitted to be clever. 

Ada Crabbe -  Daughter of a Methodist clergyman, Ada invented sex education in 1894 but was so shocked by what she had discovered she died, still unmarried, shortly after. Her journals were discovered in 1986 and are now held by the Winnie Mandela Cultural Institute in Tottenham. 

10 comments:

DeeDee99 said...

What's wrong with Emily Pankhurst. She would act as a reminder that Democracy was never given away by the Elite without a fight.

Curmudgeon said...

Queen Elizabeth I. Jane Austen. The Bronte sisters.

BrianSJ said...

Diane Abbott. Nobody will believe she was real, but you couldn't make her up.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Thanks for bringing a smile to my lips on a Monday morning. Ada Crabbe was particularly amusing. :)

Anonymous said...

It just has to be Lady T. Why? Coz I would smirk with amuzement every time a left wing detractor has to handle and use the notes, with her admonishing face peering out at them. The real laugh being that they couldn't destroy the notes. Well they could, but they would be hurting themselves.

Coney Island

Anonymous said...

What about Edna Entwhistle? Believed to be an early 19th Century fore-runner of the suffragette movement who chained herself to a fence and set fire to herself thus dying before anyone could actually ask her what her protest was about.

visceral said...

Talking of Ada's surely Ada Lovelace would merit a banknote in the digital age?

Agree with Lizzy I, for showing our gender neutral qualities why not one of Mary Read - look her up she was a pirate ... after all our currency is devalueing and we are being robbed blind at least she was honest about it.

G. Tingey said...

NOT funny Radders!
DD999 is much more to the point.

To which I might add:
Ada Lovelace
Rosalind Franklin
Miriam Rothschild
Aphra Behn
Amy Johnson
Mrs Beatrix Heelis
etc .....

Ian Hills said...

Pankhurst's support for eugenics would surely entitle her to appear on a banknote. On the reverse side I suggest a picture of Stafford Hospital.

G. Tingey said...

Ian Hills
YOU ARE A SHIT