GENEALOGIST Maureen Howes is well versed in the criminal antics of Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison, but she was taken aback when it was suggested she may have a record of her own.
The 74-year-old, who is the Davison family historian, has recently published the book Emily Wilding Davison: A Suffragette’s Family Album about the background of the tragic Derby protester, using never-before-published family archives.
But she was shocked when she visited the Amazon site where her book is for sale to see a sponsored link for a record checker application under the heading ‘Maureen was arrested?’.
“I couldn’t believe it,” she said.
“I was upset at first because people might think I have a criminal record. It is probably because Emily had a criminal record and by mistake they have put my name there.
“I think the best way to deal with it is to treat it as a joke.
“In September I will be 75 so getting a criminal record at this age is really something.”
It is not the only mishap there has been with the site as a Kindle link to the book had to be taken down temporarily when it was listed under different authors. It is now back up under Mrs Howes’ name.
“We are calling it the Emily Factor,” she said. “I can only assume that Emily is trying to get a message to me.”
Copies of the book are flying off the shelves, with none left at publisher The History Press and a re-print scheduled for August.
Emily Davison is known around the world as the women’s rights’ campaigner who died after she was struck by the King’s horse at the Epsom Derby of 1913 when she stepped onto the track, attempting to pin the Suffragette colours to its reins.
Mrs Howes played a major role in the centenary commemorations of Emily’s funeral in Morpeth on June 15 after bringing family members together through her work. And she was delighted to continue to make links on the day itself.
She said: “When I went to see Emily’s plaque unveiled at Tattenham Corner at Epsom at breakfast in the hotel there were two ladies wearing Suffragette colours, who said they were from Bath.
“I saw them again at the Town Hall on the centennial weekend and they told me I had a picture of their grandparents in my book. It was the Wood family so I realised they must be related to Irving Rutherford. I got them together and we discovered that Irving was their great aunt.
“That was one of the best things that happened — to put this family together.”
The Wood family descend from Emily’s aunt Isabella and her husband Robert Wood.