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Source 2: Maude Edwards' trial

On 3 July 1914, Maude Edwards was tried before a jury in Edinburgh Sheriff Court and found guilty of slashing a portrait of King George V in the Royal Scottish Academy. A brief account of the trial was described in the following report published in the Edinburgh Evening Dispatch.

Print a copy of the image and transcript as a Word document [Rich Text Format, 2.3MB, Opens in new window].

You can also read Maude's indictment and her later request for release from Perth Prison.

Link to background information on suffragette activity in Scotland.

Report of Maude Edward's trial published in the Edinburgh Evening Dispatch, 3 July 1914, National Records of Scotland reference: HH16/47



Extraordinary scenes were witnessed in Edinburgh Sheriff Court to-day, when Maude Edwards, the suffragette who was charged with slashing the King's picture in the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, came up for trial. Sheriff-Principal Maconochie was on the Bench.

The accused immediately on being put into the dock commenced a running fire of commentary on the Court procedure, which she kept up during the course of the trial, which lasted for twenty minutes.

Over a score of police were on duty in various parts of the Court, while a similar number of plain clothes constables were also prepared for eventualities.

On entering the Court loud applause from a large number of suffragettes, who occupied the Court, greeted the accused, while cheers were raised on her name being called.

When asked to answer the indictment, which charged her with having, on 23rd May, in the Royal Scottish Academy, wilfully and maliciously struck and cut with a hatchet and damaged a portrait of his Majesty King George V, by John Lavery, RSA, the accused shouted to his Lordship, "I will not be tried. I am not going to listen to you or anyone whatever."

The Sheriff - I take this as a plea of not guilty. (Applause in Court.)

(National Records of Scotland reference: HH16/47)




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