Assignment 1: 'The actions of Nellie Hall a local Birmingham Suffragette 3) What has happened to Nellie Hall? Source d is a letter from prison; this shows that she has been sent there for a crime. So before this letter has been sent I can assume that she has committed a crime, been arrested, has had a trial in court then finally been sent to prison. The letter itself is unusual, it is a set printed letter where she can fill in space but it also has an extra comment at the bottom written by Nellie Hall.
It was sent on 23rd July 1913, saying that she was in good health. Her statement at the bottom has several interesting parts to it. "I think that I might be allowed to have a letter from you. " This suggests that she not only would like a letter but also really wants her family to write back to her in prison. It is not only addressed to her family but she also has added the word, 'all' which suggests she would like her suffragette friends to see the letter aswell. It also says: "I have 21 days 2nd division"
This is where she is situated in the prison according to her crime. 2nd division is for political crimes showing she has done something against the government, which is common for a suffragette. It says she has 21 days, the length of her sentence, but she goes on to say that she hopes to be out soon. "I am not taking food and water. I hope to be out soon. " This shows that she is going to try to be released on the 'Temporary Discharge Act' (Cat and Mouse Act), this was a common thing to do for a suffragette.
On the 5th of August, Miss Nellie Hall received a letter from the Under Secretary of State saying that her temporary discharge, which expired on the 2nd, has been extended by 14 days to 16th due to her state of health. It all now begins to tie in together; she would originally have been let out for 7 days to recover if she had refused food or water. 7 days before the 2nd of August was 26th July, 3 days after she had sent the letter saying she had been refusing food and water and that she hoped to be out soon.
This shows that she had not recovered fully during the 7 days she would have had at home, and the temporary discharge had been extended for an extra 14 days due to this fact. If she had not refused food and water at the start of her sentence she would have most likely been released on the 13th August, 21 days from the sending of the original letter, but due to her time out of prison she had only served 3 days of her sentence by this time and was still not due back in prison to complete her time for another 3 days due to the extension.
During the time from just before July 23rd, Nellie Hall will have been trailed, sentenced, imprisoned and then released for 3weeks (the duration of her original sentence) on temporary discharge only to be arrested again when she was well to complete her sentence, finishing on 4th October.