404 Hampstead Garden Suburb Virtual Museum : Individual : Irene Parley [SUF26]
Irene Parley

Irene Parley (née Irene Spong)

Dates: 1882 - 1960

Lived at:

  • 10 Heath Close (approximately 1920 to at least 1939),
  • 21 Dalmeny Road, Holloway (at the time of the 1911 Census)

Suffrage organisation(s):
  • Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU)

Key roles:
  • Active suffragette.
  • A professional soprano, sang at fundraising concerts for who used WSPU.
  • She sang to suffragette prisoners in Holloway Prison
  • Gave elocution classes to suffragette speakers.
  • Suffragette prisoner.

1911 Census:
  • Irene Parley was an evader of the census and submitted a rebellious census return "No vote, no census" from 21 Dalmeny Road, Holloway (marital home).
  • Her husband registered in Hampstead Garden Suburb in Hampstead Way.

Militant Activities:
  • Arrested at a deputation on Parliament in 1909 and sent to Holloway Prison. With others, petitioned the Governor to be considered political prisoners and when their petition was refused, they broke the windows of their cells and disobeyed other prison regulations. This resulted in various periods of "close confinement" in "punishment cells".
  • Irene Spong (later Parley) was one of several prisoners who went on a hunger strike.
  • Seems to have withdrawn from militant action after birth of children in 1911 and 1913.

Other achievements:
  • Irene Parley taught elocution classes to suffragette speakers, which helped them project their voices over a restless audience.

Read the full description of Irene Parley here