Who is she?
Sophia Duleep Singh was an Indian-born suffragette in Britain, who was a militant activist alongside the Pankhursts. She was involved in the famous ‘Black Friday’ protest, where women were arrested and beaten (there’s a pretty brutal depiction of this in the movie Suffragette).
Sophia was the leader of the Women’s Tax Resistance League, whose members refused to pay taxes because, frankly, they weren’t allowed to vote.
She was the prominent of a group of Indian suffragettes in the UK – and controversially, her story wasn’t included in Suffragette.
Why should we thank her?
Sophia was a prominent activist for women’s rights and the vote, and in representing migrant women in the movement.
“Taxation without representation is a tyranny… I am unable to pay money to the state, as I am not allowed to exercise any control over its expenditure.”
Sophia was in fact a Princess, and god-daughter of Queen Victoria. Her father was the exiled Maharaja Duleep Singh, and she was supported by the Queen, who gave her a house in Hampton Court.