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The Interesting life of Manchester Freemason Richard Pankhurst.

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

1835/6 – 5 July 1898

Richard Pankhurst was the son of Henry Francis Pankhurst (1806–1873) and Margaret Marsden (1803–1879). Pankhurst was born in Stoke but spent most of his life in Manchester and London.   He was educated at Manchester Grammar School and Owens College in Manchester.  In 1858 he graduated B.A. from the University of London and in 1859 was awarded LL.B. with Honours.

Dr Richard Marsden Pankhurst

He was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn in 1867 and joined the Northern Assizes circuit. He was also a member of the Bar of the County Palatine of Lancaster Court.

Following qualification, he was a founder member of the Manchester Liberal Association, although he was subsequently to fall out with the Liberals. He campaigned for multiple causes, including free speech universal free secular education, republicanism, home rule for the Irish, independence for India, nationalisation of land, the disestablishment of the Church of England and the abolition of the House of Lords. He established a National Society for Women’s Suffrage, drafted the Women’s Disabilities Removal Bill (the first women’s suffrage bill in England) and was the author of the bill which became the Married Women’s Property Act 1882which gave wives absolute control over their property and earnings.

Emmeline Pankhurst

On 18 December 1879, Richard Pankhurst married Emmeline Goulden;  born 15 July 1858.  Richard was  24 years older than Emmeline; they had five children over the next ten years.

More interesting was, that Richard Pankhurst was one of the Founding members of St. George’s Lodge  No. 1170 (City Derby District, Manchester) in 1867 and a fearless activist for the Suffragette movement and a key figure in the Manchester Society for Women’s Suffrage and whose wife Emmeline became a leading light in the movement that 100 years ago gave women the right vote today.

St George’s Lodge celebrated their 150th anniversary on the 20th November 2017.

To find out more about Freemasonry in East Lancashire you can visit their website at

Their contact details are listed below if you want to contact them directly

Provincial Grand Lodge of East Lancashire
Rossendale Masonic Hall
Ashday Lea,
Haslingden Road

Telephone: +44 (0)1223 471586 (answerphone) |

If you want to be a Freemason you must be interested in character building and morality

“Better men make a Better world.” Freemasonry stresses honour, personal responsibility and personal integrity

You should be able to commit to Monthly/bi-monthly gatherings at lodges.

Reasons to become a Freemason in East Lancashire
You want to make new friendships
You want to develop yourself
You want to make a positive contribution to society
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